New Hatcher And Member. I Need any tips before march.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BreedBoy, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. BreedBoy

    BreedBoy New Egg

    Jan 31, 2016
    I just got started with chickens and I need any tips you have before I start incubating in march. I'm using local eggs and a borrowed incubator. I would especially appreciate tips on candling. Thanks! BTW: This has been me for the last few weeks:[​IMG]
  2. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2015

    Hatching is one of my favorite parts of having chickens. And when you get to the point where your own chickens are producing fertile eggs, there is nothing more rewarding than hatching a batch of your own eggs!

    My first suggestion is to reading on this site Hatching 101. It will give you a lot of useful information on getting started and along the way. A few questions... what type of incubator - forced or still air? The temp settings should be slightly different based on what you have. A forced air should be run around 99.5 while a still air should be around 102 at the top of the eggs. Are you using a turner or will you be turning by hand? An egg turner is obviously easier but turning by hand is really not all that hard. Mark one side of you egg with and X and the other with an O. Then you want to turn your eggs an odd number of times a day - generally 3-5 times. This will alternate which side of the egg is left longest at night. Rotating your eggs helps with good development and makes sure that your little chick is getting all of the nutrients. Humidity is the next thing you will need to consider. I typically run dry which means that I keep my humidity between 27%-35% during days 1-17 and then raise it to 75% during lockdown. A good hygrometer will give you a good baseline but you should monitor your air cells. Search this site to find a diagram of air cells on days 7, 14, and 18. This will let you know most accurately if you need to raise or lower your humidity. A good thermometer is key. Make sure that you have more than one knowing that no two thermometers will ever read exactly the same. There is a lot of good info on this site about calibrating and checking you thermometers before use. You should also do a test run with your bator and make sure that it is stable for 48 hours prior to adding your eggs. When you start counting your days remember that day 1 is once you reach the end of your first 24 hours. Whichever day you set your eggs should be the day of the week that your eggs will be due to hatch. Local eggs are best. It's not that you can't use shipped eggs, it's just that they do not always have the best hatch rate due to postal handling. Candling is an art that you will develop. I find it easiest to candle from the fat end. Use a good flashlight in a dark room. Then use a soft pencil to trace your air cells along the way. Remember that the momma hen does get up everyday to eat, drink,etc so you do have some time. You don't want to leave your eggs out of the bator for huge lengths of time but if you have them out 10-15 min while you are candling you should be fine. Try to come up with a plan about what you will do if there is a power outage. We have a generator that we turn on if that happens. But it is something that you will want to figure out ahead of time, not in the moment.

    Just remember that you will probably have some mess ups along the way. We all do. We all have hatches that give us a run for the money. But this site and these people are great. We all love doing this and love helping newbies out. Good luck!!! Happy Hatching!
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