The best Incubator EVER

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by iajewel, May 1, 2009.

  1. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I have discovered an incubator that is not as common today as it was in the past. It was used back in the Roman days and probably befor. It requires no electricity, no thermometers. It runs by its self once set up. Set up is easy, takes little time and virtually no money. It is also self cleaning as it rids the area of the hatched and dirty shells shortly after the chicks have hatched. Although hatch rate is commonly 100% it will not hatch out as many eggs as modern incubators. It will however save time, money and afford as it doubles as a brooder and effetely cares for chicks until such time as they can care for them selves. Brooder rate is also around 100%. The space needed is minimal as I said.. it will not hatch out 50, 100 or 1000 eggs, it tops out at 25 and that could be pushing it depending on your model. Although this style of incubator has been in use for thousands of years, strangely enough you will find articles about how to use them and frequently find questions about them on message boards and in poultry magazines. For some reason we as humans are still trying to figure out how to use this self contained incubator and brooder. If you would like to try this ancient method of hatching and brooding.. here are the details for set up.
    Model: Hen
    Brands I have personally found to work best
    Cochin ( any model)
    Partridge (Any model)
    Silkie ( Top of the line, any Model)
    Orpingtons (any model)
    Im sure there are others I have left out, however these I have tried and found to work rather well.
    Set up instructions:
    When a "hen" is still in the egg laying area at night she was in during the day, your "incubation period" has started. Remove that hen and eggs at night into a place that they can have peace for about 30 days. I use cat/small dog carriers. Close them in at night, open this during the day. Supply local food and water. Chances are the "hen" won't need it, however have it there close for her. The further she needs to go for food and water, the better your chances are of her forgetting where she came from.
    Once hatched supply safety, feed and water for 30 days to "hen" and chicks. They don't need much. The less you give the better they will do.
    I have no idea why this method is loosing interest with poultry breeders.. however it is still my method of choice.
    I do run a incubator however my "hen" brand battor always comes though the best. Why I spent 150.00 on a battor with an egg turner etc, the electricity to run it, and then I have to brood the chicks ... well.. I have no idea..
    Honestly I have a pet carrier on my dresser in my bedroom with a broody who hatched 100% right next to the battor that may hatch 80%.. She will go out in the yard tomorrow and a new hen will come into my home, my bedroom so that I can enjoy the one thing a incubator can't give... I can witness the bonding, love and connection of mother and chicks. I can hear her cluck as each new chick hatches, see the chicks interact, and understand all over again why animals touch my heart so dearly. When even a chicken can care for her young in such a way, how can I not be moved? No incubator can remind me of what its all about like a "hen" can.
    My next Bator hatch comes 5 days before I have to leave town. My neighbor will care for the battor and get all the hatch but 4, those will live in my bra so I can have the 4 special chicks with me. My Cuckoo silkies. The "hen" however will do just fine while Im gone and none of her chicks will have to worry about me rolling over in my sleep. [​IMG]
    Its great to be a woman.. thank the Lord for Cross your heart.. as I will be for 4 nights hoping I don't smush the little guys.
    Don't laugh.. but the reason Im stuffing my bra with eggs is because Im going to the city.. yes.. its true.. you can take the chick out of the country.. but you can't take the county out of your bra. [​IMG]
     
  2. allaboutdemchicks

    allaboutdemchicks Chapel Farms

    Sep 13, 2008
    Jemison, AL
    You get a "Amen" from this gal. [​IMG]
     
  3. Rosecomb-Ryan

    Rosecomb-Ryan East Indie Crazed

    Apr 12, 2008
    Sacramento CA
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] lol
     
  4. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    For the record artificial incubation is older than one may think.

    Ancient Egyptian several thousands years ago incubated eggs in big heated chambers, where specially trained slaves tended eggs regulating the temperature.

    How they could tell the temperature difference in the narrow range required by incubation process without measuring instruments, or perhaps they have any?

    Did they use forehead and around eyes area of their bodies to detect temp difference, as this part of human body is the most sensitive to the temp change?
     
  5. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    NorCal
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Leesville, SC
    The Chinese were well known to use artificial incubation, too.

    The interesting thing about the Egyptian hatcherists is they were paid in chicks. They returned 3 chicks out of 4 eggs set, and kept the surplus to raise and sell for themselves.

    This indicates two things:
    1. The Egyptians were very good at breeding.
    One must conclude that they valued flock vigor above all other traits and utilized progeny testing as their guide post.
    2. They were very good at incubation.
    Reliable 75% hatch rates are quite an achievement, even for us.

    They did all this without techno-gadgetry, either. Even more notable is that they are still using their methods.

    At the end of the day, laud the hen, certainly. But let us not forget that her methods can be equaled -and perhaps bettered.

    Human beings - 2
    Chickens - 1
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:Id like to add that the Egyptian hatcherists were trained specialists, and not neccessarily slaves. This was a prized art, after all.
    They did indeed utilize the eyelid - and much experience - to monitor the temps. They would hold the egg to their closed eyelids and so judge whether the temps needed adjusting.

    I've done it myself and it is very interesting.
     
  8. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Id like to add that the Egyptian hatcherists were trained specialists, and not neccessarily slaves. This was a prized art, after all.

    Perhaps I should be more politically correct and not use word "slaves", however the fact that in ancient societies slaves were often skilled artisants and craftsmen.

    In ancient Egypt ruled by Pharoah - god and absolute master of all
    anybody else beside royal family was or could become a slave in the heartbeat at the whim of Pharoah.
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    SC
    I have GOT to get a broody hen- these BR's are not interested!
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:Id like to add that the Egyptian hatcherists were trained specialists, and not neccessarily slaves. This was a prized art, after all.

    Perhaps I should be more politically correct and not use word "slaves", however the fact that in ancient societies slaves were often skilled artisants and craftsmen.

    In ancient Egypt ruled by Pharoah - god and absolute master of all
    anybody else beside royal family was or could become a slave in the heartbeat at the whim of Pharoah.

    Agreed, and your use of the word 'slave' is not offensive. Indeed, as you say, that's the way it was. You were either a Pharoah, subject or slave back then.
    A case can be made that we, ourselves, are only 4 weeks away from anarchy. At the rate things are going, this concept may be tested in our own lifetime.

    As to incubation by the ancient Egyptians, as far as I can recall from my studies on the matter, it was not specifically mentioned that slaves were utilized.
    It was a guild matter, in fact, one that guarded it's secrets carefully.
    Every implication that I can attach to the practice indicates that it was passed from father to son and not entrusted to "slaves."

    How broadly you wish to interpret the term "slave" is up to you, I suppose.
     

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