***SEPTEMBER HATCH-A-LONG come join in***

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenmeadow, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. chickenmeadow

    chickenmeadow Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 14, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    My Coop
    September will be here in 6 days, so, come join in with your hatches due in Sept. There'll be lots of "pippers, rockers wrigglers, wigglers, cheepers, peepers, zippers, lurkers, popping liders, leaping outers & hatchers." It's a good place to share your incubating excitement, hopes for hatches, questions & even to help when others ask questions to make kind & helpful comments about your experiences. All this year, there have been so many adorable pictures of new hatches, some as they've grown, & even some of the parents. We all enjoy your reports about what your hatching from chickens, ducks, phesants, geese, quail, guineas, etc. etc.; heck we even heard about horses & I think there was a goat. We don't even mind if you want to sneak in & show off your puppies, kittens, colts, calves, piglets, fishies, kids or whatever. Who doesn't love the babies, what ever they are!!

    Just know that when you post & share, that you may be making someone elses day better too. I have come to realize that many people even enjoy your posts quitely. But... please don't be shy & go ahead a post a reply, it's fun. Everyone has been so good to each other on this thread every month, since I started it back in January this year on the BYC. So again, come join in on the fun!

    The 'AUGUST HATCH-A-LONG come join in" is still going strong, so check that out too. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=371599&p=1

    find lighting my coops from Sept. 1st to April 1st helpful for good winter laying. My timer is set for 14 hrs. from 6:00am to 8:00pm. I hang in my coop a 40 or 60 watt bulb in one of those utility lights with the hook on one end & a long cord on the other end, with an added plug in timer. We depend on our eggs for the winter & the Faverolles & Orpingtons are known for winter laying. I feed my chickens very well with an assortment of things (listed below in this post); they have been doing well & staying healthy, even with this lighting routine. So, this works for me; but a lot of people just go with natural lighting which is great too.

    We expect to see some more of the heat in September, as we've had in August; it has been pretty hot here in Southern Oregon at 106 so far. The mornings have just started to cool down, which reminds me that Fall will be comming along soon enough. My garden sure is loving the heat, but it's harder on the chickens & all of us. These hotter months sure give us the added challenge to keep the poultry cooled down for their health & for egg laying too. Our high here in Southern Oregon reached 117 degrees once last year, a bit much for our area. So, more shaded areas have been added with tarps, roofs, boards, bushes & trees, misters or whatever when needed. Extra water bowls have been added with daily fresh water. I do sympathize with all of you in other states who have the higher temps in the Summer. I've seen posts with small plastic kids pools out with the adult chickens; although I've never seen mine take a swim, they will occasionally stand in it if low enough. All summer, I'm constantly on a quest to keep melons in the frige for my hubby & I, of course he's caught on by now that the real motive is to give the chickens the ample left on fruit with the rinds. Their favorite is watermelon & really helps keeps them hydrated.

    I've had a few months off from incubating & have been enjoying my adult chickens a lot. I just raise chickens for hobby & eggs. My flock (all bantams) is usually a dozen ............ (hmmmm!). I just took a count yesterday & ooooops, the count is now 16. Well, my story is that I had to keep more than the 2 roosters; because of the new breed that I just had to add; which of course has to have it's own rooster & enough hens to go with it; & furthermore ..................... (you know how the story goes). Apparently, my story was so convincing that my sweet hubby even built me another small coop for my newly added breed; or maybe he was more convinced by the prospect of having those chicks (in the brooder in his pool table room) move outside to a new coop.

    It's so easy to get attached to chickens & their interactions; they're so funny. I'm looking forward to setting eggs in the bator (or if I'm lucky, under a broody hen) this Fall from some of my new layers as their eggs get large enough, to add more Bantam Faverolles to the flock (with a couple of my own hens & roos). This is my year-end goal, along with the new foundation flock of the Bantam Buff Orpingtons that I've been raising up this year.

    Such a wonderful miracle, the hatching process is! So, just try & relax everyone, enjoy the process & let Nature take it's course. Candle only when necessary, open the incubator as little as possible & don't open in "lockdown." I've learned over time that just because I'm curious & want to see what's going on in those eggs, it doesn't help them hatch better & often can hinder them. It all gets easier with experience, researching & good judgement.

