wondering about hatch rate...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Cranman, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Cranman

    Cranman In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    Sanford NC
    I have a LG still air incubator, not the best I know.... I set 40 eggs on Wednsday and am wondering how many chicks I might end up with. I know there are alot of variables.

    #1 all eggs were either from my hens or from a neighbor and no more than 4 days old. All are assumed fertile due to roosters with all hens.
    #2 Incubator temp started a bit low in the first 18hrs, around 94, but now stable at about 99-100. Note, have two aquarium thermometers, one under each window on top of eggs, one reads 98 and one reads 102?? Average 100 I guess!
    #3 have egg turner running

    So with that being said, egg's fresh, temps pretty close and eggs turned often, what should I hope for as the hatch rate? What's typical?

    Thans for your .02!

    PS this is too cool, can't wait to see the chicks. I have BCM and blue plymouth rocks, and the neighbor has a barnyard mix of red star, barred rock, wellsummer, blk aulstrop, cornish x, and some frizzle or silky looking hen.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011

  2. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    I'm not sure about your hatch rates but they may be a bit low for one main reason... In a still air incubator, the temps need to be about 2 degrees higher than a forced air... Still air needs to be around 101-101.5... If you get the temp up, they may take an extra day or two to hatch due to the low temps in the beginning but other than that, you should have a good hatch rate as long as they are fertile...

    Goddess [​IMG]
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    don't count your chickens before they hatch!

    seriously though - I've seen on here an 85% is excellent 50% is acceptable especially if you mail ordered the eggs.
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Note, have two aquarium thermometers, one under each window on top of eggs, one reads 98 and one reads 102?? Average 100 I guess!

    Temps is the tricky one. You can't just take an average because its more likely that only one (or neither) of them is correct. If the one reading 98 is correct, your temps are too low for a still air. 102 is really a little high but might be okay for a still air - IF its correct. The problem is they might both be wrong.

    I started with 5 thermometers and they ALL read differently so I didn't know which one to believe. I decided to get an old oral mercury thermometer, thinking I could "calibrate" it by taking the temps of family members to find out how accurately it reads - but found out they don't sell them any more. They did have a "mercury free" thermometer that is similar. You have to shake it down before each use. The only problem is, according to it, no one in my family has a temp higher than 92 so I don't trust it either. I finally went to Walmart and selected a $1 thermometer very unscientifically. They were the kind you can mount in or outdoors and read the red line to know how hot/cold it is outside. They had about 15 so I looked at every one of them. 4 read 70, one much lower and the rest read 68. So I then compared them to a dozen of the big dial thermometers. Most of them also read 68. So I figured the temp in Walmart was most likely 68 since about 20 thermometers had that reading. Like I said, very unscientific. I wound up getting one of the $1 thermometers that read 68, brought it home and compared it to the 5 I was already using. One of them read the same as the $1 thermo, so now I'm trusting THAT thermometer as the one that tells me the actual temp in there.​
  5. Cranman

    Cranman In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    Sanford NC
    Yeah, HEChicken, I know what you mean about variance in thermometers. I have had 4 thermometers in the incubator, and did have a range between 107 and about 99 at one time, but I have thrown out the digital and now have 3 of the ones with the red liquid on them. Two are the same type, the glass aquarium type and one that's flat plastic with the red liquid and bulb at the bottom. Anyways all read within about 2 degrees of 100, geez I have to figure the actual temp is within that range. I can't imagine in nature that a hen will keep the eggs at any more of a consistant temp. I have err'd on the side of lower temps, I'd rather have them hatch late than cook. So if I was off a few degrees, would 97 be better than 103????
  6. mrsfarmchick1

    mrsfarmchick1 Chirping

    Dec 24, 2010
    Bandera, Texas
    I can relate to your question and all the comments so far on this post. 14 BCM shipped eggs went into lockdown on Tuesday, as of today (day 22) 9 are out, 1 has just pipped, 1 is having a very hard time right now, and nothing yet with 3.

    When I bought the LG, I installed the fan and the egg turner (the fan doesn't keep the same temperature at top (102) and bottom (97), so I went through the thermometer buying odyssey everyone has mentioned and I decided to get the Brinsea spot check ($20) because it is made for incubating chicken eggs! I drop it down the vent holes in different places and that way I can calibrate the other thermometers in there. I went two weeks before getting the Brinsea, but I went up and down with the temps not knowing which thermometer was right.
    Humidity: so many variances with that, but a cheap humidity reader from the hardware store calibrated almost exactly, but an expensive reptile hygrometer (Zilla) was 14% off. I was also advised to keep BCM eggs at 70% during lockdown because of the thickness of the shell.

    All that being said, I was determined that I would not help any of the babies if they couldn't break out of the shell, but a few of them could obviously not get their bodies moved around to zip open the shell, so I took them out and used warm water to keep the membrane moist and picked a zipper circle for them, mostly the shell not the membrane so much. Well, they are fine and I read where their bodies can grow too fast if the temp is higher and then can't properly get out. So I'm going to get a Brinsea next time and let it regulate the temp and humidity. The overgrown chicks were so exhausted after a day of fighting that I'm glad I helped them.

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