I really need some fast advice on this stuff!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Little Miss, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Little Miss

    Little Miss Out Of The Brooder

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    I purchased what I thought was four bantam silkie eggs and the mother but it turns out I'm only getting the four fertalized eggs. I'm now in a rush to get an incubator before the eggs get here. I have never tried hatching eggs before in my life and I have no idea what to do! From what I researched, I know I have to turn them every so often and the temperature must be high. I don't know how high or anything about working an incubator. I don't know what else to do for the eggs, what to do for newborn chicks, or anything else. I'm freaking out! [​IMG] Any and all pointers and information would be very very very appreciated!
     
  2. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. How To Incubate & Hatch Eggs - Just 21 Days From Egg To Chicken ...

      www.backyardchickens.comCoop Designs
      Feb 20, 2012 – ... From Egg To Chicken! How To Hatch Chicken Eggs Related tutorials: How-To #2: The First 60. ... Best source is a poultry feed store. Prevent ...

    2. Egg Incubators, Hatching Eggs, Chicken Incubator

      www.incubatorwarehouse.com/
      We're the online leader in egg incubators, hatching eggs, chicken incubators, and ... Regardless of whether you are shopping for a chicken incubator, quail incubator, poultry incubator, or even ... How to Make Your Own Desktop Egg Incubator ...
    3. How To Incubate and Hatch Chicken Eggs At Home - YouTube
      ► 3:13► 3:13


      www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHA4g264ulkAug 19, 2009 - 3 min - Uploaded by GloVermont2
      Discover and learn how to incubate and see hatching chicken eggs at home. Key information includes how ...
      More videos for incubation poutry eggs "how to" »

    4. How to Hatch Baby Chickens - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com

      voices.yahoo.com/how-hatch-baby-chickens-5549089.html


      by Bradley Sylvester - in 136 Google+ circles - More by Bradley Sylvester
      Mar 1, 2010 – Step-by-step guide to hatching chicken eggs with links to important resources. ... How to Hatch Baby Chickens .... A complete list of poultry diseases, symptoms, treatment and prevention are available from The Poultry Site.

    5. How to Hatch Poultry Eggs in an Incubator | eHow.com

      www.ehow.comPets & Animals
      How to Hatch Poultry Eggs in an Incubator. Successful hatching of poultry eggs depends on the proper care and incubation of the eggs. The incubators' function ...

    6. How to Make a Poultry Egg Incubator | eHow.com

      www.ehow.comPets & Animals
      How to Make a Poultry Egg Incubator. Generally, eggs are incubated by the body heat of the mother bird when she sits on them. However, if you are raising ...

    7. How to Hatch Chicken Eggs | eHow.com

      www.ehow.comPets & Animals
      How to Hatch Chicken Eggs. Hatching chicken eggs is a common science experiment in ... Order fertilized eggs from a hatchery or from poultry farmers.


    That oughta give you a jump on the learning curve, 'til somebody that actually has some level of real experience responds (and, my post will at least push your thread into thier view ~'-)
     
  3. Creaking pines kids

    Creaking pines kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The temperature to keep the eggs at is 99.5. I hope that helps![​IMG]
     
  4. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    Read the instructions for your incubator but general guidelines are:
    temps 99.5 to 100.5F
    humidity 30-40% until lockdown at day 18 (stop turning)
    humidity 50-60% during lockdown & hatch days 19-21
    try not to open bator during lockdown
    turn eggs 2-3 times per day at as equal of intervals as possible (mark 1 side with number or letter & other side differently to tell them apart & roll eggs end-over-end over the fat end when possible or side to side)


    Brooder set-up:
    you will need a wooden or plastic "box" (large rubbermaid totes work well),
    a heat source (bell lamp with heat producing bulb...a standard household bulb of 75-100 watts works well, just not those new coil ones, they don't put off enuf heat),
    bedding (hay, straw, wood chips, shredded paper),
    small feed container,
    small/shallow water container

    Set up your brooder at lockdown so everything is warm & ready for the babies. I hang the lamp over 1 corner away from the water & adjust the height by watching the chicks. If they huddle under it they are cold & I lower it. If they move away from it they are hot & I raise it. If they are lounging randomly then it's perfect.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  5. Little Miss

    Little Miss Out Of The Brooder

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    Virginia
    This is probably a dumb question, but what is lockdown? I'm trying to cover everything because my neighbor tried incubating eggs and most of hers hatched without legs. I need to know everything I can so that doesn't happen.
     
  6. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No such thing as a dumb question, save for the one not asked ...

