Multiple Incubator Fails - when will I get good at this?


In the Brooder
Nov 22, 2020
North Texas
I'm on my 4th try with incubating
Adorable peep and cheep.jpg
Peep Peep egg1.jpg
. First time, my fault - didn't check temps for accuracy or pre-candle eggs. I think I cooked the embryos (104 degrees for first 2 days). Second try, followed a careful checklist - calibrated temp/humidity, pre-checked for cracks, weak spots, confirmed a good air sac, chose eggs of layers who'd been laying for at least a month, weighed eggs, wore gloves, didn't shake around, and so on! All the shells are brown and hard to see through, so I researched what they should look like, and by day 13, I decided there was too much empty space inside. Checked and none of them had taken. Third try, used a different, better incubator. Did all the same safety checks plus did NOT candle eggs daily (in case the movement was the problem), and also made a huge egg breakfast so we could confirm that the majority of our eggs are fertilized (they are). Still, nothing. Fourth try ---- Grabbed 6 eggs at random, put them in the incubator and walked away. Maybe less involvement is better?

Am I just not meant to do this? Am I doing something wrong that I don't know about? Is it just beginner's bad luck? I seriously don't know. The only reason I started this was because my favorite girl got killed and we had 5 of her eggs in our kitchen when it happened... So I wanted to try to hatch them so I could have her babies. I don't really need chicks. Those eggs are gone now, so now it's just become a pointless experiment. Not fun anymore. I feel like a failure. Anyone have any beginner's advice for me? I did a LOT of research and should know how to do this (theoretically, I do...) and I know hatch rates aren't great with new layers, all of mine just started in the last 2 months. Except my lost baby who started early about 4 months ago.
umm .. sorry for your frustration .. maybe its just been presented too technical for you .. eggs will just about hatch themselves if the temps right and you roll them around alittle daily lol .. so, imo get a 'good' thermometer to keep right next to the eggs and just make sure theyre flipped couple times a day .. .. i always watch my setup closely for temps mainly .. ambient temps can fluctuate quite a bit and especially if its drafty like an ac vent can stir the air in the room it can fluctuate the temp several degrees .. so yeah .. location is pretty important imo .. or put a blanket around it so just the window is showing so you can see the gauge .. oh, and dont block the airholes .. depending on inc you might want to set it on something hard and flat if it vents from the bottom for example ..
Describe what incubator your using so everyone can confirm its useable. Also include pictures of the incubator. Then everyone can give you some guidelines to follow for successful hatch.

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