Homemade incubator, first hatch....advice?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jbolt, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2013
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    Hi, I caught the chicken bug, and I built an incubator. Parts list:
    Styrofoam cooler 3.50
    Acurite thermometer/ hygrometer 8.00
    Scrap chicken wire
    Dimmer switch 8.00
    Lower water heater thermostat
    2 glass jars filled with water
    1 salvaged Xbox cooling fan wired to 12v adapter
    1 bottle lamp kit

    I will post step by step if someone would like but I got my instructions. Online. My why regulates with no more than .5° temp swing. I am nervous as I am afraid of unabsorbed yolks or them being alive in the shell and the can't get out. My humidity is at a steady 50%. Here are pics, any advise is appreciated :)

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  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  3. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    x2 Do you have ventilation holes in your bator? its very important.... refer to the hatching 101 link sumi gave you and also here https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubator-incubator
     
  4. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wittmann az
    Yes, 5 behind fan to pull air in and 5 above eggs about 4 inches to allow heated air out. Holes are a little bigger than pencil sized. Also lid is not airtight. What is a " porous egg " in regards to choosing the best eggs to set?
     
  5. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    when you candle it will show alot of spottyness in the shell, I have set them if they are not too bad and hatched them fine though!
     
  6. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wittmann az
    Huh, all the eggs I set seem to be a bit spotty, the ones from the 2 year old hens being more spotty than the ones from the ones in their first laying cycle. Is there a nutritional deficiency that I may be missing? All air sacs are positioned right, and eggs are not overly thin, thick, or chalky. My hens are fed lay pellets, scratch, and and have access to alfalfa hay at will. They eat more hay and lay pellets than anything. I have not been giving oyster shell as the lay pellets are Sposed to be "complete feed" with plenty of calcium. I also raise mealworms for them and they get 4 oz of mealworms twice a week. I spread the mealworms all over the outdoor area to give them as much of a "free range" diet as I can, but they cannot be left unfenced as the predators in my area are prolific and ruthless. 2 days ago my Leghorn rooster Henry miles a hawk inside the outdoor pen. It is not covered on top, but will be by the end of the weekend.

    Pics of "Hero Henry, and his hens :)
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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  7. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HELP! MY DAUGHTER UPLUGGED BATOR FOR 4 HOURS. Temp was down to 72 are they dead?
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Chick embryos are quite tough and can survive lower temperatures for a few hours. I've heard of incubators getting unplugged and undiscovered for 24 hours with no harm done to the chicks. The cooling down period may delay their development a bit though. So don't worry if they hatch a bit later than expected.
     
  9. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wittmann az
    Thanks:) 2 are at day 5 and I can see movement and a heartbeat in both. The rest are at day 3 and are too dark for me to tell yet, but air sacs are good and yolks are veiny and floating. Keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  10. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2013
    Wittmann az
    OK, 6 of 10 eggs are developing well. 2 are at day 18, 2 at 16,and 2 at 15. All air cells are good, 18 and 16 eggs are in lockdown as of this am, and I'm giving the youngest eggs 2 more days in different bator before lockdown. Humidity has been at 35 to 45 % and was raised to 70 to 75 % today. Anything else I can do? I know now I shouldn't have staggered the hatch but its too late now........
     

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