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Notes from my first hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chick4smiles, May 16, 2011.

  1. chick4smiles

    chick4smiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Adirondacks
    Hi All,
    I just wanted to jot down a few notes about my first hatch in case it could help someone or if some of you had some advice to give.
    I did two things "incorrectly" from the get-go. First, I had my eggs upside down in the turner for the first 8 days (big end down, little end up). I flipped them over as soon as I realized it. Second, I did a staggered hatch. Rather than collecting eggs and storing them for a bit before adding them all to my incubator at the same time, I added eggs just about ever day for two weeks. All of these eggs are from my mutt of a flock...
    For the first 18 days of incubation, my temperature was at 100F at the top of the eggs and humidity was at 50%. This was a still air incubation. For lockdown (for the first set of eggs), I upped the humidity to 70%, took the eggs out of the turner, and adjusted the temp so it was 100F at the bottom of the incubator. I then left the incubator in this state for the next two weeks...this means that the "later" eggs were exposed to a high humidity during developmental stages.
    From the first seven eggs, 3 hatched healthy chicks. I honestly thought this was all I was going to get.
    The next round was a bit sad. Out of 14 eggs (my DP put them in the incubator so we're not sure of the dates, I was away on a trip), 3 healthy chicks hatched, one deformed chick hatched (legs wouldn't work and the yolk was never fully absorbed, so I had to put it down), and one chick pipped and nearly hatched, but died in its shell overnight. Lesson learned on when to help out a chick...
    Five out of the last 7 eggs hatched, all healthy chicks. These are the eggs that were exposed to high humidity for the longest. Not sure what to make of that.

    So...11 healthy chicks from 28 eggs.

    I didn't do eggtopsies (couldn't stand the idea of opening up a bunch of eggs with dead chicks inside), but I did candle and it seems of the eggs that didn't hatch, about 50% of them developed (dark, with an air sac) and 50% of them were infertile (no sign of development, perfectly clear eggs).

    I'm setting eggs tomorrow, I now have a fan in the incubator. Was planning on 99.5-100F incubation and 30% humidity for the first 18 days. I got 11 chicks out of 28 eggs for my first ever hatch, which isn't too bad, but I'm hoping for a better hatch rate this time around!
     
  2. kimandrich

    kimandrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2011
    Houston, Tx
    What kind of chicks? [​IMG]
     
  3. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    Thanks for the tips! Very helpful as I am looking to set a batch later today!
     
  4. chick4smiles

    chick4smiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Adirondacks
    Quote:Well, our rooster is a bit of a mutt. A friend gave him to us and that friend has no idea what he is. My avatar is a picture of him. Other than that, the hens were RIRs, Partridge Cochins (those little chicks are SO cute with they're feathered feet!), and a Black Orpington mix. The chicks from the orpington were HUGE!
     
  5. kimandrich

    kimandrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2011
    Houston, Tx
    Pictures? [​IMG]

    I'm also on my first hatch and made a bunch of mistakes, haha. Everyone's gotta learn!
     
  6. chick4smiles

    chick4smiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Adirondacks
    Quote:I really should have taken pictures of them! I'll have to take pictures of the next batch. I was so nervous about hatching them, raising them, I never bothered to take pictures. Now, most of them are feathering out so they aren't in that fuzzy-butt cute stage anymore. [​IMG]
     
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    When calculating your hatch rate, you don't count the clear (unfertilised) eggs. You only ever count the fertilised ones, cause the clear ones never had any chance of hatching at all... You said about 50% of your unhatched ones were clear, so that makes your hatch rate more like 11 out of 20ish, which is actually pretty good for a first try AND some upside down eggs AND an accidental staggered hatch.
     

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