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Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by darkbluespace, Jul 14, 2014.
Sparky is resting finally.... aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! He is worse than a human baby!
This is perfect timing as I am going to set 12+ Serama eggs at the end of the week! I have a Brinsea octagon and have overall been really happy with it. This time I'm keeping the incubator near the heater in my house to help it regulate temps (I'm in upstate NY and it's COLD!) and I'm keeping humidity super high due to the general dryness in my house as well. I've found my Brinsea works perfectly in the Spring but has a little trouble if the surrounding/outside temp is irregular - like in Jan/Feb. I could try and wait but I think you all know why I'm not! I live in an old drafty house and am hoping and planning for a much better hatch than this time last year. I bought some Seramas from Castle a couple winters ago and had a two out of twelve hatch, I think due to issues with heat/humidity. I'd appreciate any tips or tricks that anyone more experienced hatching seramas has!
It seems that a lot of us are in the same boat here, newbies to the "hatching of serama's" world !!! I'm with heyheypaula as far as any tricks or tips to help my babies have a healthy and happy hatch. Although I have mine under a broody and not in an incubator, I know that I still have many questions and concerns! One of which is, just how many eggs can you put under a normal size silkie hen? As many as will fit and not poke out from underneath her? Or is there a magical number that they do better with (as in a better hatch rate)? And is it OK to let her get off the eggs for awhile to get some sun and exercise with her flock (I have her inside my house in a small dog crate), or should I keep her cooped up (pun intended) until the eggs hatch? I felt so sorry for her the other day that once the weather got nice, I took her in her crate and set her up on the patio table for awhile. She seemed to enjoy it! I know it made me feel better anyway...lol !!! But I'm not sure if that's good for the eggs or not. I know that when I let my silkies hatch their own eggs outside in the coop, they stay in the nest for days on end sometimes. I've even gotten in the habit of putting a separate food bowl and water container inside the nesting area right beside her for fear of her dwindling away to nothing before the eggs hatch. Then again, I've also seen it where they get off their nests and scratch around with their flock mates for hours at a time, so I'm kind of in a quandary as to what to do and expect from my broody with these eggs, since they're not hers and all! Oh, and by the way...darkbluespace, I, too, had a couple of clear eggs when I candled them when they first arrived and all but one of the clear(er) ones has since started to develop the features that appear to be an embryo! So it's a good thing I read on here NOT to throw them away immediately or I'd be down another 3 potential chicks already.
Good Luck Everyone !!!
And remember...I'll take all the helpful advice I can get, so don't be shy!
Thanks for the heads up mightymax I had 2 clear ones that looked until fertile when I candled at day 4. I left them in to be sure. I'm going to candle tonight all my eggs. Hope for the best. ; )
Welcome, it sounds like you are well prepared! As far as humidity goes, I am just really trying to keep an eye on air cells and go by their size as different batches of eggs loose moisture at different rates due to shell thickness and porousness. I hope you'll keep us updated and I am super excited for you!!
The best thing about a broody hen is that they regulate the temp and humidity for you and it is usually just right!! Most broody hens get off the nest once a day or so and it is natural and safe and perhaps even helpful for eggs to cool down for a bit Most hens know how long they can stay off their eggs and it certainly is healthier for hens to get up, poop, eat, move around and dust bathe regularly.
As far as eggs go, I bet you could fit quite a lot of Serama eggs under a Silkie I don't usually try to push it as I figure that less eggs will definitely be covered. That is probably more important during the colder months. When my first hen went broody, a large fowl Salmon Faverolle, I was concerned that she might be too big to hatch Serama eggs but she was an amazing mama and was so gentle with her eggs and chicks. I generally think a broody knows best and we can mostly just let them do their thing!
I am so glad you kept your clear eggs! Some of them do just develop more slowly or less visibly than others. Eggs really are so amazing!!
I'm very glad I didn't throw away the two that showed no development when I first candled. I just candled for the second time and in stead of 2 growing embryos I have 3 the 4th one is still clear. I am so happy I didn't throw away the clear looking ones without thinking first.
Thanks for the insight and information, darkbluespace! I really appreciate it !!!
Thanks again and I'll keep you all posted.
Thanks! I just received my eggs this morning - 14 Serama and 21 (!) Silkies! My incubator is going to be so full! I have them all set out, fat end up and I will candle them tonight when I get home from work. Depending on how the air cells look then I will decide how long to let them sit out for. (12-24hrs). Heat packs were included in each shipment so they never got cold which is nice.
Anyone else have any tips or tricks on how to keep temp and humidity raised and constant in the incubator for winter hatches? I actually have my incubator under my computer desk and next to the radiator in my room. I am going to try and find a large cardboard box to place it in, or at least construct a shield like someone kindly posted above to keep drafts away and hopefully help insulate the incubator. I am also going to track air cell development this time which I have never done before.