Incubators and chick rearing

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stan deakin

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2010, 11:47 »
incubators can be very tricky i found , i only use a hova bator but now get very good results through trial and error , i was advised not to put any water in at all untill the eggs start to pip and its worked like a charm , that advice was off somone who has been hatching for years[please try it ]

stan just joined you all ::)

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joyfull

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2010, 11:52 »
Hi Stan and welcome, why not nip over to the welcome section and introduce yourself properly to the rest of the forum - I'm sure they will be pleased to meet you  :)
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hillfooter

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2010, 12:52 »
incubators can be very tricky i found , i only use a hova bator but now get very good results through trial and error , i was advised not to put any water in at all untill the eggs start to pip and its worked like a charm , that advice was off somone who has been hatching for years[please try it ]

stan just joined you all ::)

Hi Stan,

Your experience is not untypical of real life situations and if it works for you then actually it's not that unusual.  However don't everyone assume that this will work for you when hatching with a different incubator in a different part of the world and in a different environment.

Water needs to be lost from the eggs through the incubation process.  A sitting hen will maintain a slightly higher humidity than ambient and that's why incubators are recommended to artificially raise the humidity.  However the actual extra humidity you need to provide in any given incubator depends on several factors such as the ambient humidity, whether it has forced air (a fan) as obviously a fan will increase drying and therefore needs higher ambient humidity, the amount of exterior ventillation, too little ventillation will hold in the humidity caused by the drying eggs, the design of the incubation chamber its self for similar reasons.  Ventillation is one factor most people don't think about and it's highly relevant.  Every time we raise the lid to candle or fiddle about we lose humidity and too much of this I suspect is the reason many people have problems with chicks pipping but not hatching before they dry to the shell.  Similarly too little ventillation can cause hatch problems with unhealed tummies and sickly chicks.

A well designed and characterised incubator will have a fan and ventillation system which helps to maintain consistent results between different egg loads.  If the designer has done proper characterisation of their product you can rely on their instructions but there's still the external humidity variable which they can't really account for and your own experience can help to optimise.  So there will always be a trial and error element.  

You can of course take guess work out of the equation completely by having a 'test' egg which you regularly remove and weigh accurately to determine actual moisture loss so you can vary humidity up or down to fit an optimum weight loss curve (data is available for this).  The next best method is to measure and control the humidity.  Unfortunately accurate instruments to do this are expensive and the cheap ebay ones are highly suspect.  

Or, as in most cases, it's not that critical and if you have a good incubator (as described above) you can do as virtually all enthusiasts do and just follow the instructions and learn a few tweeks from your experience.

Happy hatching
HF
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 23:56 by hillfooter »
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rjf180

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2010, 23:28 »
We're totally new to this and we used a Rcom king suro 20 incubator - all automatic - and either we've been really lucky or the incubator was fab but we got 8 healthy chicks and three ducklings out of 14 eggs. it's been an experience! can't wait to get some more. we kept it in the kitchen (fairly warm) and the temp. went back up really fast after candling.
used a huge cardboard box and a heat plate instead of a lamp - working brilliantly

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lisa123

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #64 on: May 31, 2010, 20:47 »
hi there i have built my own incubator and the eggs are duck eggs. they have about 9 days left then i will see if they hatch or not, it wasnt that hard to build ijust hope it works.
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hillfooter

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #65 on: May 31, 2010, 23:41 »
We're totally new to this and we used a Rcom king suro 20 incubator - all automatic - and either we've been really lucky or the incubator was fab but we got 8 healthy chicks and three ducklings out of 14 eggs. it's been an experience! can't wait to get some more. we kept it in the kitchen (fairly warm) and the temp. went back up really fast after candling.
used a huge cardboard box and a heat plate instead of a lamp - working brilliantly

RCom incubators are well regarded for producing good results as are Brinsea.
HF

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lisa123

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #66 on: June 16, 2010, 07:52 »
hi there i am now on day 27 and are waiting to see if the ducklings hatch, i have had problems with the humidity but have increased when needed, i just hope they hatch okay and make it, unfortunately i have a bad feeling that it wont work and i will be back to square one. has anyone else on here made there own incubator? ???

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joyfull

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #67 on: June 16, 2010, 08:02 »
wildwitchy made her own one last year.

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sianyem

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #68 on: July 19, 2010, 13:33 »
I've got 5 days to go! This is the first time Ive hatched some eggs. Started with 20 Wyandotte eggs but have ended up with only 8 developing I think because of the fertility and not the incubator. I am using the R com 20 pro and it seems really easy to operate. What happens and what do I have to do when the first egg starts to hatch?

