Incubating/hatching questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by farmer_lew, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

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    Jun 29, 2010
    In the hills
    Ok, I have LOTS of questions...

    1) What is the best type of incubator to use?
    2) What is the best LEAST EXPENSIVE incubator to use?
    3) What is the maximum length of time you can hold a set of eggs before putting them in the incubator?
    4) How hard is it to build your own incubator? Anyone have detailed plans?
    5) Would a strong LED flashlight suffice for candling?
    6) If there are chicks hatching at different rates, what is the longest you can leave them in the bator once they have dried and gotten fluffy?
    7) How long do the chicks stay in the brooder?
    8) What wattage of heat lamp is best for the brooder?
    9) What is the best method to use to ensure a high hatch/survivor rate?
    10) Should the chicks be vaccinated? If so, what method is best and what vaccine(s)?

    Ten questions should be enough for now. I thank all of you in advance for your help.
     
  2. wilkey44

    wilkey44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2010
    Central Oklahoma
    I am removing so I dont get into any trouble
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  3. Baralak

    Baralak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Here are my answers

    1) What is the best type of incubator to use?
    Depends on the use.. How many Eggs your hatching, ect. Best bang for the buck In order I like, Brisnea, HomeMade, Hova, LG.. the Hova-Bator and the LG are both Styrofoam..

    2) What is the best LEAST EXPENSIVE incubator to use?
    LG is going to be the cheapest..40 bucks Tractor supply.. IF YOU GET ONE, please make darn sure you know how to use it before you set.

    3) What is the maximum length of time you can hold a set of eggs before putting them in the incubator?
    Live eggs degrade after 1 week

    4) How hard is it to build your own incubator? Anyone have detailed plans?
    Easy..
    There are a lot of plans here on BYC...

    5) Would a strong LED flashlight suffice for candling?
    Yes.. a lot of people including myself use LED flash lights or iPhone 4 light works great!

    6) If there are chicks hatching at different rates, what is the longest you can leave them in the bator once they have dried and gotten fluffy?
    72 HOURS MAX!!!

    7) How long do the chicks stay in the brooder?
    4-5 weeks or when they are completely feathered.. and depending on outside temps

    8) What wattage of heat lamp is best for the brooder?
    I use 100 watt.. but that depends on number of chicks, how high your light will be above them ect. They should be in a 95-100 degree temp for first week, minus 5 degrees every week until feathered

    9) What is the best method to use to ensure a high hatch/survivor rate?
    Buy local eggs, don't use shipped eggs. Can't controll if the rooster is doing his job. Let shipped eggs sit bottoms up for a day before you sit. KNOW YOUR INCUBATOR and you KNOW HOW TO USE IT COMPLETELY!!!!! And have it set up BEFORE you set your eggs.

    10) Should the chicks be vaccinated? If so, what method is best and what vaccine(s)?
    depends on area you live. Ask your county agent.. You will find that if you decide to vaccinate, it comes in like 1000 dose vials.. so it isn't cost effective.. now a lot of people get together in a geographic area and co-op the vaccines.. None of mine are, but I would like to against newcastles, and bronc.
     
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree with Baralak. I have tried both homemade and a Styrofoam incubators, so these are my opinions and what has been best for me. I don't have a broody right now but I would rather incubate the eggs myself.

    1) What is the best type of incubator to use?
    I use a Styrofoam incubator with an egg turner. When I used my homemade incubator I didn't have a thermostat and found trying to regulate the temperature this time of year was a challange for me.

    2) What is the best LEAST EXPENSIVE incubator to use?
    Check Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, USFreeads, USA4SALE, Simplead to name a few sites. I eventually bought an LG with fan and egg turner from a fellow BYC member who happens to sell poultry and livestock supplies. My LG works perfectly fine for me. Last hatch I had 20 hatch out of 26 eggs. I have 23 in another incubator due to hatch Christmas eve/day.

    3) What is the maximum length of time you can hold a set of eggs before putting them in the incubator?
    The sooner you incubate the better. I set mine within 3 day max but I'm sure 5 to 7 days if kept at around 60 degrees. I don't know if there is an exact time but I do know the longer you wait the less viable the eggs will be

    4) How hard is it to build your own incubator? Anyone have detailed plans?
    I used a fairly large heavy duty foam cooler that Omaha Steaks come in. I did have a fan but didn't use it. If I use that incubator again I will put a rheostat switch on the fan. I bought a lamp kit. I had to modify a little to make it work. Since I didn't have a thermometer, I adjusted the temp with the lid. I kept it right around 100 degrees with a 15 watt bulb.

    5) Would a strong LED flashlight suffice for candling?
    Yes

    6) If there are chicks hatching at different rates, what is the longest you can leave them in the bator once they have dried and gotten fluffy?
    I usually don't leave them in the incubator. As they hatch I remove the chicks and their shells. There has been times when I went over to the incubator and several chicks had hatched while I was gone . As soon as I can I take the chicks and the shell pieces out of the incubator. On some really cold nights when I had problems controlling the temperature in the room where I incubate, I used an incubator as a brooder as I could regulate the temperature better.

    7) How long do the chicks stay in the brooder?
    I keep mine in a brooder coop. I have a wire cage that I keep between 90 and 95 degrees for the first week and decrease the temperature 5 degrees per week. By two months old they are pretty well feathered out. I still try to keep it comfortable for the chicks so I put a couple of heat lamps in their coop so if they want heat they can have some. I don't heat the coops of my older birds.

    8) What wattage of heat lamp is best for the brooder?
    I use two 250 watt red heat lamps for 28 - 6 week old chicks. Use can use regular incandescent bulbs.

    9) What is the best method to use to ensure a high hatch/survivor rate?
    I say keep the humidity between 20 to 50 % and the temperature around 100 degrees.

    10) Should the chicks be vaccinated? If so, what method is best and what vaccine(s)?
    I don't have my chicks vaccinated. I go give the chicks medicated start and grow feed. The medication is sulfer based and only helps the chicks in developing their immune system.
    I do have my flocks NPIP tested every year.

    I hope I have been able to help you. I have pictures of my setup on my website.
     

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