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Incubating Newbie - Pretend I'm a 5 yr old with 100's of ???s

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ContessaKris, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. ContessaKris

    ContessaKris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Grandview (SKC), MO
    I just bid on eggs and now I feel sick to my stomach! lol I don't have an incubator but I'm putting one together tomorrow.
    I have questions but am worried I'll miss something. Help!

    I'm gonna get a styrofoam cooler, lamp, thermometer, humidity gauge and a furnace gauge, and I have a computer fan (unless someone has an easier way??) I think the furnace gauge will monitor and control the thermometer and the computer fan? Right? The humidity gauge will tell me about humidity. I'm going to put a pan of water under the rolled wire I'm putting in the bottom of the cooler, so that there is moisture in the cooler. Does this sound right? Am I missing anything? Should I put the eggs in a carton to hold them, or a towel to cradle them, or what? I've seen it many different ways.

    On the humidity, what level should it stay at. And how do I fix that? I'm assuming it is the amount of water i have in the pan...

    I've read on here somewhere about temperatures. How often to I change it, what are the temperatures I should do? What is the balance between humidity and temperature, like 50% humidity/100 degrees? Or what?

    How long do the chicks stay in the cooler after they've hatched? I was thinking I read until they're dry then do I move them to a brooder? How long do I wait until I give up on eggs that haven't hatched? Is it always exactly 21 days?

    On turning them, I think I read somewhere it's a quart turn each time you turn? Do you only turn side to side or also small end to big end? I hope I'm explaining this well. I don't have an automatic turner unless I can invent something (any suggestions on that?) so I guess I'll be doing it by hand. How often do I need to do that? I can set an alarm for at night...

    After the chicks come out I'll have a brooder set up with water/food. Do you feed them as early as the first day?

    Anything I'm missing? We want to get it right the very first time.
     
  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
  3. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    I can only answer with what I've read in all the other posts, as my eggs haven't hatched yet.

    The eggs should sit directly on the wire mesh so the air circulates around them properly.

    Somewhere between 35% and 45% humidity is ok for eggs for the first 18 days. You regulate this with the surface area of the water. For the last 3 days, you'll want it to be 65%-75%. To increase surface area, you can put a sponge in the pan.

    Temperature, you want to be as close to 100 as possible and you don't really want it to fluctuate.

    Chicks can hang around in the incubator for up to three days, I've read. I don't plan on leaving mine for longer than a day and a half, though... I think that's quite long enough!

    I turn mine five times a day half a turn one way, then back the other way the next turn. Put an 'O' and an 'X' on each side of the egg so you know which way to turn for the next turn.
    If you have a look at the photo, I've got a post-it note so I don't forget. I don't know if you can make out the marks on the eggs in the background, but they're on crosses right now, so for the next turn, I'll be rotating them to the right.

    [​IMG]

    You always want the round end to be higher than the pointy end as that is where the air sack is.
    I don't set an alarm at night, but if I happen to wake up, I turn them anyway [​IMG] It's important to always turn an odd number in the day, so that they're not twice on the same side for a long period of time.

    The chicks, being in the incubator for the first day, won't need food or water as they have the egg yolk they absorbed to feed off. When they move into the brooder, they should have it on tap.

    I think that's everything lol. Other, more experienced incubationists will come along and guide you better lol.
     
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Take a look at my incubation cheat sheet in my signature. It may help you out.

    Good luck!!
     
  5. ContessaKris

    ContessaKris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Grandview (SKC), MO
    Quote:Thanks. I read through it. You have a incubator that has a fan and a temperature regulator? It didn't mention anything about adjusting those so I assume its automatic in that respect.
     
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:Thanks. I read through it. You have a incubator that has a fan and a temperature regulator? It didn't mention anything about adjusting those so I assume its automatic in that respect.

    No fan, and just the plain old thermostat without any way to tell temp but the thermometers. As basic as it gets! Not automatic at all. It's best to plug them in when you get one and see where it stands 24 hours later, without touching the knob at all. If you have any clay saucers, you can put those inunder the wire to act as a thermal ballast to help keep the temps stable, and when it's time to add water on day 18, you can put it in the saucers.
     
  7. ContessaKris

    ContessaKris Chillin' With My Peeps

    279
    1
    101
    Jun 28, 2011
    Grandview (SKC), MO
    Quote:Thanks. I read through it. You have a incubator that has a fan and a temperature regulator? It didn't mention anything about adjusting those so I assume its automatic in that respect.

    No fan, and just the plain old thermostat without any way to tell temp but the thermometers. As basic as it gets! Not automatic at all. It's best to plug them in when you get one and see where it stands 24 hours later, without touching the knob at all. If you have any clay saucers, you can put those inunder the wire to act as a thermal ballast to help keep the temps stable, and when it's time to add water on day 18, you can put it in the saucers.

    And your thermostat (like the furnace one I'll be getting) controls your lamp? Or do you have a heat pad?

    Can I use a dish instead of a clay saucer? Don't have one of those.
     
  8. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    7,734
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    311
    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:No fan, and just the plain old thermostat without any way to tell temp but the thermometers. As basic as it gets! Not automatic at all. It's best to plug them in when you get one and see where it stands 24 hours later, without touching the knob at all. If you have any clay saucers, you can put those inunder the wire to act as a thermal ballast to help keep the temps stable, and when it's time to add water on day 18, you can put it in the saucers.

    And your thermostat (like the furnace one I'll be getting) controls your lamp? Or do you have a heat pad?

    Can I use a dish instead of a clay saucer? Don't have one of those.

    Yes, dishes will work- the stoneware holds heat better. I think the thermo control should work the same...on when not hot enough...off when in range. I'd just bite the bullet and get an LG incubator from the feed store- they're only $40 at Tractor Supply if you don't get a turner.

    I can't imagine working through the styro cooler thing with eggs I care about!
     
  9. ContessaKris

    ContessaKris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Grandview (SKC), MO
    Some people use a fan inside for circulation of air. Is this not necessary?

    Plus, people keep talking about plugs but the incubators I've been looking at building don't have any holes to plug. Explain please?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  10. Wyogirl

    Wyogirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:THANK YOU! This is the cheat sheet that I use!! It worked for me!
    Ayda
     

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