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Questions concerning hatching

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ekeyser73, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. ekeyser73

    ekeyser73 Out Of The Brooder

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    My wife and I are thinking about starting to hatch out some chicks, but I had a few questions. First, can you arrest or delay the fertile egg from developing in order to get enough eggs to put into incubation and how, if you are only starting out with lets say about 3-6 hens? Second, which incubator is best for a small scale start to hatch out both chickens and duck eggs? I am only wanting to hatch out certain breeds....only 2 chicken breeds to be specific and 1 duck breed and only a few hens of the chickens and 1 mating pair of ducks. For practical reasons, I only want to hatch Leghorns and Buff Orpingtons as the chicken breeds. The duck breed we want to hatch is Silver Appleyards, due to the fact we have a female that we absolutely adore and my wife would like to bring more of those to people where we live. Like I said, I only want to do small scale right now, to me that means about 6 leghorns hens and 1 rooster, 3-6 Buffs and 1 rooster, and just the one pair of ducks. Any suggestions and feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    It is possible to store eggs. You can store them for up to ten days before the fertility starts to decrease. The best way to store them is to store them in a turner in a place that's about 59 degrees. You can also just store them fat end up in an egg carton, which is what I usually do and I usually never see a drop in fertility in the first ten days.

    As for an incubator, that would depend on how involved you want to be. I really nice starter incubator is the Brinsea Octagon Eco 20. It holds more than twenty eggs depending on how you put the eggs in, so it has a nice capacity for someone hatching small-scale. But they are expensive. You could also try an LG or a Hovabator. These are not as nice though and do need monitoring and tweaking. Or you could build your own homemade incubator from scratch - there are instructions on how to make several kinds of them on this site. I made myself one out of a styrofoam cooler. Actually I own a homemade, an LG, and a Brinsea eco 20. The brinsea is my favorite, followed by my homemade, and lastly the LG.

    Also, if you want to hatch both ducks and chickens, be aware that they take different times to develop and have different humidity requirements I wouldn't necessarily recommend incubating both in the same incubator at the same time.

    Good luck and happy hatching! It's a really fun thing to do and a great experience.
     
  3. You can harvest eggs and keep them as long as you'd like. The longer you wait before hatching the less likely it'll hatch, but it's very possible for them to hatch out.

    Simply take the eggs, brush off dirt (don't wash or rinse) and keep them at room temp. If you refrigerate than let them sit out for 24 hours before incubating.

    Can't help with the type of incubators, but you might be able to find a good, cheaper, used one on craigslist.
     
  4. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    A great place to start would be Sally Sunshine's hatching 101 article linked in my signature section below

    Its a wealth of information

    Good Luck
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    If you want to hatch on a shoe string, and have a basic comfort level working with electricity to re-wire a lamp, you can make a nice home-made forced air incubator with a thermostat for $20-30.00. There are plenty of tutorials on this site to walk you through the process.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    5,174
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    If you want to hatch on a shoe string, and have a basic comfort level working with electricity to re-wire a lamp, you can make a nice home-made forced air incubator with a thermostat for $20-30.00. There are plenty of tutorials on this site to walk you through the process.
     
  7. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I am collecting my eggs to hatch, I keep them either in the turner if it's not in use or in the carton like stated above. I do usually put a thick book under one end of the carton to off set the eggs and switch ends a odd number of times a day to keep anything from sticking to the shell in one spot. My first incubator was (and still in use) the still air cheapo from TSC, the Little Giant. I think it runs around $42. With chickens, I average a 85% hatch rate with this one so not to bad. With ducks, I use my newer one. It is digital and holds humidity a little better. I have hatched chickens and ducks together and although the chickens hatched great, only 2 of the 6 ducks hatched. However, they were shipped duck eggs so I still count that as successful. I put the duck eggs in and then waited a week for the chicken eggs to go in so they would all go on lockdown at the same time.
     

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