Success with Brinsea Octagon!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by scflock, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    I have been reading this forum for a while to get hatching tips, and have waited to post until now. I've been raising a few flocks of purchased day-olds for several years now, but this year I have all the chickens I want, and decided to start hatching from my own flocks to sell. I started cheap, with a still air styrofoam incubator. I thought the worst that could happen was the eggs didn't hatch. After dealing with a 40% hatch rate, crooked toes, splayed legs, etc..., I was very discouraged, and was scared to try again. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a lot of it was user error, but wild temperature fluctuations and my inability to accurately measure humidity made a mess of 7 silkies.
    I read the reviews, researched for 3 months, and finally decided on an Octagon 20 advance. I bought this one so I could add the humidity pump later, if I wanted.
    I set 18 Cuckoo Marans and 6 White crested black Polish on Monday night, Dec. 22.
    What a rock solid little incubator! Temp was always 99.5-99.6. Kept humidity between 40 and 42 for the first 18 days, but I had to fill both reservoirs to maintain this without closing the air vent more than 1/3. I was concerned about maintaining 65% at lockdown, but I read elsewhere on here about wicking with a paper towel. That worked like a champ!
    I candled on day 18, and 22 of 24 were developed. I locked down the 22 (17 Marans and 5 Polish) on Friday night. First pip was Sunday at 2:00PM. First hatch was Monday morning at 8. As of 6:30 this morning, twelve have hatched, and the other ten look to be on their way. I removed all of the fluffy ones this morning, and I have 9 Marans and 3 Polish, and they are all very healthy looking and alert. Hopefully most of the others will hatch by the time I get home from work. I will be ecstatic with 80%, but I think the Brinsea is going to top that. Thank you to this forum for the helpful tips, and consider this yet another glowing review of the Brinsea incubators
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    That's great! Congrats on the hatchers. I do pretty good with my styro bator. I had 13/16 hatch last hatch so I can't complain. But the Brinseas have an awesome reputation around here. Even though I don't own one when someone asks I point out that they are the highest recommended if you can afford them...lol. One day I will join the brinsea elite...lol

    I had a acouple polish mixes hatch from my last hatch, I love them. Unfortunetly one was a roo, and he'll be going to my sister (who raises chickens as well,) as I already have two coop roos. they have awesome personalities though and I love the fluffy heads! My pullet is polish/silkie mix. Lovely bird.
     
  3. northernchic

    northernchic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you describe how you used the paper towel? I am on lockdown and struggling to keep my humidity up! I'm on day 19 and need to fix this asap!
     
  4. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    If its only day 19, its not too late to lift out the tray. The Brinsea stabilizes quickly. Lift out the tray, then put a full paper towel under it, letting it settle into the wells. It will wick the water all over the paper towel and give you much more surface area for humidity. Mine went from 45% to 65% in ten minutes, and I was able to maintain 65-67% easily with the vent half open. Once the hatch started, it climbed to 75% with the added moisture of the wet chicks. On day 21, I also opened the air vent fully, pushed a straw down between the eggs, and added water with a medicine dropper to top off the water without removing the lid. It's very easy, and really works
     
  5. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sure that a lot of the failure with the styrofoam was me. I work long hours, and couldn't monitor it as closely as I would have liked. I also never bought a hygrometer. Looking back, I think maybe my humidity was too high during the first 18 days, but I would see temps from 97-101 with a thermometer at egg level. I bought the Brinsea because it sounded pretty much idiot proof, and it was. I am very, very pleased with it. I will be setting another batch on Friday so my next hatch will be on a weekend. I was just so excited when I got the incubator that I had to set them that day
     
  6. northernchic

    northernchic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you and congrats on your hatch!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  7. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Congratulations scflock on your hatch. So pleased for you that the Brinsea has worked well. I'm one of those that would always reccomend them. I would also reccomend the pump I have one on my advance and it takes even more worry out of incubating. Good luck with your new chicks especially the polish I have a soft spot for them such endearing little birds.

    Happy hatching and welcome to the flock :frow
     
  8. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    I will probably add the pump one day. I think with the pump you could set the eggs and walk away. The Brinsea is just so stable.
    I love my Polish. They were mail order chicks last year, along with the Marans. This is my first batch of home hatched chicks. My silkies have been setting for a few years, but I was at the mercy of when they decided to go broody. The cutes thing in the world is a freshly fluffed Polish[​IMG]
     
  9. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    I have 14 polish set in my incubator now on day 8. These are a test batch from my two polish groups that I hatched last year. Its quite the unknown as they are mixed colour flocks and the birds are quite young but all 14 are fertile and showing good vein growth so fingers crossed :fl I just couldn't stop myself had to know what they are going to be like.
     
  10. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    I looked at your albums, you have beautiful Polish! Golden laced? I love mine. I live in the southern US, so you don't see many of them around here. I guess I will find out when I try to sell them if that's a good thing or a bad thing. The Marans are some of the best layers I have ever had, and one of them has already gone broody and hatched 8. That's when I knew it was time to get the Brinsea.
    How do you like the Eco-glow? I'm still using heat lamps. I want to try an Eco-glow, but I read that it is important to keep it low enough that they can touch it. Is that easier than it sounds?
     

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