What are the odds that my eggs will hatch...??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Cranman, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Cranman

    Cranman In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    Sanford NC
    Last weekend I was picking out chicks on McMurray Hatchery's website. I picked out 2 hens each of 5 different breeds that looked pretty cool. I proceed to checkout...guess what you have to order at least 25...dang I don't really want 25. So I start looking on craigslist for chicks and someone is selling hatching eggs. Hmmm maybe I will buy a incubator. Research incubators a little, come accross plans for home made incubators. Hey I can make one of those! Find a nice wood box with hinged lid. Sunday head to Lowes, pick up a thermostat, thermometer/humidity meter and some 25W light bulbs. Have the rest of the odds and ends at home. Sunday evening assemble the incubator, hey this thing works pretty good. End up with a 40w bulb on all the time, 25w bulb controlled by t-stat, computer fan with 12v power supply keeps air flowing and eliminates hot spots. Small bowl of water for humidity. By evening temps seem to hold between 99 and 102.

    Since I have 6 hens and a rooster, who needs to buy hatching eggs? Not me, duh! Why has this never dawned on me before! So 1st egg goes in on Sunday evening 1/2/11. Oh no, in the morning the 'bater has gotten to 108! Time to adjust t-stat. So over the next 5 days I add 8 more eggs, usually 2 a day. Turn twice a day, add water, temps seem pretty stable between 99 and 104 but humidity is usually around 40-45%

    So that brings me to my question finally [​IMG]

    Shouldn't some of these eggs hatch? I know that seems like a silly question, but it almost seems like majic or something. I mean the eggs are in a wood box (for got to mention I did put a plexiglass window in it) with a couple of light bulbs and a fan, and one day chicks are going to bust out of the shells?

    I did forget to mention the hens and rooster are all about 9 months old. They have been laying for about 3 months.

    So what are the odds that these eggs hatch?
  2. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    I'd worry more about what happens when they start hatching over 5 to 6 days and you can't really put them in lockdown to raise humidity and some may still hatch while you are trying to remove others..and ... and... well... the best laid plans ( and eggs) of mice and men oftimes go astray.
  3. Jess N Jeff

    Jess N Jeff Songster

    Oct 25, 2009
    South San Diego, Cali
    Congrats on making your own bator...don't get down if it doesn't work the first time. Mine didn't, but it eventually worked great.

    As far as if they will hatch...you never know...I have had batches that had PERFECT conditions and nothing hatched. Then there were batches that should have been cooked, but everything hatched. Its a wait and see situation. The best of luck to you!!!!!
  4. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    It could work.. Fertility in males starts at about 5-6 months, so by 9 months, he should be "good to go" so to speak. Also your new hens should be through their "trial egg" period and be onto hatching good babies. About your bator though.. Temp swings of 5 degrees (99-104) is not ideal for hatching eggs. If the temp gets over 105 degrees, it will kill the embryos and those eggs wont hatch, so watch out for that. Try to keep it as consistent as possible, or you will have limited (poor) results..
  5. Cranman

    Cranman In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    Sanford NC
    Yeah someone advised me earlier to hold eggs to have more in each batch, but of course I am so eager to get going I stuck freshly laid eggs in each day. Is lockdown that crucial that I can't open it to take chicks out while the other eggs still have a few days to go? I will have to open it anyways to add water. I guess the good thing is to work out the logistics now and get a system before I get any better eggs. Thanks for the .02 though, point taken!
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Lockdown is the period of time at the end of the hatching cycle during which the humidity is raised and you don't open the incubator ESPECIALLY if there are any "pipped" or "zipping" eggs. Not unless your 'bator recovers humidity and temperature really, really quickly. Otherwise, the inner membrane will dry out and trap the chick in the egg. This is called "shrink-wrapping" the chick. Sudden drops in temperature which take time to return to 99.5 can kill a hatchling.

    Most folks who run staggered hatches use a separate "hatcher" unit for the lockdown period, so they can keep the unpipped, not ready for lockdown, eggs cooking without endangering the chicks inside. Lockdown occurs in the separate hatcher unit.

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