To let brood or incubate...that is the Q..WORDY :/

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SoCalChicky, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. SoCalChicky

    SoCalChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    Soo... Some **** stray dog or cat climbed my 6 ft fence and killed 7 of my free ranging flock..3 of them were my Roos :( I happen to have two broodies...own of whom was moved to the Chicken tractor 2 days before the attack and her and her 4 chicks are fine (although one was frantic and out..snuck under the side in a panic??..which alerted me to the attack in the first place)..anyway I'm devastated. Soo I have another broody who hatched out 4 chicks this am. They were getting active and my coop is 3 feet off the ground so I moved all but one to the tractor without mom. My other broody took them right in and they're doing great (adoption is beautiful :)

    Here's my Q: my cooped broody is setting on 10+ eggs. I have a borrowed bator and want to hatch the other 20 or so valuable last fertile eggs on my counter. I have no experience incubating so all help is much appreciated! Should I take the remaining 10+ less valuable eggs (mutt babies, sorry) and incubate them for the last couple days (since I'm betting broody will ditch them tomorrow with her 2 day old chick) or forget about them and incubate the 20+ more valuable eggs (Marans and barnavelder) on the counter? Should I overlap the last couple days or will I screw up the humidity/temp too much for the new eggs when I open the bator to get the hatched ones out? The bator is a hovabator 1602NV if that helps. TYIA!
     
  2. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Earth
    Quote: She will ditch, can you give her chick to the other broody mama? I would try and keep her on if at all possible, way better than an incubator! How far along are they?


    Quote: I would set the 20+ counter eggs in the incubator and let the mother hen finish the 10 if possible :)


    Quote: once the eggs start pipping, you will want to jack up the humidity to 55-65% - so if you have eggs that are earlier in their incubation process, that could potentially kill them. humidity for day 1-18 is 25-45%. you would need a separate hatcher and incubator to do this properly.

    I also recommend using multiple thermometers and multiple hygrometers so you can be sure of accuracy before you set. I run my incubator for a few days up to 1 week with 4 or 5 different devices in it so I can make sure everything is steady.

    then, select the 1 hygro/therm you trust, and use it in the incubator the entire hatch. do NOT rely on the therm/hygrom on the incubator itself!!!


    I also highly recommend reading the 2 links in my signature for really good information about incubating and hatching :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  3. SoCalChicky

    SoCalChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
    N San Diego
    Hmmmm that's what I was afraid of!!! I knew the change in humidity was important but didn't realize it was that detrimental to starting eggs!!

    The eggs under the broody have a couple days left. I took all her Chicks and gave them to the other broody and the first broody panicked and I think smashed an almost hatched egg :( so I gave her back one chick (since it was newly hatched and had trouble keeping up with the older chicks anyway). She was contented and sat back down on her eggs and chick. Thinking I'll take that chick tomorrow if newer chicks hatch that can distract her?

    Anyway I have my incubator Q answered so TY so much! I'm worried with a cheaper piece of equipment but I'm grateful I was able to borrow anything. Will say lots of prayers and use many thermometers, I promise! Can probably also get hubby's moisture meter for drywall damage so that would be super accurate! I had no idea it was such an issue! Thank u sooooo much for your input and yes I'll read your links!
     
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Earth
    Ok, if it is causing her stress to remove the baby, you could do it at night when she is sleeping and keep it dark. Get the baby away from her out of hearing range or she will leave the nest.... it sounds mean, but remember she will have 10 more very soon :)

    My broody stayed on for an extra 2 days, but once the chicks start coming out from under her and walking around, she will favor caring for the living ones over the unhatched :(

    I use styrofoam incubators too, nothing wrong with it! just know that their gauges never EVER work... mine reads about 92F when it is actually 99 so imagine if I turned it up!! Good luck, all the best to you!
     
  5. SoCalChicky

    SoCalChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    I went to lock up after dark and the chick is somewhere under all that fluff. And mom is eyeing me...I'll go out one more time and see if i can sneak it out, and if not ill wait until tomorrow, and if more hatch I'll steal the older one. Thanks for the reassurance...I had horrible luck with my fertile eggs last year (used this bator with my eggs in my sons kinder class) but I think it was partially the humidity issue and a lot of the kids opening it too much :/
     
  6. SoCalChicky

    SoCalChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    *The humidity issue bc I put my purchased eggs in there 5 days after the classes eggs...so your humidity explaination makes soooo much sense now!!
     
  7. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Earth
    each hatch is a learning experience :) I always come away from a hatch with a list of things I want to do differently next time, lol.

    The humidity could have played a big role last time, its hard to say.. if the humidity is too high, they don't evaporate enough, and that is a common cause of death. the dry incubation method is much better. The eggs basically create their own humidity through evaporation!

    if the kids were opening it a lot, that would lower the temperature and it might make them take longer to hatch, theoretically? but i don't think it would be THAT big of an issue. One thing I plan to do next time is daily cooling, where I take the lid off for 10-15mins at a time just as a mother hen would get up to do. If they were handling and moving the eggs a lot, that could impact it too, but how else are kids going to learn?? ;)
     
  8. SoCalChicky

    SoCalChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
    N San Diego
    I heard it takes an incubator 6 hours to get to optimal temp and humidity after taking the lid off. So you plan to do that just as nature does..does a broody get the temp back to normal quicker or is my info incorrect? I have to manually turn so this batch I'll count those 5 minute turns as breathing time. It's really incredible how we're mimicking nature..but even with a hen leaving to potty and eat for an hour and not manually turning her eggs twice a day she still does it better. Just how it was intended!
     
  9. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Earth
    Every incubator is different, mine doesn't take 6 hours to get back to temperature that's crazy... It takes about 5 minutes.

    I like to run my incubator for 3-7 days before I set eggs, so if you choose to do that, you can experiment with taking the lid off and time it to see how long it takes to get back up to temp. If you have a really big cabinet incubator, I could see it being an issue, but not with a small styro bator...

    make sure you have a couple hygrometers in there, I never trust just 1. I use a digital hygrometer and it updates the humidity very quickly: http://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-613-Indoor-Humidity-Monitor/dp/B0013BKDO8

    and yes.. there is no substitute for a mama hen!! we can not do it as good as she can, even in perfect conditions :)
     
  10. kmollyhughes

    kmollyhughes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You never know what broody will do! I gave a broody silkie a chick I saved from a homicidal mama that was killing her chicks as they hatched. The silkie sat for a WEEK while having that baby. I just put the food and water right in the nest with them so she didn't see a reason to leave. She's now raising all 5 chicks together. [​IMG] Might as well try!
     

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