My First Incuabtion Experience


In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 22, 2012
Hey, I just thought I would share with you all some video I took during my first incubation experience. Be sure to check out the notes under the videos for more details and/or we can discuss whatever here.

YAY! I got a dozen lil' baby chicks now.

Also, I have some questions for anyone who incubates from eggs in your current flock....

When do you integrate them? I've read that it's best to wait until they are the same size, to do it over time or in separate/see-through areas, so they get accustom to one another and don't bully.

My current flock is free-range most the time, and they did come over to see the chicks in their brooder once they heard the cheeping. One of the hens was more interested in the crumbles of feed that had fallin into the poop tray, but I guess that is just their nature sometimes.

As far as breeding goes within the tribe, I heard everything is OK..just not brother and sister combo. Is that correct? In other words....My current rooster could have babies with its offspring, but my new hatchings could not mate together once they are grown.
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Congrats on the hatch of a dozen chicks for your first time incubating - that is awesome!

You will get varied answers on integration here and a lot depends on your individual circumstances.

I have a mixed flock of muscovy ducks, chickens and turkeys, who share a main coop. I have a couple of dog runs within the chicken yard that I can use to segregate birds, or integrate chicks. I hatched 9 chicks in August and they were completely integrated by the time they were 6 weeks old. I had 15 more in September and at almost 5 weeks old, they are still in one of the dog runs. I let them out each evening for about the last hour before bed. The first couple of times there was a lot of interest in them from the rest of the flock but already the interest has waned and this evening they were able to run around and eat greens and do little flights the whole time they were out without being accosted by older birds. I expect to have them fully integrated by the time they are 8 weeks old (some of them are bantams so I'll give them a little longer since I don't have another batch of chicks behind them needing the dog run).

In my experience, the more space you have, the more flexibility you have with integrating. My flock is so used to new birds and chicks coming in that they really don't harass newcomers too much, so I can get away with integrating when they are still quite small.
Thanks. Yea I guess having enough space helps....and I do.
I was also thinking about maybe a mobile coop as well. I won't know for awhile who's a hen and who's a that will be interesting to find out. I tried to sex them by their wings, but I'm really just not sure. My current flock I got as 4 day old chicks from Tractor Supply and they were all pullets.

During incubation the humidity goes up quite a lot when one or two chicks hatch out and if I'm up at the time...I just crack the side a little to air it out for a few seconds. I understand the effects that high humidity can have on eggs, but some of what I read said that the raised humidity during hatches shouldn't be long enough to affect the others. I don't know though...I get super anxious during Day 20 & 21.
By the time they are in lockdown, high humidity isn't a concern. Humidity during incubation affects how much is evaporated and therefore how big the air cell can grow, so it is more of a concern then. The amount that it goes up when a chick hatches is definitely not something you need to be concerned about.
Thank you
...that eases my mind a great deal.
Fortunetly, my incubator stays pretty constant, but I do spot check it several times a day, and only open it if I have to add water (not very often) or to candle.

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