We just hatched our first chick!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by steve&kris, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. steve&kris

    steve&kris Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
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    So.... We've had egg layers for 3 or 4 years now.... we've done a couple rounds of raising broilers.... we figured we'd start trying to hatch our own chicks. I'm guessing I went into this with less preparation and knowledge than 99% of people -- but as of about 15 minutes ago things worked out.

    I grabbed 7 or 8 eggs one morning a few weeks ago and put them into an incubator my uncle had given me a while ago. After about a week I remebered someone had told me there is supposed to be water/humidity in the incubator.... so I poured a bunch of water in the bottom (not realizing there were drain holes and ruined our dining room table finish). Yesterday, a couple friends were over who were also talking about beginning to hatch chicks, and one of them asked me how long it took to do. I said I wasn't sure but I think it takes about 9 weeks. She said "oh, I thought it was a lot less than that.". Fortunately, that made me think I should research this...

    After reading that it's actually 21 days.... I thought...."that's got to be any time now" (having no real idea of when we started them). I continued to read about humidity levels, cleaning of eggs, weighing to monitor egg weight loss, days of candling, not to rotate after day 18, etc.... to the point I went and told my wife I had really screwed this up and there was no way these chix could possibly hatch. I felt pretty guilty.

    With the hope of a great fluke still possible, we moved the incubator onto our kitchen counter so we could keep a better eye on it. That was yesterday...this morning my wife noticed what we now know is called a "pip". Then not much... I moved the eggs to a hatching incubator. That was 6 or 7 hours ago. Then...we heard peep noises... 20 minutes ago, chick #1 just popped out and seems lively and strong! It looks like #2 is getting close, and we've just noticed a third pip.

    I still feel guilty for being so unprepared... but we're super happy to have our first hatchlings! I'm going to get a WHOLE lot better at this quickly....

    Thanks to all on BYC who have made all this info available for me to procrastinate learning!!
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Jul 17, 2011
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    Wow! That's an amazing story. While I wouldn't recommend your hatching method, sometimes I wonder if folks don't fuss and fiddle too much over their eggs in the incubator. Congrats on your successful hatch!
     
  3. steve&kris

    steve&kris Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
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    Thanks Redsoxs! I also (strongly) recommend others not follow my hatch plan (lack of plan)...but I am happy it's partially working out.

    I also read that I was supposed to have the large end of the eggs up... I didn't do that either. I did read somewhere else (on BYC) that if you store small end up you don't have to rotate them....but maybe that was just for storage until going into the incubator. I'll have to do some more reading on that one...
     
  4. steve&kris

    steve&kris Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    Chick number 2 is out... and REALLY uncoordinated. I'm worried it's going to hurt its little self as much as it's flopping around the hatcher.... But assuming it doesn't, it looks good!

    I've read two different things on BYC about how long I can leave them in the hatcher....

    Chick #1 was out of it's shell about 6pm... Chick #2 at 12:30AM...

    I hate to separate them. Any thoughts on when I should move the two of them to the brooder, or should I separate them in the morning? I worry chick #1 needs water (and food?). I don't know if it's okay to leave it in the hatcher with no water for 24ish hours... or should I put water (and food?) in the hatcher?

    Thanks!
     
  5. steve&kris

    steve&kris Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    One last (I think) question....

    Our incubator/hatcher is on our kitchen counter. It really smells bad.

    so.... We have a second bottom portion of the incubator, so I prepared the other bottom (water, lined with paper towel, wet sponge, thermometer) and quickly (7 second total process) transerred the 2 chx and 3 remaining eggs to the new hatcher. They were back up to 99.5 within 2 minutes.

    I cleaned the other bottom portion, got rid of egg shells and afterbirthy stuff, and immediately later the smell was gone. An hour later its stinky again. No chx poop or anything. Soo... my question is:

    Is that rotten smell the eggs and that is normal, or is an egg (or more) rotting and stinking? I didn't picture hatching chx having this rotten smell to it. If it's not normal, how do I tell which egg(s) are bad to separate them from the rest?

    Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
     
  6. Hillaire

    Hillaire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2017
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    congrats on the hatch... so to answer some questions here (cracks knuckles) chicks are fine without water or food for 24 hours... once they fluff up and aren't wet you can move them to the brooder but if you have other chicks pipped or hatching leave them be they will be fine.... as far as the smell (ew lol) you may have an egg in the incubator that is rotten once the ones that are hatching are out you can candle the eggs to see if there is movement if there is keep the eggs in there to see if they hatch they could be late starters... if no movement remove the eggs.. Also make sure after you're done hatching that you clean out that incubator really well so next time you set eggs it doesn't stink for 21 days and also so that bacteria doesn't cause a failed hatch.
     

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