When using an incubator, can you.....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chknmomma, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. chknmomma

    chknmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2011
    WA
    Disconnect it and move it? It would be only for a maximum of 6-9 minutes. Only this would happen once a week until lockdown.

    To explain:
    I am going to hatch eggs in my daughter's school class, but won't be able to go to school during the weekends and keep an eye on things. Will it ruin our hatch if I have to take home the little incubator (small cooler size, homemade) on Friday's and bring it back on Mondays? We live less than a half mile to the school, so unplug to plug back time would be literally 6 minutes or so.

    or do we just wing it and hope no one messes with it on the weekends??? Lockdown will occur when it gets back to school on a Monday.


    Please share some advice - this will be our first incubating. Thanks!
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    When my son's class hatched some chicks, they left it where it was on the weekends. How often do you have to put water in it? If it's empty right now, I would run it, then unplug it for the alotted time, and see what the temperature does. Also, if there's no auto turner then it'll have to be taken home anyway...
     
  3. chknmomma

    chknmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't figured out the auto turner yet. At this point I was thinking now, but it would sure be a lot simpler to to have one. Aren't they kind of expensive?
     
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Quote:Worth EVERY cent. I spent my first hatching season turning by hand, and I will NEVER incubate without one again, I even have an extra one now, just in case... [​IMG] You can get the LG turner at most feed stores, I think they are $40-$45 here. (That's the ONLY LG incubator piece I would suggest someone actually spend money on). I happen to have the GQF turners, just because that's where I got my incubators, so I ordered them all together, but they are basically the exact same thing.
     
  5. chknmomma

    chknmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, I'll look at it. I'm heading to the feed store tomorrow to pick up some silkies!! We are so excited - it's my girls' 4-H project. The rest of the chickens are my project.


    It seems like the auto turner is worth it. But I was hoping to keep this homemade incubator project to around $20. We found some fertile eggs at the co-op in Bellingham; so we will do a grocery store hatch. I'll probably put some other eggs in there too; just to be sure we can get some chicks to hatch.
     
  6. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Quote:Hand turning at least one hatch can be a good experience to have under your belt. But for a classroom hatch, for the first time with a homemade bator, I wouldn't have expectations too high. How old are these kids? Having a back up plan is always a good idea, especially if they are younger kids...if they are really young, I would maybe bring in a few feed store chicks the day they are supposed to hatch, "just in case"... [​IMG]

    Not to try to trick the kids, mind you, kids are smart...but at least to have something to ooh and aah over if the hatch doesn't exactly go "according to plan". [​IMG]
     
  7. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    I would be afraid to hatch my first chicks in front of kids. I would have done a test run first. With that said. If you can get the water out easy and not make a mess, it could be moved. Put the eggs in a warm place and drive fast. LOL On another note, I would just leave it at the school, but make sure it has enough water for the weekend. Good luck and let us know how it goes. I wish more parents were involved like you are. Conjrats on that.[​IMG]
     
  8. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    About the egg turner. It would be very helpful if you had one in your special case. I have had one before, but I enjoy turning them myself. I depends on the model. Around 50.00 for a small tapletop foam bator.

    Lot of hatching vibes your way.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  9. chknmomma

    chknmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the compliment :) I figure I better get involved now in the classroom b/c later on they won't want me around. [​IMG]


    All that said, I will look into the auto turner. I think it's a good idea to turn by hand to learn, but maybe not with this hatch, you know? I am tempted to just buy an incubator, but the whole idea started b/c I wanted to make an incubator with the kids for a 4-H project. I think it's a good lesson in humidity and engineering. I am a mom to girls and engineering is not something that usually gets encouraged in their peer world! I don't want to spend 21 days testing a hatch first. They are working on weather lessons right now in class, so learning about humidity would be pertinent to this now. But i do want to get everything up and running and tested for a few days. Getting it set up by next Wednesday or the following week is my goal!!

    The teacher and I have been discussing all the possibilities of what could go wrong with the hatch. Shrink wrapping, yolk not absorbed, etc. Not hatching out. The kids are in 2nd grade. We don't want to upset and would probably just explain away some of it very simply (like they are still sleeping and tired, etc rather than dead). It would be nice to have at least 1 or 2 hatch out successfully.

    Wish me luck!!!!


    PS, I did hatch last month under a broody; so I got some good lessons in the fundamentals. But mama did all the hard work!

    Also, I can't start hatching and then hatching more and then yet again. I see this as an easy addiction! I only have 5 birds now and already have a problem with "chicken math".


    I do worry about what if the power goes out on the weekends and what about the keeping the temps constant? Not being able to check it for 2 days will have me freaked out.
     
  10. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish you great luck on your hatching adventure! I wholeheartedly agree to maximizing your time with your kids now. The thing is that if you bond with them now they will still want to be with you later!

    I doubt that 6 minutes of being unplugged is big deal. As Cloverleaf Farm already recommended you can do a trial and see how bad the temperature drop is. I would worry more about not turning for 2 days than I would having a several degree drop for 6 minutes as long as it comes up in a reasonable time frame.

    As for the stories to the kids... You know your kids better than I do, but you may want to re-think the just sleeping strategy. Being a veterinarian I actually have a lot of experience with the death of pets and children. I think that we, as a society, have gone to great lengths to protect our children including sheltering them from death. Unfortunately everything eventually dies. No exceptions. I think in the long run how we handle dealing with the deaths of loved ones, companions and even little chicks as parents is very important to help the children cope with inevitable things in the future. Our job as parents is to protect, yes, but also educate our children on how to cope with the many pitfalls and challenges they experience as they grow. You can infuse it with kindness and respect for the eggs if they don't hatch and help the kids to understand 'the circle of life' as they say. Sorry to go on so long, just very passionate about mentoring and kids....

    One other idea would be to candle the eggs, perhaps before lock down and eliminate all eggs that haven't developed so it won't be as traumatic if there is a 90% failure. Those eggs can be eliminated prior to hatch day.

    I really respect you and other parents that take the time to be with their kids and volunteer in the schools. You are making the world better place for those kids whose parents can't or won't volunteer. Hats off to you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011

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