New to incubating and getting an incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Loriemarler, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Loriemarler

    Loriemarler Chillin' With My Peeps

    498
    65
    118
    Feb 23, 2014
    Blanchard OK
    I am getting a Brinsea Mini Advanced for my birthday and I am so excited!! I also got my first egg today. Should I save the egg for the incubator or go ahead and eat it? The incubator was ordered tonight from Amazon with fast shipping so it should get here soon. Also how do I learn everything I need to know in such a short time?
     
  2. headworm

    headworm Out Of The Brooder

    12
    1
    23
    Mar 2, 2014
    Brilliant choice of incubator, very posh. I would eat your egg, enjoy it. When you eat your own eggs, it's something very special. As far as learning everything, read a lot and hit up youtube. With that incubator, you don't have to do much at all. I would get the basics, don't bother with candling and start reading a lot more about brooders. Happy birthday!

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    384
    20
    103
    Mar 8, 2013
    Left Hand, WV
    If it is your hens first egg ever, eat it. You want to wait a few months for the eggs to get up to size before trying to hatch them. I read tons of stuff that said that and didn't quite believe it so I set my hens after a couple of weeks. I set 12 and they started to progress but then quit. Only one hatched and it only survived a few days.
     
  4. Loriemarler

    Loriemarler Chillin' With My Peeps

    498
    65
    118
    Feb 23, 2014
    Blanchard OK
    I just bought this hen Sunday and she is 1 year old. The lady said she had been laying for awhile.
     
  5. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    384
    20
    103
    Mar 8, 2013
    Left Hand, WV
    oh good. Don't forget that you want to get your incubator plugged in and running for a day at least, before you set eggs. Good luck on your hatch!
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,661
    4,191
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t know how many you have laying or how many you plan to hatch. You might read this. It’s a good overall view at incubating and has a good section on storing eggs for incubation.

    Texas A&M Incubation site
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/...e-Cartwright-Incubating-and-hatching-eggs.pdf

    Most of that is just guidelines. That means they are targets to shoot for, not things that guarantee failure if you don’t do them exactly. Some things are important, like storing then pointy side down to keep the air cell where it’s supposed to be. But it says to store them at 55 degrees. I don’t have a place like that so I store them in a spare bedroom probably around 68 degrees. That’s close enough. Just do the best you reasonably can and you will probably be OK.

    Another place to learn a lot I in the learning center up on top of this page.

    I don’t know how long your hen or hens have been laying. When a pullet first starts she normally lays small eggs and sometimes she lays strange eggs. It sometimes takes her a while to get all the kinks out of her internal egg making factory. As complicated as the process is, it’s amazing how many actually get it right from the start. And the longer she lays the bigger the eggs will get.

    This stuff does not come with absolute hard and fast rules. That’s why I call them guidelines. There are different reason to not hatch those tiny pullet eggs. When they first start the shell may be too thick or too thin or some of the internal parts may not be connected right. The chicks that do hatch will be small and not as strong as chicks from larger eggs. So it’s best to wait a while.

    I’ve hatched pullet eggs. I’ve had good hatch rates with pullet eggs. The hatch rate is normally not as good as with eggs from older hens but many of them will hatch. I’ve raised the chicks from those pullet eggs. Those chicks are smaller when they hatch because the egg is smaller and does not have as many nutrients for them to grow bigger. I hardly ever lose a chick that hatches but occasionally it happens. When I do lose one, it is usually one from a small pullet egg. Because they are so small, they are just harder to raise. I still hatch pullet eggs and usually raise a lot of chicks from them.

    I don’t know when your birthday is. What I suggest is go ahead and eat the eggs. I assume you have a rooster so the eggs are probably fertile. When you get the incubator, start saving eggs then. While you are saving eggs run that incubator and make sure it works. You may have to return that incubator or make adjustments. I know you want to get eggs in there as soon as possible but make sure that incubator is working right. Also, have all the eggs you want to go in there and start them all at the same time. That’s important. Don’t start off with a staggered hatch. That’s way too stressful for your first hatch.

    Good luck with it and welcome to the adventure.
     
  7. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,145
    249
    181
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    I like RR's suggestions. If your hen has only laid the one egg for you, I'd go ahead and eat it and while you're at it, just check if it's fertile. I'm going to make the assumption that you have a rooster...but I would want to make sure the eggs I was setting her fertile before taking the time and effort to incubate them.
     
  8. Loriemarler

    Loriemarler Chillin' With My Peeps

    498
    65
    118
    Feb 23, 2014
    Blanchard OK
    Thanks for the info guys it is really helping. I only have 2 hens and so far only one laying eggs. My incubator should be here this week from Amazon. The hen laying eggs was in with a mille Cochin rooster when I bought her Sunday. She is in quarantine right now then will be with my rooster. Since she is a year old and has been laying eggs for awhile for her previous owner I think she has the kinks worked out. But I think you guys are probably right about waiting to get the incubator set up ect.

    I know my kids are dying to incubate as much as I am. Would you suggest buying some eggs to incubate or collecting and saving them from my one hen to incubate
     
  9. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,145
    249
    181
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    That depends on what your goals are. Do you want chicks from your chickens or do you want different breeds and such? I bought eggs from a farmer's market and stored them for 4 days while I was waiting to pick up my ameracauna eggs from the breeder. Who knows how long they sat before that. I set 12 and still have 9 at day 17 going strong. You could start collecting yours and keep them in a cool place and turn them a few days before you expect your bator to arrive. Then spend at LEAST 24 hours making sure the bator is stable then put them in. You should know in about 4 days if they're going to take. I could easily see little spiders in my eggs at 4 days from the farmer's market (they were brown). My blue eggs are a little harder to see into but there was still no mistaking the veins.

    Or you could buy eggs...it just depends on what you want. I would not let impatience decide it for you though. Decide what kind of chickens you want to get out of it and go from there.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,661
    4,191
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Let me give you some information overload. This might help you in your plans or you may already know this. It takes about 25 hours for an egg to go through the internal egg making factory inside a hen. That egg can only be fertilized during the first few minutes of that journey. That means if a mating takes place on a Monday, Monday’s egg will not be fertilized. Tuesday’s egg might be depending on timing, but don’t count on it. Wednesday’s egg will be fertile.

    When a mating takes place, the hen stands up, fluffs her feathers, and shakes. That puts the sperm in a special container near where the egg starts its journey. We normally count on that sperm staying viable for two weeks after a mating. It’s possible it can last longer than three weeks, but don’t count on more than two. So you have a limited window of opportunity to get fertile eggs before you finish quarantine.

    That incubator will hold seven eggs. I don’t know how many you plan to incubate. With that new information about her being separated from a rooster and when the incubator is due, I’ll change my suggestion. Start saving the eggs now. You can always still eat them if you don’t incubate them, though I warn you, they get kind of precious when you start looking at them as for the incubator instead of for eating. That may cause problems, especially if you tell the kids.

    There is nothing wrong with putting some of her eggs in there with eggs from another source. There is no right or wrong in this. Just do what feels right for you.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by