    The last three days = "the lock-down period" ~'-)


    Beginers Guide to Hatching Eggs
    [​IMG]
    Hatching Eggs can be Fun & Rewarding
    Setting your eggs
    Eggs have the best hatch rate when stored for no more than 7 days before beginning to incubate. Allow cool eggs to warm slowly to room temperature before placing in the incubator. Abrupt warming from 55 degrees to 100 degrees can cause moisture condensation on the egg shell which can lead to disease and reduced hatches.
    Humidity Control
    Humidity is controlled in order to prevent unnecessary loss of egg moisture. The ideal humidity level for hatching eggs is still being debated among the experts, but many agree that it should not fall below 25% or above 60% between setting and three days prior to hatching. During the last three days (the "lock-down" period), the humidity level should be increased to between 70-80%. Keeping an adequate humidity range inside your incubator is quite simple. The Little Giant and Hova Bator incubators come with simple instructions on how to use the water channels in the floor of the incbuator. Follow the instructions that come with the incubators. Please note that the humidity in your area will have an impact on how much water you'll need in the incubator to keep it at the correct humidity range. Check the water level periodically to ensure they don't dry out.
    Humidity Tip: If find that you are having a difficult time seeing the water in the channels to know if there is enough water, try this little trick: just add a drop or two of food coloring to the water. As the water level decreases, you'll notice the color of the water (due to the food coloring) start to darken. And it changes again when the water channel is actually dry. In the Little Giant, this will color the foam, but this will not hurt the incubator it sure makes it easier to tell if you have enough water!
    Another Tip: Having a hard time getting the humidity high enough? try adding small sponges that will increase the amount of surface area that is wet...this allows more water to evaporate into the air which increases the humidity.
    Many experts agree that a common cause of poor hatch rate is TOO MUCH humidity during the first part if incubating and NOT ENOUGH during the last three days (the "lock-down" period). Follow the instructions above and the further details you will find in your incubator's instruction guide.
    Turning the Eggs
    Eggs must be turned at least 2-3 times daily during the incubation period. Many experts say if you can turn them 4-5 times a day it is even better. Do not turn eggs during the last three days before hatching. The embryos are moving into hatching position and need no turning. Keep the incubator closed during hatching to maintain proper temperature and humidity. If you are using an automatic egg turner, then that will take care of the turning for you. Just be sure to remove them from the turner and lay them on the floor of the incubator (most come with a wire floor).
    If you do not have an automatic egg turner, the eggs are set in the incubator horizontally with the large end slightly elevated. This is the way eggs naturally settle when placed on their sides. This enables the embryo to remain oriented in a proper position for hatching. Never set eggs with the small end upward.
    Where the eggs are turned by hand, it may be helpful to place an "X" on one side of each egg and an "O" on the other side, using a pencil. This serves as an aide to determine whether all eggs are turned. When turning, be sure your hands are free of all greasy or dusty substances. Eggs soiled with oils suffer from reduced hatchability. Take extra precautions when turning eggs during the first week of incubation. The developing embryos have delicate blood vessels that rupture easily when severely jarred or shaken, so take care to handle the eggs carefully. Turn the eggs until 3 days before they are due to hatch.
    What Temperature is Best For Incubating Eggs?
    For the most commonly hatched bird eggs (chicken, duck, quail, goose, pheasant, etc), the commonly accepted "ideal" temperature is 99.5F. Even so, some people have their own preferences and will adjust this up or down just a little based on thier own experience. The results of having your temperature too high or too low will be seen in your hatching experience. If the temperature is too high, but not too high to kill the embryo, your eggs may hatch sooner than the normal hatch time. You may think this is a good thing, but in fact it is not. This goes against what nature has prescribed and often results in weak birds that get sick and die easitily or in birth defects, such as deformed feet or head.
    If the temepterature is too low, but not low enough to kill the embryo, the eggs may hatch later than the normal time. This often results in too much moisture loss so they have a difficult time getting out of their shell. It also can have the same affect as having the temperature too high; weak birds that are more prone to disease and death.
    To measure temperature, a good thermometer is required. The simple glass bulb type thermometers that come with the Little Giant and HovaBator incubators can do the trick as long as you calibrate them against a thermeter you know to be accurate. Many people prefer a digital thermometer because it is so much easier to read the exact temperature that the unit is displaying. You will also find thermometer options that include a hygrometer, which is what is used to measure humidity.
    Which size egg turner rails should I use?
    There are three basic sizes of turner rail options to choose from. The Little Giant brand has two of them, the HovaBator has all three. The Little Giant can fit the quail rails (small) and the univsersal size (medium). It does not accomidate the goose size (large) since the ceiling on the Little Giant to too low and a goose-size egg would be too close to the heating elemeters.
    The HovaBator can accomidate all three options. Since it has a higher ceiling, it also provide a goose-sized option. Note that the Universal size (medium) rails can accomidate eggs as large as some duck eggs (if they are particularly large duck eggs, you will be better off using goose rails) and all the way down to quail eggs. You only really need quail rails for quail if you want to set more than 40 of them, since the quail rails will allow you to set upto 120 at a time.
    Please note that the rails designed for the HovaBator and Little Giant are NOT interchangable. They look a lot alike, but they are different enough that they WILL NOT interchange with each other. In other words, the rails for the HovaBator turner will NOT fit in the Little Giant. And visa-versa.
    How long to incubate eggs
