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Why not keep chicks in incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bevbuzz, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. bevbuzz

    bevbuzz New Egg

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    1st hatch! 4 new chicks and 1 to go. With the temperature so perfectly regulated in my incubator, why not just keep the chicks there until they seem too big for it (2 weeks?). Seems like a better idea than trusting the fluctuation of temperature that my heat lamp in a cardboard box system of keeping chicks does. I'm guessing the reason people advise against is crowding, but with only 4 (possibly 5) chicks, that doesn't seem to be an issue.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Imagine the mess chicks would make defecating in the incubator. The key to a successful hatch is partially a clean environment.
     
  3. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it would be very smelly in there if the lid is on most of the time. What kind of incubator do you use and how big is it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    they say once the chicks are fluffed move them to a brooder and CLEAN the incubator so other eggs you hatch will not have germs in there to kill other eggs you may try to hatch. I get a brooder cardboard box and change them out (throw'em away) every few days. I would never use an older chick box to raise new chicks.
     
  5. bevbuzz

    bevbuzz New Egg

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    Well, you were right. Smelly. At least keeping chicks & eggs in same place, cause water for humidity got soiled. They're all hatched now & in a cardboard box with heat lamp, but temp fluctuates from 82 to 100 pretty easily. I'm thinking I might clean incubator well, take tray out of bottom & put in light cut up straw (which is what I have in their box now) & see if it works better. But I guess better longterm solution is a bigger box where chicks can go to warm or cold side if they wish.

    The other thing I'm contemplating is putting my brooding hen in with them. It's too cold now to put the chicks under the hen in the coop, but if I put the hen in the box with the heat lamp (at night, slipping the 3-5 day old chicks under her), do you think she might take care of them so that I might be able to introduce them to the coop with the "mama" for protection & warmth in a month? Would the hen be unhappy in such warmth away from other hens? She is a frustrated mama as her & another hen sat on eggs all summer (long story) & I finally slipped out eggs & slipped in storebought chicks one night. But all the chicks adopted one hen & abandoned the other. Maybe these chicks will be her dream come true. Thoughts?
     
  6. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    I have 2 broodies out in my coop with chicks from 2 separate hatches. I started them out in a cardboard box by themselves until strong enough, then moved them to a large 2 1/2'x 4' broody wood box with broody hen and heat lamp at one end. the moms don't like to be in there for too long so I eventually moved them to a 10'x10' green house with a small warming hut with a clamp light.
     
  7. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you put a heat lamp in the coop? They can then go under if need be.
    I had a day old under moms feathers last night in the tractorr..no heat...it wass 41 out.Hes fine but did t let them out until it warmed up
     
  8. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    just make sure the lamp cannot fall an start a fire. I have 2 broody moms and 2 heat lamps.
     

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