Hatching two batches at the same time??? Doable?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rachelpotter, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. rachelpotter

    rachelpotter Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013
    Is is feasible to hatch two different sets in the same incubator? Specifically... one set a week to ten days before the other?

    Can you tell I'm DYING to hatch some eggs... like... NOW!

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I've done it in the past (far past) and the hatch % of the second batch was always impacted.
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    X2 with sourland one set of eggs will suffer. Doing a stagered hatch in one incubator is difficult as optimum conditions for incubation will not be met. If you have a second incubator or hatcher it works better as eggs that need to go into lockdown can be transferred to it at the correct time and the incubator/hatcher not opened again untill after hatch is complete which is better for hatching chicks.
    Having to open the incubator to turn eggs that still require it (you would need to remove any turning mechanism during lockdown as chicks could become trapped in it) jeopardises your humidity for hatching eggs the chicks could become shrink wrapped because of the humidity falling every time you open it.
    It really is a catch 22 situation and is the reason why I don't personally like staggered hatches, it really is a risk.
    Wishing you the very best of luck :frow
  4. rachelpotter

    rachelpotter Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013
    ok! Points taken. I just arranged for the eggs to ship and arrive at the same time....

    I'm so bad with waiting! Thank you both for talking me down off the ledge!
  5. nmichelewicz

    nmichelewicz In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2018
    I have a bit of a unique situation.

    We have ordered chicks in the past, but decided that we wanted to breed chicks from our own birds this year. We found a free rooster on craigslist that had the genetics we wanted and has actually turned out to be very vigorous and gentle.

    We gave him a couple of weeks with the hens and then started collecting eggs over the past week. Unfortunately, egg production fell off and they developed an egg eating habit that I can't explain based on nutrition, temperature, molting, or space (all have improved if anything).

    I now have just a dozen eggs suitable for hatching from the past 8 days and don't want to wait any longer. At a 50% hatch rate I will get 6 chicks and statistically 3 will be roos.

    I get that waiting until production picks up for one large batch would be best, however March/April is typically when we have bad predator losses. I would say we have a 1/3 to 1/2 chance of losing the flock any time from now until May. Had I been thinking, I would have made note of which eggs were collected on which dates and just rotated so we had a constant supply of new fertile eggs on hand in case we lose the hens.

    I didn't and I want to start this batch to ensure we can at least propagate some of the current flock. In New England, we also have a fairly narrow window for a good time of year to hatch chicks. What to do?
  6. Bryam

    Bryam Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    I have had staggered hatches with good results! The first hatch didn' really impact the second hatch 1 week later.
  7. nmichelewicz

    nmichelewicz In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2018
    Thanks, Bryam.

    I think I'll go for it. This incubator is a 4 dozen egg unit that someone was kind enough to give me for free because they lost their laying ducks.

    It just seems inefficient to run it for three full weeks for a dozen eggs. Even if the second hatch suffers from going through lockdown, I'd still be happy to trade 36 eggs for whatever chicks do hatch.

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