Staggered Hatching in Same Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Brandi9, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. Brandi9

    Brandi9 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 21, 2014
    On February 3rd I placed 15 fertile eggs I had shipped to me, underneath my broody Australorp hen. Then I received 48 more fertile eggs that I put in my forced air incubator on the 8th (I am hand-turning). The hen sat devotedly on her 15 eggs until a couple days ago, at which time I took the eggs and had to stack them on top the other eggs in the incubator. Since the hatches should be 5 days apart, what do I do about lock down? Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone can provide!

  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    That's a hard one. With that many eggs in there, the best thing, and maybe the only way to get a good hatch...would be to find someone to borrow another incubator from. [​IMG]
  3. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    Try to keep the humidity low until the first batch goes to lockdown, then up the humidity. After the hatch is complete, remove the chicks. shells and failed hatches. Repeat for the second batch.
    1 person likes this.
  4. dorpersheep

    dorpersheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2014
    I've just had a situation where some eggs in the incubator started to hatch of their own accord 5,6,7 days early. (Obviously sat on for a few days before I was given them.)
    Those eggs never got raised humidity, lockdown, or even removed from auto turning rockers! And all hatched quite happily, I was not sure which one was going to do what next, so I just left them there until lockdown for the majority was due, then into the hatcher they all went at higher humidity and laid out ready to hatch.

    Ended up with 100% of fertile eggs hatch, only 2 empties and 2 very early quitters in the batch, so the treatment didn't do any harm.

    I would put all your first hatchers onto the bottom layer, in one corner of the incubator, so they minimise how much gunk they spread over the later eggs.
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  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Since your eggs are stacked in the incubator, I'd be worried about them falling to the floor when the first batch starts to hatch. I've done staggered hatches in the same incubator, with pretty good results, but I've never had so many in there that they had to be stacked on top of each other.
    I would look for a second bator to use as a hatcher.
  6. Brandi9

    Brandi9 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 21, 2014
  7. KittieChick

    KittieChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2014
    Wake Forest, NC
    I'm receiving an Incuview incubator this week and am planning to set eggs, my first time! This coincides with my EE cock going to a new harem this weekend. I really like this rooster, and have planned to collect eggs from the 4 hens to contribute his breeding to the laying flock.

    My understanding is that I can do staggered hatches. I don't have a cabinet, so no way to isolate the first batch from the subsequent batches. I'll only have about 6-12 eggs each week.

    So, I'm collecting eggs this week, from the 16th. The incubator comes on Friday, I'll set it up and make sure it's operational. I foresee at least 2 staggered hatches, perhaps 3 if I participTe in the Easter hatch along.

    Is there a written process for achieving success doing this, or do I need to use my local hatchery's incubator?

    Thank you!
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    The way I figure it you have a lockdown going into effect on Feb 22 and again on Feb 26.
    You don't have turning racks so that alleviates the biggest problem, having operational racks in there squishing the chicks when they hatch.
    So make lockdown on the 24th. Stopping egg turning or raising the humidity 2 days early / late isn't going to have any effect on the hatch.
    Your biggest problem is going to be removing the hatched chicks. Considering most hatches have a few eggs that hatch several days earlier & later than the rest you might have chicks hatching for 5 or 6 days, so to prevent loss of moisture when you open the bator to remove chicks you need to do it quickly and not while any eggs are piping.
  9. Brandi9

    Brandi9 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 21, 2014
    Thanks for all your suggestions, took them all into account. My first batch hatched over the past 2 days...I got a good hatch rate on those, all things considered. The other eggs are "due" tomorrow, so...we shall see!
  10. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2014
    Spokane, WA
    That is awesome! I can't wait to hear how it goes.....[​IMG]

    I'm doing a staggered hatch, but I have a second incubator for hatching. I just bought it, it will be my first attempt at using a second incubator and at attemting a staggered hatch.

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