My Hatching story

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gypers, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Gypers

    Gypers In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2012
    I just wanted to share my story and then read your replies.

    Currently my chicks are 2 weeks old and doing fine in their brooder.

    I got 24 barnyard mix eggs from a stranger who told me they had some fertile chicken hatching eggs. She charged me
    $1.50 a dozen! I took them home right away and put them in my homemade incubator. (A styrofoam container that I had
    rigged up with a fan, heater wire and thermostat). I had ran it for several weeks prior so I could get the temperature
    set right. I was shooting for 100 degrees. I turned the eggs 3 times in a 24 hour period. And during that process I ended up breaking 3 eggs. And by candeling I threw away 5 eggs that weren't developing. So I was left with 16 viable eggs. I thought I had the temp. set pretty good. But the temperature varied from 95.4 to 102.8. So I bought a incubator at the feed store and once I had it set up and the temp. right, I transferred the eggs to it. The store bought incubator varied from 98 to 100.5. Plus it had a automatic egg turner that turned the eggs 6 times in a 24 hour period. So I counted down the days and at day 18, I removed the egg turner. The morning of the 21st day they started pipping. The 1st chick hatched at 7am. 3 more the 2nd hour. And they kept hatching through out the day. By my bedtime there were 14 chicks. At 3am the next day I got out of bed to see if the last 2 had hatched yet. They hadn't. Their pipping holes were a little bigger but they weren't hatching. So I figured they had died. So I took the incubator to the brooder and put the chicks in it. And since I didn't have anything to loose, I broke the last 2 eggs open to see what had happened. To my surprise they were alive! ( I've read that your not to help them out of their shells cause they will be weakly) So they dried in the brooder while I went back to bed. That morning I went to check on them. 15 chicks were running around but 1 just lay on it's back. I picked it up to put it on it's feet but it just sat there. Later when I checked it was on it's back again. So I picked it up and held it in my hands on it's feet. I kept it there in my hands for several minutes. Then put it back into the brooder. This time it took a few steps and stayed upright. Now when I go check on them I can't tell which chick I had to help to stand and I sure can't tell that any of them are weakened by not hatching out of their shells by themselves. I have 16 healthy chicks out of 24 eggs! Being a first timer I figure that's a pretty good hatch rate for all the problems they went through.

  2. ChickenPrnces

    ChickenPrnces Songster

    Jan 2, 2012
    Deerfield, NH
    That is a great hatch rate given all the issues they had! I personally am not a "leave them and hope" type of girl! I usually end up assisting at least one every hatch and I have 100% hatch rates almost every time! The assisted chick never dies on me! I can't bring myself to just "let nature take its course"! If it needs me then i'm there! $1.50 per dozen is a great price! I agree that hand turning is a nightmare! I LOVE my turner! It is more delicate on the air cells than hand turning too! One thing though is that if you let eggs that travel rest for 24 hours before you set them you might have had a bit better rate too! Eggs, even the ones out of my own chickens, are left too rest in a carton for at least 1 day because my kids like to collect them and they obviously jumble them! A jumbled egg gets the air cell shifted! Letting them rest gets that air cell back where it belongs in one piece! On the two eggs that you thought had died - a better way to check for life before completely breaking them open is to make them a slightly bigger pip hole in the top at the air cell and look in with a flashlight! They were probably just resting! They will often rest for up to 24 hours after pipping! More than 24 hours after pip with no zip and I always help! But I usually wait at least that long so there is a better chance they have sucked in all the yoke! Congrats on all the babies though and enjoy them! [​IMG]Be careful of chicken math though! My 3 chickens turned into over 130 chickens! The babies are so cute that I just can't resist hatching more and more and more! [​IMG]
  3. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Songster

    Jan 15, 2012
    Poplar Bluff , MO
    chicken math.... i am testing it out myself....I have 36 coming in June and if they start laying in December by this time next year i should have 3-400 in my brooders..

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