Makeshift incubator worked

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tomato lady, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. tomato lady

    tomato lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    I had two broody hens that had collected way too many eggs to successfully hatch. It seems that the other hens were providing the girls with an unending supply of eggs to sit on. I decided to try to incubate some of the eggs in the house because they had way too many. I don't have an incubator, but I had read about what the eggs need on backyardchickens.com so I made my own makeshift incubator. I used a heating pad made for warming the soil in planting trays. On top of that I put a planting tray with a clear plastic lid. I lined the tray with wash clothes, put a thermometer and a saucer with a wet sponge in the "incubator". I added more heat with a swing arm lamp and a 40 watt light bulb. I did this thinking it would never work, but my 10 year old granddaughter was really into this project. We put 5 eggs in it. I didn't know how long they had been under the hens, but they showed signs of development when I candled them. I really didn't know what I was looking for, but I checked them against an egg that had not been under the hens.
    We watched the heat as closely as we could. It did spike to 104 one nught and got down to 97 another night, but we tried to keep it between 98 and 101. It seems we were continually adjusting the light. It has been a long 2+ weeks. I had little hope and almost through the eggs out a couple of times.
    I share this story because I want all you unbelievers to know that tonight we hatched a chick. I named her Lucky.
     
  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    That is amazing!!! Congratulations!!! And... don't give up on those other eggs. They may have been laid several days after Lucky's egg. They still might hatch several days from now. Hope you get more! Thanks for sharing! (got pics?) [​IMG]
     
  3. Jaguaress

    Jaguaress Chicken Addict Wanna-be

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    May 27, 2010
    Piedmont, NC
    Wow, that's great! [​IMG]
     
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Wales
    What day are you on from the start of incubation?
    As others have said, Lucky may well have companions up to about day 26 from setting,
    Good LUCK,
    Sandie
     
  5. jbeal9

    jbeal9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Wow.. that is amazing! Here I am obsessing over getting everything just right in my homemade incubator and then I read stories like this.. and a while back someone posted that she threw some eggs out and found one hatched out in the dumpster! Maybe they're not as fragile as we think?
     
  6. tomato lady

    tomato lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    I took them away from the hen because she had too many. I did that on two different days a little over 2 weeks ago. She must have been sitting on this one about 5 or 6 days. She has not hatched a chick yet, but she has lots of eggs, with about 14 different start dates. The other hens keep laying their eggs in her nest and she accepts them all. There are actually 2 broody hens in that nest now and between them they are having trouble covering all the eggs.
    Tonight I am going to take my granddaughter up there and candle all the eggs.
     
  7. jbeal9

    jbeal9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2009
    I have two broodies right now. Yesterday she finally got off the nest and I counted 24 eggs! No way she can manage all them especially since this is her first time. I was able to bring them in and candle them. Doesn't look like any of them have started so I took 18 out and left her 6. Hopefully she'll be successful. Today I sneaked a peek under my second broody and she has about 12. I don't know how far along she is. She's been more tenacious about staying in her nesting box but if I get the chance, I may candle them and see what's going on. If some look further along than others, I might reduce. Good grief girls! Pace yourselves!.
     

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