Is there any point trying?

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by GAMarans, May 9, 2016.

  1. GAMarans

    GAMarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 1 year old pair of India Blues. He has been displaying but I have not witnessed any breeding. Today there is an egg in the nest box. Is there any point in trying to incubate it or leave it to see if she will sit? Or is it a pointless endeavor?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I would leave it, see if she lays more and sets on them - if not I would give the incubator a try.
     
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  3. GAMarans

    GAMarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guess if I candle about 7 or so days in I can avoid a dud blowing up in my incubator. That is one heck of a mess to deal with. Thanks,
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  4. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you mean 1 year old born last summer, or born the summer of 2014 and not quite two yet? The first would be unusual (although I think @Birdrain92 had an exceptionally young bird hatch a chick once), the latter wouldn't be unusual and could well be fertile.

    I usually wait 10 days to check my pea eggs, but you might see something by 7. I just don't throw them out until at least 10, since it's a 26-28 day incubation and the shells can be kinda dark and hard to see through, depending on your hen. Even if it's a clear, it usually takes quite a bit longer than that to start leaking, unless it's really contaminated. (I disinfect my eggs before I set them, which has helped my hatch rate quite a bit.)

    It is more likely that a young peahen will lay fertile eggs than that she will sit on them to full incubation. It seems like it takes a couple years of laying before some of them figure it out, and some never seem to [​IMG] If you want it incubated naturally, you could tuck it under a broody chicken -- lots of folks do that with a good degree of success.

    Good luck, and keep us posted. We all love chick stories. And pictures... we totally [​IMG] chick pictures.
     
  5. GAMarans

    GAMarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've hatched all manner of eggs so the lucky thing there is that I'm not a full newbie ... just first time with my own peafowl. Not sure exactly when she was hatched, The breeder said they were each 1 year old.

    I have another question ... I have never done anything to eggs more than knocking dirt/mud/poo off of them. What do you do when you disinfect them? What is your process?

    In all of the thousands of eggs that I have incubated, I have only ever had one "explode". It was ugly. Of course it happened in a full cabinet. Ugh! A little leakage I can handle. [​IMG]


    Thank you both for responding. I really appreciate it.
     
  6. barkerg

    barkerg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Post some pics of your birds, Ive heard of early spring hens laying late in the summer which puts them at around 15-16 months old. I have to be skeptical about the rooster, to be honest, Id believe its possible with the hen but, Id highly doubt a true 1yr old male has developed the right organs yet, but it never hurts to try put them under heat and as stated earlier give them up to 10 days max and then toss if theres no development. Good luck and keep us posted, Im really interested in the outcome,[​IMG].

    Gerald Barker
     
  7. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hatch rate improved considerably when I started disinfecting eggs -- although I did make quite a few changes at the same time, and I have successfully hatched eggs without disinfecting. I am currently using the Brinsea incubator disinfectant -- I bought it on Amazon, and a small bottle has lasted me through a surprising number of uses. The label says to mix one teaspoon of the disinfectant to 2 cups of water and use for disinfecting the incubator, eggs, and even in the water trays. I wash out my incubator with dishsoap and water, rinsing thoroughly, then I spray it down with the disinfectant solution (I keep some pre-mixed in a spray bottle). I run the incubator for a bit with the lid cracked to air it out, then I add the water and make sure it is up to temp and humidity.

    To disinfect the eggs, first I let them sit overnight to make sure they have cooled down and sealed themselves. When I am ready to set them, I mix up 2 cups of warm water in a quart-sized measuring container, and I use 1/2 teaspoon of disinfectant (I'm using it half of the label strength on the eggs -- the label says 1 tsp...) I check the water temperature with a thermometer to make sure it is warm enough (I am looking for 80 - 95 degrees) but less than 100 degrees. The disinfectant solution should always be WARMER than the eggs (that ensures the fluid in the egg expands when the egg is put into solution warmer than itself, so it doesn't draw contamination farther into the egg). But you have to be careful not to "cook" the egg with water that is too hot, so I always use a thermometer for that step -- I just use one of my kitchen thermometers and dip it in the water until it stabilizes.

    I stick a paper towel into the solution first, so I don't accidentally crack the egg, then I immerse my eggs one at a time, get them fully covered with water and give them a few moments to sit in the solution. Then I remove them to another bowl with a paper towel in it, and go put them straight into the incubator. I generally try to do the cleanest ones first, and the dirtiest ones last. I keep checking the temperature, because with only 2 cups of liquid, the eggs cool the liquid off pretty fast. Sometimes I give it a few seconds in the microwave to bring it back up to temperature, but if you do that, it is absolutely imperative that you stir it afterwards and carefully recheck the temperature with the thermometer, because it is very easy to overheat it in the microwave -- we absolutely do not want soft-boiled eggs here!

    I also keep a spray bottle with the pre-mixed disinfectant by the incubator, and I spray my freshly-washed hands with disinfectant before I handle the eggs. I also periodically moisten a paper towel with disinfectant and wipe down the trays in the incubator as well as the inside and outside of the lid, especially the parts I touch.

    Now my hen, mind you, hatched chicks in the not very clean wood shavings in the pea-shed without any disinfectants whatsoever [​IMG] And I have hatched pea eggs in the incubator without disinfecting them. But my hatch rate for artificially incubated eggs has improved dramatically since I started disinfecting the eggs. I believe infection/bacterial contamination was a big factor in at least some of my previous quitters. I have been trying to figure out why it would be such an issue in the incubator but not for the hen. One thought that keeps coming back to me is that the hen probably has some natural resistance/built-up immunity to whatever bacteria are in her immediate environment, and I suppose that could be passed to her chick -- but the hen is not likely to have any resistance to my human bacteria assemblage or to microbes which may be lurking in the house. So I continue to wonder if that makes a difference between the two hatching environments. Perhaps someday I will have the tools and skill to test for bacterial contamination. For now, I'm just trying to prevent it as much as I can.

    BTW, while adult peafowl are pretty hardy, I do believe peachicks are somewhat more fragile, both in the egg and as hatchlings, compared to chicken chicks... They are definitely harder to hatch.
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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  9. GAMarans

    GAMarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks y'all.

    When my male arrived just under 2 months ago he was still in his "ugly duckling" phase with no blue on his neck. His neck is now gorgeous. His display feathers are just showing the first hint of color and are barely longer than the hen's feathers. I will look again today to see about the color on his chest.

    I have gotten a 2nd egg now. Both are in the incubator. Only time will tell.

    That's a lot of disinfecting work. I do clean my incubator very well before the season gets going and again during a lull during the summer and a final cleaning when I shut down for the year. I never do anything to eggs. When eggs are local and fertility is confirmed I run darn near perfect hatch rate. Now that is with other birds so we will see if I have the same results with the peaeggs.
     
  10. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It probably sounds like more work than it really is [​IMG] Disinfecting the eggs only takes me a couple of minutes -- took longer than that to write it out. It adds a couple of seconds to spritz and dry my hands after washing them before I handle the eggs -- less time than waiting for hand sanitizer to dry. Wiping down the racks takes a minute or two, and I do it when I am moving eggs from the incubator to the hatcher, or rearranging them in the incubator. The incubator cleaning I do once in a while, and I clean the hatcher in between batches of eggs.

    All in all, it's streamlined enough that it doesn't add a lot of time or work for me. Mostly I just have to be mindful to observe hygienic practices.

    Everybody has to find what works best for them, in their conditions -- sounds like what you've been doing has worked well for you. I changed what I was doing when I started losing lots of eggs, and things got better. As always, there are many ways to get the job done. Good luck with your eggs!
     
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