Newbie needs incubator help! - updated

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Newbean, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Newbean

    Newbean Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 28, 2008
    OK, first of all, please forgive my stupidity. Because there was a lot of that going on here.

    I borrowed a hovabator from an acquaintance. It has a fan and an egg turner. Everything works. The acquaintance hadn't had success in using it herself, so I didn't ask her any questions. It seemed like a simple process, and I had this site for help.

    The source for local hatching eggs I had fell through, but luckily my rooster started showing interest at 18 weeks old and I was able to verify that he was doing his job.

    So I started collecting eggs!

    I only have 4 chickens laying right now, so I couldn't collect a ton of eggs. I was able to collect 16 eggs.

    I had them in the incubator in my air conditioned house (70 degrees), in the egg turner (plugged in) in a room with no windows and not much temp change. After 7 days of collecting, I decided that it was time to incubate. This was Sunday (2 days ago).

    This is where it all went wrong. I'm hoping with help, I can turn it around.

    The one thing the lady who loaned me this incubator told me was that it takes 2 days to warm up. So I put the top on and turned it on. This was Sunday, Aug 3rd.

    I later read on someone else's post that you warm it up for 2 days and THEN put the eggs in. It was yesterday that I read this somewhere. So I quickly added some water to the tray, and have been worrying ever since.

    Also, yesterday after adding water I noticed condensation on the window, so pulled out a vent plug.

    I have come to the realization that I am in WAY over my head. HELP!

    I don't know anything about temp stabilization and why do you have vent holes? When do you use them? Are they unplugged all the time?

    Am I on day 1 today since I'm finally up around 99.5 or was day 1 on sunday?

    Can this thing be turned around? [​IMG]

    Please be kind. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  2. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Don't panic. I'm not sure what effect the slow warmup will have, but I do know that high temps are worse than low. ok, so you've got them in the bator, the temp is right. I usually start out with both plugs out, you can buy a humidistat pretty cheaply. Try to keep the humidity around 45-55 the first 18 days. On day 18 put one or two plugs in and try to get the humidity around 65 percent (add more water). Take the turner out on day 18 and leave the bator closed for the last three days of incubation, and wait. I hope my stats are correct, you can check the sticky at the top of the incubating board and double check me. Good luck and keep us posted!!!!!
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    So you already put the eggs in before you had it warmed up? Did I read that correctly?

    They may do just fine if you can get it stable now. Plus even if you have it running 100% perfect, the temps will drop for a while (several hours) when you put the eggs in while the eggs warm up to the incubator temp.

    Get it as steady as you can...then leave it alone until day 19.

    Personally I'd count day 1 as the day the temps stabilized, but keep an eye out for an early pip around day 18 or so.

    Good luck! The first time is always nerve wracking!!
  4. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I'm sure they will be fine. If you put the eggs in after noon or later, then the next day is day 1. If you just got the temps to where they need to be this morning, then I'd probably count today as day 1.

    I try to keep the humidity between 40-45% for the first 18 days. Opinions vary greatly, but I had it higher (45-50%) the last hatch and they were too wet.

    Definitely read the sticky and other posts to learn all you can. I have a still air, but I believe 99-100 is good for forced air. I keep my still air between 101-102. I only remove the plugs if the humidity gets to 45% or more. If I can leave one open without the humidity dropping too far down, then I do. Have to play with it.

    On day 18 take the eggs off the turner and add water to all the wells if you haven't already. I need to place a wet sponge with a wet paper towel over it to get the humidity where it needs to be. Once they start pipping, the humidity will go even higher. Try not to let it get over 70%.

    Good luck!!
  5. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    I think you're fine. Before you go any further, please read this post about dry incubation. Everyone does things differently, but after having drowned fully formed chicks in eggs on day 22, I started doing this and now have great hatches.
  6. Newbean

    Newbean Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 28, 2008
    I thought everyone would like an update.

    Here it is day 20 (from the day that the temp stabilized in my incubator) and I (so far) have 5 chicks!

    This is especially exciting from me because these are eggs from my chickens!

    I have a rhode island red rooster and 1 black silkie and 3 what I thought were RIR but turned out to be sex link - either golden or golden rocket or something along those lines.

    I gathered 16 eggs and along the way made many mistakes that included accidentally turning the egg turner off for a day and a half, and, putting the eggs in before the incubator temp stabilized.

    I also threw 2 eggs out because they got really really light and I suspected that they were bad. I didn't have any luck with candling because of how dark brown my eggs are. Or maybe I just need to invest in a new flashlight. Also, I had an incubator mishap and crushed an egg which turned out to be a very warm undeveloped egg that was only slightly stinky at that point.

    So that is 16 eggs minus 3 = 13 eggs left.

    Anyway along with that drama I got word that my grandfather had passed away at age 99. So I left for another state on day 18 and came back on day 20 (today).

    I have a teenage girl who loves animals come and take care of our menagerie which also includes 20 chickens (11 which we bought the night before word came about my grandfather, in the isolation coop) , 2 calves, and 4 sheep.

    She also consented to check on the incubator. But since she was in school, and also was to young to drive was only able to check on things once a day.

    Despite all of that, we arrived home to 5 baby chicks !!! They were just about fluffy enough to take out of the incubator. I turned on the brooder light to heat things up and then realized upon reading through my instructions that I wrote for my pet sitter that I had neglected to list this step.

    So everything worked out despite the odds against.

    Whew. So that is the whole story. Thanks for your help everyone! Here's hoping that the rest of the remaining eggs will hatch in the next few days!

    By the way, in case you were wondering which eggs hatched - both silkie eggs hatched (and here I thought the rooster didn't like the silkie!) and the other 3 were the sex link eggs.

    Crossing my fingers for hens!

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