Newbie hatcher, new fluffy butts due Feb 11

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AngelaPenny, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. AngelaPenny

    AngelaPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2012
    I have 6 Golden Comet hens and a Barred Rock roo, and decided to test my skills at hatching some eggs to increase our flock of really great layers.

    I put in an order from our feed store for an incubator, and it was going to cost $185. Someone forgot to actually put it on the order, so I was forced to make my own. Actually, I chose to make my own, feeling all handy and stuff :)

    I used a styrofoam cooler, a lamp and some water dishes with sponges. I used the glass out of a picture frame for a window and secured it with duck tape. It's definitely not a looker, but it's doing the job. I tested it for 2 days before I added the eggs, and had some ups and downs getting the temp and humidity to cooperate once I added the eggs.

    There have been fluctuations in both temp and humidity, but I think I've finally gotten the hang of it. The best part, it cost me $28, including the thermometer and hygrometer.

    On day 4 I candled for the first time, and that ended in a traumatic episode for me. I dropped on egg onto another resulting in two cracked eggs that had to be discarded. I thought I would have a look inside to see if anything was actually going on. Imagine my horror when I could see heartbeats in both! I cried. It wasn't a very nice feeling.

    We've since had 2 more eggs stop growing. One we opened and found a perfectly formed embryo on day 9, but it was no longer alive. It had a very visible blood ring, and I knew it was gone. The next night, when candling, I had another suspected dead embryo, but decided to leave it in there, just in case. 2 days later, when I opened the incubator to turn them, I was hit with the most awful smell! There was no doubt that the embryo had died. I removed it, but didn't open it....I couldn't bear the smell.

    We are down to 9 viable eggs, due to hatch this weekend. I would have never believed that I would be so excited to hatch chicks!

    We are still in the dead of winter here, cold temperatures and lots of snow. I know I'm hatching too early for these parts, but it just gives me a reason to keep these little girls (fingers crossed) in the house for a little while longer.

    I am having an issue getting the humidity above 55, so I'm a little concerned with the last few days. I'm going to do a little more research and see what I can come up with for raising the humidity.
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Wow. Good job with your homemade incubator! One day I would so love to build one of my own!

    I'm sorry about the eggs that didn't make it, but that's par for the course.

    I hatch all winter long, and I keep telling myself NEVER AGAIN . . . then I get more eggs.

    Brooding inside the house is not fun. I've got some 3-weeks olds inside that will be moved out TODAY.

    I hope you can get your humidity up for lockdown. Perhaps a wider bowl of water if you have the room?

    Keep us posted!

  3. AngelaPenny

    AngelaPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2012
    I went into lockdown last night after candling. I have decent sized air pockets, and movement in 9/9 eggs.

    I did manage to get the humidity raised by removing the water and sponges and adding a warm damp towel instead. The humidity in my house is around 20%, but I got it up to 70% in the bator. I hope that it's high enough.

    I left for work this morning, (even though I wanted to stay home with my nose pressed against the incubator glass) and there was no action whatsoever. We have a snowstorm headed our way tonight, and I can think of no better way to spend it than watching eggs rocking. Fingers crossed :)

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