My First Time Incubating!!!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Banjoplayer, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Banjoplayer

    Banjoplayer Out Of The Brooder

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    I am so excited! I am putting 15 eggs in the incubator tonight! Is there anything I should know? Tips would be greatly appreciated!
    I know in theory what I should do, but I am nervous I will mess it up.[​IMG]
    They should start to hatch on/around Nov. 20, right? And how do I know if the humidity is right? I don't want to kill them all by my inexperience....

    I do know that not all of them will hatch!

    Thanks!
    ~Hope
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    When you are counting your days remember day 1 is 24 hours after you set them in the incubator. So say you set at 9am on a Friday day 1 will actually be 9am Saturday. Day 2 9am Sunday and so on. Also 21 days is just a guide they sometimes hatch earlier or later.
    To measure humidity you will need a hygrometer. Humidity needs to be an average over the entire incubation period. The eggs need to lose enough moisture in order for the air sac to grow large enough. Also to create humidity it's the surface area you require not the depth of water. I find 45% day 1-18 adequate for moisture loss and then 65% for lockdown while the eggs are hatching.
    Good luck and enjoy the experience it is amazing but also highly addictive :frow
     
  3. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have eggs in the incubator with 1 week left to go. I have done a dry hatch. I didn't add any water and my humidity has been around 35% if the hygrometer is accurate. I have 8 out of 17 still going. (They were pullet eggs so that's the main reason the others didn't make it).The air cells have grown nicely without the extra humidity. For me, it's just one thing less to worry about during the first 18 days. I will bump the humidity up to 60-65% on day 18. Wash your hands and make sure they are dry before touching the eggs! Don't forget to turn your eggs if you don't have an automatic egg turner. I used to turn mine 5 times a day but I've gotten so busy that 3 times is all I can do and everything's going smooth. You can candle on day 7, 14, and 18. I candle a little more than that to track growth (I've never seen any chicks past a day 6 in the egg except for this time, so I want to see how much they grow in a certain amount of time). Day 14 candling is really important so you can get the bad eggs out before they have a chance to explode. It'll be easy to tell good eggs from bad eggs on day 14. I had eggs that went the full 21 days without exploding in which the chick died around day 3. Be careful not to crack seemingly bad eggs that are actually good. I've done that 2 twice so I'm more careful than ever now. Good luck! Hope you have great success!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  4. Banjoplayer

    Banjoplayer Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't know that about counting the days! (Rats. One more day to wait![​IMG])
    My first hens are not even laying yet, and I am already the (willing, excited, happy, etc...) victim of Chicken Math!
    Thanks for your help!
    ~Hope
     
  5. Banjoplayer

    Banjoplayer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the warning, I'll keep that in mind. How do you tell the bad eggs from the good? Will the good ones have a growing chick, and the bad just be clear? And is it just as easy with brown eggs? I candled them before I set them, just to get an idea of what it looks like with no chick in there. I do have an automatic turner.

    That is very exciting! Will you be posting pictures of the chicks? [​IMG]

    Thanks Again!
    ~Hope
     
  6. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they make it I'll post pictures. If an egg is infertile, it will be clear. Or an early death between 0 and 3 days will be clear. You may be able to see a chick on day 4 (I've seen some on day 3) but wait until day 5 for a clear view. Also a bad egg, a chick that dies, can also have a blood ring going around the egg. This is caused by the blood vessels pulling away from the chick and pressing up against the shell. I must warn you, I thought I had blood rings but were actually long blood vessels (how I lost 2 perfectly healthy chicks). In mine that died this time around, there were no blood rings. The lacking of branched out blood vessels can mean death. They could just be hard to see, like with brown eggs. Just look for a dark mass that should be growing according to these pictures in the first link I've placed below. The second tells you about dark eggs and how to candle them and what to look for. Hope this helps!

    http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=73884.0

    http://keeping-chickens.me.uk/chickens/how-to-hatch-eggs/candling-eggs
     
  7. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My brown eggs were a little difficult to see through but now the chick is so big I can't see anything anyway. Mine are not the really dark brown eggs so there is some view of what's going on in there. All that matters is that I can see if the chicks are growing. Except for my Silkie chick which I candle very shortly every so often to get a good look at how she's developing because I've never seen this before. Her egg is easy to candle with it being white. But the other 8 are brown so I just look for some vessels and dark mass that should fill up the same amount of space as my Silkie chick, just bigger. (I go by the chick I definitely know is alive and compare the rest to that one).
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  8. Banjoplayer

    Banjoplayer Out Of The Brooder

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    Those articles/pictures were very helpful! Thank you so much for all your help, you have made me feel so much better.
    ~Hope
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Also, this is a good reference page and answers many questions. Worth the look at if you haven't. [​IMG]
     

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