I will be starting my first incubation in a little less than a month. any advise?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by raisinemright, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. raisinemright

    raisinemright Songster

    Nov 2, 2013
    Hello all. In a little less than a month I will be starting my very first incubation and I am scared. I have read a lot of info on here and other places but still nervous about this. A little info, I will be using a hovabator turbo circulated air, with auto turner. My eggs will be shipped eggs. Do I need to do anything special with the eggs when they arrive and before I place them in the bator? What needs to be done with the Incubator (it will be new) is there a way to clean the bator besides just wiping out with water? Please any advise will be great thanks!! Stay safe in this winter weather..

  2. Make sure your eggs come to room temperature before you put them into your incubator (especially if you have stored them someplace cool or if they arrived in the mail and you're not sure what their temperature.) - a few hours should do the trick.

    Then just follow the directions that came with your incubator. My directions said to remove the egg turner 3 days before they were to hatch, I should have removed it 4 days before, I had 3 chicks hatch, 2 I found under the egg turner and the 3rd stuck in one of the egg turner cups. Luckily all were ok.

    I've only hatched out 2 hatches (of Guinea fowl), I found that the chicks that struggle at the end to hatch normally don't survive the 1st week, they just aren't healthy/strong enough to get them through the 1st week. I think you need to have the mindset of "Survival of the fittest" and realize they aren't all going to make it.

    What type of eggs are you hatching?
  3. raisinemright

    raisinemright Songster

    Nov 2, 2013
    Thanks for the tips, I will be hatching BR and RIR's 14 eggs of each breed. I am hoping all goes well. The reason to let Mail ordered eggs settle is to let the air pocket settle is that correct thinking?
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    First, read this.

    Texas A&M Incubation site

    Then don’t stress out over any of that. Those are guidelines, not absolute laws of nature. You are not guaranteed absolute success if you follow all those perfectly. You are not guaranteed failure if you violate some, depending in which ones and how much. For example, turning them the first two weeks is important. If you incubate them on end, pointy side down is important. Storing them at exactly 55 degrees is not. Just don’t go to extremes either to warm or cold and you should be OK with that. Read it and pay attention, but then just do the best you can without stressing over it. You should do fine.

    As far as the incubator, read the instructions that come with it. Put it in a stable place, where the temperature is not likely to suddenly change. Not in direct sunlight, not where you will be opening an outside door, and not in line with a vent. Then set it up and see what you get. Try putting water in different reservoirs and see what humidity change you get. Don’t trust any instruments that come with it. Get some good instruments and calibrate them. Get a thermometer that reads in tenths of a degree. That way, you can trust what you are seeing. Since it is a forced air, try to get it as close to 99.5 F as you can. If you are off a half degree, you are real close to perfect. If you are off a full degree, you should still get good hatches but if t is cool they will probably be late and if it is warm they will probably be early. That’s not really a big problem. They can be early or late even if the temperature is perfect. None of this stuff comes with any guarantees, good or bad.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration

    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration

    When you get the eggs, store them overnight pointy side down. That should help the air cell stabilize. Some people will tell you to expect 50% hatch rate with shipped eggs. I’m not one of those people. I’ve had 100% hatch rate with shipped eggs. I’ve had 25% hatch rate with shipped eggs. In general you will usually get lower hatch rates with shipped eggs, but that doesn’t come with guarantees either.

    I know it doesn’t do any good for me to tell you not to worry. It is an exciting time and you will constantly be second-guessing yourself, especially your first time. I advise patience. Try to interfere as little as you can. Good luck!

  5. raisinemright

    raisinemright Songster

    Nov 2, 2013
    Thanks a lot Ridgerunner, will deff read those articles. The advise is great and I know its not all up to me or the machines to do the work, but I just hope a little luck is on my side.
  6. sutherland

    sutherland In the Brooder

    Oct 9, 2013
    Cape Breton Nova Scotia
    Even when you follow things by the book they can go bad in the first hatch I lost a lot of chicks right in the last couple of days because apparently the styrofoam hovabators hold more moisture I guess causing the chicks to grow to fast and they ran out of space so every time after that I leave it empty and mist when I turn the eggs and when I do lock down I put in the water I use warm water not to warm tho :)

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