New to hatching, so many ?'s

confusedturtle

Songster
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
364
6
113
Virginia
I ordered blue Orps, blue silkies & white silkie eggs TBD around the 3rd week in May. I've never hatched eggs so I have no idea what to do. I'm going to buy an incubator but wanted advice, tips ect on how to have a successful hatch. I know there are no guarantees I just want to make sure I do my best to give these little gys a good chance to hatch healthy. Any advice is greatly appreciated, I'm taking notes lol
 

drlcb

Chirping
7 Years
Jan 5, 2013
72
5
76
Fredericksburg VA 22406
It is easy to get information overload. Just look through the forums and follow the incubator instructions. Nothing to it. I think humans have been incubating eggs since way before the discovery of electricity so we have it made.
The only advice I recommend is getting the egg turner if it is an option. And start the thing up a couple of days before you set the eggs so it is stabilized. Good luck
 

confusedturtle

Songster
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
364
6
113
Virginia
Ok cool thank you. :-D I will probably buy the incubator on the 1st, I will make sure to get the turner. I've been thru a few threads since posting, I was nursing the baby to sleep. I will keep digging thru them, thanks again. :-D
 

Silkies~Polishes

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
234
6
91
Seattle, WA
Also, if during incubation something happens, like the temp gets too low, don't get too worried unless it is really low for a long time. Eggs are much hardier then we think and as long as the temperature is at the correct number for most of the time things will be okay. Before incubating my first, and current batch, I was a little freaked out, since info I was reading was making me think that the temp had to be in the perfect range, and other conditions had to be perfect. Although they haven't hatched yet I am hoping at this point everything will go smoothly.
On around day three with my eggs,i didn't know it but the wafer heater on my incubator was loose, and so the temp was only 90 for two days, and 60 degrees F for 2 hours. Fixed it with the temp range 96-101 now. Candling them on day 9 today and 13/15 are alive!
Good luck!
 

confusedturtle

Songster
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
364
6
113
Virginia
Can these breeds be raised together or will the silkies need a coop of their own? I'm building a coop that would easily house all my birds, it's replacing my old coop, but I can always keep my silkies in the old coop. The old coop is fine, hubby wouldn't listen to my suggestions when we built it so I'm building the new one myself.
 

poultrygirl2000

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
8
1
7
I raise all of my chickens together and i have over 10 different breeds. All of mine get along great but I know the larger chickens may possibly pick on the bantams (silkies), but like I said I've never had this issue
 

confusedturtle

Songster
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
364
6
113
Virginia
Ok cool, I will raise them together then :) I may leave the second coop in place just incase but as long as they get along I'll let them live together. Thank you
 

Sparkypatriot15

Songster
7 Years
Jul 13, 2012
1,605
39
133
First, CONGRATS ON YOUR DESCISION TO HATCH CHICKS!!!!!!!!

some do's and dont's about incubating:
1) keep the temp of your incubator around 99 degrees if you are using a forced air incubator
2) keep the temp around 100-102 if you're using a still-air incubator
3) turn the eggs at least 3 times per day
4) wash your hands before and after touching the eggs- you dont want bacteria from your hands getting in the pores of your eggs
5) if you can, find some copper and put it in your bator. pure copper is very efficient and fast at killing bacteria and keeping it at bay while you are incubating (i found this out myself during my last incubation and lots of research)
6) keep the incubator ventilated. the growing chicks still need oxygen, and will begin to need a lot more beggining at day 14 until hatch.
7) try to keep the temp stable- a few short temp spikes will not hurt the eggs but a dramatic temp change for hours at a time can do some damage
8) be VERY careful with the eggs during the first week of incubation. the embryos are very fragile at this stage
9) during the hatch, make sure there is PLENTY of ventilation and the temp stays at around 98
10) keep the humidity around 50% for normal incubation during days 1-18. if you do dry incubating, keep the humidity at 20%-40% (i found dry incubation worked much better for me)
11) the humidity during hatch should be 65%-70%
12) try not to open the bator at all during the hatch
GOOD LUCK!!!!!
clap.gif
 

confusedturtle

Songster
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
364
6
113
Virginia
It is a forced air incubator that came with the automatic turner, thermometer and hygrometer, so that took a lot of the work out of it. The copper, does it need to be like construction type copper or will pennies work & how much do I need? To adjust the humidity will I be adding water? I read on a few threads about using sponges. My eggs are being shipped to me, how do I handle them from arrival to incubator? If my eggs hatch a week or 2 apart, how do I avoid opening the incubator during hatch? I thought I needed to get the chick out to eat & drink. Is there a website or book I can check out that shows what the egg/embryo/chick looks like in the egg at different stages when candled?
 

Sparkypatriot15

Songster
7 Years
Jul 13, 2012
1,605
39
133
It is a forced air incubator that came with the automatic turner, thermometer and hygrometer, so that took a lot of the work out of it. The copper, does it need to be like construction type copper or will pennies work & how much do I need? To adjust the humidity will I be adding water? I read on a few threads about using sponges. My eggs are being shipped to me, how do I handle them from arrival to incubator? If my eggs hatch a week or 2 apart, how do I avoid opening the incubator during hatch? I thought I needed to get the chick out to eat & drink. Is there a website or book I can check out that shows what the egg/embryo/chick looks like in the egg at different stages when candled?

A bunch of pennies from before 1985 will do for the copper. Pennies before 1985 have more pure copper and will work better keeping your incubtor bacteria-free. You will need to add or remove water to adjust humidity. If you have a staggered hatch you may quickly open the incubator for short periods of time to remove the chicks if you must but they can be fine up to 3 days without food and water due to their yolk sac after they hatch. :)
 

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