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Story: First incubation trails and errors

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by keaton85, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. keaton85

    keaton85 Out Of The Brooder

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    So another first incubation story just for the beginners out there! (me included)

    I set 24 eggs in my homemade incubator...

    Temp: Tried to set at 99.5 but could not get it to stay steady. So I set it at 100-102 instead. Considering I would want it higher then lower...
    1-18 Humidity: Had it at 70% for the first like 24 hours then got it down to 50% for the next day or two BUT realizing that so many people had issues with to much humidity I set it at about 38% and let it be.
    19-21 Humidity: Set this at 60% and adjusted it to stay that way during each hatch as the humidity would jump!
    Hatch: 14 hatched total, pipped and hatched in about 12 hours each with a early hatch of about 24 hours. They were all perfectly damp but not to much with no odd thing, blood or lumps.
    Losses: I dropped one, had about 4-5 infertile or did not make it far. And the rest turned clear about midway through. None died during hatch!

    The errors: Temp spike to 108 for about half a day, 4 hour drive with incubator in car for transporting, 12 hours left in a basement full of hydrogen gas due to overcharged battery. So yeah, not a bad turn out of the errors that were made.

    I have images and video if interested! Also I will be making an automatic egg turner along with a different design for the incubator as I could not control anything without opening!

    Thanks again for everyones help on here! it was a great experience and could not do it without everyones help!!!
     
  2. fc

    fc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2010
    I feel bad- a chick struggled to get out of the egg, and had a single hole (wife said so while I was at work). Honestly, I don't know if this is the wrong thing to do, but I got home and picked apart the egg. The poor bird suffocated and died in the egg. What I'm doing is removing the egg turner from my styrofoam Hovabator a couple of days before hatch. I lay the eggs down, which naturally means they are on their sides.

    My present thought is that if the bird is really struggling to get out, I will help it break out so it doesn't get too weak. Am I wrong? Humidity- I can't measure it. Why is a lot of humidity bad? I live in SC, so it's a humid state anyway, but not as much indoors. Last week, on my very first hatch, 7:12 eggs hatched. One of those didn't eat or drink, seemed to be tired and weak all the time, and died on the second or third day. I hate losing birds!

    How long should I keep chicks in the brooder?

    Well, suggestions for the newbie are appreciated.
     
  3. keaton85

    keaton85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Too high of humidity and they will drawn once they try to pip. Then to low of humidity and they will stick to the shell and struggle or turn into a little shrink wrapped chick!

    60% for me worked out perfect but it all depends on location from what ive read on here. All my eggs were in a carton with the small end down and the air sace up, they all pipped and then zipped right around after about 12 hours (can take a lot longger).

    I helped one out since he only zipped a little then didnt move for hours, I was in moving things around so I just lifted the shell off but he had a pretty hard time getting up on his feet. I fed a few sips of sugar water just to get a little more energy. I also make each chick drink a little before butting in the brooder.

    brooder: 95 for the first week, then 5 degrees less each week till they hit room temp, I just have a 100W bulb with a dimmer and a temp gauge on the shavings to read the temp. Although the chicks give it away if it's to hot or cold.
     
  4. fc

    fc Out Of The Brooder

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    Are you giving them water with a little dropper? How long should I keep them in the Hovabator? I'm new to this. Actually, I'm not sure if "Pipping" means the first hole in the shell? Thanks for the advice (school of hard knocks).
     
  5. Dixieangeln

    Dixieangeln Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great post! Im a newbie to!![​IMG]
     
  6. keaton85

    keaton85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2010
    I just dunk their beaks in a dish of water real quick then put them into the brooder. I have left the chicks in the incubator for 24 hours and also just took them straight out into the brooder under the heat lamp. I would leave them till they dry off though! Chicks can stay alive for up to three days without food or water due to the yoke..

    Read up on the forums and the how-tos as this stuff is the basic info that you read over on almost every incubation side on the net!
     
  7. Abramas

    Abramas New Egg

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    Read one of your entries. Sounds great. I am brand new to this. I keep reading posts, and the terminology is confusing. What is pipping, candling. I just bought a used Brower 486 at an estate sale. I teach first grade in Michigan and wanted to hatch some chicks in the spring. I thought I would just buy some fertilized eggs, place them in the incubator and let nature take its course. Obviously, I am wrong. Please give me suggestions. I have not a clue where to begin, and my directions are torn and missing the upper right corner on how to get started. I need step by step instructions. If you could help, that would be appreciated. Thanks!! Julie
     
  8. keaton85

    keaton85 Out Of The Brooder

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    There are tons of how-tos out there with more info then you could ever ask for! I would start by googling it and reading up on all the info that is already written down.

    As for the basic:
    temp: 99.5 optimal but 100-102 in my opinion is just as good.
    Humidity: 50% for the first 18 days then 70%-80% for the last three with NO opening during those last lockdown days. I used 35-50% humidity then 60% at the end.
    Pipping: It's when they poke a small hole in the shell, then zip around the outside to open the egg. they will pip then wait 12-48 hours till they zip most times.
    Zip: when they cut around the outside to open the egg, after pipping.\\
    Candling: This is when you shine a light through the egg in order to see it's contents and get an idea if it's good or bad and what stage of development.

    Anyway, just read up on it. So much info on the net that you could read for days but till you do it, it wont mean much!

    take what I have to say with a grain of salt as I have only done it once!
     
  9. CindyG

    CindyG Chillin' With My Peeps

    We all do it our own way, just have to find what works, and of course what works on one hatch may not work on the next. I favor 100 for my temp, and I don't add any water for the first two weeks, after that I get my humidity up between 50 and 60. As the chicks hatch, the humidity will go way up cause they are wet. I have helped chicks out and some have made it, and some have not. Just don't break the egg wide open and yank them out, sometimes just making the first pip a bit bigger is all they need. Shrink wrapped chicks are no fun to deal with, you have to very patiently dampen the membrane and pick it off little at a time. Never if it bleeds.
     
  10. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was delighted to find this thread - against all odds, I have an egg in my never used incubator that pipped today! It's a Brinsea ECO 20 with the autoturner. When I saw the pip, I stopped the turner and quickly added some water to the incubator to bring the humidity up. I had no idea that any of these eggs would hatch so soon - I found a broody + nest outside and put the eggs in the incubator - no idea how long she was on the nest before I found her. I have 4 eggs in there that looked like they might be viable, and one has pipped now.

    My question: Should I remove the dividers in the incubator or leave them?
     

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