Incubation Advice for a Newbie

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by figandme, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. figandme

    figandme New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2017
    Michigan
    I'm going to be incubating for the first time next month and researching and trying to learn as much as I can for a successful hatch! I have eggs being shipped to me from two different hatchery farms (I couldn't get all the breeds I wanted from just one farm). They are all set to ship the same week but most likely won't arrive on the same day. I'm trying to avoid having more than one brooder so that is why I chose to have them all come the same week, I'm also buying chicks that will be around the same age and the ones that I'm hatching. I'm curious what I should do if they arrive several days apart.. I really don't want to hold them because I won't be able to properly store them at the right temp. I know it's not good to have different lockdown dates. But if it's within a week's time does it matter as much? I'm not planning to hatch often so I got a Magicfly incubator since it seemed to get mostly good reviews. But will I need to get a separate hatching incubator when some of the eggs hit day 18? Is it ok to get a cheaper incubator for a hatching incubator like the still air Farmer's Innovation around lockdown day for the ones that are due first (this is the only type of incubator they sell locally around me) or will they all be ok staying in the one incubator since hatch days shouldn't be more than 5 days apart? I worry about humidity and temp levels being a factor with two different hatch days (I'll still have to quickly open to turn some eggs during lockdown of the ones due to hatch first). I can separate some of the eggs due to hatch early to one side of the incubator and the others that need a few more days to the other to avoid cross contamination if they stay in the same incubator the whole time it's just the temp and humidity difference I worry most about. I did what every newbie shouldn't do and bought some rare, more expensive breeds to hatch... and advice is appreciated!
     
  2. br0nc0

    br0nc0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2017
    Slovenia
    Well I think that hatching eggs that are 5 days apart in one incubator would be more likely to ruin both sets of eggs than waiting for a couple of days with whichever eggs arrive first. I'm not saying it couldn't be done (I do think it's highly unlikely that you'll have a succesful hatch overall) but I'd rather risk one set of eggs and have better chances for the second one than risk ruining all of them and ending up with no chicks.

    Also, I think that hatcheries should send you fresh eggs, and storing them up to a week wouldn't be too bad (or less, depending on when the second set arrives). I guess that if you store them at room temperature (presuming you don't live in a volcano) you *should* be fine. You should let the eggs settle overnight in any case, so they "recover" from shipping.
     
  3. figandme

    figandme New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2017
    Michigan



    Thanks for the response!! I should of specified lol that when I say "successful" I'm talking about 50% of them hatching. I understand that shipped eggs are less likely to hatch. I know they are to sit for the 24 hours in room temp but I thought if you were to "hold them" longer the temps needed to be lower like constant 60's.
    What do you think of a separate hatching incubator? I'm not sure that there would be a 5 day gap for sure but that's just the most that they would be spaced out. If it was only a day or so would I be ok or should I still play it safe and transfer them to a separate hatching incubator (still air styrofoam kind)? The upside of using a "hatching incubator" is that we would have a better view of the hatching. The Magicfly doesn't have great viewing.. I've just heard so many mixed reviews about the styrofoam incubators but I don't wanna invest in another expensive incubator for only 3 days or so of use.
     
  4. br0nc0

    br0nc0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2017
    Slovenia
    Well I stored mine at room temperature (70-ish) for 10 days and I didn't have a problem, though a bit lower would better. I personally never used separate incubator for hatching, but from what I've heard lots of people do. As long as it's reliable, I don't really see a problem. Styrofoam incubators that are well put together (even heating and good ventilation) can be pretty good, I remember my dad having one 15 years ago and he constantly hatched 90% and sometimes even 100% of the eggs he put in. The first time incubating is always a bit risky, sometimes there's a lot of trial and error, so make sure you have your incubator up and running before the eggs arrive, so you know how to regulate temperature and humidity if needed. Also, keep in mind that eggs of different size might need different incubation time (I had my bantams hatch on day 19-20), so if you have some very small and some large eggs, you might have to put that into the equation.
     
  5. figandme

    figandme New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2017
    Michigan
    Great advice thanks! I DO have about 10 eggs that are bantam Cochin then some Orpingtons like English Isabel's too. So it sounds like even if I hold them to start together the bantams might hatch early anyways lol! I can't win here lol!! One reason why I wanted to get the second incubator from my local farm store is so I can test it in advance to see how it holds heat and humidity and if it doesn't seem to work out it will be easy to return but the only draw back is they only carry still air kind. We used still air when I was a kid for hatching and it did great but I'm still a little nervous because of reviews I've read. Thanks again!!
     

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