ok, can I....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by horsechick, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Hi,
    I have heard everyone mention not to do the staggering, but if you have 2-3 bators can you?

    Start them in one, then at day 18 move them to the other to hatch?
    After hatching move to a "brooder" type set up-food/water/heat/etc.
    Then add the new ones to it as you go?

    Just wondering how it can be done since we may not buy larger quantities of eggs but maybe 6-12 at a time and maybe they wouldn't arrive all the same day to put them all in at the same time.
    Hope that makes sense [​IMG]

    If having more than one bator and using one for hatching only would help?

    When you move them to hatch or they are ready to hatch, do you just let the eggs lay by themselves? not setting big end up?

    Thanks in advance!![​IMG]

    Ang
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Looks like you have the system down right. Incubator, to hatcher, to brooder(s).

    Staggered hatches tend to be a problem if done in one incubator.

    With a 3 level system like you describe it is easier and safer. Just remember that brooding different ages together does have its problem if there is to much of an age or size difference.

    Just lay the eggs on their side in the hatcher.
     
  3. MBLayfield

    MBLayfield Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Wellsville, UT
    I always stagger my hatches. I gather or buy a dozen or so, put them in and then later I normally find more. I do watch the dates tho so that I don't interupt the hatching process and have to open the hatcher. I currently have 18 due on the 3rd and another batch due a week later and I have eggs that will ship out on Monday plus eggs that I am gathering again.

    I move the eggs that are on day 18 to the hatcher and then after the hatch I move them to the brooder, and I just keep rotating until I run out of eggs or room or money or all of the above. When the chicks are either to big or there are too many for the brooder I either make another one or put the larger chicks in their own run in the coop with a heat lamp. Because of our temps I don't hatch unless i know the temps aren't going to kill or stress out the little teenagers in the coop.

    You do have to clean the hatcher and incubator so you have to take that into account. I use papertowels in mine so that cleans up well and I use clorox spray and scrub and rinse every second hatch.

    I use two incubators and am thinking about getting a third. For my brooder I use a rubbermaid tote with holes drilled in the side. I cut out the top, added hardware cloth and add a light to it. Very cheep and easy to make and I usually have three or four set up in the garage on card tables.
     
  4. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Doing it like you suggest MB works. Unfortunately I have seen far to many lose everything because they had eggs hatching across many different days in the same incubator.
     
  5. MBLayfield

    MBLayfield Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Wellsville, UT
    Quote:I've been fortunate then in not loosing everything. I guess I don't understand what you mean "across different days in the incubator" Too many eggs at various stages or is it something else?

    I'd hate for my luck to run out and have a problem so maybe I shouldn't be doing it the way I am out of safety for my eggs.
     
  6. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    What I meant was some people will brood and hatch eggs scheduled on the 10, 15, 18, 26 of the month all in the same incubator and not rotate to a hatcher. The fluctuations in humidity and bacterial growth from the first group commonly wipes out the ones still developing. You are doing nothing wrong MB.
     

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