What day did your chicks hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bantambury, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. 22+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Exactly day 21

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. Day 20

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. Hatched day 18-19

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  1. bantambury

    bantambury life does go on.

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    I'm beginning to question the 21 day incubation rule. I know hatching is different for everyone but if really like to know when your chicks have hatched.

    I'm on day 18 now with eggs set for the 26th and I already have one pip. all my other 4 hatches this year were a day early.

    WHEN DID YOUR CHICKS HATCH?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a good size egg but your handle has bantam in it so will say it does depend if a standard egg or bantam as the small eggs will hatch day 19.

    Then there is the odd way some people will count days. If you start on a Friday then 21 days later is on a Friday.

    That aside, my eggs start to pip late day 19 or early day 20 in incubator, hatching late day 20 into 21 and a straggler or two hatching day 22. I once had a broody hatch standard eggs in July heat and her babies hatched day 19.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Bantam eggs somewhat earlier and large fowl eggs closer to 21 days. Consistently early hatches may indicate a thermometer reading on the low side. It is a good idea to check thermometers periodically for accuracy.
     
  4. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hatching day is also affected by the egg temperature which can depend on how accurate and well configured the incubator is. For example, (assuming that you haven't configured your incubator recently) if you set the incubator to 37.5°C/99.5°F, then the incubator could in reality be heating to 37.7°C/100°F which will bring the hatching day forward. The size of the eggs will also affect the incubation time, especially if you open the incubator at any point.

    This is why I'm looking for other people who want to figure out the formula but it may be too much work for most people! :) I asked yesterday, but haven't any interest yet! www.backyardchickens.com/t/943097
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    The 21 day thing is not a rule, it is a guideline, a target you should shoot for. Chickens are living animals. There are very few true rules where you have to do something one specific way or civilization as we know it will be forever changed. Practically every recommendation on this forum is a guideline or a target that you should aim for, not something rigid you have to meet. You have to be flexible in your approach.

    There are a lot of different things that can effect when the egg actually hatches, humidity, heredity, how and how long the egg was stored before incubation started, and just basic differences in the eggs. Size is one possible difference, but thickness of the egg white or shell porosity are others. There are more, I just don’t know what they are. One really major difference is average incubating temperature. If the average incubating temperature is a little high, they can be quite early. My first couple of hatches I had eggs pipping when I went into lockdown so I adjusted the temperature down. If the temperature is low, they can be a few days late.

    Even after I adjusted the incubator temperature so that most of my hatches are about on time, I still get a few that are a day or even two full days early. I’ve also had some hatches a full two days early under a broody hen though most are about on time.

    As Egghead said, some people don’t get the day count right. There was even a hatching calendar on this forum that had it wrong. An egg does not have a full 24 hour day development two seconds or two hours after it is put in the incubator. It takes 24 hours for the egg to have a day’s worth of development. In theory, it takes 21 days of development for chicken eggs to hatch, so the day of the week you set them is the day of the week they should hatch. If you set them on Friday, they should hatch on Friday. But that is only theory. In reality, they can easily be off a few days either direction. I figure if they hatch within 24 hours of the target time they are right on time.

    Most of my hatches are over with about 24 hours after the first one hatches, whether under a broody hen or in the incubator and whether early or on time. But some drag on for more than two full days, just due to some differences. Each different incubation is its own adventure. You don’t know how it will turn out until it is over.

    The study you are talking about has already been done. You can find the results by going to the extension websites and reading the articles. Just look for the recommendations. The commercial chicken industry often partners with various universities to perform those studies. The chicken company provides funding and a grad student performs the studies and writes their thesis on the results. That’s where a lot of the recommendations come from. There is a major difference though. The commercial industry use incubators that can handle 60,000 to even 120,000 eggs at a time and use several of these so they may hatch more than 1,000,000 chicks a week. Where a one or two percent difference in hatch rate won’t mean much to us, even a small difference in hatch rate is really significant to them. Most of us are not going to notice if we are off these recommendations a bit. We’ll still get pretty good hatches. We will not notice a 1% difference in hatch rate, but if they are hatching 1,000,000 chicks a week, that’s over half a million chicks a year. And our goals are different. We can let hatches drag out for two or three days. With them, they want the hatch to get over so they can get the incubator back into action. Due to how much heredity affects when the chicks hatch, one of the recommendations is to not select your breeding chickens from the ones that hatch late. That is not important to me. Be flexible.

    Hopefully this helps a bit. Good luck with the hatch.
     
  6. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Ridgerunner, I'm not sure what you mean by the "extensions website", where is it?

    Most of the published studies are not done on heritage breeds in a home environment in consumer incubators and various DIY bits and bobs so are not as applicable as they may seem at first. The other issue is that independent research is often published in closed journals, so the results are only legally available to those who are associated with universities. My interests lie more from a hobbyist point of view using hobbyist products to incubate, hatch and raise the chickens.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Sorry for being slow to answer Kittykat, been visiting my granddaughter and just got back.

    In the States certain Universities, the State Land Grant Universities, work with a government agency, the State Extension Service, to promote good farming practices among other things. You can get a lot of interesting information from them. But yes, you have to understand that those tests are mostly run on commercial flocks for the benefit of industry. They are not on backyard flocks. Yet if you read them carefully you can learn a lot.

    Here is a sample from the University of Illinos
    http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/res00-index.html

    I’d guess your agricultural ministry or whatever it is called has a similar program.
     
  8. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately, our government didn't get this right so many publications are not freely available at the moment, although there are movements happening right now to make our system more like your system.
     

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