Staggered by 4 days---HATCH UPDATE & Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JayDe, May 2, 2010.

  1. JayDe

    JayDe Songster

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    Lithia, FL
    My BO rooster was killed by a fox on April 16th and we set some eggs from our girls (a Buff Orpington and an EE). We set most of them on the 16th, but my husband continued until the 19th putting eggs in without my knowledge.

    We are now on day 16, 15, 14 and 13. I'm using a hovabator with an egg turner. My questions are:

    1. how to handle the egg turner? Do I just take it out and stop turning on Day 18 for the 1st set? I've read you can stop turning on day
    14 and they'll all be there.... is this true?

    2. What do I do about humidity? Can I raise it on the 1st day 18 which is the majority of my eggs or will that drown the ones that are a
    couple of days behind? What if I raise it to the lower end of desired range, like maybe 60% on day 18 then a little more on day 19 for the first group?

    3. Do I need to seperate them by age once I get to day 18 so that the eggs hatching are away from the ones that haven't pipped yet?

    4. When they get out I wait until they are dry...what if some are dry before day 21 for the others, I just take them out and hope for the best, right?

    Thanks for any advice! I tried searching but most information is based on staggering further apart.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  2. panner123

    panner123 Songster

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    I would go on lockdown as normal on day 18 for the first group. Just move the bator enough to roll all the eggs until the first chick hatches. That chick will do the turning for you from then on. The humidity is going to be a small problem, but you need to keep it high enough so the chicks don't shrink rap. The other will be close enough that they shouldn't be affected. Don't open the bator until the last chick is dry. The bator is going to be a mess, but that is the cost of a staggered hatch.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I know you want all eggs to hatch, but if you can force yourself to think that you set all you wanted to with the first batch and all the others are just a bonus, you might get the best results. I don't know how many eggs you have in the main setting versus the later eggs. I'd be tempted to treat the first eggs most gingerly and take more chances with the later eggs. Not that you totally write off the later eggs, just that you try to take less chances with the first eggs.

    1. how to handle the egg turner?


    Can you take individual trays out of the egg turner and leave only one tray or two in with the later eggs? Let it run for a couple of days more, then unplug it. I'd expect the later eggs to have a better chance of hatching in the turner than if you stop turning them that early. It is not an ideal situation for you to start with, but may be a reasonable choice do do the least amount of harm.

    2. What do I do about humidity?

    A real good question. Once chicks start to hatch, humidity is going to jump way up anyway. I think I'd shoot for normal humidity for the first eggs. I would not try to fine tune it too closely. The later chicks may or may not have problems doing this, but I would not put the first ones in jeopardy.

    3. Do I need to seperate them by age once I get to day 18 so that the eggs hatching are away from the ones that haven't pipped yet?

    No. Once they hatch, the chicks will run all over the place and mix the eggs up. Unless you put up a physical barrier, it will not do you any good to try to separate them.

    4. When they get out I wait until they are dry...what if some are dry before day 21 for the others, I just take them out and hope for the best, right?

    Chicks can go about three days without food or water. That is why they can be shipped in the mail. I'd suggest waiting about 48 to 60 hours after the first ones have hatched to take them out. When you open it up, take out any of the dry ones and take the rest of the eggs out of the turner and take the turner out. Have a spray bottle with warm water in it and mist the remaining eggs, them lock them up again and wait.

    Good luck!
     
  4. JayDe

    JayDe Songster

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    Lithia, FL
    RidgeRunner, thanks for the specific responses. I forwarded to my husband. I hope it'll go well! I'm really nervous.

    1. how to handle the egg turner?

    Can you take individual trays out of the egg turner and leave only one tray or two in with the later eggs? Let it run for a couple of days more, then unplug it. I'd expect the later eggs to have a better chance of hatching in the turner than if you stop turning them that early. It is not an ideal situation for you to start with, but may be a reasonable choice do do the least amount of harm.


    I think I can take each row of trays out seperately, so I could take out most of them and leave one row with the later eggs. If I then don't take out the rest, only unplug it, can't the egg turner injure the babies? I just imagine little legs getting caught between the trays.

    If people say its safe, I'll try it like that. Thanks for the info!

    Any other advice is welcomed! Even if it's just to agree so that I feel comfortable!
     
  5. kid-n-chickens

    kid-n-chickens Chirping

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Well I had a batch of eggs that the turner got unplugged somewhere around day 14 and then put into lock down, they hatched a little early like day 19 but other than that it was a good hatch. I would go ahead and remove them all from the turner and put them in the bator on lock down with a low 60 humidity, with dry sponges to where you can add water to raise the humidity later if needed, but once the chicks start hatching the humidity will raise. I have been hatching since February sometimes every 3 days and have learned that it does not have to be perfect to get good hatches, guess nature isnt either, I think as long as you are somewhere close you will be alright.

    As far as getting out the hatched chicks, I always wait until all the chicks that are pipped have hatched at this time the humidity will be a higher as well. I remove a window slip my hand in and pull them out trying to do it very quickly. but they are right the hatched chicks will be alright for up to three days with out anything b/c the yolk provides all nutrients they need for the first 3 days.
     
  6. JayDe

    JayDe Songster

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    Yay! They hatched yesterday. The first one pipped Thursday at 9pm (day 20). The first one zipped at about 8am on day 21. All day yesterday they hatched one after another. I, of course, was at work. I saw the last one hatch last night around 8pm. There are two eggs left that were 3 days behind the others. Some that hatched should have been only on day 18.


    I have one chick with a piece of shell-about a cm squared- right on its butt (can't tell if its over the vent or below it) with some gooey stuff underneath... They are still in the bator, but will take them out today and put them in a brooder tank. What can I do about the stuck piece of shell? Is it that he didn't finish developing? A couple of the early ones are really small looking compared to the others.

    Thanks for any advice you can give! And thanks to all who replied before, your advice paid off with 9 little fluffy butts (so far!)
     

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