My first Incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lilfyre, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. lilfyre

    lilfyre New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2014
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    Hello, I am new to the Chicken Community. I started my new adventure in February of this year.I started out with 5 day old Buff Orpingtons and 5 day old Barred Rocks. I was very impatient waiting for them to grow up so I bought a few hens. Since, I have bought and bartered through many chickens. When I came into this I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I assumed it wouldn't be too hard to figure out. Boy, was I wrong! As the year has gone on I have learned just how picky these chickens can be! I only have 2 laying hens (RIR, and a White Leghorn) now and one rooster(Barred Rock). I also have a few others but they haven't started to lay just yet. I decided about a month ago I wanted to hatch a few of my own chicks. I read I wouldn't get a 100% hatch rate and I wanted to start small so I decided I would start with 6. I staggered them which now since I've continued to read on I think maybe I messed up. They are 2 sets of 3. 3 days apart :-/

    This is day 7 for my first set of 3. I have read many articles and watched tons of youtube videos trying to see when the first candling would be appropriate. I decided on day 7 and 18. At first attempt I saw nothing and was so sad. I went through each one and saw nothing. I decided I would try again and investigate more closely. I tilted the egg to the side and I saw it! I saw a spiderweb! :)
    I moved to the next egg. same thing. The third egg I picked up was the most wonderful. It was moving, and alot! I watched it swimming all around for a moment and checked the rest. All growing!

    I know it is still early but I am so excited! I open the incubator almost everyday and rotate the eggs. I am nervous it isnt doing it by itself. I do this very quickly but gently.

    Does anyone have any advice? Does it sound like this may be a success?

    Share your experience with me please! I love reading these forum posts, I learn something new each time! :)
     
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm doing my first batch too. I think if they are growing and moving, then you will get at least some to hatch for sure, so long as you don't change what you are doing, like messing with the temp or switching bators. I also started with six, then decided to add a few RIR the next day. It's really best you put them all in on the same day though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  3. lilfyre

    lilfyre New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2014
    Suffolk, VA
    I am nervous about my humidity. I bought an incubator that i thought had a gauge but doesn't. It told me how much to put every two days but that makes me nervous. Do you have a humidity gauge?
     
  4. Purpletie3

    Purpletie3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    I'm Christina....on my first incubation also...with shipped eggs~ day 2. From the extensive reading I have done you need to control for humidity. You can get a thermometer with a hydrometer on it from most stores- I bought two from Farm and Tractor for good measure.

    The problems with not controlling for moisture is "sticky chicks and dry ones that can't hatch out"...

    I found that my incubator is sensitive to the water...it only takes 5 ml of water to increase the humidity around 8%.

    Best of luck~ seems you have responsive eggs and are doing well so far![​IMG]
     
  5. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sad disappointed feeling is why I now try to make myself wait until day 10 before I candle the first time. Some eggs seem a little slower to get started and one that looks like a dud day 7 could just be a late bloomer. Isn't it just the most wonderful thing to see them jumping and swimming around? It thrills me every single time I see it. [​IMG]

    It is simplest to set your eggs all at once. However, just 3 days apart should be too much trouble. I think in that situation I'd wait until day 20 to "lockdown" and up the humidity, unless you hear peeping or see signs of pipping before then. That would make it day 17 for the second batch; only a day earlier than many people go into lockdown.

    You say you open the incubator almost every day to turn the eggs? You should be turning them 3 times per day, minimum. Not enough turning can result in the embryo sticking to the shell. Which results in dead or deformed chicks. As long as your incubator comes back up to temp relatively quick, don't worry too much about opening it to turn them. Broody hens don't sit on their eggs 24/7. They get off at least once a day for varying amounts of time to eat, drink, eliminate, dust bathe, etc.
     
  6. lilfyre

    lilfyre New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2014
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    I will be getting a hydrometer as soon as possible.
    Do you know anything about the dry method? Is it too late for me to do this on day 8? Which day do I add moisture?
    I don't know how I missed the humidity. After all the reading I have been doing and have seen how important it is. I guess I just got so excited and carried away.
    Now, I am so worried my babies wont make it.
     
  7. lilfyre

    lilfyre New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2014
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    Yes, it is a wonderful thing. I have never experienced it and reading about it got me so gitty. I am so happy I decided to try this. I won't be staggering eggs like that again. I am thinking of getting another incubator like the one I have. Which holds a dozen eggs. I have this incubator ---> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KD75VHW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I read alot of reviews before getting one and knowing I don't get many eggs in 7 days I decided on one that holds 12. It says that it turns them and I look to see if I can tell but I don't know. I didn't see the X and O's on the eggs until yesterday so I will be doing that tonight, then I will know for sure if it is turning them. I saw that I had maybe 30 minutes to candle the eggs and turn them because the Hen leaves the nest. I still was nervous but now you have confirmed I will feel better when I open the incubator.
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I found this helpful and intriguing when I did my first hatch: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...g-candling-pics-progression-though-incubation

    I loved watching my little egglings moving around. I even got a couple vids. Unfortunetly my first hatch didn't go well at the end because my thermometer was way off and I did not know, so we ended up with one healthy hatch. But it is awesome. We originally got into this as a homeschool project for my first grader so it was amazing as a learning experience, but now I am hooked and we are trying it a second time with THREE thermometers in the bator. I'm actually trying the dry incubation this time. I don't know how accurate my gage is for that, but it seems to be going all right so far. (We are only on day 3 of the incubation.) The thing about humidity is it's most important at lockdown through the hatching. That's when it can really make you or break you as it needs to be raised for that period so the chicks don't get shrink wrapped by the membrane. If it's been too high during incubation they could drown. I don't see why you couldn't pull the water and try dry hatching if you wanted, just remember that during lock down you need that humidity. Good luck with your hatch!!!!!
     
  9. lilfyre

    lilfyre New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2014
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    Thanks so much! What should the humidity be set at and does it need to be changed?
    I put a second Thermometer in and it seems my heat is steady. *Fingers Crossed*
     
  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Good question: What should the humidity be set at? There's a lot of different opinions about this. I think the majority goes with (if you aren't doing dry incubation) 45-50% but at lock down it needs to be upped to 65% or more.
    The best way to know if your humidity is good is by the size of the air sac or weighing of the eggs. (Eggs are supposed to loose a certain amount of weight, I think 11%, but I'm not sure about that, during incubation and some people weigh the eggs before to keep track. I have no experience there.) Give me a minute and I'll see if I can find the air cell diagram that shows how big it should be at what day.
     

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