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Help I'm Just a dummy.... about hatching eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bwolfe, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. bwolfe

    bwolfe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK so please be kind in your comments, but i have made so many mistakes trying to hatch some of my chickens eggs in an incubator. I have candled to much and I'll be straight with you I thought I done enough research and keep coming back here reading forms and finding i have made yet another mistake and miss understood some info. Well my first mistake was trying to build a home made incubator and it was going good for a few days then it went out and my eggs got cold like 66 degrees cold a week in to it. So i throw a lamp in the whole put a bulb in had my kids watch them while i rushed to TS and bought a foam incubator, without an egg turner. My second mistake was adding eggs daily so I have eggs I that are today at 21, 20, and day 19. they all are still alive i candled them last night and i have air pockets at the bottom like they should be and there is still good movement in the eggs. But no signs of piping. But i was turning eggs up until the night before last and I'm not sure my air pockets are large enough. Most of the eggs are tiny and all pictures i can find are on large eggs they look big enough to me but. I have been a straight fool through out this and I'm so scared that i am going to lose these little babies, I'm just soooooo mad with myself.

    I also didn't know to raise humidity to 65 to 70% in these last few days until the night before last. I now have it up but I also have both red plugs in the top trying to keep it up, but i read in one post that i should have both of them out, it has little wholes across the top on each side of the lid, but wasn't sure what to do. Do I live them in take them out, or take one out? I also read not to asst in hatching but have read where some say they have. I am at day 21 on a few and I know they can hatch late but if there is still no signs of piping tomorrow evening or Sunday (today is Friday 2/27/15) and I still see movement is there anything i can do to try to save the little guy?

    I am just beating myself up BIG TIME over being so stupid, i know better i should have researched every single detail first and now i have little lives at stake. Can anyone please help me and tell me what I need to do.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Don't beat yourself up about making your own incubator. I made one a couple years ago and am still tweaking it. At any rate, mine is better than the cheap styrofoam ones of which I've owned two. Some successful hatches, some disasters.

    They need oxygen so take the plugs out.
    The air cell should be on the big end and that should be on the top, not the bottom. Always set eggs small end down.

    3 successive days of setting can be a problem but not a total disaster. The first to hatch will just have to stay in a day or two longer.

    A big cooldown in the first week isn't deadly either so I wouldn't worry about that.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  4. dorpersheep

    dorpersheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi bwolfe! Greetings from Australia.

    We are all learning each hatch so take a deep breath, and lets see what happens.

    Temp is much more dangerous if it goes too high not too low, I had a power blackout for 4 hours early in an incubation that dropped temps on all my bators to 25C and those eggs all made it through ok - some were just set, others were almost out. Only thing that died in great numbers were guinea fowl.

    It is the average over the 3 weeks that is important for both temp and humidity. As long as there is not a fearsome spike upwards that may cook the embryo, then it is the average that matters. As long as you have been 'in the range' for the incubation then at least some bubbas should be appearing soon.

    To assist with a hatching the chicks really need to make the first move and be at least pipped. If they don't break the shell themselves they don't seem to make it at all. I have helped the odd one that has got stuck halfway out - just teased away the membrane as it starts to shrink in on them (usually happens when I think we are finished hatching, open the hatcher to take the chicks out, and find 1 or 2 chicks still halfway out the egg).

    Our first hatch we did not meet any chicks until day 24 as our temp had been way too low. The rest hatched on day 25! So don't panic too much just yet. You may just get a lovely surprise in the next few days. If not, then make a list of all the things you have now learned - maybe these egg's job in life was to teach you all the knowledge you need to go on and hatch the next batch? Easiest way to learn anything is to actually do it, rather than try and read it in a book! I couldn't live with myself if I added up all the eggs I have ruined along the way, but now we are getting the hang of it, I have just finished a batch of 12 dozen eggs, and of the 144, we have 120 happy babies this morning (I have been hatching almost weekly since last November so not very long).

    Let us know how it all ends up!

    Cheers Cate
     
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  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I agree with what has been said already, but just wanted to share the assisted hatching link: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching Very good and detailed article on the when to and not to assist and how to if you are really sure it's necessary. It also tells why it's best not to and what damage you can do if you assist too soon.

    I'm not sure why you are being so hard on yourself. You haven't done anything a million other people haven't done. (And just to help ease your mind, I'm a candling addict. I candle at least 3-4 eggs a night after they start developing, with no ill effects.)

    I give you props for even daring to make your own bator. I'm not that brave.

    I would remove the red plugs though. (I don't even use mine.)

    Can I give you a word of advice....This is an awesome page to collect a vast array of information and experience. I highly recommend it, but...as you are reading and see what works for others remember, that is what works for that individual. While one thing may work for group "a" and they insist that is how you do it, it may not be right for group "b". There are things that are certain...what your temps should be, air cell up and that you need the proper humidity (proper is not a number but effect of moisture loss, in other words one person's "proper humidity" might not be yours and it is a subject often debated over.) How you manage all this differs from one person to the other. No one is wrong or right, if what they are doing is working for them and their chicks.
    What I am trying to say, (in my long winded version) is, if you have found something that works for you and you are having good hatches, healthy chicks and are happy with your results, do NOT let any post or poster make you feel stupid or make you feel you are doing it wrong because it's not their way or the typical way to do it.

    And...this is a learning experience. Unfortunetly a lot of it is learned by trial and error and many of us loose chicks in the begining until we find what works for us and learn the ropes, so hang in there and have faith in yourself and welcome to the hacthing game!
     
  6. Moat

    Moat Out Of The Brooder

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  7. Moat

    Moat Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I'm a rookie at this also and just put my first two dozen eggs in my incubator two days ago. You say the first to hatch may have to stay in a day or two. I am wondering, is there a limit to how long to leave them in? Or should I leave them in until I'm sure the hatch is done?
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They can go a couple days without food and water. However 99F is awful high for chicks to go without water and the sooner they eat, the better they'll develop.
    I'd watch for a time when chicks are out and you don't see any more pips and sneak them out quickly. Maybe even be ready to spritz the inside of the incubator when you do.
     
  9. Math

    Math Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bwolfe, I agree with much that I have read here. I just want to say "trust" yourself. You are brave to do what you have done so far...building an incubator and setting eggs. I started out like you did. I built a homemade incubator out of a cardboard box and hatched one chick. My next incubation I hatched two chicks. That is when I purchased my Little Giant from TSC and I have gotten from 50% to 100% hatch rates. I have learned a lot in the year since I started egg incubation. You learn as you go and you discover things that work for you. Be confident, trust yourself, ask questions (like you did on this thread), and keep growing and you will be a great chicken keeper. Enjoy backyard chickens, they are fun. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. bwolfe

    bwolfe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, i have both tattoos and chickens and every time i get a new one I find another i love and want, but i have to say I have way more Chickens then i do tattoos lol
     

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