April 26-27 Hatch in Bator

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

I am now doing another hatching of baby chicks. This time in the bator are:
6-Old English Game- self blue--tiny tan eggs
13- Lavender Amerucanas--bantam size--tiny green eggs
15- Blue/Black/Splash Amerucanas-- Standard size--green eggs

April 12,2014 will be my 7th day candling..hope they all are cooking!!

I also will have another 3 doz of these coming again for my next batch to put in the bator..I am thinking of getting another Hovabator..this is too easy...lol..

Thumbnail by Moodene
Richmond, TX

Pretty eggs!

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

Yes they are. Nice shades of green. Never had OEG chickens before.

Bridgewater, ME

I sat eggs Sat. night,42 silkie showgirl eggs.Bought a new bator

(Zone 6b)

Oh my goodness Green, FORTY-TWO. You are one brave woman, but then, you don't have trouble sending yours to new homes.

Moodene, those truly are pretty eggs. My batam araucanas lay small light blue eggs. When I take a picture of them though they look almost white. No wonder people like Americana chickens.

So, I guess you also sell the chicks or raise them awhile and sell the chickens. Yes, I'm being nosey.

I was reading an article the other day and the man was saying CULL your flock, CULL THEM HARD, and CULL THEM OFTEN. This makes perfect sense. Keep the best ones, send the others on their way. I guess it just depends on what your goals are. The lady that took the blue rooster from me with the gold in his hackles didn't care if his hackles weren't showbird quality. She liked the gold. :)

I'm not big on setting goals anyway. With my health problems I can set goals all day long and they are never going to happen. I'm not whining I am just stating the facts. My life is constantly in a state of limbo.

Now, the woman that raises silkies where I bought Polly. She had it going on now. She had breeding pens and she'd go out and pick up eggs, mark them w for white, b for black, etc and put them in her bator. So, when she goes to poultry shows, she really has her pick of what birds to take. Her incubator can hold 200 eggs. She has those breeding pens she sells out of to the public, then she has her own special breeding pens just for her very best of the best birds, which I was not privy to see. These people are some serious competitors at the shows. It all started though, according to her statement to me, because she loved hatching out baby chicks. She liked the silkies, but Showgirls are her favorites. In fact, I think she is one of two ladies that bred the original showgirls.

Here, I'm going to have to just roll with the punches, being grateful to get up in the morning, put on my clothes and do some dishes and laundry.

Bridgewater, ME

Out of those 42 eggs I might get 20 chicks,some will not be fertile,some will be quitters,others will just not hatch,and for some reason my last two hatches I have lost a few after they are a couple days old

(Zone 6b)

This man online was just trying to explain to me about dry incubation. Maybe I'll post what he said for you. Moodene is raving about dry incubation too. Apparently it is working for some people.

