How many eggs in the incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dekel18042, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I'm a total newbie at this and have some questions. I just got an incubator (and of course am very excited.). Before I purchase eggs I thought I would try hatching my own first so I know what I am doing.
    My incubator will hold 24 eggs, but if I am just trying to see if it works, how many eggs should I put in?
    I'm not sure I want to hatch too many of my own, as my rooster is a different breed from my hens.
    Also, how long should a hen be laying before you try to hatch her eggs? Are pullet eggs too small?
    I have two hens laying since the beginning of the month and their eggs are medium compared to store bought eggs, and I have two younger birds I am waiting for them to start laying.
    I am tempted to wait for the younger hens to start so I can include their eggs or should I just go ahead with the eggs I am getting now or should I wait a bit and see if the eggs get larger?
    I had thought of trying with four eggs or is that too few? My only worry would be that I hatch a singleton, I would rather have a few for company.
    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd wait another month for the eggs to get full size. Problems can occur using pullet eggs, undersized birds and less vigor being a few. As for number to set expect 50% hatching and think absolute most chicks you want if you get 90% to hatch (90% from set is high hope first hatch but possible).

    If I was doing a test hatch and didn't want the birds I'd set 8, expecting 3 to 7 chicks.
     
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, you echoed what I thought about setting pullet eggs. I do want a few chicks, they should be nice birds plus I do know two neighbors interested in restarting a small flock so I will talk to them.
    My goal is a colorful egg basket so what I get should be good in that respect. My hens are 2 Jersey giants and 2 Americanas and my rooster (a very nice rooster I might add. I am pleased with him although he is how I got into this.) is a Delaware/Americana cross which is why I wanted to wait for my Americanas to start laying to set any.
    And my husband is on board, an instigator/enabler even. He got me the incubator and has gotten chicken coop plans and supplies.....so many questions...do we build a second smaller coop, or just go for a really large one? So many choices!!
     
  4. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't say that I agree with the pullet egg thing if yours have been laying for a month. The eggs will start out small then get larger as the hen ages. As long as the eggs are normal shaped, clean. not thin shelled, and crack free you should be fine. As for the rest of what Egghead_jr said I couldn't agree more. Best of luck to you.
     
  5. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My eggs are fairly large in size (fit into a cardboard store large egg carton) but not as large as the extra large store bought eggs I bought for Christmas baking. They're clean, have a nice color, uniform shape and their shells are harder than my store bought eggs.
    I'm holding the two I collected today while I decide. I really do want to see how that incubator works....
     
  6. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you have a go then. I have always had healthier chicks from the younger birds. good luck I hope you have much success. One thing you can do is throw three or four store bought eggs in there for a couple of days and monitor the temps and humidity, if all looks good throw in a few fertile eggs and take out the store ones. That is how I like to test a new bator. Saves risking fertile eggs.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I hatch in spring so the birds are far past pullet eggs and odd eggs by the time I incubate next spring. I'd suggested waiting longer as many of my new layers throw out small and then double yolk eggs. These you don't want to hatch. The yo-yo of egg size for me stops by the second month of laying. But then you can simply not use the odd, small and potentially double yolk eggs for incubating.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  8. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same here and good advice for anyone wanting a good hatch with minimum problems from hatching eggs.
     

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