Incubation experience in Colorado's foothills

ShysCreations

Songster
11 Years
Oct 13, 2008
785
27
163
Colorado (central front range)
I'd love to save poultry enthusiasts in our high dry state some headaches! I tried a Little Giant 9200 with and without fan to incubate summer of 2008. (an automatic turner & 2 thermostats were always used) It was terrible holding humidity and the temp was unreliable with the awful adjustment stick. Nothing hatched. Thinking it was shipped egg problems, some shipped eggs did hatch under broodies. So trying to narrow down causes, I changed the incub to a GQF Hovabator GENESIS with the same turner. I also bought a reptile hydrometer from Petsmart. Major improvement---filling all the reservoirs plus 2 sponges Genesis keeps humidity 55% for the majority of incubating time then with a total of 4 sponges it holds humidity to 60-65% for pipping. Genesis has self regulating heat. Kept in the basement its temps ranged between 98-100.
Sadly, I figured all this out late in the hatching season after failing several hatches in the old incubator. The latest hatch of 40 eggs in the Genesis is at a 67% hatch rate with another dozen to hatch Friday.
So after all this, I have 2 week-old black/dark blue Showgirl silkie chicks available for local pickup. I am interested in eggs from breeders with light blue mottled, splash, mille fleur, or buff columbian bantam cochins.
 
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Sammysmom

Songster
11 Years
Jul 15, 2008
313
0
129
Saint Johns, AZ
Hi! So sorry to hear about your failed hatches but glad to hear you have the problem fixed. I live in NE Arizona and humidity is a challenge here as well.

Oh, and by the way,
!
 

coloradochick

Songster
12 Years
Dec 19, 2007
2,503
14
213
Brighton, CO
Hi sackman, Showgirl Silkie chicks eh?

I did a few hatches in a Brower Tophatch and had a horrible time with temp and humidity. I kept getting spikes of 108 and 111. I had 5 healthy baby Pekin ducks hatch who are going on 3 mnths old now with no problems hatchwise at all considering the bator problems. But out of the many eggs I did try I have 3 babies whose father is a Mottled Banty Cochin and the mothers I'm not sure but they were 3 that I had to help out of the eggs. Most of them died fully formed in the egg. Not sure what happened. They seemed to have made it through the spikes but then to die at the last minute.

If I ever do incubate again I will definitely get the 1588. This dry climate is a booger for batoring.

C
 

ShysCreations

Songster
11 Years
Oct 13, 2008
785
27
163
Colorado (central front range)
I kept a budget in mind <$200 when incub shopping. My husband thought I was out of my mind anyway:D.
I just never did hear about hatching out west as it must be vastly different from both coasts and the midwest where humidity cranks up mid Kansas. Granted... nothing beats a broody hen but for hatching this year the hens are only ahead by 4 chicks.
 

greathorse

Songster
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
2,065
27
191
Northern Colorado
I am here in Colorado as well north of Denver and i put my incubator in the basement bathroom, the smallest room that I have. I put a humidifier in the room and now have a very stable humidity. We will see at hatch time what I end up with.
 

megshenhut

Songster
12 Years
Jun 21, 2007
485
12
166
Central Colorado
I don't think it is the altitude by itself and I live at 8000 feet. Other than I think you have to keep both vents open the whole time for maximum air circulation. Having said that, with the vents open, I think the humidity is the major issue. I did try closing the vents to keep humidity up and I had a 0 hatch, so that time I think thin air was an issue. It is so hard to regulate humidity in a such a dry climate. I too had major hatching problems this year. I have a hovabator 1602 with a fan added. I tried 4 batches of eggs this year and only ended up with a good hatch the last time. I moved the bator to a main room in the house the last time and set a large house humidifier about 6 feet away and kept the humidity where it was supposed to be. With the humidifier running all the time, I could keep the room humidity at about 35% to 40% and then the humidity stayed up where it was supposed to be in the bator. Also I think hatching in August worked better for me because the temps in the house aren't fluctuating so much as in April, May and June. I live in the mountains and in spring we have cold mornings when it heating up a lot during the day and then turning cold at night. No matter what room I used the temps are hard to maintain early in the year.
 

citychickers

Songster
11 Years
Mar 26, 2008
176
1
119
Littleton Colorado
I had a similar situation at the end of March when we tried to hatch 24 eggs in our bator. The lack of humidity in our house was horrible and I didn't realize how much of a difference that would make. Out of 24, we only had 4 pip, 3 hatched and only 1 survived. The rest were fully developed chicks, but the membrane was SOOOOO dried out that they just couldn't get through. It was so sad. We were doing it for a homeschool project and our family was devestated.

We live in Littleton so our altitude isn't as high as yours.....but the humidity is just not here!
 

megshenhut

Songster
12 Years
Jun 21, 2007
485
12
166
Central Colorado
I think you have to do something to keep the humidity up in the room. You have to have plenty of air so with the vents open, the dry air in the room will just suck the humidity out of the bator no matter what you do. That's why I ran the humidifier in the room to up humidity in the entire room. The dry climate is a whole different ballgame than the rest of the country.
 

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