Staggered hatch: **UPDATE** All finished. Final results on page 5

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gypsy07, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On January 6th I set five eggs. Over the next five days I added three more. On day 7 I candled the original 5 and removed two that were clear. On day 12 I candled the additional 3, and they all looked good. On January 22nd (day 16 for the original 5) I set six more. I've marked them all so I know when they were laid, when they were set, and whether they were washed and/or disinfected or not.

    So right now I've got 3 eggs on day 18, one on day 17, one on day 15, one on day 13 and six on day 2.

    The way my bator is put together, I can't turn some eggs and not others, and I don't trust myself to remember to turn by hand, so I'm going to try hatching in cartons for the first time. So they will (hopefully) move side to side on the turning rails, but the eggs themselves will sit steady.

    I've just put the first eggs into their cartons, and I've included the egg I set on day 2. I had a few low temperature issues early on, so I'm thinking they might hatch a day or so late. The next two eggs I set should be taken off the turner on the 27th and the 29th, but if it all goes according to plan, the first four should be hatching round about then and I really don't want to be opening the bator. So I'm going to keep an eye on things and stop turning them both at the same time, hopefully either before any of the first four pip, or after they hatch, depending on how slowly or quickly they get going.

    If I absolutely have to open the bator for anything, I'll do it as quickly as I can and mist some warm water in when the door's open to keep the humidity up. I know that the raised humidity isn't ideal for the other six eggs that are in the very early stages of their incubation, but it can't be helped. I'm going to aim for 65-70% and see how it goes...

    Is there anything I should be thinking about that I haven't mentioned?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Wow, you're a lot gamer than me! I didn't dare add any more eggs after setting 14 on Jan 9th. My biggest concern I think would be the high humidity early in incubation for the ones added last, since from my understanding, high humidity can cause drowning when they pip internally. Since the last six are only on day 2, I'd be inclined to remove them and wait until the rest have hatched before setting some more. Good luck!
     
  3. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we are almost in the same boat. so intersted to see how your turns out heres mine

    jan 6 11 duck eggs candled on day 7 only 1 not fertile
    jan 7 4 duck eggs only 1 not ferile
    jan 8 3 duck eggs only 1 not fertile
    jan 9 4 duck eggs only 1 not fertile 18 eggs growing

    jan 15 17 amerucana eggs candled on day 7 only 5 not ferile 12 eggs growing

    jan 17 3 cuckoo maran eggs candled on day 6 all fertile 3 eggs growing


    i hand turn all my eggs 3x daily my humdity has been stable at 65

    when i open its drops to 40 the reaches 50 in about 10 mins.

    but it takes 45 to get humdity back up to 65

    you think my humdity is going to be ok for the duck eggs?
     
  4. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i color code my eggs with sharpies and ifo.

    it looks like a rainbow in there.
     
  5. Susan Mc

    Susan Mc Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, you all are brave! We do staggered hatching at the moment too, but we collect the eggs for 5 days before setting them, and we have a separate machine for hatching.
    Just remember that the hen DOES get off the nest occasionally, so you opening the incubator briefly isn't much different. The problem you will have is the humidity difference between incubating and hatching eggs, ideally humidity should go up after internal pipping occurs, which isn't ideal for eggs in the earlier stages of incubation. And if you leave the humidity lower for the incubating eggs, the chicks might get too dry as they try to hatch...
    It's worth tracking down an old still-air incy to use as a hatcher, but I'd still advise setting only every 5-7 days rather than every day. This timing allows you to move the eggs into the hatcher on day 18, hatches them on day 21, and gives you at least one extra day for late chicks before disinfecting the hatcher for the next batch.
    Good luck to you all!
     
  6. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    one of the reasons i did the duck eggs like that is because my first 11 were 5 days old before setting. and i set the other ones because i was trying to perserve the fertilty because my drake got attacked my dog and died other wise i would been more conservative.
     
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah, that was one of my concerns too. I still figured the experiment was worth trying though. If I took all six out now, I'd get no chicks from them. If I leave them in, I might manage to get some. I don't think having them in there will affect the first six in any way, so I'm leaving them in. I gauge moisture loss throughout an incubation by weighing the eggs each time I candle, so I should have a good idea how they're getting on. If they're not losing moisture fast enough, I may remove the water for a few days and do a partial dry hatch. It'll be interesting to see how it goes...
     
  8. Susan Mc

    Susan Mc Out Of The Brooder

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    Aw, sorry to hear that critterranch, makes sense to do the best you can to hatch the eggs from your lost drake. Best of luck.
     
  9. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hi Critter! Wow, you've got loads more than me going on in your bator! I have no experience at all with ducks but I had a look in one of my books for you. I couldn't find an ideal humidity for ducks, but for geese it says 50-55%. It then goes on to say that waterfowl eggs do not need more water than chicken eggs, generally they need less, and that waterfowl eggs should lose 15-16% of their weight through the incubation period. Which won't help you unless you weighed your eggs at the start. Sorry!
     
  10. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah, I did look around for a cheap secondhand still air bator but couldn't find one. I'm planning to upgrade to a Brinsea or an RCom soon and once I do that I can use my current bator as a hatcher. So I didn't want to spend a lot of money on another one right now when I'd probably only use it once or twice... Once I have a second bator I'll definitely follow your advice though, it makes perfect sense. I didn't actually MEAN to add single eggs willy-nilly, it just kinda, um, happened. Overexcitement I guess. Then I came to my senses and saved up six more to add all together.

    One question - if you are constantly running staggered hatches, how often do you shut your bator down to clean it out? I know it's hatching that dirties up a bator way more than just plain incubating, but surely you have to clean them out every so often? Just wondering what your procedure is...
     

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