Incubating experiences this year!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Haviris, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    Well I think I'm just about done with hatching for the year (I really shouldn't say things like that, the year ain't over yet!). I normally only post when I have questions, but I guess I'm feeling chatty and thought I would talk about my hatching experiences for the year!

    I hadn't done any incubating in a few years, I'd done alittle in the past and honestly I am not so good at it, but I think I'm getting better!

    Since this could get long, I will title this one attempt one and put the others in their own posts.

    Attempt One!

    So I got bit by the incubating bug and desided to dust off the incubator and buy some eggs, I'd recently became chickenless and wanted to rebuild a flock, so I ordered some chicks and also desided to get some hatching eggs. I went to get my Havabator out of storage and found it with the top bashed in. So I bought me two new ones, a Havabator and a Little Giant (one for incubating and one for hatching). And started with 23 eggs, 8 chicken, 8 duck, 5 guinea, and 2 peacock. At 7 days one guinea egg and one peacock egg were clear, the other peacock egg I just couldn't be sure. So 20 good eggs seems like a good start! By 14 days all but three eggs (one guinea, 2 peacock) were growing and looking good! They were in the Little Giant and I was having some trouble with temps, I'd had it set up for three days before the eggs got there and it was fine, but after the eggs were put in the temp kept fluctuating. So on day 18 some of the eggs hadn't made it, day 21 came and went, and nothing. On day 23 I was sure the chicken eggs were dead, so I checked each one over and to my suprise her noises from inside! A few hours later I could here the chick peeping! I thought for sure I'd get up in the morning to a cute little suprise! But in the morning there was nothing, no sound and the chick hadn't even pipped. I opened it up and it was dead. None of the chick eggs hatched.

    So naturally I was quit nervous when we got to day 28 (for the ducks and guineas), day 28 came and went, and 3 days later I again heard some activity. I waited and waited and didn't see any progress, the babies were getting slower and quieter and I desided, I could either let them all die, or try to help and maybe save a few. Some were just to weak already, a few must have died seconds before I opened the egg, but by the next morning I had 3 live ducklings, 1 Cayuga and 2 golden cascades! 2 ducklings (1 of each) were active and moving around, and the third didn't even attempt to get out of it's shell, it stayed with it's back end in the shell until it dried and I put it in the brooder and removed the shell, I figured that one wouldn't make it. But to my suprise a few hours later the more active golden had died and the other one was still hanging on. The golden was weak for a few days, but both pulled through and are doing great!

    23 eggs, and only 2 little ducklings to show for it, not to good. I think it was the fluctuating temps and possibly to much humidity.
  2. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    Attempt Two

    So I had a co worker that was interested in some guineas, and I desided to buy some guinea eggs and see how that would go. This was also my first time using the auto turner!

    I bought 18+ eggs and ended up getting 25! This time I used the Havabator. Just after putting the eggs in my temp shot up!! Not sure if it was a malfunction, or if one of the kids got in and messed with it. I spent all weekend trying to get the temp back where it needed to be. I thought for sure I'd fried them, suprisingly this made it alot easier to relaxed about it, I figured they were probably all dead anyway and any that hatched would be a bonus, I didn't obsess about them like I had the last ones (you'd think it'd have done the opposite). I added alittle water before I put them in and then didn't touch them at all until day 7, when I checked them all and added alittle more water. 6 were clear, but 19 were alive and growing! Again I left them alone until day 14, checked them all again and gave more water, 3 had quit on me and one had gotten broken (no idea how), but was currently still going, I went ahead and left it and of course it died before I checked again on day 21, leaving me with 15 eggs. On day 25 the temp shot up again, this time I'm pretty sure one of the kids did it, again I thought they'd been killed. On day 26 I went in the take the turner out (a day late I know), and to my suprised about 3 of them had pipped! And by the next morning I had a new keet, and by noon 2 more! They continued to hatch and by the next morning I had 6 more! And the other 5 were working on it. As babies would get hatched and dried I would take them out and reposition the eggs and move them to the middle. One egg had gotten pushed into the side beak down, it was zipped halfway through, and when I moved it there was a small yellowish puddle, unfortunately it had drowned. But I had 14 live babies!

    This was my best hatch ever!! I perfer to count it as 14 out of 19 (because there were 19 fertile eggs), but even counting it with the original 25 it was my best yet!

    I sold 9 of the guineas to the co worker and kept 4 healthy ones, and have one that unfortunately has deformed legs, I will probably have it put down, but right now it is in the yard with the others. So far it's keeping up, but it's legs are pretty bad.
  3. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    Attempt Three

    I thought I was done, but when a friend found out I'd hatched guineas she was disappointed they'd been sold so I offer to buy and hatch some for her! And alittle later since my mom's 4 bantums turned out to be 3 boys and only one girl I bought her some silkie eggs. The guineas aren't yet due, so this is for the silkies.

    I got 12+ and ended up getting 14. 3 whites, 3 blacks, 2 cockoos, 1 buff, and 5 blue/splash. I tried to do these just as I'd done the guineas. Checking them only every 7 days, and only adding water then. (and this time no problems with the temps), first week two had blood rings (one black and one blue/splash) so I threw them out. All others seem to be doing well when they were checked on day 18, on day 20 they started pipping, first one out at 3:30am, and they continued through til around 7pm. 7 babies have hatched, 2 cockoos, 1 white, 2 splash, and 2 blue. We're only on day 22, but I think we're done. 5 eggs still in the bator, but no sound or movement. I'll give them a few more days, but like I said I'm not a great hatcher and I'm happy with 50%. I was going to keep one myself, but am considering keeping two, I've already picked my favorites, one blue and one splash. I just wish I could tell if they were boys or girls.

    Assuming I am finished this is the fastest I've finished up, in the past I've had babies hatching for atleast 3 days, these guys got started and didn't stop until all were all out! The guineas were the same way even though it took them longer (there were more that hatched). One thing I have learned is that they prefer to hatch in the dark, I noticed with the guineas that they would be pipped and not do much all day until it got dark. With these, the room their in is fairly dark, but the brooder is in there with the light, so I just covered the light and they'd come right out!

    So I will probably stick with this method for now, it seems to be working best for me. Although I would like to get even better hatches.
  4. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    As for the guinea eggs, they should be due Monday, but they haven't done so well. I got 7, and I got alittle lost on how many were infertile and how many just quit on me, but I'm down to only 2. So I'm praying they both hatch. I guess we'll see soon enough!

    So I hope you enjoyed reading about my hatching experiences this year, I got off to a bad start (and looks like I won't have a great end). But I was happy to have the experiences, after that first batch I was pretty disappointed and thought maybe I should just give it up, and then the temp spike with the guinea eggs didn't help much either, but after getting 14 live keets, I was feeling much better about it! Part of me is glad to be almost done with it for awhile and the other part can't wait to get started again!

    I will see about added pics! I know I always like posts best when there are pics to go with it!
  5. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    Here are some pics of the kids!
    First my sweet ducklings, The golden cascade is a boy and the cayuga is a girl!
    And here are the guineas, except the crippled one, it was laying just out of the pic.
    And lastly my new silkie chicks!
  6. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    I enjoyed reading about your hatching experience. It's god to hear how other people's experience is compared to mine.

    I have only hatched guineas onces and it wasn't good. I only had 5 to hatch out of 18 and a couple of them had leg problems. I have some guinea eggs ordered so I'm going to try it again.

  7. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    Good luck, I hope your hatch goes better for you this time. My latest guinea eggs aren't going so well, from 7 down to 2 eggs, and who knows if they will hatch.

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