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Incubator Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Hollow Point, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guy's I live in SW Louisiana and according to the farmers almanac the best time for setting eggs in the incubator or under hens in December is the 26, 27 and 28th of this month. Started picking eggs from the hens on the 20th and everyday after and placed them in the incubator with the roller on and the heat off. On the afternoon of the 26th, my wife turned the heat on for the 21 day cycle. The way I am understanding some of the info from some of these threads is we are supposed to turn the roller off on the 18th day, and leave the heat at 99.5* to complete the hatching cycle? Last month we did not go by the farmers almanac for a learning experiment and placed the eggs in the incubator and only four hatched out and are still alive. Eggs were placed in the incubator every afternoon and marked with a pencile their expected due date until it was full. Wife acutally had to help the chicks out due to them being bigger than the egg. The incubator holds 48 eggs at a time. Also what is the negative side of leaving the rollers on until the chicks hatch if there is any? The four that made it came out ok with the rollers on. I normally let the hens do the hatching, this is for my kids to experience. Thanks for the help
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I've heard of setting eggs by certain dates, but I don't think it will make a huge difference if you set them on say, the 20th instead of the 22nd. Things like the hens' diet, the rooster's fertility, sperm count and age and the age of the eggs and handling of the eggs prior to incubation would have an influence though.

    During the last 3 days you should stop turning the eggs, because the chicks will be getting into the right position for hatching. I prefer removing the egg turner and lying the eggs on their sides so the chicks can move freely when hatching. You can keep the temperature the same throughout incubation and hatching, but you need it at around 60% during the last 3 days to ensure the chick has enough moisture in the shell and doesn't get "shrink wrapped" in the membrane.

    Good luck with your hatch and keep us posted!
     
  3. Sphinx

    Sphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There's some people who feel that if you set eggs to hatch on a full moon, the chicks will be healthier. I think that's what the Farmer's Almanac is doing. By coincidence, most of my hatches HAVE been to full moon, and I've generally had great luck.

    Keep in mind that if you aren't adding heat until now, all of your chicks SHOULD hatch within 24 hours of each other, even if some of your eggs are older- they don't start developing til they get the heat.

    You DEFINITELY want to get them off the rollers the last three days- it can hurt your hatch rate because as others have mentioned, they use the last three days to get into position, and if the egg keeps moving, it's hard for them to get situated.

    And, as others mentioned, keep the humidity a bit lower the first 18 days. Then, you take the rollers out and bump humidity way up.

    And, during incubation, if you see an egg weeping, or smelling badly, get it out immediately!

    Best of luck to you.
     
  4. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2012
    SW Louisiana
    OK I have it figured that the 18th day will be 1-13-13. So on this day we will remove the egg turners and place the eggs on their sides with the temperature left to remain at 99.5*. As far as humidity, she has been filling the water tray whenever it gets low, would this be good enough? Also she started the heat to the incubator on the 26th as stated, would it hurt anything to add the four eggs my son picked today are would that throw the rotation of these four off when we remove the turner on the 13th? I was thinking of marking these four and manually turning them the 14th and 15th.
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Have you got a hygrometer in there? If not I suggest you get one so you can monitor the humidity. Keep the humidity at 45-55% for the first 18 days. Too high or low humidity can make or break your hatch. Here's some interesting and helpful info I found on diagnosing incubation problems and how to fix them. It will give you a bit of an idea about the factors that influence hatch ability of eggs and causes of low hatch rates:

    http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8127.pdf
     
  6. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the attachment, will save and use. My only question is about the malposition. My wife placed all the eggs in the incubator with the small end of the egg pointing up as this is what was said to do with the incubator instructions. Should I have her reposition now? Also I will have her get an hydromete...thanks
     
  7. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Overrun With Chickens

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    The eggs need to be fat end up thats where the air cell is and if they dont have that they die . So fat end up even if the bator says otherwise. or you can lay them on there sides to hatcheand fat end up for the first 18 days in the turner.
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    If the egg is positioned pointy end up the air sack will get mispositioned and possibly damaged. The chick will, during the last 3 days, get into position for hatch and it will pip into the fat end of the egg, where the air sack should be, so it can breathe. If there's no air sack it would would pip into whatever fluid there is and could easily drown. I'll have a look and see illustrations and other info I can find to show you. But turn the eggs the right way round, please. Fat end up.

    Here's some good info:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/704328/diary-notes-air-cell-detatched-shipped-eggs

    First post, scroll (or read) past the candling pics, kids with eggs etc, there is a section on air sacks and mispositioned air sacks with some links.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  9. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

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    10-4 roger, we repositioned all the eggs last night with the pointed end down and the fat end up. Thanks for the help, this could be the reason we only had 4 out of 48 make it last month. Actually did have a few die inside the egg, but we hadn't taken any off the turner and lay them on the sides, now we know. At the end of the summer we finished off about 15 guineas in the incubator but I beleive they had already been formed in the egg under the sitting hen. Trying different tactics to have a big hatch for the kids to see. Thanks again
     
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    You're welcome. Keep us posted!
     

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