    If you're hatching or not, come on & join in for another month's Hatch-A-Long for September, we all enjoy the support! Happy hatching everyone!!

    Here's some info that I've collected for myself that you may find interesting or helpful! This is being posted to share some guidelines. You will find what works best for you & your equipment as you learn from your own hatches. Please continue to search out answers & learn, the search button on the BYC is very helpful (just type in your topic & click Search).

    **I will continue to use "edit" to add more info as it is collected & seems important or interesting.

    *When is day 1 (see #69 & #70) http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/res32-qa.html

    be sure to monitor the incubator temperature the day you set the eggs in the bator & the day you put them into "lockdown." That's when I've noticed more temp fluctuations. Also, I've had better luck at keeping temps even in a room where there is no draft &/or room temp changes.

    *Emergency kit for incubator shut offs due to power outs: Keep a baby food jar filled with water & lid in the incubator ahead of time to hold temps longer, or add a warm one when needed. Clean smooth rock/s in the bator will hold temps longer also. Have some blankets handy to cover the bator to hold themps longer. Use a pocket warmer to warm the bator when getting cold, watch the temp in case it gets too warm.

    *Calibrating your hygrometer (see # & read the calculation correction at the bottom) (see post #241)

    a "water wiggler" with a glass thermometer inside for accuracy, should be the same temperature inside an egg. Maybe try making your own wiggler & getting a non-mercury glass thermometer from the pharmacy? See my thread for comments & DIY wiggler.

    *Sanitize your incubator between uses (I have used Brinsea Incubation Disinfectant, non-bleach, etc. The are a few choices for what to use including after sanitation, drying off in outdoor sunshine.

    “dry incubation” method (Day 1-17 & Day 18 "LOCKDOWN" to Day 21+ hatch day. I start Day 18 in the daytime so I can monitor any temp fluctuations)
    (see post #3) https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=113681&p=3

    Candling, simple, includes description & pictures (see post #6)

    progression (see post #1)

    *Hatchability Problem Analysis, this is not just for problems. (Description of daily embryo development, see Landmarks of Embryonic Development, Durring Incubation, Days 14-18 to understand what leads to Day 18 "lockdown")
    (see pg. 11 - includes section on “Nutritional Deficiencies & Toxicities” in chicks)

    *Air cell

    egg repair with wax (see post #678)

    carton hatching (see example in *My Hatch Progression,........... as seen below.

    *My Hatch Progression, from pip, zip to hatch & done in egg cartons in incubator.(see post #596)

    Still researching info on that! Let me know if you have any ideas!
    I do know that they seem to hatch faster when I'm away or have fallen asleep, ha ha!

    *My Brooder containers; fast & easy to set up, no-build, easy to find materials, & easy to clean. (see post #800)

    *Need to sex your chicks. (hatchery method at 2-4 days old) Watch this:

    *Treatments for Leg Problems in Chickens (& chicks)

    *My Christmas 09 - Incubation of 6 viable eggs (“save the favs”/see pg.70, post #695)

    Christmas 09 - Hatched eggs, 6 chicks (“save the favs”/see pg. 80, post #798)

    use distilled water in my incubator for the water tray & humidity, as I've seen my well water seem to go bad/foul smelling by the end of the 21 days (more possibility of bacteria, had a couple of hatches in the past that did not do well because of it). I also thuroughly sanitize my incubators after each hatch (Brinsea sanitizer, non-bleach, peroxide, some use bleach, etc.).

