Yet another nervous first-timer

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Drewnkat, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Drewnkat

    Drewnkat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I am sure there are a million of these. Heh. I did read the stickies, and I'm just double-checking because nervous newbie syndrome.

    Here's what I have so far:

    Hova-Bator styrofoam incubator
    Egg turner (just got the replacement motor today, it's humming away and has made one full turn so far)
    Digital thermometer/hygrometer

    Going to shell out the 7 bucks for a CPU fan to make it a circulated-air incubator

    The thermostat seems to work, it gets up to temp and shuts off.

    My chickens are producing eggs with fertile "bulls-eye" blastoderm, no worries there (I hope).

    Anything else I am forgetting?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Be sure your thermometer and hygrometer are calibrated. Don't trust them to be telling the truth! Get a good night's sleep before you start... since you'll not be sleeping much for the next 3 weeks.
     
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  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    xs 2 and lmao cause that's so true about not getting sleep for three weeks.... I especially agree on the checking thermometers as I made that mistake first hatch and had a bad hatch because I didn't check it and it was brand new. Never trust the factory installed gages unless they've checked as well.
    Do not go by the manufacture's manuals for hatching. Hatching 101 "sticky" is the best source of info. The only other thing I highly recommend is understanding the why and how of controlling humidity before begining and monitor your air cells to know if your humidity levels are right. Good luck on your hatch!!
     
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  4. coachYania

    coachYania Out Of The Brooder

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    Lol, I went to bed last night at 2 am and set up my alarm for 7 am just to check on my humidity at lockdown [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  5. Drewnkat

    Drewnkat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, added a computer fan this afternoon. I managed to find an old 12v dc converter, wired it to the fan, and it worked first try! No sparks, no blown motors, just smooth quiet fan operation.

    So then I plugged everything in, came back an hour later and... YOWZA 108 degrees in there. [​IMG]

    I read that the fan may need spacers, so I fixed that, cranked the thermostat waaaay down. Did a search for threads about using computer fans in an incubator (everyone raving about how they increase hatch rate, are so easy to install, etc. etc.) and finally found a tidbit of info saying if you have a fan, you'll probably end up setting your thermostat lower since the fan makes the air heat more efficiently and evenly.

    The oldest eggs I have waiting out on the counter are approaching ten days old, so I'm really hoping we don't have any further delays here!
     
  6. Drewnkat

    Drewnkat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, all the eggs are in the incubator, as of 4/1. Been checking temp/humidity, and temp has been good, 99-100 with fan. Humidity showing at 20-30%.

    I tried candling some last night, but since the shells are blue and green I saw about what I expected to see: not much.

    And then of course, I dreamed they all started hatching at day 16, and I had NOTHING ready, no brooder, no chick feed, zip. Hubby says I need to stop thinking about chickens so much.
     
  7. Drewnkat

    Drewnkat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update:
    Candled and marked air cells last night. I definitely saw dark areas and veins in the pale blue eggs. The green ones? Not so much. I felt like I was lucky to be able to figure out the air cells! Those shells are deeply opaque.

    Today I noticed the temp was creeping up. I mean, it was still under 103, not dangerous, but it had been steady on at 99-100.1 for days, except during the brief times I opened it to add water or candle. Even then it didn't drop below 95 or so. It was 101 and some change. A bit higher than I was shooting for!

    I started racking my brain trying to figure out WHY would this be happening? I haven't touched the controls. The area where it's sitting gets zero direct sunlight. The temperature outside the incubator is steady around 65-69 degrees, no drafts. That's part of the reason I chose the corner of the basement/garage. No drafts, no fluctuations. Upstairs the temps vary wildly depending on how much sun comes in the windows, how low hubby cranks the A/C when he comes home after a long hot day at work, how much things heat up after load of laundry number three bajillion and twelve...

    And then I read about how once the chicks develop, their little bodies start generating heat. This isn't a bad omen, it's a great sign that Really Exciting Things are most likely happening inside those mysterious opaque eggshells. [​IMG]These chicks are gonna be awesome. I can't wait to meet them!
     
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  8. conquest780

    conquest780 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good Luck with your first hatch!!!! Keep updating.
     
  9. Drewnkat

    Drewnkat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I told myself I wasn't gonna candle again until day 14, to check air cell progress. Then I read you may see movement at day ten, and curiosity got the best of me.

    All six of the light blue eggs showed very obvious development and MOVEMENT. The thrill of seeing those babies moving around in their shells... it's indescribable. OK, it's not to the same degree as when I got to peek at my own kids before birth, but still really amazing!

    I tried to check a couple of the green ones. On one of them I thought I could see a dark blob waving hello, but it was a dark blur inside a shadow. Not much to see.

    It's really encouraging after days of hoping I didn't totally mess up to get some reassurance that things are progressing well.
     
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  10. Drewnkat

    Drewnkat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Candled again today to mark air cell progress.

    Most of them showed air cell growth consistent with my expectations. The light shelled eggs also showed movement/growth.

    One or two of the green eggs concerned me a bit. They had almost no change in air cell size/shape. Along with being unable to determine if any development has taken place, this is extremely frustrating!

    I did read a bit, and saw it mentioned that very hard eggs may be less porous and may not show as much air cell growth as eggs with more porous shells. Well, I can tell you for sure, my Chippy's green eggs have always had really hard shells. Any chick hatching out of that egg is gonna feel like they just broke out of Fort Knox. Here's hoping it's just a nice thick eggshell, and everything else is going well in there. I'm not naive enough to expect I'd get a super high hatch rate my first attempt, but darn it I have gotten this far and if none of these babies make it I may actually sit down and cry right there in the garage.
     

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