Incubating for the first time

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 5 Bird Bob, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. 5 Bird Bob

    5 Bird Bob Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone for the help so far. Out of seven chicks I got last summer, three were roos. I still have one, and after checking an egg I accidentally cracked, determined it was fertile. Do I need to clean the eggs any special way if they are coming straight from the nest ,before putting them in the incbtr?
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    A good share of hatchers will say NO!!! When you wash eggs you remove the bloom. Brush off any dirt and just don't incubator extremely dirty eggs. Then there is the group that will tell you what is safe to wash them in. (just don't ask me, cause I don't wash mine...lol) The third group will discount any worries and tell you they always wash theirs and have good hatches.

    Like everything else in hatching, it depends who you ask...lol

    If they are not really soiled, I wouldn't wash them.

    Good luck on your hatch!
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    As usual, I’m with Amy on this. The last thing a hen puts on an egg before she lays it is a liquid layer called bloom. That’s why a newly laid egg looks wet. It quickly dries and forms a barrier that helps keep bacteria from getting inside the egg. If bacteria gets inside the egg it quickly multiplies. Incubation temperature is perfect for bacteria growth. The egg material itself provides nutrients so perfect for bacteria growth that scientists often use it when they culture bacteria. If bacteria gets inside the egg will become rotten and stink that rotten egg smell. If there is a developing embryo inside it kills the embryo.

    The bloom is not perfect but it does a really good job. If you have a lot of dirt or especially poop on the egg that can provide a way for bacteria to get inside. So don’t set really dirty eggs. Some light stuff that you can gently rub off with your fingers isn’t bad, it’s the thick stuff that really is not good.

    If you wash or sandpaper the eggs, you remove that natural bacteria protection, bloom. That does not mean bacteria will automatically get inside, it means that it is much easier for bacteria to get inside. If your incubator is sterilized, if you always handle the eggs with very clean hands, anywhere you lay them down is clean, and just take great care to keep bacteria away you can have very successful hatches, even with washed eggs. You should do all that stuff anyway, keep things clean. It’s just that your odds are so much better at not having those stinking bad eggs if you don’t wash them and don’t set really dirty eggs.
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I just noticed something you said, “straight from the nest ,before putting them in the incbtr”. You should collect all the eggs you want to hatch before you put them in the incubator at the same time. Otherwise you get what we call a staggered hatch. That’s where you get chicks hatching at different times. Those are a mess to deal with unless you are set up to handle it. You don’t need that stress your first incubation.
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Good catch. Didn't click when I read it! lol
     
  6. 5 Bird Bob

    5 Bird Bob Out Of The Brooder

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    I trained my girls early on not to poo in the nesting box. Since I get clean eggs I only rinse them just before eating. I heard about the bloom keeping them fresh, but the incbtr guide says sanitize eggs too. Maybe they are thinking of eggs purchased from a breeder. I am keeping my eggs on the countertop, in a carton till I have the right amount. The last two days breakfast were fertile, 4 bulls eyes out of 4, so I'm close to set up.
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Good luck!!

    The only thing incubator guides are good for is to tell you how to set up and turn on their bator, problem shoot incubator problems (not incubation problems) and how to order parts for the bator. When it comes to incubation, they mislead on temps, humidity and general practices. I hate incubator manuels because they steer so many people wrong. (Especially the cheaper styro bators.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don’t ALWAYS agree with Amy, just usually. I use a Styrofoam incubator and am quite happy with it, though it is a little harder to clean than a hard plastic one might be. I think you need to tweak or at least confirm any of them are working properly before you trust them. Calibrate your instruments and run it enough to determine its working right. Don’t trust really valuable eggs the first time either. There is sometimes a learning curve involved.

    I generally agree with her on the instructions that came with mine, they were not greatly detailed beyond how to set it up and get it started. They did warn to not trust the thermometer they sent with it, to not trust valuable eggs the first time, and gave suggestions on what water reservoirs to fill when, but they did mention you might have to adjust this based on results. They did not go into how you might have to adjust. I did not spend the money to get the top of the line but since I only incubate two or three times a year my Styrofoam incubator works well for me.
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I like mine as well, it's a little more work and monitoring, but you can't beat the hatches and since I am such a meddler, I don't know what I would do with a fancy expensive model that does everything...lol I do 3 or 4 a season too, if I incubated more I might feel differently. Back to back hatches with no sleep might get irratating...lol It's only an LG9200, but it works.
     
  10. 5 Bird Bob

    5 Bird Bob Out Of The Brooder

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    What is the best thermometer to use to check the incbtr one?
     

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