The Hatch That BYC Built (aka Frieda vs. the Brinsea!) (Warning--pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AmyPaperlady, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. When I first got chickens, here in my not-zoned-for-roosters neighborhood, I was only going to get fully-feathered pullets when I needed to add to my flock. I didn't want to deal with a heat lamp outside, and I certainly wasn't going to ever brood indoors. If I happened to get a broody hen, I'd get her eggs, but I most certainly was not going to ever incubate eggs myself.

    Quiet at the back, there[​IMG]

    Fast forward two years... I do, indeed, have a reliable broody in my flock. Frieda went broody for the first time early last fall. I was able to get 4 barnyard mix eggs from a local, nonBYC friend, one of which got broken during a nest box tussle (no longer an issue--no one messes with Frieda when she's broody, even if she's in "the best" nest box). The other three hatched out nice and healthy. They also all hatched out cockerels, as it turned out. Frieda mothered them for 12 weeks. I don't know how long she would've continued to mother them--it was getting close to Christmas, we were going to be out of town for a week and a half, and I didn't want the animal sitters to have to deal with it if the boys started crowing, so I sold them to the feedstore. Frieda went broody again in February. It took about a month to get her eggs this time, because I'd arranged in advance for some eggs for when she went broody again, and the hens in question decided to take a break right when we needed the eggs. The eggs did finally arrive, well packed, but the box was jammed sideways into my mailbox. This last straw detached over half of the air cells, and the rest were loose, as well as a couple of eggs being broken. This experience taught me to have eggs delivered to our PO box instead, to at least spare that last part of the trip. By the time Frieda had been sitting for 5 weeks, she was done. Unfortunately, the eggs were only on day 10 or 11... By the time I managed to borrow an incubator, get it stabilized, and get the eggs in, the eggs had been cold for over 40 hours. I recalculated the hatch date by adding 2 days to the end, and hoped for the best. 3 days after the recalculated hatch date, I water candled, and nada. Since my daughters (OK, and myself) were rather disappointed, I picked up some chicks at the feedstore, since I now knew about heating pad brooders. I had thought ahead and gotten red sex links and barred rocks, 2 of each, to sell once they were fully feathered (and yes, I did sell them). They spent a couple of weeks in a bin in the house, then they and the heating pad were moved out to a pen inside the coop. This was in April. Having peeping chicks in the coop must've triggered hormone production, because a couple weeks later, Frieda was sleeping in the nest box again. This time, I ordered some eggs from eBay after trying to find eggs of something I wanted locally. These eggs also ended up not hatching. Frieda stuck with this clutch, though, so I got her some EE chicks at the feedstore the day they arrived. This was July 11, my older daughter's birthday (getting chicks is a great thing to add to the list of "stuff to do to keep the guest of honor for a surprise party busy", just FYI[​IMG]) Frieda decided she was done with those pullets at about 7 or 8 weeks, and started laying (when she's not broody, she gives me 5-6 eggs a week). She went broody again last week...

    Now, in and amongst all that, starting with the abandoned clutch, I started following some threads here in the incubating forum, and have made some friends there. One had found a group of incubators on CL, and was only going to be keeping one of them, so I bought a Brinsea Octagon 10 from her (not a typo--the Octagon 10 is discontinued now). Walnut sent it to me, and it arrived safely. Meanwhile, a half-joking comment led to Ravyn and I agreeing to swap eggs for home canned goods the next time Frieda went broody--I was going to incubate the eggs and then pass the chicks to Frieda, to get around the fact that hens just won't not turn shipped eggs for a few days. While we were waiting, I finally got around to ordering a hygrometer off of Amazon, along with some books. Since there was no hurry, I did the good, old-fashioned, slow, order-$35-worth-of-qualified-things-and-get-free-shipping deal--my daughter had gotten a $20 Amazon gift card, so I justified the hygrometer as part of the necessary purchases to bring the total up to free shipping[​IMG] The day after I placed the order is when Frieda went broody[​IMG] So now we were waiting on slow shipping to arrive before the eggs were sent. Everything got here on the very last day of the shipping estimate, of course.

    Yesterday, finally, the eggs arrived! Enough eggs for both the incubator and Frieda (the rest of this post is copied from my posts in the "She said/he said" thread and the "Chickens in ya window" thread, so feel free to ignore if you've seen them already--new pics and commentary will be in my next post).

    Now for unpacking pics...

    One corner got banged a bit, but you'd never know it from the inside. The egg from that corner had a wobbly aircell, but that's the extent of the damage. The other couple of loose aircells may have been near it--I only took note of the one exactly in the corner.

    Nice and tightly packed, big end up and marked with date and breed (though if I can't tell Marans and Sulmtaler eggs apart... [​IMG] )

    2 strips of bubble wrap at 90 degrees from each other. I untaped the first one, then realized that I could carefully slide the eggs out, which was much easier, with less chance of the egg taking a fast half foot trip...

    Layer of shavings and bubble wrap on the bottom as well as the top.

    Reinforced single box.

    Eggs for the incubator and for Frieda! I'll divide them tomorrow after the post-rest candle. Maybe I'll even be able to see the aircells in the ones Ravyn gathered last [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    [​IMG][​IMG] Never going to incubate!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG]
  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Nice. I'm curious to see Frieda vs. Brinsea!!
  4. kwhites634

    kwhites634 Slow hands & an easy touch

    Love the backstory Now back to lurk mode.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  5. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    Just popping on to mark my place - hoping for a great hatch!
  6. I probably could've let the eggs rest a few hours longer, but I wanted to give eggs to Frieda and to the Brinsea at the same time--and I didn't want to juggle eggs and a flashlight!

    The Brinsea is on a built-in bookshelf in the living room, protected from breezes and direct sunlight, and also on the opposite end of the house from the dehumidifier.

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  7. Darn phone! Anyway...

    Empty tray. Going to be interesting raising humidity for lock down.

    Fit 11 eggs into the Octagon 10. I'll be rotating the eggs 90 degrees each day as well as turning the incubator, probably. I can use Ravyn's markings to help keep track. If I change my mind about rotating, at least everything is facing the same way.

    These are the eggs I gave to Frieda. Since she won't not turn them, I tried to give her the eggs with the most solid aircells.

    I've given her 8 before, and thought maybe 9 was too many...


    The full Brinsea.

    Eggs were set Sunday, October 18 at 3pm. Day 18 will be Thursday, November 5. Hatch date should be Sunday, November 8.
    2 people like this.
  8. kwhites634

    kwhites634 Slow hands & an easy touch

    What's the bedding Frieda's on? Looks like shredded newspaper.

    I saw a post on another thread this evening where someone said they put 2 dozen under their hen, so Frieda should be able to handle her 9 just fine.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  9. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 9, 2015
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Looking forward to following your hatch!! Wishing you & Frieda (& the brinsea) the best!!
  10. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    You know I gotta follow this... :D

    Funny, you said 18 is all that would fit but I sent 20 in case of breakage... none break but you STILL manage to make all 20 fit... :gig
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
    1 person likes this.

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