new to incubating

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by hdowden, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 14, 2011
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    any tips about a succesful hatch please would help. havent gotten the eggs yet but have sent off for them. i have always gotten live chicks. i have still air incubater. when should i start to worry about the chicks? breeder is labeling them with the date they were laid will post them up when i get the eggs. thanks in advance
     
  2. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:Chicks hatch at about 21 days, more or less. You'll need to turn the eggs 3 or 5 times a day until about the 18th day. Lots of arguments on what the humidity should be. Usually around 45% until the last three days where you should put it up to 55-65% Temperature for a still air should be around 100.5F. If you have a fan, it should be about 99.5F or so.

    The date they were laid only matters on freshness. Older eggs are less viable. They don't start growing until you start incubating them.

    Buying eggs is always risky. Post office handling and x-rays never help.

    What else did you need to know? [​IMG]
     
  3. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

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    whats the best way to keep the humidity right in the still air? i do not have a fan. i know its risky and i hope the post office is nice to my eggs. these are coming from 3 different fathers so when is the best time to tag them if im home when they start to hatch and whats best used for growing chicks for tagging? also i have read that its ok to leave the chicks in the incubater till 3 days since they still have the yolk salk that they get nutrtion off of

    edit: they are d'uccle eggs
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  4. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:Use an hygrometer and keep water in the incubator.

    Tagging: there are leg bands made for chicks. If you search for chick leg bands, you may be able to find them.

    I wouldn't leave the chicks in the incubator longer than 24 hours. Yes, they do have the yolk sack, but the sooner you start them on food and water, the better off they will be.
     
  5. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You will need to have your incubator set up and ready with a steady temperature of ~100 degrees F. Many of us use a dry incubation which means to add no water at all until lockdown. Lockdown is day 18 and hatch day is day 21. The day you set the eggs in the incubator is day 0. I remove my new hatchlings about 12-24 hours after they hatch when they are dry, fluffy and active. When removing chicks during lockdown, it must be done very quickly so humidity does not drop. If there are pipped eggs in the bator when it's opened, you risk shrink-wrapping the remaining chicks and they will not survive unassisted.
     
  6. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

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    what should the humidty be at lockdown?
     
  7. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

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    also dont you sit the thermo. on top of the eggs and take that temp
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For a still air bator, the temp should be about 101.5 measured at the tops of the eggs. The overall idea is the same as with a fan assisted bator, you want the middle of your eggs to be at a steady 99.5F. But because the air doesn't move much in a still air bator you get an efffect known as thermal layering, where it's cooler at the bottom of the bator than it is at the top. So you measure the temp at the top of the eggs and keep it higher than the 99.5 you actually want your eggs to be at. With frequent turning, the internal temp of your eggs will be right where you want it.

    Tagging chicks: I use the smallest size of zip-ties in different colours. Just remember to check them frequently as the chicks grow, as you'll have to cut them off and replace them with looser ones every few weeks. With different colour combos on different legs, and doubling up two bands on one leg, with five different colours of zip-tie you should be able to work out enough combos to tag about 50 chicks and keep track of who's who. Just make sure you don't lose your notebook with all the details!

    Humidity: You'll get so many different opinions on humidity it'll make your head spin. It's hard to recommend an ideal humidity to someone cause what works for one person won't necessarily work for another. Still air bators sometimes do better with no added water for the first 18 days, which is known as dry incubation. It's not really completely dry of course, and you should be aiming for a minimum 30% on your hygrometer. A good basic starting humidity for newbies is 30-45% days 1-18, then 65-70% for lockdown. That won't work for everyone, but it *should* work for most people. After a lot of trial and error, I now incubate at 45% (in a fan assisted Brinsea Octagon) then go up to 75% for lockdown. But I also weigh my eggs, so I can adjust the humidity up or down as required.

    If you want to nail the humidity thing straight away, you should read up on weighing your eggs. Chicken eggs need to lose roughly 11-14% of their weight over the first 18 days of incubation. The correct humidity for you is the one that gets them to that 11-14% weight loss. So you weigh your eggs at the start, then weigh them periodically throughout the incubation, and adjust your humidity based on your weighing results. If the eggs are losing weight too fast, you increase the humidity to slow down their weight loss. If they're not losing weight fast enough, you lower the humidity to increase the rate of moisture loss. Have a look on Brinsea's website. They've got an Incubation Handbook you can download for free, with all sorts of useful information in it...

    Edited for typos. Whoops!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

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