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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by gapeachy, Apr 7, 2009.
I am wondering how many people out there had a good hatch thier first time incubating
My first hatch was 100%!!! I was thrilled and decided to try again right away. Second time I had 22/24 eggs(don't remember eggsactly, but I hatched 2! I can't wait to try again!!
I had less than 50% but with all the trouble with humidity I'm surprised I had any. I did loose one early this morning. He lived for 7 days. He was 2 days late hatching and I had to help him get out. It took him so long to get out that the shell dried to him and I had to use warm water to soak him loose. I was at work when it happened and found him that way when I got home. He never did eat much or was very active. I figure he was just weak from the beginning. He was held and comforted by us all in his last hours. He died with love. He was a barred.
I have 4 others still doing well. They are mixes of buff, barred and wydonette.
I have a new batch in the bator for a second try. I want to get 50 hens this summer if possible. I have 12 more eggs on a week so far.
When I first started with poultry/waterfowl, my hatches were awful... beyond awful actually. I remember my first hatch many years ago was a half dozen quail eggs- zero hatched. Then I tried about the same number of chicken eggs- zero hatched. Then some friends of my Mom gave me a mixed assortment of about 30 duck/chicken/guinea eggs- only a couple hatched and many were dead in the shell after pipping (probably because I opened the incubator constantly to check on them.)
After my initial bad luck, I convinced my parents to buy me my first real 'bator which was a round styrofoam unit (this was like 25 years ago). FINALLY! I started getting 60-80% hatches.
What I learned early on was to 1. Get good quality eggs from people that are actual breeders. 2. Get a decent incubator that maintains heat/humidity. 3. Let nature take its course, don't constantly disrupt the eggs. Now, I put the eggs in the incubator and just leave them, monitoring the temp/humidity from the outside. I also very rarely assist hatches.
It can be discouraging when you are first starting out, but once you have success- it become an addiction!
That is why I seldom assist hatches, Emvickery. I used to do it all the time. I would constantly check the eggs the last few days and jump in at the first sign of trouble. Experience has shown me though that if they don't hatch, there is a reason. It is sad, but it is simply part of the life cycle. I still will assist if I only have a small number of eggs going, if the eggs are really rare, or if I know the obvious reason they are not hatching (like something went wrong with humidity).
What I typically do now is leave the eggs in a couple days past due and disturb them as little as possible. If incubation has gone well otherwise and there is no obvious reason for pipped eggs not hatching, I then dispose of the eggs. It seems that usually these chicks end up dying anyways.
Just finished my first hatch yesterday. 17 out of 19 hatched, 89.5%.
5 out of 6
But I set 48 eggs. Lots of clears!
My first hatch was one cracked and then wax sealed egg, it hatched
MY second hatch was 14 local eggs 13 hatched
My third hatch was shipped eggs 11 made it to day 18 out of 24 and only 4 hatched ,(one with help)
I am now on day 19 with my fourth hatch
I had one that piped but didn't make it. I didn't help it at all. I figure if it can't get out it is too weak to make it anyway. I had trouble with humidity the whole time. I idn't expect the one that died yesterday to even hatch. I was removing the unhatched eggs and I heard peeping so I put it back. I came home from work and he was stuck to the shell. I had removed the water dish because I had babies in there and I didn't want them to drown themselves. I plan to buy a new bator soon. I'm using an old metal one. I have to open it everytime I turn the eggs, so I do everything i need to while it is open so keeping it at a steady temp and humidity is hard. I want to get one that has a turner in it also. What i'm using now is an egg carton with the bottoms cut out and it sits on top of the lid. when I turn the eggs I just lift the bottom off the top and lean it in the opposite direction then make sure all the eggs are leaning also. I can only get 1 dozen in there at a time because of the water dishes and thermometer/hydrometer takes up most of the space. I did a few alterations to it this time. I sealed the vent holes in the bottom with my glue gun and I took out the ring that raises the screen off the floor of it enough to put the water tray between the screen and the floor. That didn't seem to help at all last time so i'm trying somethig different and I have the lid turned so that the heat coil is over the water trays taht have sponges in them. I tried not using the sponges but the humidity was only 27%. With the sponges it is 45%. Since it is in the hallway and the temp dropped here the past few days I have been having to play iwht the temp a bit to keep it between 99 and 101. It keeps fluctuating. I hope that by the next batch I will have my hew bater. One that I don't have to mess with so much. I want to have 50 hens grown by this coming winter so next year I will be able to start my project.