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Maybe I'm just a nervous nellie.....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Poultra, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Poultra

    Poultra In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    ...but I'll let you experts decide.

    Ok, here's what I've got. This is my first attempt at hatching. I made a still air bator based on Miss Prissy's instructions. I set ten of my own eggs in there on 1/12 at 6pm so I'm figuring day 21 starts at 6pm tonight, yes? I had the temp at 100-102 the first 18 days with humidity at 37-38% and stopped turning after day 18, temp the same, and added another water dish to up humidity. Yesterday, the humidity had only gone up to about 56% so I tried adding more water to the dishes using a tube through one of the vent holes. It didn't do much. I tried again this morning this time trickled a bit on the floor of the bator to see if that would work. Yup, worked just fine - it's now reading 73%. I was going for about 65% - so would 73% be too high or is that ok? Now here is where I'm going to sound like a nervous nellie - I've done searches on here and it seems like everyone has a different number that they swear by. I'm also seeing posts that say their eggs are pipping on day 20 (or 19 even) and I'm not seeing pippage yet. Being at work at the moment isn't helping. I'm trying not to call home too often to bug DH about looking at them to see if anything is happening. So am I doing everything right and need to sit tight and be patient or should I take out a water dish or...? I've been good about not opening the lid the last couple days, too.

    Just you wait - I'll get home tonight and there'll be pips, just because I posted this.....
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Your fine. Have Patience. It is not written in stone that pips start on day 19 or 20. My last hatch was 100% from shipped eggs and I only had 1 pip in the late evening of day 20 and everyone else came on day 21 and 22. All 18 of them, my temps and humidity were perfect. So sit on those hands I was a nervous wreck like it was my first ever hatch and it was about my 60!! lol
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    73% will be fine but if you got that by the spilled water it will most likely evaporate quickly so it should go back down rather quickly. The humidity is created not by volume of water but the size of the evaporating surface. The best way to increase it in small degrees is to use sponges dampened with warm water. I cut the sponge in two and then add one at a time till I get it where I want. They do dry out so if you can use your tube to keep them damp that is really good.

    Everyone has their own favorite formula for hatching and what works for one will not necessarily work for another. It depends on the relative humidity in you house, forced air heat or air conditioning makes a difference. Most chicks will begin the pip on day 20 in my incubator and hatch between day 20 and 21. Bantam eggs often hatch in a little less time than large fowl. Not everyone starts counting at the same day either, nor do they set the eggs the same time of day. All can make a difference.

    The rule of thumb is if you set eggs on Friday they should hatch on Friday. That makes day 1 the day after you set the eggs or a full 24 hours after you set them.

    Being nervous is normal for your first attempt. I found that keeping notes about when I set, temps, humidity and candling helped me to improve on my first attempts. Each incubator in each location can be different so just try till you get a procedure that works for you and the keep doing that. Remember the instruments we use can vary by a rather large amount so what you see on the gage may not be the actual temp or humidity. If you find your eggs hatch early, lower the temp next time, if they hatch late, then increase the temp a little.

    Good Luck
  4. Poultra

    Poultra In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    Thanks for the reassurance and excellent advice. I ended up finding that two had pipped when I got home from work last night and woke up this morning to some very insistent cheeping! Of course he/she managed to find their way into one of the water containers so I had to open the lid to fish him/her out. And, of course, I spilled the water container in doing so, so now the humidity went up. Oy... Hopefully, one of the other eggs (I've got 10 total in there) will hatch soon to give this one a buddy to snuggle with.

    This is kind of bittersweet, actually. I come home last night to find two pips and shortly after, I get a phone call from my mom. My grandmother is in the hospital with congestive heart failure. She's stable right now but it's not sounding good. And I go to the coop to gather eggs and discover one of my RIR has a prolapsed vent. I think this will be an interesting week.....
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop

    Sounds like you are getting some growth and development days going on here.

    Prayers headed your way.

    Good luck with the hatch and God bless.

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