Setting 80 on 9/8, 10/1, 10/24, and probably 11/16

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by NTBugtraq, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    This is a continuation of my other hatching thread; Setting 41 on 6-15, 7-8, 7-31, and 8-23 feel free to join in at any time. You do not need to read that entire thread to join in, but reading the first message might give you something to consider before setting. Lots of good advice in that thread, but the subject line doesn't let people know we are still hatching.

    I've just set 80 eggs, 40 in a Janoel-48, and 40 in a Brinsea Octo 40 ADV EX. This setting my oldest eggs are 9 days old, but 65 are 7 days old or younger. Also, all the eggs kept <65F and were turned while waiting to be incubated. I'm going to use more or less the same variables as my last hatch. I've filled one channel in the Janoel, and RH (relative humidity) is at 72% now (after running it for a few hours). The manual calls for both channels to be filled...sheesh. Its default temperature is 37.9C (100.2F). The Brinsea is set at 37.8C (100F), and 35% RH. I haven't added any water to the Brinsea wells, but its still reading 72% RH atm.

    Last time all eggs were hatched lying flat on their sides. This time, in each bator, I have put half the eggs on their sides again, and the other half are standing up. It will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the hatch rates for the two positions in either bator.

    So, jump on in and let us know what you're hatching, under or in what, how many, and of course lots of pictures when they hatch.
  2. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2015
    Upstate South Carolina
    Just wanted to go ahead and get that out of the way [​IMG]
    I set on 8-2, so I'll post in here. My third batch of BCM in a row, and my last hatch of the season. My first 2 BCM hatches were both 55%, so hopefully this one will go a little better
  3. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Well, not a great day today. We had a thunderstorm last night, a doozy, and I lost 5 of my 4 week olds who were out in the juvenile pen. I found 1 of the 4 alive, but had a bloody leg, one was outside in the run, and the other 4 were inside in a single corner. I believe that there may have been a frenzy as a result of the storm and the bloody one was caught in it...

    Meanwhile, I lost one of my 1 week olds in the brooder...can't say when, it was underneath the feed dish which has always been on the ground. Not sure how that one happened, as I only put food in there before the chicks were put in...Since there are 38 others in there, I can only assume I allowed it to get light enough for the mass to push it onto the poor one. Its such a shame to lose one this way, but I never considered such an event happening.

    Spraggle-leg guy is doing fine; I took the bandaid off a few days ago. He's also the only brown chick in this hatch, and I do like those brown ones.

    On the other hand, I've had disappointing reports from customers of my meat birds. They got processed at 15 weeks 5 days, not ideal, and as I mentioned before they came in at less than ideal weights (1.3kg to 1.9kg) 2 people have reported them tough and stringy. However, a nice "old lady" who bought one told me she cut the breasts and legs off, then put the rest into a stock pot. She said the smell was amazingly good, and her hubby came in and proclaimed the smell to be "awesome!". She hasn't tried the meat yet, but in her opinion the bird is great. After the first report I contacted everyone and told them they were getting their money back (no questions, no refusals) to avoid being labeled. I can't sell 16 week old soup chickens for the price I charged, so I am re-evaluating things in that respect. I plan on taking the next batch to 18 weeks...that batch have been fed grower their entire life after 4 weeks, so they should definitely be larger. The better question is will they still be tough and stringy.

    If anyone has a recipe for testing a chicken's meat, I'd love hearing it. For me it should be something like a broil or roast...and if it turns out good then the meat is good. I mean how can you spoil slow cooking chicken, right? I'm tempted to smoke the one I have left, but then that's not really a good test.

    @scflock , when do you sex your hatchlings? Do you wait till they're 12 weeks, like me, or do you do it sooner? Also, what's your goal with these hatches? Are you going to keep roos?
  4. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Wow, that's rough. Sorry you have lost some but glad to hear the spraddle leg is doing well.

