I'm a newbie no more !!! :-)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jcopeland29710, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. So I wanted to hatch my own eggs and none of my girls were broody. So I looked on-line and did hours of research and decided to build my own incubator. In all it only cost about $25 to build since I had a lot of the items it required. Next, I got it up to temperature and humidity and made sure it was working for a couple of days. During those couple of days I selected the eggs that I wanted to put in and decided to only do five eggs, two of which I knew were from my easter eggers.

    BTW...I have a RIR roo and a combination of EE, RIR, buff orpingotns, and a plymouth rock.

    On Jan 9th I put my eggs in the incubator. Because all of the eggs were either brown (3) or green (2), it was really hard to candle them, but it appeared all of them were viable around day 12. But I had hopes for at least 3 maybe 4 based on more hours of research.

    Well, this past Saturday morning (Jan. 23) my wife goes down to let the dog out and comes running back up the stairs, wakes me up and says she hears "peeps." Sure enough one of the eggs has hatched. And 2 of the others have the peep hole. Two hours later we had 2 more chicks and to my surprise one of the other eggs has a peep hole. An hour later #4 is out and about and, I'll be darned if the last egg doesnt also have a peep hole.

    By 6pm on the 21st day ALL 5 OF MY EGGS had successfully hatched.


    The top right chick is definitely form the EE because he has little tufts like the EE do. And I dont think I would be far off to say that the top left chick is from the Plymouth Rock. But I dont know which of the other 3 is from the other EE egg and who knows about the other two.

    I am a newbie no more to hatching eggs. Dont get me wrong. I dont have wild ideas that I will be this successful everytime, but for the first time...It makes me want to run out to the coop and grab my next set of eggs :)
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    And this is how the hatching addiction starts. Congratulations on your 100 % hatch rate. Time to start that next group of eggs. [​IMG]
  3. KeyFlock

    KeyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2015
    Congrats! But didn't they hatch a little early if you set them on the 9th? Unless I got my numbers mixed up...
    1 person likes this.
  4. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    That is so great! A 100% hatch rate is what we all want, and it's fabulous your first hatch was that successful! What temp/humidity did you keep your incubator at? And could you share a little on how you built your incubator? I'm always looking for hatching tips! [​IMG]
  5. You are correct. Back that start date up a week to Jan 2nd. Guess I was so excited I didn't want it to take as long.
  6. My incubator was made out a cooler much like the Coleman 50qt wheeled cooler. I cut a square hole in the lid and used construction adhesive to glue the glass from an unused pix frame to the top. I went to a recycle center and they let me take an old computer that was dropped off. I took out the system fan and mounted it inside the cooler. I purchased a ceramic light fixture base from Lowes (abt $3) and mounted that thru the cooler wall. I purchased a digital display temperature controller from Amazon (STC-1000 make sure it reads degrees F mine only did degrees C) ($18). I mounted that thru the cooler wall as well. Once it is all wired up correctly and a light bulb put in, I plugged it in and let it equalize temp to over a 24 hour period. I set the temp controller to keep it between 37.2 and 37.7 deg. C (99 and 100 deg F). Next I put in a plastic tray with a small sponge and water. I already had a home hygrometer (humidity, see pix above) so I put it in the cooler and adjusted the size of the water tray (surface area) until it would keep the humidity around 55%.

    Once I was sure that it was constant, I put my 5 eggs in. The eggs were marked on one side with an X and the other side with an 0 using a pencil. I turned the eggs every morning before going o work (abt 6:30 am). My daughter turned them when she got home from school (abt 4pm) and then I turned them again before bed time (abt 10pm). I had used an half dozen egg carton and placed the eggs on the holes, sideways, with the large end up a little. I did not punch any ventilation holes in the cooler because the light bulb would come on for about 3 minutes and then shut off for about 5 minutes. So I figured that it was venting pretty good, plus opening the cooler to turn the eggs vented the area.

    I tried candling them around the 12th day and I could barely make out the veins on the inside of the shell and on a couple of them I could see the embryo moving around. But, like I said earlier, its hard to see with brown and green eggs. The air sac was very visible. I think next time Im going to try the "wiggle in water" method.

    On the morning of the 18th day I turned the eggs and then built a screen platform in the cooler so the "egg ooze" would drain and plus I heard chicks have a tendency to drown themselves if they can get in the water tray. Over a couple of light bulb cycles I removed the small tray of water and placed a larger tray in the bottom of the cooler. Then, removed the eggs quickly to put the screen platform in and then the eggs on top. Waited a couple of hours and ensured that my humidity was now around 65% with the bigger water tray.
    I did not turn the eggs anymore after the morning of the 18th day.

    On day 20 before going to bed, I noticed a pip/peep hole in one of the eggs. The rest of the hatching is as I indicated in my original post.

    If you want pix and more details, send me a private message and I can send pix of the cooler and the wiring diagram or any other info you may want.
  7. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    @jcopeland29710 thank you for sharing your design. I am very interested. I'll send you a PM

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