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hillfooter

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #69 on: July 19, 2010, 17:47 »
I've got 5 days to go! This is the first time Ive hatched some eggs. Started with 20 Wyandotte eggs but have ended up with only 8 developing I think because of the fertility and not the incubator. I am using the R com 20 pro and it seems really easy to operate. What happens and what do I have to do when the first egg starts to hatch?

First go on a speed reading course and when they start to hatch start reading Katie Thears book on incubation.  I wouldn't waste time planning if you are making progress!

HF

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TeaPots

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #70 on: July 20, 2010, 20:39 »



RCom incubators are well regarded for producing good results as are Brinsea.
HF
[/quote]

Rcoms are made by Brinsea. I have several rcoms. the mini (3), 20 and 20pro, and they are brill. These are the ones I hire out because they are so easy to use, and very reliable. I have managed several 100% hatches. 

i agree with you about the relevance of keeping environment consistent. I run mine with water from the outset, with humidity set at 45% RH at 37.5C  Interestingly, the humidity in my spare room is also currently around 45%, so I can see how the water may not be necessary at the beginning. HOWEVER, I would think that the humidity AND temperature would fluctuate between these baking hot days, and the cooler nights. So, its ll about consistency to me. (I change the settings to 70% and 37C on day 18 for chickens

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massa

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2010, 18:34 »
hi, i am wanting advise regarding buying an incubator, i have made my own incy which has had varying results mostly disapointing, i think this is due to the temp and humidity fluctuating too much. therefore i have decided to save up and buy one. i have around 150 - 200 to spend and want the best i can get for the money, the one ive been looking at is the Brinsea Octagon 20 Adv ex which i have found for around 200pound but have also seen the rcom suro which has all the same features for around 50pound less than the brinsea. has anyone used either of these or is there any others i could consider in my price range? thanks massa

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hillfooter

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #72 on: July 26, 2010, 03:05 »
hi, i am wanting advise regarding buying an incubator, i have made my own incy which has had varying results mostly disapointing, i think this is due to the temp and humidity fluctuating too much. therefore i have decided to save up and buy one. i have around 150 - 200 to spend and want the best i can get for the money, the one ive been looking at is the Brinsea Octagon 20 Adv ex which i have found for around 200pound but have also seen the rcom suro which has all the same features for around 50pound less than the brinsea. has anyone used either of these or is there any others i could consider in my price range? thanks massa

I've had great success with the earlier model Brinsea Octagon 20 without the automatic humidity control.  Humidity sensing and control is notoriously difficult to do accurately and I wonder if for chickens having an automatic system is just an unnecessay complication which is just another potential thing to go wrong.  However the most unreliable component in any incubator is the nut on the outside.  The manual humidity system I've found to be OK and I think the varying results some people get is due to them not having good viable eggs initially or not storing them well when assembling a clutch or fiddling with the incubator and eggs too much in use.  I strictly limit intervention to a maximum of two candlings.  One after 5 days to weedout the infertile ones and one at 14 -16 days to check development.  I avoid further intervention close to hatch and follow Brinsea's advice on raising humidity at day 18.  This year's hatch was 100% successful and in past years I've never had more than 3 eggs fail at the hatch stage including ebay eggs.  Fertility has been good too at day 5 but that's a function of the chickens and egg storage/transport largely.

Spec wise both these seem very similar but one other consideration is service and spare parts.  Brinsea being UK based is very good but I've no experience with RCom.  I heard someone (Joy?) claim Brinsea and RCom were linked somehow but I haven't seen evidence of that though both these products look very similar.

If you can get to see them check out how easy they are to clean and sanitise.  This is an important aspect and a topic which is never discussed in reviews.  Hatching is quite messy and every part which is exposed to the egg compartment gets a covering of dander which needs to be thoroughly cleaned before you stow for the next use.  This is another reason to avoid buying secondhand.  The Brinsea I have is a bit more fiddly to clean the fan and monitoring system than I'd like though this could be improved on later models.  Another reason to be wary of added complication with humidy control.  Does this add extra cleaning burden?

HF
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 03:49 by hillfooter »

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joyfull

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #73 on: July 26, 2010, 06:17 »
not me I never use an incy - try teapots she has lots  :lol:.
I have far too many broodies to even consider using electric  :D

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tesni

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Re: Incubators and chick rearing
« Reply #74 on: July 28, 2010, 11:49 »
Right - I have taken the plunge and sent for some hatching eggs and an incubator.  The only way to get me started was to hold my nose and go for it.  Now I'm panicking    :wacko: been reading up and it says to rest eggs before setting them - can anyone explain (as if to an idiot) what that means?  Should they remain in box, at room temperature, broad end up or down...... any tips to get a complete novice off the mark would be gratefully received thanks  ::)



 

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