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Need a primer on staggered hatching

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AinaWGSD, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    So, when I first posted about how long eggs might be fertile after loosing my rooster, someone suggested maybe running a staggered hatch so that eggs didn't have to set too long before going into the incubator. At the time I wrote it off as an unreasonable option for me, this being my first time. However, after candling this afternoon and finding that every single green egg we set was fertile and developing, my husband mentioned being tempted to gather all the green eggs we have from the past few days since setting the eggs and incubating them after these eggs hatched. I told him I was pretty sure they would be too old if we waited that long, but did mention that some people do staggered hatches. So, now I'm left to research the viability of this option.

    When doing a staggered hatch, what seems to be the ideal time between setting eggs? Obviously this will be different for everyone, but I'm just looking for some personal experiences. Good or bad.

    We only have one incubator, and getting a second one to use as a hatcher is not an option right now. If we were to set a second batch of eggs, how does that work for lock down. I know that opening the 'bator to turn the second batch is not an option once the first batch goes into lock down. We do not have a turner and are turning by hand. Is there a certain timing for setting the second hatch that would make not turning for 3-4 or 3-5 days less of an issue? Like is not turning worse during days 14-17 than it would be to not turn during days 7-10? Is the increased humidity for lock down likely to be a problem for a second set of eggs?

  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Humidity need to be raised for the last 4 days so, staggering hatch days will mean you need a second bator. You can build your own for about $15 - $20 using a cooler, computer fan, light bulbs as heat source and a lower hot water thermostat. You can find directions and how to on this site.
  3. cmfarm

    cmfarm Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    I have done lots of staggered hatches in just one incubator. When it comes to lockdown I just continue to turn the eggs but just try to do it quickly and I have never had bad results from doing this. I always prefer to hold eggs for at least a week, because with each hatch there is mess and stress, so if you wait longer in between it is easyier. Now if you you didn't want to turn them the best time is in the first 7 days from what I have read on here, but that is up to you.

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