Keeping hatching chick identified

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickmashnoon, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. I am going to be hatching out several varieties of chicks and would like to be able to identify which chick came from which egg. Is there any way of doing this without waiting by the incubator with bated breath? I have two serama bloodlines that I would like to not confuse, and some mutt chickens and a few purebreed that I don't know what the chicks will look like and I'd like to keep them seperate somehow. Short of purchasing another incubator, is there any way I can group them? I vaugely remember someone talking about using berry baskets to group hatching eggs at lockdown- has anyone done this and does it interfere with the chicks making it out of their shells? Or food coloring? Someone else mentioned accidently coloring chicks by dripping food coloring on the egg near the end of incubation. Is food coloring safe?

    Anyway, if anyone out there in cyberchickenland has any ideas or recommendations I'd be really thankful!

  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I just saw pictures on here the other day (unfortunately I don't remember where) where someone had separated the eggs in the incubator when she locked them down. I think they used plastic mesh to make little partitions to keep the different kinds of eggs in. Do a search, and I'm sure you'll find some good information.
  3. You don't remember where the pics were do you? I've looked thru some threads on seperating & sectioning off chicks but didn't find any pictures to model my own off of.
  4. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Songster

    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    Some of my family's game breeds look REALLY similar at hatch / development until the adult feathering starts coming in. To separate bloodlines / breeds that are similar ( when the option of a back up bator is an issue ) we have always used baskets or 'pardons' as we call them ( or partitions, so to say ) in the 'bators.. The little partitions in the 'bators are made from chicken wire and 1x1's. Don't have pics, sorry. But basically the partitions are cut to size and tied to the bottom /wire sections of the bator and can be slid up and down on another 1x1 to add space/remove space in the 'bator. The mesh keeps the chicks seperate.

    Say, |x| is one partition. Over the top there is a - so it'd look like this |x|-|x|-|x| and so on OR |xxxxx|-|xxxx|-|xxxx|-|xx| Just use zip ties ( cheap and effective ) to move the partitioned pieces up and down on the 1x1 on the top holding them all up so they don't fall on the hatching chicks.. Don't tighten the zip tie all the way down, so it slides freely. The wire is stapled to the 1x1's so that those are secure with no gaps.

    Hope this helps.

  5. DirtCreature

    DirtCreature Songster

    Aug 8, 2011
    Olympia, Washington
  6. No, the one I read was someone who colored the water in her incubator so that it was easier to see the level and adjust humidity- it was some thread about cleaning eggs and the point of her story is that she would be nervous about using any cleaning agents since the egg shell is so porous, she had accidently dripped green dye on one of the eggs and the chick hatched out with a green spot on him!

    But the vent thing is an awesome idea for marking eggs! altho I would feel like a chicken molester ;)
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I can't find it right now. But I did find this:
    and this: hipeatall: I have successfully used plastic canvas mesh in my incubator with a very good hatch. It cleans easily after & doesn't have any sharp edges to cut chicks on. When I need to create a divider wall it can be secured (against strong chicks) with yarn or string by attaching to the floor. I have replaced the mesh floor in the incubator with this plastic canvas because a chick once cut it's face on the wire mesh edges. Mine is a round, doomed Marsh incubator & the floor does not fit super snug against the lid which is also the sides. Maybe you don't have this problem in your incubator. The wire mesh is an excellent idea, this just gives you another option.

    If you want more ideas, do a search on keeping chicks separated as they hatch. Good luck!

    ETA - I think the pics I saw were in one of the hatch-along threads... Sorry I can't be of more help.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012

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