    MY "DRY INCUBATION" METHOD USED - That was very successful for me, but you will find out what works best for you & with your equipment.
    The purpose of using this method is so chicks don’t grow too large & not be able to turn during pip. Also, so they don’t drown in the excess liquid in the air cell when they pip/break through the inner membrane, before pipping the outer shell; the excess liquid is caused by too high humidity.
    *Days 1 thru 17: Temperature was 99.5 degrees F (this temp is for forced air incubators, measured at the level of the egg using a small thermometer that lays on top of the eggs), Humidity was 40% to 42% (with a couple of drops to no lower than 25% for air cell growth, may not be necessary though). Eggs were propped up at an angle with wide end at top, but most people just lay them down sideways. Turned eggs 3 times a day (on my work days) & 5 times a day (on my weekends); 5 times is better & always turn an uneven # of x's a day.
    *Day 18: "LOCKDOWN" starts. Stop turning eggs (they will position themselves for the air cell, turning eggs can put them out of position), put eggs into cardboard egg carton bottom with hole in each bottom for circulation, the carton keeps the air cell at the top & stops the hatched chicks from knocking around other eggs), keep temp at 99.5 F, bring humidity up to 55% for the durration, & do not open the incubator again until all chicks have hatched (opening it would drop the humidity too much for the other chicks in eggs & they could stick to shells & not get out).

    Be patient, as a few hatchs had some that took 24+ hrs from 1st pip to the last one hatched. I've come to attribute hatches that started on the same day with all eggs, then hatched at different times may have something to do with the breed of chick, hot & cold spots in the incubator (so I move the eggs around a few times in the bator when turning), etc.

    --OTHER INFO-- Things to read/consider to help keep from stressing about incubating. Relax & enjoy the wonder. LOL!
    *Homemade Natural Chicken Dust Bath Recipe (external parasites, such as mites & lice) put 1 part of each of the following in a kitty litter tray & leave out (keep dry) for chickens: wood ash, sand, DE (diatomaceous earth), & road dust (dusty dirt). You can also use STALL DRY in place of the last 2 ingredients, DE & road dust. My chickens love to bathe in this mixture so much that every morning I see the main rooster standing in the tray calling his flock to join him for a bath. (I sprinkle a little STALL DRY or DE only in the bottom of each of my nest boxes too). Food grade DE is the safest for humans & animals, it usually contains only 1% silica. My local livestock feed store carries it in 50# bags, I split that with other people.

    *Natural coop & nest box cleaning & external lice/mite control (See post #903) https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=4057137#p4057137

    your breeding flock for fertility, that's where a healthy egg starts. I have good luck with keeping my flock healthy & fertile by feeding the following daily: Organic chick starter crumbles, Organic layer crumbles, Organic layer pellets in the coop (less waist when locked in at night til morning), Oyster shell, grit, BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds-free feed in shell or ground like I do, very good for fertility), Alfalfa meal (with or without molasses), dried crushed cheyanne peppers (chickens don't have heat receptors, so it doesn't burn their mouth, etc.-helps worm them & adds circulation), Homemade Kiefer (has good digestive bacteria & can help with immune system, like a liquid yogurt, no heating method, just use the starter grains over for each batch-you can find starter packets in a health food store or get the grains online somewhere-got my grains from a friend), mealworms (easy to find at a pet store & easy to grow your own from the starts you buy from a pet store, directions below); grass clippings; garden scraps; & fresh clean water daily (a few days a week, they get ACV (apple cider vinegar) in the water, but not every day). Most mornings, the chickens start their day with a treat of my verson of "chicken mash" which is: Organic chick starter crumbles 18% protein, alfalfa meal, ground BOSS (blk oil sunflower seeds), dried crushed cheyanne peppers, Fertrell Poultry Nutri-Balancer powder, homemade Kiefer & water to moisten (in freezing winter just add the Kiefer, no water-the milk butterfat stops the mix from freezing, but the water freezes here in 20 min.). Whole corn or cracked corn is a great treat (especially in the late afternoon) the corn carbohydrates warm their body up for the night. Watermellon & rinds really help keep the flock hydrated in the summer heat, we got up to a freaky temp of 117 F last year & they weathered well. I don't feed a corn suppliment in the heat, instead barley works great to keep the heat down. Poultry wheat & sprouted poultry wheat is an excellent treat & easy to sprout, just rinse it well every day so it doesn't sour; sprouting adds quantity & nutrition, a good value.

