In the final stretch and have majorly messed up. Please Help.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Pasha1, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Pasha1

    Pasha1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I am a total newbie to everything chicken. Well new enough. Bought 10 Buff Orpington day old chicks online. Since I bought 10 they threw in an easter egger/amerucana and a buff warmer chick for free. All 12 survived. We built a coop and they thrived for a whole year. The eggs were great and we ate some roosters. Even did the slaughter ourselves. (Really amazing as I am as city as it gets. These are the first chickens I had ever seen.) To date we have 5 buff hens, 1 buff rooster and the amerucana rooster.

    I decided that it's spring and I needed to continue my chicken project. Went online, bought a little giant incubator kit... fan, digital thermometer, egg turner... and started setting eggs. Totally didn't think this through. I didn't gather and save eggs. That's right I set them everyday from 2/27 to 3/5. Then I actually started to understand the collection bit and set a batch I collected on 3/9. The eggs from 2/27-3/5 are all developing. (Falcor our little luck dragon amerucana is 18 for 18) Everything was going great until I figured out that come day 18... which will reset daily for a week... I needed a new place to put my hatching eggs. I used the dry incubation method and am too worried to go willy nilly with drastic changes.

    I decided my best course of action was to buy another incubator and transfer the eggs to the new one to hatch. Went still air because it's only 3 days (yeah I know only the most important 3 days. Hindsight and all that.) and got it all set up. Temp holding steady at 101.5 and humidity at 70%. Put my first 5 eggs into the incubator and started to panic. I am completely freaking out. So I did what most people do... I researched. Bad idea. The WORST idea I ever had. I am now well and truely paranoid. At the same time my Mr. Spock like rationality is completely confused. How are chickens not completely extinct? That's not my only question. I have a few that I couldn't find answers for...

    1. Am I really going to ruin things if I open up the incubator once daily to add water, add more eggs, and take out fluffy chicks?
    2. All 18 are still moving. I am going to loose a bunch aren't I? (I need to better mentally prepare.)
    3. Is chicken incubation really this unforgiving?

    I feel like the idiot who smokes during pregnancy. Any sage words of wisdom or soothing reassurances would be greatly appreciated.

    Also... Does anyone know if my chicks may possibly lay colored eggs? If they hatch that is? Geez the stress is going to kill me.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  2. Emmalion

    Emmalion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First step back from the soon to hatch eggs and breathe. A lot of people on here have a incubator and a "hatcher"

    I also have an LG and I plan on setting a wet sponge in there to keep the humidity up. Also I am going to position it under one of the vent holes so I can add water via a straw so I don't have to open that bad boy up.

    [​IMG] On the hatch.
     
  3. Pasha1

    Pasha1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But what about the eggs that need to go in daily and the chicks that hatch on Sunday who need to come out? Surely they can't live in there for a week? I set 5 today but have 18 total that need to get in there by between tomorrow and Wednesday.

    I have 3 wet sponges in there. Also have 3 thermometers... totally not paranoid. lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, to put things into perspective, loads of folk smoke and drink all through pregnancy and go on to have perfectly healthy babies. LOL! I actually think it sounds like you're doing okay. A couple of months ago I set eggs willy-nilly and then had to put some into 'lockdown' while others still neede to be turned. I incubated and hatched them all in the one incubator and I got a good amount of chicks out. If you've got a separate bator to use as a hatcher then there's no reason your hatch rate shouldn't be as good as if you'd collected a load of eggs and set them all at once. Seriously, you sound like you've got a pretty good handle on things. Really. Don't panic.

    1. Most folk recommend that you don't open the bator AT ALL during lockdown. This is good advice, as it tends to give the best chance to the eggs in lockdown. But if you do have to open the bator just once a day, quickly, you probably won't reduce your hatch rate to zero. Just be aware that it might cause problems for some of the unhatched chicks.

    2. It's unlikely that you'll get a 100% hatch rate on your first attempt. But it's not impossible! You will probably lose a few, but just tell yourself it's better that some of them die without hatching rather than you having to nurse a deformed or sickly chick and then later have to make the decision to euthanise it anyway. Well, that's how I think of it...

    3. Some people get lucky and have really great hatch rates. Some people don't, and can't figure out where they're going wrong. You've probably read too much of the problems you might encounter and are now freaking out about how difficult it is. If your temps are holding steady and your humidity has been halfway ideal, you should be okay.

    Oh, and welcome to BYC!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. youngbiddy

    youngbiddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Take the one you're using as a hatcher to the bathroom. Close the door, run the shower till it's all nice and steamy in there. Open, remove fluffies, install new eggs. Repeat as needed. [​IMG]
     
  6. Pasha1

    Pasha1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Gypsy07. I will try not to completely freak out. Hopefully it will be ok then.
     
  7. Pasha1

    Pasha1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have thought of doing that. May actually move the hatcher to the bathroom entirely.
     
  8. youngbiddy

    youngbiddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got my incubator in the master bath. I can keep an eye on it easily, it's out of the areas my many small children frequent, and I can make it really moist quickly in an emergency!

    Good luck. May The Force be with you. [​IMG]
     
  9. Pasha1

    Pasha1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol Thanks Biddy... Thanks all. Feeling slightly less anxious. Giving birth to two children wasn't this stressful, and they are semi-normal.[​IMG]
     
  10. youngbiddy

    youngbiddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Funny you should say that, I've commented several times recently that I didn't stress this much about giving birth four times! Three of them at home. All of them without so much as an aspirin. Oh yeah, I'm hardcore, baby.

    Except when it comes to hatching eggs. Then I'm a wreck. [​IMG]
     

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