    The time required for an egg to hatch is dependant mostly on the type of egg. The other key factor that has an affect is the temperature of the incubator. If the temperature is a little higher than the correct temperature for that type of egg, the embryo will develop faster than normal and the bird will hatch early (this is not a good thing). If the temperature is lower than the correct temperature for that type of egg, the embryo will develop slower than normal and the bird will hatch later than normal. Neither case is ideal. You should always target having your eggs hatch during the target window that is appropriate for that king of bird.
    For a list of normal incubatorion periods for many differnt kinds of birds, see this link: Incubation Period
    How do I set the temperature in my incubator?
    Setting the correct temperature in your incubator is the single most important thing you can do get a good hatch. But it's not as simple as it may seem. As you plug in and turn on your incubator and wait for the temperature to stabilize, it's important to understand a few simple things about thermal dynamics (that's just a fancy way to saying "how temperature changes").
    The more you have in your incubator, the longer it will take to come up to temperature and stabilize. And as the temperature gets close to the set point (the temperature your thermostat is set to), the rate the temperature changes will slow down. You'll find that the incubator will start heating up very quickly at first, but the last little bit can take several hours. This is perfectly normal. It's just how the phyics work.
    This means that as you wait for the temperature to stabilize, you really do have to be patient and wait awhile (just like your incubator instructions say). And it also means that everytime you adjust the control (change the set point), you have to again be patient and wait for the temperature to stabilize. And keep in mind, the more you have in your incubator, the longer it will take to come up to the set point and stabilize.
    What is a hygrometer? Do I really need one?
    A hygrometer is a device the measures the amount of humidity in the air. Just as a thermometer measures temperature, a hygrometer measures humidity. Humidity is simply the moisture that is in the air. Have you ever walked outside just after a rain storm and it feels extra muggy outside? That's because there is more moisture in the air from the rain that has fallen. The humidity level has gone up. A hygrometer measures the amount of moisture in the air. It is measured in terms of "relative humidity" (see the next section for a description of what that means) and will always be in percent. For example, your thermometer/hygrometer may say that it is 99.5F with 65% humidity.
    Do I need a hygrometer? Good question! The humidity level in your incubator is not as critical as the temperature level, so many people choose not to use a hygrometer. They simply use the water channels in the incubator and hope they are in an acceptable range. However, if it's not in an acceptable range, you won't have a good way to know that and your hatch rate can be negatively affected by that. Our recommendation is to use one. They are simple to use and don't cost a lot, either. The thermometer/hygrometer combo offered by IncubatorWarehouse.com gives you an easy-to-use and easy-to-read digital device at a very reasonable cost.
    Do I need a fan kit?
    That depends. Adding a fan kit to your still air incubator is a great way to increase your hatch rate. In the Hova Bator and Little Giant egg incubator, the heating element wraps around the inside ceiling and in a still air incubator (an incubator without a fan kit installed), the warm air naturally rises and will be warmer near the heating element. This can cause cooler areas in your hatching incubator, especially around the corners. The eggs in these areas may be a few degrees cooler than the surrounding eggs and will hatch later, if they hatch at all. That is why we have developed circulated air fan kit that will turn your Little Gaint of HovaBator still air incubator into a forced-air incubator. Easy to install in an egg incubator at a reasonable price.
    A still air incubator is a very good fit for someone who is not too concerned about optimzing their hatch rate. And for incubating eggs that do better with still air. For example, reptile and amphibian eggs, such as snake, lizard, turtle or frog eggs.
    What is "relative humidity"?
    This is simply a term used to describe the amount of water vapor that exists in the air. The more water vapor there is, the higher the relative humidity. It is normally stated in terms of a percentage, which is the percentage of water vapor that is in the air as compared to how much can be in the air at a certain temperature and pressure.
    Testing the eggs: using a candler or candling box
    The best way to test if an egg is "good" or not is to use a technique called "candling". This technique gets it's name from the way it was done before electric light bulbs. A person would use a candle to create enough light to try to see what is happening inside an egg. With electric ligth bulbs, this has become easier and more reliable.
    There are two common ways of candling an egg.
    1. You can use a candler. This is a special light, much like a flashlight, to see inside the egg. You simply hold the egg to the end of the candler and when you are in a dark room, you can see much of what is happening inside the egg. The key is to get the egg to fit snuggly on the end of the candler so no light emmits from the seam between the egg and the candler. Normally the candler is made in such a way that the egg easily nests into the end of the candler.
    With a chicken egg, you should be able to see veins starting to appeare within 4-5 days after you have started incubating. With quail eggs, you may see them after just 3 days!
    2. The second common method is using candling box. You make a small hole in one side of a box, just big enough for the egg to nestle well into it. Then put a bright light inside the box and close the box (be SUPER careful not to let the bulb touch anything in the box...it's HOT and can cause fire). Darken the room you are in and put the egg onto the hole you are created. You should be able to see inside the egg, just as if you were using a candler.
    What should you look for when candling an egg? You are looking for signs of life. And what you will see will depend on how far along in the egg is in the incubation cycle. For chickens, a normal length is 21 days. About 4-5 days into it, you should be able to see veins spreading from the center out towards the shell. A few days later, you'll be able to see the large eye ball forming and you may see something actually moving inside! As you near the end of the cycle, the egg gets very dark and about the only thing you can see if an air pocket, which should be at the large end of the egg.