    *Grow your own mealworms: Just keep them in a deep container (5 gal bucket with lid cut, cut large hole in lid & attach screening); keep them in the dark & out of the heat; fill the bucket 1/2 or more with wheat bran; layer the top with a piece of burlap (they'll lay eggs on this), a fresh whole carrot (a good clean food that does not mold easy like apple does), then 2 pieces of brown paper bag or newspaper (for easy worm collection inbetween the 2 papers); add the purchased worms. They will turn into beetles, lay eggs, hatch into worms, grow & start all over again. Wow, do they multiply!! Durring hot days, mist the top with water in a spray bottle. Check often to remove any moldy carrots & sift out bedding when the wheat bran has turned into dusty droppings at the bottom (put the droppings into a new container & watch that hatch into worms also); when the siftings are done hatching, you can just toss that into the garden. It's all very self-sustaining, high protein & inexpensive food source.

    *Good veggies for chickens https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats

    poo identification (graphic pictures, but very informative, droppings tell all about the health of an animal) http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    abbreviations. I'm always wondering just what type of chicken they've abreviated now. (see post #15) https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=42774&p=1
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2010
  2. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I am so happy someone started this thread! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Currently I'm incubating 6 Button Quail eggs that I set in the incubator last Saturday, Due: Thursday, September, 5th.
    I also have 2 chicken eggs in the bator, one is a EE and the other is a silkie mix from my favorite hen of all time, Mrs. Fluffy Puffy! [​IMG]
    I also have a broody hen setting on 12 Lavender Guinea eggs due anytime now. [​IMG]
    Happy Hatching Everyone! [​IMG]
  3. chickenmeadow

    chickenmeadow Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 14, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    My Coop
    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy: Just love your name! Thanks for joining. Happy hatching!
  4. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    Thanks! [​IMG]
    My mom came up with the idea! [​IMG] She named the chicken Mrs. Fluffy Puffy & she also gave me the ideas formy username as well! [​IMG]
    Welcome. [​IMG]
    Are you hatching anything?
  5. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    I have a few eggs that will hopefully hatch firs week of September. [​IMG]
  6. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I am setting a mishmash of eggs today! [​IMG] Getting about 22-24 eggs, putting most in my brinsea and putting a few in the foam incubator until I can weed out the quitters. Last hatch o the year, or winter will set in and I'm not keeping two month old chickens in the house!! [​IMG]
  7. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hadn't heard from you Save the Favs...we were getting worried. Glad to see you back.

    Ok Ok...now, you are NOT going to believe this, but I had 2 Mille Fleur D'Uccle hens hatch out their second batch for the year last week...a total of 7 (snake got some of the eggs a week before hatching)....and I incubated also some cochin and EE eggs and got 7.....sooooooooooo I go into the hen house and guess what....lol..another bantam hen is sitting on 12-13 eggs, and so I mark her down in the book, and I go in yesterday and her sister is on the nest beside her sitting on 6 eggs...I did not take the eggs because the hens were sitting and I did not want to disturb the nest next to them, so the eggs just built up....well I guess the hens said...hmmm that must mean something....
  8. txmel

    txmel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2010
    boerne, tx
    i set 15 ee eggs yesterday at noon. and expect more to arrive next week ( some wheaten marans and serama off ebay ) so it will be a staggered hatch for me. was not how i planned it, bought all the eggs within 15 hours of each other but you all know how that goes. so do serama eggs hatch early? and if so how much early and does that mean i need to quit turning them early or will they be ok if i continue to turn them with the rest? thanks all
  9. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    OK, here's what I got from my local seller. These aren't shipped so I am letting em sit for a bit to get to room temp and I'm setting them today. I told her to give me pretty much anything that was laying well, so I ended up with: Cuckoo Maran (5), Blue Splash Maran (4), BLRW (7), Light Brahma (4), Cochin (1), Blue Orpington (3). Can't fit all these in my brinsea, so the overflow goes in my hovabator until I can candle. IF I can candle - some of these eggs are so dark they look like chocolate eggs (yum!).. [​IMG]
  10. Imagesoart

    Imagesoart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    San Jose
    I am getting some eggs on the 1st. Most likely will let them sit until the 3rd. Three dozen shipped eggs. One dozen Exchequer Leghorns, (always wanted those for lot of white eggs) Some pink and gray eggs, (I got these from the auction here) and a dozen buff Orpington eggs.

    This will be fun!

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