Please Help the Newbie!!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by French Hen, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. French Hen

    French Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello.... I'm a complete Newbie... I've decided to go with fertilized eggs instead of chicks so that my children can witness the hatching process... oh, ok, so I can too!! :) Now I can't decide on what incubator to get!!
    It seems that a forced air, automatic turning incubator is the way to go for the best success, and I want the best success since I'll just cry for every lost egg!!
    I am also going with eggs from breeders instead of hatcheries since I am a fan of people knowing their individual birds and their temperament/personality, plus I like to support small scale farmers/breeders/etc. Also I'm all for furthering the breed standard... mostly I'm unsure of the quality of chicken I'd get from a hatchery, although I'm sure they'd suit my purposes just fine (egg laying)

    Ok.... I'm leaning toward the Hova Incubator with the big window for easiest viewing with minimal opening and touching.... BUT I HATE that it is made out of styrofoam... seems like it could easily get destroyed with kids around... also wouldn't that be a pain in the butt to clean and sterilize??

    Anyone have any recommendations? I'm not looking to spend over $200 but I'd like something that would incubate somewhere around 20 eggs at least.

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Any of the Styrofoam ones are decent. I got mine off of Craigslist. Kids just have to know that eggs, especially eggs with life in them are extremely fragile.

    Don't cry if an egg doesn't hatch. It happens. In fact you rarely get 100% even if conditions are optimal.

    Good Luck and Welcome!

    Shawn
     
  3. French Hen

    French Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, OK, so maybe I won't really cry ;-) And I'm expecting to have at least some of the eggs not hatch... Can you tell me, is it necessary to candle the eggs during the incubation process? Is it better to just leave them be and only candle them if their time is drawing to a close to check on their development to be sure they don't need help hatching? I know it would be hard NOT to touch, candle, handle, and check on the eggs... but I want to do whatever is best for the chick PS- My older kids are great. I breed dogs and sugar gliders, so they help all the time with tiny little lives. I also make my dog food and glider food at home so the kids have learned a lot about the value of our companion animals. (My puppies are therapy and service dogs mostly) BUT I have a 7 month old son... toddlers can be mini godzillas without meaning to be!! I will have a strict "hands off" policy with him and the animals (except the adult dogs, who won't be injured by rough handling and who can walk away when they want to) Can an adult chicken hold its own against a toddler? Or should I protect them from him? I don't mind if he gets pecked and learns a lesson about leaving the birds alone, but I don't want to risk him injuring the birds...
     
  4. Cecilcountychic

    Cecilcountychic New Egg

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    I just had my first baby hatch ever today! I did candle the eggs quite a bit, but never took them out for more than a minute or two to do so. It is an awesome experience for the kids, but I think I enjoy it more. btw, I bought a styrofoam incubator at tractor supply for $40 to start out with....::p
     
  5. French Hen

    French Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations!!! :D
    Thats so awesome!! I can't wait!!!
     
  6. Sphinx

    Sphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I adore my Brinsea Mini Advance, however it only holds 7 eggs. Maybe you should consider the Brinsea 20 Eco with autoturn cradle. It's a bit over $200, but it'll be a really great incubator.

    http://brinsea.com/products/octagon20eco.htm
     
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  8. French Hen

    French Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never seen a chicken candle an egg? Me either... :lol:
    I'd probably faint dead away if I did though....
    Your comment made me smile. Thanks. I had a poopy day... and not the good kind of garden-healthy poopy either ;)

    Thanks for telling me that my chickens will be safe from my soon to be terror... I mean toddler... once they are fully chickens.

    :)

    Good point on candling being a good learning experience. I want my older kids to learn as much about this as I will. I was only wondering about doing anything not natural and therefore disrupting the natural incubating and hatching process. I've no aversion to extra work... well I suppose that is obvious if I'm committed to owning chickens, right? :D

    Thanks for all the help and the warm welcome!!
     

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