Will you help me hatch these eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by afj6710, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few weeks ago, one of our hens was persistently brooder, so I thought, "Why not? I'll just let her sit on a couple of eggs." About a week later, hubby checked under her and saw that the "couple of eggs' were now 6 eggs, only 1 of which belonging to her (she is a Marans). A few days later, they had multiplied even more. We weren't smart enough to mark the eggs so we knew which ones were which[​IMG], and every few days they just kept multiplying. Apparently, a few days ago, she was sitting on 18 eggs. [​IMG]

    2 days ago, 4 chicks hatched out. All 4 doing well so far. We let time catch up on us and didn't get the "broody pen" set up quick enough, so we moved her and her babies (plus the rest of the eggs) to a large dog crate in the coop (we have a big coop).

    Today, another chick hatched. When hubby let the chickens out this morning, he found it, just outside the make-shift nestbox, while mama and the other chicks were up eating and drinking. He brought it in for me to warm up, which I did, and I put it back in there with mama once it was dried off, and awake and chirping and moving around. It looked like it would be fine. This afternoon, we found it back outside the box and it ended up not making it.


    So, we're thinking that mama is just "over" the whole just-sit-here-and-hatch thing. She has been getting sloppy about keeping the other eggs covered, so I've moved a couple to another broody hen that we have sitting. We're thinking it would just be best to move the rest to an incubator - I figure they don't have much of a chance under mama at this point.

    We have a basic LG still air incubator that I just plugged in. We've never actually used it before but I did attempt to get the temp stabilized in it once. We planned to hook up a computer fan and fix the temp knob but we just got busy and then the hens were getting all broody . . . it just slipped our minds.

    So, that whole novel is to ask: What is the best way to incubate these eggs? I don't have a clue how far along any of them are. Can I just put them all in there at a moderate humidity and just treat the whole thing as lockdown until I see chicks? I don't remember much about incubating. [​IMG]

    *ANY* advice you have would greatly be appreciated.


    (did I mention that I now have 2 other broody hens sitting on 16 more eggs that have been laid at completely different times? [email protected])
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  2. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a bator, get it running asap. See if the temps are stable for a few hours, and MARK the eggs you get from under the broody. Candle all of the eggs, and toss those with no development / no heart beat. Once you're sure the temps are stable, put the eggs in. If temps spike, they're likely to do so in the first few hours.

    I had a hen sitting on eggs with a 6 week difference in oldest to youngest. I kept taking the chicks as they hatched so she had no excuse to get up and get the chicks off the nest. Genuinely speaking, hens will only 'stay' on a nest for a few days after the first chick is out. After that, they're up and looking for food/water for the newly hatched chicks.
     
  3. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any suggestions for humidity? (still air, no turner, staggered hatch, no clue how many days gestation so far or to go)
     
  4. DirtCreature

    DirtCreature Chillin' With My Peeps

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    have you candled any of them to see how far along most of them are?

    It would help, you could see if any are clear, if they are throw them out, and then see what the mojority of the rest are and do whats best for them, wheather it be lock down or "normal" humitity for a while.... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  5. 3forfree

    3forfree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they were mine I would just get the temps in the LG stabilized and let them go. As far as candleing, it's up to you. My last hatch, when I candled I had movement in one egg, they were brown and hard to see through, Also had what looked like blobs, but I let them go. I would smell them everytime I turned them and I had 6 of them hatch. So use your nose and let em go. good luck. send pics if you can.
     
  6. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just put them in the bator. [​IMG] but, i'm pretty sure they aren't all viable. I wiped them down with a warm, slightly damp cloth b/c they were *nasty* so I hope that didn't affect the bloom too much. I attempted to candle them but . . .yeah, I don't have a clue what I'm supposed to look for. I'm not at all up on hatching eggs. One was too dark to really see anything, about 3 were mostly just dark with the small air cell at the top and 3 had dark masses just floating around as I turned them. So what does that mean?

    (one I accidently dropped and cracked when I was wiping them down. I cracked it open and it was undeveloped with a blood ring.)
     
  7. DirtCreature

    DirtCreature Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  8. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've looked at a lot of candled pics now and still don't have a clue. I just recandled two of mine - one has that noticeable air bubble at the top but the rest is just solid dark. No shape, no movement, just solid other than the air pocket. I have two others the same way. The other one I just candled has the air bubble, then some sort of unevenly shaped dark mass that just floats in the top half of the egg as I rotate it, the bottom half of the egg is clear. I have 2 more just like this.

    Thoughts?
     
  9. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With the "floaty" ones, if there was a developing baby in there, it probably wouldn't float in the top of the egg, right? Hubby thinks it's a sign that they are not going to make it.

    With the other ones, it seriously looks like a boiled egg with just the air bubble - it's just that solid looking in there. But, there is no way that it's *actually* a boiled egg. So, I don't know. [​IMG]

    I'm just gonna keep bugging y'all until someone magically decides exactly what is going on with my eggs and *exactly* what I need to do. [​IMG]
     
  10. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, candling as it was described to me by my elders and how I've always done it. You're going to want to put the light on the rounded end ( this is where you will find the air cell, gets you a better view into the egg. )

    First 7 days of development inside an egg ( my experience )

    - You will see blood VEINS, not blood rings. Heart beat is noticeable from day 3, if I remember correctly.
    - Small blobs visible near the heartbeat are the chicks.
    - Clear eggs or eggs with lots of clearer looking spots ( porous ) should be tossed at this time.
    - Eggs with blood rings should be tossed at this time. A blood RING is exactly what it sounds like. It's a ring of blood formed around the egg and is obviously blood.
    - Air cell will still seem small. "Uneven" air cells can be tossed at this stage, but may or may not hatch now. Pictured is a 'regular' air cell development guide.
    - It's best to measure your air cells, maybe even mark them with a pencil. Check that they are growing properly. An air cell that isn't growing/developing is probably a dud.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This is how a chick develops. Give you an idea on what amount of space you should be seeing for what stages of growth.

    [​IMG]
    This egg appears to be between 10 and 12 days to me. Possibly less, but in that area.

    [​IMG]
    As you can see, by day 10 it would be obvious if you had any quitters. You can also probably use this chart to find out what days of development your eggs are at, and find any quitters / bad air cells.

    By day 10, chicks are very obvious. Clear eggs should be tossed at this point as they may explode. If no sign of development, toss it. If you're second guessing, let it sit. Use your nose.

    [​IMG]

    You can also 'float' eggs to determine if they're good or not. A bad egg will float. A good egg will produce air bubbles if a live chick is inside. Try not to float often as it can be ( as I am told ) harmful to the embryo.

    Generally, fresh eggs will lie on the bottom of the bowl of water. Eggs that tilt so that the large end is up are older, and eggs that float are rotten.

    As far as hatching eggs go? - I just don't recommend it. I don't float them. But supposably viable eggs will produce bubbles.

    Does any of this help? I know I'm all over the place here.
     

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