He told me all this stuff and then the other lady just says, well I'll show you. Hope this isn't against DG rules. Anyway, he is a nice man trying to help me out. Here is what they said. So kind of him to type all that out.
Matt Rogers:
Slow down Karen, Take a breath. Ok. First, I will refer to Incubation as meaning up to the point where the chicks pip. Hatching will be from pip to emergence of the chick. Those are two distinct processes that require different conditions to be most successful. Now, for a long time the conventional wisdom was to incubate with added humidity. Everyone used water trays or water sprayers or whatever to create some humidity in the incubator. Most books will say 30-40 %, some more, some less. Many people are finding that less humidity is better. In fact, many are incubating with NO humidity (which is where I am now). My humidity in my incubator is running around 18-20%, with NO added humidity. Over the past 5 months, we have been SLOWLY lowering the humidity in our incubator. We started at 40% and now we are down to around 18%. We did hatch quite a number of eggs at higher humidity, but we had more loss as well. As we lowered the humidity, we have noticed a marked improvement in both hatch rate and the health of the chicks after hatch. Keep a close eye on the chicks as they hatch and open up any eggs that didn't make it. If you notice chicks that are "gooey" or really wet when they hatch or you have dead chicks in shell that are really wet yet seem otherwise complete and well-formed, decent chance you are running too high a humidity during INCUBATION. See, the egg MUST lose quite a bit of water weight during incubation for the chick to have enough room to pip and hatch. The best guides will suggest weighing eggs and adjusting humidity based on that. If I had only a few eggs worth LOADS of cash, I'd be doing just that, otherwise we learn from experience. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now, hatching and shrink wrapping chicks. When the egg pips, my wife moves it to the hatcher. Our hatcher runs at 99.5 F and 60-65% humidity. If you open it while a chick is zipping, or if a chick takes too long to zip after it has made a large pip, then, there is a good chance of shrink-wrapping a chick. It happens. If you are watching out for it, you can usually save the chick by helping it out so long as you follow the prescribed methods to a T (google it). Once the chick pips, the membrane/egg begins to lose humidity really fast. The chick has to wait until it's yolk is absorbed before it can come out, yet it has to have enough air to practice breathing for it's lungs to finish developing. All the while it's in a race against time, because if it loses too much moisture, it will shrink-wrap. This is why hatching requires high humidity. Now, we have successfully incubated eggs over a pretty wide range in humidity, so while you may do better at one humidity than another, I wouldn't freak out over it. The thing to focus on is TEMPERATURE! Most people use the thermometer that came with their incubator without question. Truth is, the temperature is the most critical factor for incubation. Truth is, that thermometer that came with your incubator is almost surely NOT calibrated. It may be off by 2 degrees or more! Put them in your windows or in your car or whatever, but don't rely on it for incubation of eggs. (This section does not apply well to still air incubation because air at the top is warmer than air at the bottom. Placement of the thermometer is also key!) For forced draft incubators (they have a fan), do this: Assuming you are using an incubator with a fan in it, get a DIGITAL PHARMACY THERMOMETER. The kind you would use to check a fever. It's the only thermometer that is easily available that is FACTORY CALIBRATED! You can confirm the calibration by taking your own temp prior to using it for incubation. Assuming you don't have a fever and haven't had anything to drink lately, you should get 98.6. You could get a dozen and you would get the same reading for them all. That's because they must be factory calibrated before they are sold or they are worthless for measuring a fever! Now, take your tested digital pharmacy thermometer, drill a hole or otherwise make a hole somewhere in your incubator AWAY from any heat source like your element and insert the digital pharmacy thermometer. It is helpful if you can put it where the fan will blow air across it. You want it to go in as far as possible and still be able to read the numbers. Leave it there permanently. Give it 20 minutes and then hit the button. Ta da! Perfect temperature reading every time. Calibrate your incubator to run at 99.5 and you will see an increase in hatch rates. Once you get the temperature right, then worry about humidity for incubation. Hatching humidity is critical and I don't think you can have it too high. Duck eggs? I incubate duck eggs and quail eggs in the same incubator at the same conditions as my chicken eggs. If anything, they were too WET this last time. Yep, I had a couple of ducks that were gooey! Now, my wife moves eggs over as they pip. Once several are pipping, she moves all of the rest. We don't do an official lock down. We move eggs over based upon development. If you candle carefully, you can see when the chick breaks the membrane internally. They will often pip within 24 hours after that and usually emerge in less than 24 hours after the pip. I have had them hatch in the incubator on occasion. Really healthy chicks sometimes hatch very quickly and humidity during hatch isn't an issue for them cause they came out before anything had a chance to dry on them. We are focusing our program on very delicate chicks such as show-quality silkies and bantam polish. They are more difficult to hatch than are your basic meat/egg birds.

Rachel Robertson:
You don't add any water until lockdown at day 18 then bump humidity up into the 60s
Funny how two people can talk about the same subject, one gets lengthy, the other one right to the point.

Richmond, TX

Makes sense to me!

(Zone 6b)

No way am I opening up any eggs.

Bridgewater, ME

I don't understand how he or where he puts the thermomrter.dont like the idea off drilling a hole in the bator.I cant be on the bottom cause the wire and plastic thing it there,if you put it on the side you would not be able to see it.Maybe he talking about a different kind of incubator not they styraphome ones.Was there any pics LFJ? I have read a lot on dry hatching and have never dared to try it

(Zone 6b)

I didn't like that part either. Mine are the Brinsea. I have the one that holds 20 eggs and also the little round one that holds 8. Bought the small one for hatching, because they were hatching out at different times. I hadn't thought ahead, and had just been adding more eggs every day. So of course, they were hatching at different times. The little one is great if you want to see them hatch too.

Sure wouldn't hurt to get a regular thermometer though and check our baters, even if we don't have it in there as a permanent fixture. Mine has a tiny little screw you turn to get the temp higher or lower. I had a terrible time getting it set. Even if my thermometer is correct, mine is set closer to 100 than 99.5. It isn't at 100 but it is close.

I won't be hatching much anyway, most likely.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I have two bators, both are Styrofoam and I think they are called little giants. One I used for incubating and the other for hatching. I used a thermometer that has a remote sensor on a wire. I dropped the wire through a vent hole on top and lowered it to egg level. That gave me the temp where the eggs actually were. The reader Sat on top of the bator. It read temp and humidity. The temp is hard to set on the LG. It just has a little red knob to turn but no markers so it takes quite a while to get it right. I have not hatched any chicks in a couple years.

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