Incubating tips

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sophiajw23, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. sophiajw23

    sophiajw23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2011
    Northern California
    Everyone list their best incubating tips please
     
  2. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    First, get a good incubator, like a Genesis 1588 or Octagon 20 if possible. Start your incubator up 5 days before putting eggs in so you can make sure the temps and humidity are correct. I like to use the Exo Terra reptile hygrometer to check humidity, but you will need to check it with the salt method to be sure it is accurate. Improper humidity is the biggest factor in whether you have a good or bad hatch!! Too much humidity will drown your chicks. The chicks will fully develop, but when they go to break into the air cell, if there is too much fluid from high humidity they suck in fluid and drown. It is heart breaking to have them fully form and die in the shell! If you use the thermometer that comes with the Genesis, when the temps are right it reads right at 100 degrees. I also check temps by sticking a digital oral thermometer through the vent hole in the top of the Genesis 1588. I use distilled water in the water wells. Forced air incubators temp should be 99.5-100. degrees, still air 102 degrees. I keep my humidity at 40% day 1-18, and 65% day 19-21. Turn on your egg turner and make sure it is working properly. For shipped eggs, let sit for at least 12 hours before putting in your incubator. I like to let mine sit 19-24 hours. Set your eggs in egg cartons to rest with the large end up. You want your eggs room temperature before setting so they aren't cold and sweat when you put them in a warm incubator. Sweating can open the pours and allow bacteria in. Always wash your hands before touching your eggs. I like to keep the vent plug 1/2 open on my Octagon 20, and all the way open on my Genesis 1588. I candle my eggs often because it is fun and it is not harmful to your eggs to cool down for short periods of time. I use a high intensity egg lume candler. I hatch in egg cartons and use non slip rubber shelf liner on the bottom of my incubator for easy clean up. On day 18 take your eggs out of the turner and place in an egg carton. I like to cut down the sides so they aren't as high and makes it easier for the chicks to get out once they have hatched. Do not open your incubator during (lockdown) the last three days. You don't want to let out your humidity because your chicks will dry out (shrink wrap) and get stuck in their egg. DO NOT help chicks hatch! It is normal once you see the first tiny pip for the chick not to start zipping and hatch for up to 24 hours. The chicks need this time to absorb their yoke. Do not take chicks out of the incubator until all your chicks have hatched. They don't need food or water for 2 days. Their yoke is their food source during this time.

    I'm hatching chicks today and I am having a great hatch with shipped eggs!

    GOOD LUCK! [​IMG]

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  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Don't mess with the eggs any more than is absolutely necessary!
    Candle once at 7-10 days, and once more just before lockdown.
    Weigh eggs at candling to help determine correct humidity and correct rate of moisture loss.
    Don't rush to 'help' chicks out of their shells, better still don't help at all.
    Keep detailed notes on each incubation to help pinpoint any problems.
     
  4. fifelakelooper

    fifelakelooper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    fife lake, mi.
    chickee...I have the Octagon 20 also and this is my first hatch. I was told that it was ok to remove "dry" chicks to make room for others still hatching. You say...don't open but once to remove all chicks?
    Now...I'm confused and hope to get the answer before my "lockdown' in another week. Thanks.
     
  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    My best tip is to ask for and get the copy on Incubation article that I offer from Practical Poultry magazine. A must read for new incubatees

    PM me your e- mail and I'll send it to you.

    It helped me and it can help you too.


    Rancher
     
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    My Coop
  7. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am hatching chicks right now in my octagon 20 advance Ex. I usually use another incubator for hatching (my Genesis 1588) but it is full of eggs right now so I had no choice but to use the Octagon 20. It is too tight in there, so I did have to remove chicks. Because my Octagon 20 has the auto humidity control, my humidity goes back up quickly after I open the incubator. If I were you I would put a small sponge in during lockdown and when you open the incubator to take chicks out put water on the sponge to get your humidity back up quickly. Also try to take chicks out when other eggs have not started to zip. You don't want your chicks to dry out and get stuck. The Octagon is doing such a good job though, that the inner membrane has been perfect (looks like thin white paper) and the chicks are hatching out very clean.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]

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  8. fifelakelooper

    fifelakelooper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    fife lake, mi.
    Quote:
    I have the advance EX also....I can add the small sponge like you say and and add a little water. I am not sure what "zip" is. Come out? I'll try to look that up.
    thanks everyone

    nevous 'expectant" chick mom
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Quote:
    The article shows what looks to be an octogon but I have the Gen 1588. It seems to work fine for me, but then I figrure a 50% hatch good but I mostly get way better. One hatch was 20/23
     
  10. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Since you have the EX also, you won't need the sponge. I am taking out dry chicks right after a chick has hatched since the wet chick ads humidity to the incubator. So far so good! The chick will pip (its first peck to the egg shell) and then rest and absorb the yoke for up to 24 hours. Then it will start pecking the shell counter clockwise (called zipping because the pecked pattern looks like a zipper) until it has made it around the shell about 3/4 and then pushes the lid of the shell off to come out.

    Quote:
    I have the advance EX also....I can add the small sponge like you say and and add a little water. I am not sure what "zip" is. Come out? I'll try to look that up.
    thanks everyone

    nevous 'expectant" chick mom
     

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