Question: Incubating multiple dated eggs same incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by stover954rr, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. stover954rr

    stover954rr New Egg

    Feb 22, 2016
    hello all!

    A fellow farmer and myself are looking to start a rafter (flock) of turkeys (bourbon reds). We have access to a large cabinet incubator, however we can only get 2 doz eggs a week.

    We know how sensitive incubating eggs are to changes in temp. so we were thinking if we prewarm then new eggs in a smaller foam incubator prior to putting them in with the existing eggs, it would keep the temp from fluctuating too much.

    Where we run into a problem is with increasing the humidity for the older eggs when they are ready to hatch, but there will also be new eggs that just started incubating in there as well.

    Is there any way that people do this successfully? The eggs are $40 a doz so i really don't want to experiment too much.

    thank you!
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    If you can use the smaller bator to pre-warm the eggs, why can't you hatch them in it? Use the big bator to incubate and the smaller one to hatch them off every week. If that smaller one is not big enough, you can easily make a bator to use as a hatcher. You'll need a thermostat, heat source, insulated box, and preferably a fan, and calibrated thermometers and hygrometers for each incubator. There are plenty of "how to" videos available. Do a google search for "Rush Lane Poultry". Sally Sunshine also has a nice cooler bator build. Be sure to read "hatching eggs 101" in the learning center before you start! Wishing you the best!
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Actually the eggs aren’t that sensitive to temperature fluctuation. A broody chicken, duck, turkey, any of them, will normally leave the nest once and occasionally twice a day to eat, drink, and poop. In colder weather I’ve seen chickens come off for maybe 15 minutes once a day. In warmer weather I’ve had chickens come off for over an hour each time twice a day. They still had great hatches.

    A few years back Brinsea was advertising that you could program their incubator to cool off for a while each day to try to copy what broody hen does. In my opinion that was more of a marketing ploy than something that really helped with hatch rate but they did advertise it as helping. It did not hurt.

    The eggs are fairly dense. It takes a pretty good while for the air temperature to actually effect the temperature inside where the embryo is developing. In my opinion if you just bring the eggs up to room temperature before you put them in the incubator you won’t be causing any problems at all.

    I’d do what LG suggested. Save up the eggs and start a batch every week or so. When it comes to lockdown, move them to the smaller incubator to use as a hatcher. That is a standard way to handle a staggered hatch. This way you can clean the hatcher after each hatch and keep the gunk you get from hatching out of the one you use for an incubator. It’s important to keep the incubator and hatcher clean to prevent the eggs from getting bacteria in them, which kills the developing embryo and stinks to high heaven.

    Good luck!
  4. stover954rr

    stover954rr New Egg

    Feb 22, 2016
    thanks for the reply!

    That was going to be our plan, but i was just curious if anyone had done it all in one incubator, or if anyone did it any other way

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