Incubating methods?

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

  1. Haviris

    Haviris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2007
    When do you take your chicks out of the incubator? Do you take them out as they hatch or wait until everyone has hatched, what is your routine? Also how long does it usually take your babies to hatch? Do they normally all get out on the same day, or does it take several for them all to get here (assuming they were all put in at the same time)?
     
  2. wolfpack62001

    wolfpack62001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good Morning
    The way that I do it is to take the chicks out as they dry, it will usually take a day or 2 for all of them to hatch out.
    Ill let the eggs sit till about 4 days past the hatch date.
    Hope this helps
     
  3. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2007
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    Most will recomend that when you put your eggs in the hatcher on day 18 and bump the humidity up some to leave them until the hatch is over. There are several reasons:
    1. if you open it the heat will go out, when the temp drops that slows the hatching down.
    2. you will let much needed humidity out. If the humidity is repeatedly released with opening and closing while you take chicks out then the ones that have pipped will have the membrane stick to them and they will not be able to turn and unzip their shell to hatch.
    3. You will chill the chicks still trying to dry.
    Now of course it is hard to resist opening it and taking the chicks out. If you find that you can not resist try using a spray bottle with warm water and squirting it a couple times to add humidity back in after taking the chicks out. I also find that if you leave the chicks in they rest will hatch faster since they hear the others chirping and figure they are late and need to get moving. If your temps have been a little on the high side chances are your babies will start hatching a say or so early. If your temps have been on the low side it might take and extra day or 2. It can also take 24 hours or more after they have pipped to hatch so dont get into a rush. My best hatch was over a weekend that I had to go out of town. I want watching over them constantly. I feel that mine hatch better when the lights are off and it is like being under the hen, dark and warm. Hope this helps, Jenn
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Mine usually take 2-3 days from the very first pip to the last lone strangler who could barely make it out. If I do only like 6 eggs or so from the same mating pair, it is within a day. I follow my own rules and open the door like crazy and have never measured the humidity. I watch air cell growth instead and do a dry hatch with no added water at the end. I've gotten 100% hatches from all my silkies and 90+% hatches otherwise with mixed breeds. I've never hatched shipped eggs and all mine are from within 40 miles of home.

    For the newbie though, I recommend watching temperature and humidity, and resisting the urge to open the incubator for the last 3 days of incubation and for a whole 24 hours after the first peep makes it out. Good luck!
     
  5. Haviris

    Haviris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2007
    Thank you! I've noticed most things I've read say to leave them til all hatch, but what about the eggs that don't hatch? I prefer to leave the eggs for a few extra days and then cantle them just to be sure and my chicks/ducklings/guineas usually take atleast 3 days to hatch, so that would be 5 days for the first ones! So I've been currious how other people generally do it.

    What I normally do is on day 18 (or 25 for ducks and guineas) I leave them alone until they start hatching, once there are chick/chicks hatched and dry I move them out and move the remaining eggs back to the middle. Which brings up another question, is it not a problem when the hatching chicks are kicking the others eggs around? I think I lost one of my last babies when it got knocked into a bad possition.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Oh...well... what I really do is:

    Put a stick/barrier in the middle of the incubator and place all the actively opening eggs or the pipped ones on a different side as the non pipped ones. This prevents the hatched chicks from rolling around the un hatched. Basically I organize the eggs in order of when I think they will hatch and pull out shells and chicks when ever they are out and ready.

    *whispers* I probably open the bator 3-5 times an hour throughout hatch when I am awake but I don't up the humidity the way I do it so it doesn't really matter.
     
