Staggered hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gypsy07, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'm trying to hatch out eggs from just one of my hens. At the moment she lays approximately four eggs a week. So I collected five eggs and put them in my bator, then two days later another two, and two days later another one. I've got eight eggs in there just now, and I might add some more yet.

    And now I'm wondering about lockdown and hatching. I'm going to have some eggs needing high humidity and no turning at the same time as some eggs still needing to be turned. I could turn off my automatic turner and just turn some of them by hand - but that would be during what should be lockdown, when I shouldn't be opening the bator at all! Not sure what to do now...

    Has anyone done this kind of thing successfully with just one bator? Or should I be trying to find another cheap bator to use as a hatcher? Any and all advice would be most welcome!
     
  2. texaschickmom

    texaschickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lindale, TX
    I plan on doing staggered hatchings, too, since I just have 4 hens. I have a 2nd bator that I will use as a hatcher only. Good luck!
     
  3. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I have this same problem right now. I have two incubators and another on the way but I have eggs that need to go into lockdown almost everyday starting tomorrow. It is my own fault really but I didn't have any choice since I only get an egg now and then from different pens. I'll be interested to see the advice.
     
  4. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can do it but you may notice a lower hatch rate. Yes, turn off the auto turner and turn by hand very quickly, letting out as little humidity as possible. The biggest problem is that the humidity is actually a little too high for the younger eggs and you may get some babies that drown unless you can get at least a few days of much lower humidity to let them dry out a little.
     
  5. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Maybe you could run one of your incubators at a higher humidity and use that one only for lockdown and hatching. If I manage to find a second bator going cheap that's how I'm planning on doing it anyway.
     
  6. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    You could also save up the eggs for a week and then put them in together instead of daily. I have done this in the past and it doesn't seem to effect my hatch rates any. I have held eggs up to two weeks and still hatched them. I date the eggs so I can see who is hatching. I have had eggs two+ weeks old hatch while day olds do nothing. It may save you some hassel. I do also have an incubator for hatching so my staggard hatches aren't effected by the change in humidity.
     
  7. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Quote:Maybe you could run one of your incubators at a higher humidity and use that one only for lockdown and hatching. If I manage to find a second bator going cheap that's how I'm planning on doing it anyway.

    LG forced air from TSC is the most decent cheap incubator for this sort of thing. I think they run about $45. Definately get a forced air though, that way your temps are more consistant.
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well, I wasn't too concerned about that aspect of it because my bator only holds 12 eggs, maybe 14 small ones max! So by the time the 'oldest' eggs have to go into lockdown, the 'youngest' ones will have been incubating for about 10 days already. I'm planning on filling the bator up then seeing that total batch of eggs through their hatch. So I should be starting a fresh hatch maybe every 30-34 days. I'm NOT planning on running the bator continually and adding fresh eggs each time I take out new chicks. If I did that I'd never get a chance to clean and disinfect it, and that's no good.

    I can live with slightly lower hatch rates - I've got all year to hatch out chicks from this hen's eggs and she's laying steadily already so there shouldn't be a problem with supply. I just don't want to be losing too many viable embryos due to stupidity on my part and things I hadn't thought about and could have avoided.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  9. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I did save up 5 at first but I was worried about the eggs getting old (and, um, I suppose I was also too impatient to wait any longer). But from what you're saying the age of the eggs isn't so important. Maybe for my next hatch I'll save up enough to fill the bator in one go. Or maybe I'll put in the first five, then save up some more and put in another five all together. I'm planning to do as many hatches as possible with this hen's eggs so I'm going to experiment a bit and see what gives me the best results.

    I did at least think to mark all the eggs so I know when they were laid and when they were put in the bator, so I'll be able to see which eggs do what. Thanks for your advice!
     
  10. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Quote:Maybe you could run one of your incubators at a higher humidity and use that one only for lockdown and hatching. If I manage to find a second bator going cheap that's how I'm planning on doing it anyway.

    LG forced air from TSC is the most decent cheap incubator for this sort of thing. I think they run about $45. Definately get a forced air though, that way your temps are more consistant.

    Wow! If I could get a bator for THAT price I'd have a second one already! I'm in the UK and the cheapest half decent one I can find that will take a dozen eggs is like £80 new. Think that's over $100. Hmph! I haven't had any luck finding a second hand one either...
     

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