Multiple Eggs in The Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MaconMommy5, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. MaconMommy5

    MaconMommy5 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I have some eggs in the incubator(Batch A), And I have more eggs that need to go in (Batch B). But Batch A is going into Lockdown in a week. Would it kill Batch B If I added them and let them stay through lockdown, Then just lower the humidity quite a bit for their second week to make up for the higher humidity? Has anyone had multiple batches in that had different hatch days?
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    As I was told...No..That won't work :(.....Either have a Broody Hen or another incubator....Or put them in after the hatch..:)


    Cheers!
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That’s called a staggered hatch. People do it but there are some issues with it.

    Humidity is about how much moisture is lost over the entire incubation period. Instantaneous humidity isn’t important, it’s average humidity over the entire incubation. So yes, you can compensate by reducing the humidity after hatch. Don’t over stress about that though. You don’t have to be precise, just in the ball park.

    Turning can be an issue. The eggs don’t need to be turned after about two weeks, but earlier in incubation it’s pretty important. How will you manage to turn those eggs when the others are hatching? If you have an automatic turner, the chicks might get caught in a sharp corner or a moving part.

    To me a more important consideration is that when the chicks hatch they make a mess. They are pretty slimy when they hatch and can spread that on the later eggs as they crawl around. Plus they start pooping after they hatch. The inside of the incubator is a great humidity and a great temperature for bacteria to grow. That slime and poop makes great food for bacteria to eat and reproduce. If that bacteria gets inside the later eggs it will kill them. After a few days that stuff will start to stink.

    I don’t know what your incubator looks like but you need to keep the hatching chicks contained. One possible way is to make an open topped basket out of hardware cloth and put it over the first eggs to hatch. Then after the hatch, clean out the incubator so it doesn’t start stinking.

    There are different techniques to do all this and manage staggered hatches. A popular and really easy one is to have a second incubator to use as a hatcher. This way you can pretty much continue hatching eggs every week all summer.
     
  4. MaconMommy5

    MaconMommy5 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I guess I'll wait until the Other incubator is done. It's on lockdown now, But I hated to wait until it's over to add the eggs. Thank you!
     
  5. MaconMommy5

    MaconMommy5 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    We don't have adult chickens, and I have another one but it's full. I'll just do it another way! Thanks :D
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Staggered hatches aren't optimal conditions, but yes it can be done. Ridge runner has explained the biggest reasons it's a pain in the butt, and the problems that result from staggered hatches. They are more doable if there are a couple weeks in between so moisture loss can be evened out. My last three hatches were staggered, by 2 weeks. I never recommend putting eggs in daily or weekly without a second incubator as a hatcher. However, if needs be, two weeks between them is doable with more success. My tips for this is make sure your humidity is up for hatch if you are turning the other eggs, never leave automatic turners in during hatch. Watch your air cells to make sure later hatches loose enough moisture. After the initial hatch, drop humidity and run dry until you know the air cells are where they need to be.
    Best way to do staggered hatches is definitely to have a second incubator, especially if it's going to be a routine.But it can be done.
     
  7. MaconMommy5

    MaconMommy5 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    We have two incubators but one is in lockdow now for eggs that I'm hatching for the neighbor. I can wait until they're out and it's empty, but the eggs will be about a week old. Which would be worse? Adding them now, Or waiting to add them when they're about a week old?
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    A week is fine. I'd wait, it'd be easier...providing they hatch on time.
     
  9. MaconMommy5

    MaconMommy5 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    We had a hatch last week and all hatched on 20-21. So hopefully this one is just as good.
     
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  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Good luck!
     

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