    I bet Walnut will have some good test recipes for your meat.
  5. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2015
    Upstate South Carolina
    I know nothing about meat birds, so I'll only reply to this part. Most of my marans I can guess pretty well by 4-6 weeks. I won't sell them as sexed until I am absolutely certain, which is usually 6-8 weeks. The silkies and Ameraucanas, on the other hand, are tougher. 3 months on the Ams, 4 months or more on the silkies.
    My goal with these hatches is to keep all pullets, and grow all roosters out until next spring. Hopefully I can get a rooster that is closer to SOP than the one I have. If not, I will look at buying an outside rooster for more money. Any roosters grown out over the winter will either be sold or frozen by next march
  6. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    Sorry you lost some growers.

    I have heard that resting the meat after processing is really important. Like WV said, Walnut will probably have good information for you.
  7. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    All birds were rested in a fridge for a minimum of 3 days after processing.
  8. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Day 11 Update:

    Eggs Set​
    Suspected Clear​
    Fertility Rate​
    Early Deaths​
    Oldest Egg​
    Avg Weight Loss​
    Ideal Weight Loss
    8 Days​
    Brinsea Octo ADV EX​
    8 Days​

    The Janoel is really tricky to keep at a constant humidity. I put very little water in, it rises to 70%, and then drops to 35% within a its constantly in need of tending...and as such tends to always run higher than 50% (or wake me in the middle of the night complaining its below 35%). This is again resulting in less weight loss than ideal. So I dropped the low humidity alarm down to 20% and am going to see if I can keep it closer to 35-40% till lockdown and hope I see more ideal numbers at lockdown.

    The Brinsea, otoh, is doing great. I still strongly dislike the metal rails, and wish they were made of plastic to allow some give when removing an egg from between them. I have not broken any so far this time, I have found that if the egg catches on the rail I can usually rotate it to a point where it comes out easily.

    All in all, I'm pleased with the results so far. Increased fertility and no early deaths are good indicators that my weak eggs are a thing of the past.
  9. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2015
    Upstate South Carolina
    Hey NT, just giving you the final numbers on my last hatch. I learned a few things from this hatch, and some you may find interesting. I hatched 15/23 for 65%, so this is my best marans hatch yet, but it could have been better. My original flock of straight run chicks turned out to not be as good as I thought, so I bought some older Davis line laying hens this summer. Those chickens lay colossal eggs, I mean really huge and dark, too.I don't have a scale, but those eggs are so large that a lot of times I can't close a carton around them. This set had the most of those eggs I have had in a set, 13. Every one of those massive eggs hatched. The only non-hatchers I had were from my original chicks which lay smaller eggs, so that points to my earlier failures as being more flock specific. So, I know you have asked how large is too large. From what I have seen, bigger is better, as long as they are normally shaped.
    The other thing I think you might find interesting is that the earliest and easiest hatches were from eggs that were almost vertical at lockdown. Since I locked down 23, the bator was almost full, so a lot of the eggs were hatched vertically. The chicks just punched the ends of the eggs out, then slid out. They hatched so successfully that next time I am going into lockdown with the eggs in cartons, just to see if the vertical position will improve hatch rates
  10. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    That's really interesting. From the sounds of it, you are talking about eggs that are 80g+, as I can close a large carton on eggs smaller than that. Those are HUGE eggs! They are also in the range of double yolkers. About 1/3rd of my eggs are 70g and larger (called Jumbo up here), so I can certainly try a few. I have never put such large eggs into a setting before.

    That is really interesting. I thought the chick had to roll the egg to finish pipping all the way around...obviously not. It does seem to me they would spend more time in the larger portion of the shell this way. That might actually be a good thing as they're less likely to get stepped on when they've first knocked the lid off. I will have to try this in my next setting.

    So it would seem that I actually lost 11 chicks that were between 4 and 5 weeks old during that thunder storm last week, plus 1 that was between 8 and 9 weeks old. I am assuming it was the thunder storm that killed them as nothing got into the run, I am sure of that. Now I am leery about putting chicks out that young, as this is one of those times of year we get T-storms. They are well protected in the run, with it having a shingled roof and all, so I'm not sure what more I could do for them. Any suggestions?

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