  7. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have lost a few from being rolled. I have been trying to think of a way to confine the eggs to little areas that will stop them from rolling arond so much. I was thinking about using some fencing that is 1 inch by 2 inch openings. This way each egg would have its own litle area and even if the chicks are running around they shouldnt be able to knock the eggs from thier little areas. i will probably experament this fall with some of my own eggs. I currently have my LG full and my homade still have 2 dozen more to be added this week and next. Then I am done with eggs. I think..[​IMG] My DH really doesnt want chickens in the house half the winter bu I will figure something out. It is truely your feel for how the hatch is going. If it is day 21 and most all my eggs have hatched I will go ahead and pull chicks and candle the rest to see if there is any movement. If so then those will be put back into the bator for a day or so longer. I have found though that after opening the bator early to take out chicks Ihave had chicks get stuck and then I have helped them out. I think about 80% have lived that I have helped. It is a hard call to make sometimes because it will never fail that the ones that you want to hatch will have something go wrong and then they die. I had a NN egg that I watch wiggle and wiggle and the next morning I got up and it still haddnt pipped, I thought. Later that day I realized that it had and then it got rolled by the other chicks and drown. It was a beautify marked NN, all different colors. I was sooo disappointed but that is how it goes. I also like to take eggs out to my broody hens if I have them on day 18. If I know some of my hens are acting broody I will move them into some hatching pens that I have and see if they will sit on a few of my own eggs. If they settle nice I put water and food with treats and on day 18 transfer the eggs I want hatched to the pens. I take out the other eggs and feed those to the chickens. This way the hens only sit for a few days and walha, they have chicks. I have had a few first time broodys freak out when the first chick pipped and ended up putting the eggs back into the incubator but in general it is easier. I had a little black tailed buff Jap hatch 4 out of 6 NN eggs for me a couple days ago. I currently have about 40 laying hens and for some reason a bunch of them are starting to go broody. I guess since the temps have dropped they want to get one more hatch in before winter. I have a couple sets of eggs that only have a few good ones and I will put those under broodies in a week or so. I think when there are only a couple eggs it is better this way so that the chicks can hear the mama hen clucking to them to hatch. I dont have the best of luck with only a couple eggs, not enough noise I guess. Hatching chicks is something that is going to take time to figure out for yourself what works best. There are so many different variables that you end up just doing a trial and error. I know a 50% hatch rate isnt the best but if I get that or better from any shipped eggs then I am happy. I would suggest a journal of each hatch to see what conditions were through the hatch and how it ended up. I will start that next year since I am hatching much more then last year. I have noticed a couple of my hatches were right around a full moon time and had better, and earlier hatches at those times. Good luck, Jenn
     
  8. Haviris

    Haviris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2007
    So I guess I'm not just paranoid? I never really heard anything one way or the other, but I always worried about them being rolled around. In my last hatch (guineas, and actually my best hatch ever!) when they'd get hatched and dried I'd go in and take the hatched chicks and broken egg shells out and repossition the other eggs, and when I got down to around 3 eggs one of them had been rolled over to the edge with his beak down on the solid part of the incubator and I'm pretty sure he drowned. He was already halfway zipped around the shell.

    I do normally try to keep the pipped ones grouped together and the non pipped ones together, but it still seems like the newly hatched babies manage to roll every egg in the incubator!
     
  9. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder how it would go if you put hay on the bottom of the bator so the chicks has something to walk on and the egg wouldnt roll, like in a nest of eggs. It might be pretty messy but I think it would also help hold in the humidity. I think I will try that with the next batch I have to hatch out. I have the 2 small sets I am going to put under broodies but I will be setting some eggs tomorrow that I think I will use as a test run with hay, not like I dont have plenty in the hayloft for our horse. We bought 150 bales when we had 2 horses and now we only have 1 so there will be plenty for Jack and me.. [​IMG] It is very frustrating to find a chick that has drowned after being rolled over and no matter how much you watch it seems to still happen. As long as you learn from your mistakes and others who share thiers that is all you can do. I dont upgrade my bator since I have figured this one out and this way I dont go toooo crazy hatching. Funny thing is this spring I told the DH that I was not going to hatch any eggs this year and just buy my chicks but they were calling from the basement saying use me.. They havent been turned off all summer..lol I have vowed not to get a bigger one, cant scare the hubby too much. Jenn
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    I've done a lot of hatching and experimentation over the years and I recommend you leave them in for the main part of the hatch until you gain experience. A good hatch, from vigorous brood stock, will come in a short time and the stragglers will be evident. There should be little concern over how long they remain in the bator if all has gone according to plan. Once the first pips occur, it shouldn’t take much more than 24 hours for the majority of them to hatch. I like to see hatches complete in 12 hours. If it takes longer than a day for the main hatch to occur, then something was amiss anyway, either with the incubation process itself or the brood stock.

    Examine your methods for faults and adapt to the first as best you can and try again. If you suspect the second case, get your eggs from somewhere else next time. Many more hatching disasters are the result of poor stock husbandry than any of us realize or care to admit.

    When it is time to retrieve the little devils and you are using a foamy ‘bator, just pop out the clear window and snag them through the opening. It disturbs things much less and lets out very little of the chambers air mass. Once you have the chicks in hand, remove the majority of the broken shells and close ‘er back up.

    Should you segregate the hatchlings in “compartments?” If it appeals to your sense of order, sure. I’ve tried it – the chicks just clamber over any but the tallest dividers regardless. To make a divider tall enough, you will mess with the chamber airflow and that is definitely a no-no. Lets face it, the hatch is a messy, free-for-all affair and there is little orderliness you can inject into the process. This is especially so in one of the small bench-top foamies. But do what you want.

    Chicks start hatching earlier than you think and they are heading into the home stretch once pipping begins. The most important times are between day 17 and 20. By the time the chicks are hatching, there is little you can change by monkeying with humidities or temps. Jut try to minimize the amount you disturb things - use the window and stay out as much as possible until they are dry.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2007

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