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Author Topic: Incubators and chick rearing  (Read 37473 times)

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Aunt Sally

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Incubators and chick rearing
« on: March 05, 2010, 17:18 »
A lot of people want to hatch and raise their own chicks.

I know nothing about this so please add your own information, experiences and advice to this topic.  Moderators may add any useful links that they find as things go along.

TMG has sugested some areas that could be covered

"all about incubators" (people could post why their incy is good or rubbish)

"hatching with a broody or incy" (this could be do's and don't of setting eggs, temperature and humidity and just about anything)

"when things go wrong"  (we've all done it, help them out or not? time from pipping to hatch ect) and

"caring for your chicks" ....(heat, feeding, the great outdoors etc.)

Please make any posts consise and useful.  No acres of words please, just make it easy to read.
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Nails

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 18:56 »
I think this will be a really useful post Aunt Sally, given the problems i have had over the last few days, i had loads of useful info given to me thanks to Caralou, TMG to name a couple, i think the one thing i have learnt over the last few days is to keep the humidity up, whether that is by spraying eggs, or putting wet sponges in the inncy, and NOT to keep opening it up, just let them get on with it, the ones that have been left to do it on there own over night, have all been fine fluffy and ready for food when i put them in the brooder, the one i interfered with has died.
i know a few people on here have loads more experience with Hatching and i look forward to reading their posts.
Donna
Dont count ya chickens till they hatch!!!!!

too many girls

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 19:01 »
what kind of incy do you have Donna? it does sound like you had problems with the humidity, what with sponges and spraying i felt the humidity may well have been too high (unhatched chicks may well have drowned in shell) i just wondered if your humidity reader could have been incorrect/broken?

Nails

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 19:18 »
It was to low i think, sometimes just hitting 65% the eggs membranes kept drying out and going hard, but i think i may have caused some of that by keep opening the inncy, and letting the cold air in. Inncy i a Novital covatutto 20 Automatic.

massa

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2010, 19:39 »
i was thinking about having a go at making my own incy, has anyone done this and if so has it been successful?

lisa80

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 20:12 »
we just had a very sucessful hatch using a r com pro temp 37 and humidity 45% on day 18 humidity up to 60% we had 11 hatch out of 15 :)however they are alot of money we hired ours and have just bought a standard r com so will let you all know how we get on.The good thing with the pro is we didnt have to do anything other than top up water.Also the temp and humidity literally took seconds to go back up after candling/removing chicks etc :) :)if your thinking of making your own incy i would suggest some way to turn the eggs without opening the lid this would help with temp and humidity        lisa

raeburg

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 18:01 »
I have just taken delivery of a Brinsea mini advance so will let you know how i get on.  I have had mixed results from the octogen 10 auto turning.  ( I have small incubators so I don't hatch too many).

newhen

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2010, 21:27 »
Great topic, thanks. I get my first incubator next week and desperately looking for eggs!

If anyone knows the best place to look for eggs please let me know.
I will let you know how I get on..

I am getting a mini advance auto incubator which is only small but apparently popular with schools as it's really clear so we will see the hatching process. It will hold 7 eggs but I will enjoy trying to hatch a few times rather than having lots together. 

Now looking for a brooder if anyone has any recommendations.
2 Gingernut Rangers
1 Miss Pepperpot
2 Light sussex (bantoms)
and
4 ex battery hens, Katie, Sam, Lucy and Camilla.

too many girls

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2010, 21:55 »
i started off with a covatutto 16 manual (it's meant to hold 16 hens eggs but i've only ever managed to get 12 in)
when that wasn't big enough ;) i got a Brinsea octogon 20 eco semi automatic (meant to fit 24 eggs but again i found 20 a squeeze)
and then........................
i got one that holds 72 eggs (does fit 72 too) fully automatic,
my most succesful hatches have come from the Brinsea, the last hatch was 12 ducklings from 12 viable eggs (some that had addled or were not fertile had been candled out)
i'm currently using the Brinsea for my first hatch this year, 2 weeks to go :D

GrannieAnnie

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2010, 00:05 »
Great topic, thanks. I get my first incubator next week and desperately looking for eggs!

If anyone knows the best place to look for eggs please let me know.
I will let you know how I get on..

I am getting a mini advance auto incubator which is only small but apparently popular with schools as it's really clear so we will see the hatching process. It will hold 7 eggs but I will enjoy trying to hatch a few times rather than having lots together.  

Now looking for a brooder if anyone has any recommendations.


Hi Newhen. Little brooders are really easy! I've got 3.  2 are big plastic storage boxes from Wilko, the biggest ones they have.  Hubby cut a big square out of the top of one of them and over the top I put an old fridge shelf which because its strong can take the lamp so I don;t have to hang the lamp off of anything.  My other little brooder box is an old kitchen wall cupboard which hubby made a weldmesh cover for.  I have also made an emergency brooder out of 2 bits of a banana box ends opened out and stapled together to make one long box!

My little heat lamps are just a red light bulb in a socket with the cable plugged into a wall socket, and the lamp shades are little metal ones bought from Wilko for £5.  At the moment I've only got a picture of the wall cupboard one, but it will give you an idea.

Ooops, found one of the banana box brooder too!!!
DSCF0014 (2).JPG
DSCF0004 (16) (360 x 480).jpg

newhen

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 19:30 »
thank you.. I'm sure we will be able to make something now, seems simple.   :) I've ordered my eggs too.. I've given a few suggestions incase of availability but fingers crossed I get some silkies in there.


joyfull

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2010, 08:11 »
This thread is a wonderful idea as I am helpless in giving any advice when it comes to incubator hatching as I have only ever hatched using broodies so thanks TMG and Aunt Sally  :)
Staffies are softer than you think.

Brown hen

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Incubation
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2010, 12:17 »
Hi
I am back after the big clean out last year.
 
I bought a RCOM PRO so very this is automatic.  The only thing that is concerning me is the candling.  I put the incubator in the cellar as advised in the “incubating at home book by Michael Roberts, but it is quite cold down there and when I open the lid of the incubator the temperature falls like a stone.

It would be a great help if anyone could help me on the following question.

Do I have to lift the eggs out to candle or can I leave them in the incubator and just put the light on them.

Would it be a good idea to place a heat light over the incubator for the candling period as I am not going to be as quick as a professional.  
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 12:26 by Brown hen »

lisa80

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Re: Incubation
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2010, 12:43 »
we used a pro last time they do recover their temp very quickly but i wouldnt put it in the cellar if its too cold .candeling is a 2 person job really i lifted the lid while hubby took egg out and candled.The temp hardly dropped at all which is why i say maybe yours is some where that is a bit too cold :)

too many girls

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Re: Incubation
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2010, 12:47 »
in the cellar? any room with a stable temp would do, ie unused bedroom, (i have mine in my bedroom, that way i can watch them hatch and watch telly at the same time  ::))  
you need to take the eggs out to candle them effectively, put the light at the big end where the air sac is, be carefull not to twizzle them as this can cause the embryo to break away from the shell, you only need to candle them  at 7 days and then again at 14, remove any infertile or addled ones, good luck...........
ps there is a sticky on incubation and hatching at the top of the hen house.



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