1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Questions on incubation ... please help!

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by angsaidso, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. angsaidso

    angsaidso Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    1
    93
    Apr 7, 2012
    Nothing serious folks, but I have a few questions. I have four beautiful emu eggs sitting on my counter and I have done a TON of research on them, including incubating ... I have seen mixed info (Of course) regarding temp and humidity. 99 degrees with 25% humidity seems to be the going average info. But the one thing I didn't see is ... Do you set them on end like a chicken or turkey egg?? Can you put them on the turners in the Sportman ... if they aren't supposed to be on end, what is the best way to brace them in the turners? Will the turners work if the eggs aren't on end? Does anyone have any other suggestions I might be able to use? These darn eggs are expensive and I already love my chicks ... but I am scared they won't hatch due to something stupid I might do. And so I just want one more shot at info and then will do the best I can with all of the info I have collected. :) The incubator is ready ... now just to make sure I set them right! This is going to be the LONGEST 50 days of my life!!!!
    Peace ~ Ang
     
  2. thebanthams

    thebanthams Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,570
    32
    163
    Jun 12, 2010
    Safford, Arizona
    I like to learn how to hatch emu eggs too ! I am sure they are pretty much the same as chickens eggs, except takes longer!
     
  3. angsaidso

    angsaidso Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    1
    93
    Apr 7, 2012
    They require a LOT less humidity than any eggs I have hatched thus far, but so far that and the time is all I have found different.
     
  4. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    we incubate at 96.5-97.0 F. and try to maintain the humidity around 30%. Our eggs are placed on their sides and we turn them 3 times a day...
     
  5. angsaidso

    angsaidso Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    1
    93
    Apr 7, 2012
    Are you turning a typical 180 turn?
     
  6. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    yes, I take a pencil and draw an "x" on one side and an "o" on the other. I also alternate which direction I turn them each time, rolling them toward me, then away from me the next time...[​IMG]
     
  7. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    99 degrees is way too high for emus.. sure they can hatch at that.. but embryonic growth would be way to fast leaving you with weak chicks that are prone to lots of health issues.. sure you MIGHT get lucky.. but why risk it?
    Much better off with temps of 95.5 (the more "natural temp" male emus incubate their eggs) for 55 to 58 days
    or 97.5 for 49 to 55 days

    I have hatched them out with great results at 97.5... however it was recommended to me by a long time emu farmer (and a very successful one at that) to go with the lower temp simply because it results in much healthier chicks than at higher temps.

    as for humidity.. throw out the hygrometer and incubate DRY..
    There is no "lockdown" for emus.. you just stop turning the eggs once they "sound" and it is very important to allow plenty of air exchange in the incubator especially close to hatch so they do not die from carbon dioxide poisoning.
     
  8. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wholeheartedly agree, 96.5-97.5 has been great for us and set your temperature probe at half the height of the egg. The water wells in my incubator, even just using the smallest produced too high of a humidity. I just set a small cup of (warm) water inside the incubator and it keeps the humidity around 35%.
     
  9. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Lol.. I don't even add that much water.
    The best way to see if any extra water is needed is to weigh the eggs before setting.. and then again once a week to see if the weight loss is on track with where it should be (they need to lose 12 to 15 % +/- 1.2% of their weight over the duration of incubation)
    If they are losing weight too quickly then water can be added. If only a few are losing weight too quickly then the reason could be shell porosity or the eggs location near the fan
    if they arent losing weight quickly enough then the air flow can be increased (assuming you have been incubating dry)
     
  10. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was singing "Red Solo Cup!" as I was typing!!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by