    The Lock-Down Period
    The last 2-3 days before the eggs hatch: a critical time! How do I do it correctly?
    There are two important things to do during the last 2-3 days of your hatch.
    First, you need to increase the humidity level in your incubator. During the last three days (the "lock-down" period), the humidity level should be increased to between 70-80%. For information about how to do this, see the section above on "Humidity Control"
    Second, stop turning the eggs. If you are turning the eggs by hand, just stop turning them. If you are using an automatic egg turner, remove the turner from the incubaotr, place the eggs on the wire mesh and the LEAVE THEM ALONE! This is the stage where the chick will move into it's final hatching position.
     
  7. Little Miss

    Little Miss Out Of The Brooder

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    The eggs will arrive at my house on wendsday, Thanksgiving Thursaday, or Black Friday. I will be gone for most if not all of any one of those days. I also need the eggs to hatch on a weekend if at all possible. Do I have to put the eggs in the incubator immediatly when I get them, or can I wait until Sunday (they will hatch on a saturday if I do this) and have them still be fine? The seller said the 21 days of egg life does not start until they are put in the incubator, but I wanted to make sure before I make any descisions. I need them to be born on a weekend because I am a high school student, therefore, I am not home until late afternoon during the week. There is nobody home at all during the week, so, if they hatched, they would be stuck in the incubator until I got home. If they have to hatch during the week, I will have to take them to my grandmother and she would kill me if I made her take care of them all day.
     
  8. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure on that one, but it's probably outlined in that last post's 'click to view' part.

    And, your Grandmother is probably gonna kill you anyhow, just for gettin' chickens ~'-)
     
  9. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    Lockdown is the last 3 days before hatch. You stop turning the eggs, raise the humidity & leave the bator closed (ie-"locking it down")

    Chicks are fine in the bator for 24-48 hours AFTER hatch as they have the yolk to feed off of that they absorbed just before hatching. You want to try to set eggs within 10-14 days of being laid for best hatch rate. If you want your chicks to hatch on a Saturday, set them on a Saturday. They will hatch 3 weeks later on Saturday (this is always approximate & may be a day or 2 early or late depending on the specific breed & average temps in your bator.) Not all chicks will hatch at exactly the same time & may even be scattered over 2-3 days' time. This is normal. Try to leave the bator closed until hatch is finished unless your 1st chick is more than 48 hrs older than the last. The bator can usually be opened quickly to grab chicks that are dry if you lift the lid only as far as absolutely necessary & close as fast as possible to avoid losing humidity. As long as none of the other eggs have pipped (broken the surface of the shell) you can open the bator without too much danger to the remaining babies if you need to grab a chick.

    If your eggs are being shipped you will want to leave them sit for 24 hours before putting them in the bator. Place them in a carton with pointy end down to allow the air cells to settle in the big end & egg temps to come to room temperature.

    Once you set the eggs in the incubator, do not turn them for the 1st 24-48 hours. This allows the embryo to begin to form & attach itself to the yolk properly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  10. Little Miss

    Little Miss Out Of The Brooder

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    I got my incubator today! WooHoo! [​IMG] I got the Model 9200 Still Air Incubator. The only thing I don't understand that it did not adress in the directions is the humidity and the air circulation. How can I regulate the humidity in the incubator if I can't tell just how humid it really is? It also says I have to unplug one of the air holes to allow air exchange. Do I open it from day one or is there a specific time I should open it?
     

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