HOVABATOR

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jamesploe, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Jamesploe

    Jamesploe New Egg

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    My daughter recently built a home made incubator. She is only 10 but did a decent job. Out of the 12 eggs she got 9 fertile ones. Out of those, she got decent growth all the way to day 18. At that point we only saw growth in 5 of them. Out of those only 3 were still alive in the eggs on day 21. One came out on schedule, the other two did not pip at all.

    She had a great experience, 1/12 eggs on a home made incubator spending 0.00$ on it. She was proud, but wanted more. We bought her a hovabator and an auto turner to start hatching more at a time, on a more consistent temp control, and humidity reading.

    42 eggs went in, not so randomly selected from our various chickens. She wanted to candle at day 5, so we did. Looked bad for the brown eggs, but all the white eggs looked good. (I am not sure if the browns didnt look good because they are brown and harder to candle) Then on day 18, from the auto turner to the screen we candled once again, only to be let down by the number of eggs that had growth. Most had none, no veins, no movement. About 8 of the eggs looked to be possibilities, and only 5 were for sure doing well, with good movement, and veins.

    so.... Day 21 was here and gone, and she was worried about them. No chirping, no rocking and rolling, and no PIP! She asked if she could candle once again, and I said yes. Looked to be no movement in any buy one. SAD DAY :( As this is the night of day 21... I am wondering if anyone with more experience can help to figure out what we are doing wrong... Anything.. Here are the details I can give.


    Hovabator foam incubator with a 42 egg auto turner.

    We start eggs early in the first day. so that lat on day 21 we hope to see something.

    We keep humidity at 45-50% from 1-18, and 65-70% from 18 and on.

    We candle at day 5, and candle again when we move the eggs to the lay down position.

    We do not turn the eggs after day 18.

    We put all eggs in pointy end down in the auto turner.

    We do not wash the eggs other than a quick wipe with a damp towel right before we incubate.

    We keep the box set to about 102 and it stays there pretty well. We use a stick thermo, we have an internal one that sits inside, and there is one on the box (that is not acurate but consistant)

    My Daughter hatched one chick from her last batch, and has fallen in love with the process. So far she is let down. she did the math and is sad. We should by all reason have a nice batch right now, and we do not. I want to continue hatching my own eggs. But have so many questions about what we are doing wrong. Help me please, as I do not want my daughter to lose interest in something like this, as she is so smart, and this is such a great outlet for her. We have over 100 chickens with mixed batches of roosters, and most our eggs are good to go. I just need to fix whatever it is I am doing wrong... Should I maybe lower the temp a few?
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you checking fertility on the hens you collect eggs from? (cracking eggs from each hen to see who's eggs are viable?)
     
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  3. Jamesploe

    Jamesploe New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    The fertility of the eggs is good if the eggs at day 5 have veins right? Also, tell me more how to check the hens viability
     
  4. Jamesploe

    Jamesploe New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    We have a ton of hens, who share boxes, I would be super difficult to tell when hen lays which eggs. But I can say most of the eggs are fertile. Our rooster make pretty decent work out there. We have 1 rooster to every 6-10 hens, and in this batch we had all the white eggs show good growth up to day 18...
     
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the whites showed veins than there were fertile. Check the browns.

    I would start with checking and calibrating the thermometer if needed. I wouldn't be wiping down the eggs. If they are dirty, don't set them.
     
  6. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To me the humidity seems to be to high for the first 18 days.

    I dry hatch mine til day 18. Then raise to 65 to 70 percent at hatch.

    Not saying that's the best way. One of my last batches last year put down wrong set day. So I didn't have any extra humidity in incubator. Didnt have the turner off or out.

    Had almost a 90 percent hatch with that batch.

    My first batch of turkey eggs this year had 9 make it to lockdown. Only 4 hatched. The rest were fully formed but just died in the shell. Dont know why it happens that way some just can't make it.
     
  7. marchick

    marchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,I also have a Hovabator it's the 1588 model with forced air and auto turner.Mine came pre-set.at 100 degrees. I didn't mess with the temp. because every thermo I used gave me a different reading.I have only hatched in it once and just put in my second batch.The first hatch went well 8 out of 8 chicken eggs hatched and 3 out of 6 turkey eggs. I am a beginner but my thought was the temp may be too high.Welcome to BYC! Wishing you and your daughter many fuzzy little chicks![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  8. Jamesploe

    Jamesploe New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    #1 I should have done what is called a dry incubation. Adding max amount of water to start, and not adding any more until day 18.
    #2 I am too hotttt! All people with better than 75% success do 99 in still air, not 102 or better. We ran 102 in the one she made, but lesson learned. Not all incubators are equal.
    #3 Auto turners? Lots of mixed bag opinions. We are going to try 1/2-1/2 with taking the turners off on half the unit. and hand turning half the next batch.
    #4 I guess washing or wiping eggs is a no no.. Lesson learned
    #5 Collecting eggs for incubation? I am told now that I should also turn the eggs waiting for incubation, and not keep more than 10 days before it.
    #6 Candling? This seems to be a newbie thing. Which we are. But I am told that it is an added stress to any egg, and should only be done when there is a serious question about the egg
    #7 SUNLIGHT... We do not have much in the room where we incubate, but I plan to keep the windows covered this time around.


    Let me know if any of you think there is more for the next batch I should try.
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Dry incubation is actually running dry or near dry from the beginning. If I can't run dry and have my humidity stay above 25% I add a damp/wet sponge to keep it around 30%. I have always used auto turners up to this point removing them at lockdown and laying my eggs flat. This time, because of the amount of eggs I decided to hand turn. #4 is one of those things that is heavily argued in the chicken world. #5 yes. #6 I highly disagree with. I think newbies are doing themselves a diservice by not candling at least on days 7/14 and lockdown. and marking/monitoring the air cell. As well as getting to experience seeing the growth of the chick. I myself spot check candling EVERY night. Candling allows you to adjust for humidity as well as knowing if the development is on track and can possibily denote a problem with temp. And as long as the bator is not directly in the sun where it can cause fluctuations in temps, light in the room shouldn't be an issue.
    I hope that you have a better hatch on your next try.
     
  10. Jamesploe

    Jamesploe New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    OK, so then I must be confused as to what dry incubation is. The big wig chicken farms do a full humidity that last the first 3 days or so of incubation, at which point they cut the humidity off. Only to increase it again at 18 days. The people that try to do the same thing, that have the best % success, tell me that covering the holes and filling it up with water, only to not add any more water at all till day 18, and to let the water vent out till it is gone.

    I am trying to come up with the best case plan before my daughter gets back from her mini break with the aunt. She is going to be so let down, I would like to be able to tell her the new plan. The more I do this the more I get discouraged because of the simple things. So many "opinions".
     

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