Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time To Add A New Rooster!

This was a dry incubation through day 19 and I added 4 tablespoons of water after the egg turner was removed for the hatch that began on day 20.  The humidity hung around 15-25% throughout the first 19 days and when I added the water it raised to 65% and steadily lowered to around 35% on the 21st day.  I had a heat issue during the hatch that killed a few chicks before they hatched.  Most likely cause by the sunny day warming up my metal shop while I had the door closed and didn't have a breeze passing through my shop.  My temperature alarm never alerted me.

When I candled the eggs on the 19th day I had 19 clears which is telling me my 3 year old rooster is not getting the job complete plus a handful of hens are the same age as well.  The coyote or bobcat snatched my young rooster in February and just replace a young rooster in April.  From the 29 developed eggs 17 hatched which isn't a good hatch rate.  External conditions most likely reduced this hatch rate.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

All Colors

March Beauties!

This is a barnyard mix of eggs with half being from Easter egger hens.  30 chicks hatched from the 48 eggs with 18 eggs being clears when I candled them on the 19th day and placed them on the hatching floor.  Not sure why I had so many clears other than I did notice several eggs were from the same hen.

The first of March had several cold fronts come through and I had the incubator in my unheated barn on the bench.  It's interesting how cold fronts effect the humidity levels, as a front came through the humidity was reading 0 and the alarm was sounding when I went to the barn of a mornings.  I added 2 tablespoons of water and this would raise the humidity up to the 30% range and drop throughout the day.  The first 13 days I added 2 tablespoons of water to the water channels daily to raise the humidity from a 0 ready of a morning.  After the 13th day I didn't have to add any water to the incubator and the we didn't have any cold fronts pass through our area either.

On the 19th day I added 4 tablespoons of water and the eggs were placed on the hatching floor.  When the lid was closed on the 19th day; the humidity was reading in the mid 40% range and it flucuated from 30-50% during the hatch at the end of the 21st day.  I did not lift the lid until the hatch was complete and I was ready to move the chicks to brooder box. 

I hope your egg incubation is providing good results and if you haven't tried the dry incubation method; please give it a try.  Dry incubation has increased my hatch rate.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nice hatch to start the 2017season!

It's time for a few new chickens on the farm, so I pull the incubator out of the box and turned it on in the non-heated barn.  The incubator warmed up quickly and the humidity alarm sounded even though it's set on 0.  I planned this incubation as a dry incubation and wasn't going to add any water to the water channels.  However, I had to add 2 tablespoons of water 5 times throughout the incubation period because the alarm was sounding at 0 reading and the rest of the time the humidity ranged around 15-20% unless a cold front came through.  On the 19th day I added 4 tablespoons of water to the water channel and the humidity fluctuated between 30-55% through the end of the 21st day.  I never lifted the lid from day 19 through the end of day 21.

Overall a good barnyard mix hatch of 37 chicks from the 48 eggs.  5 eggs were clears and the rest had some development when I candled the eggs on the 19th day as I took them off the egg turner.  If you haven't try the dry incubation method, please give it a try.  I only added  2 tablespoons of water when the humidity alarm was sounding at 0 and this happened when a cold front came through.
4 tablespoons of water on the 19th day!

These chicks are ready for a meal!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Last Hatch For 2015

Hatch 10 is complete with a 73.53% hatch rate using the dry incubation method.  Of the 48 eggs to begin with 25 hatched with the remaining eggs clears.  Not sure why I had so many clears when I had plenty of roosters in the barnyard mix pen.  I'm after brown egg layers from this batch.

The humidity ran in the 20% range most of the time, unless a storm passed over and then the humidity raised to the 30% range.  I never noticed the humidity above 40% nor did I add any water through day 18.

Once day 19 rolled around I had chicks already hatched before I had removed the egg turner.  Once the egg turner was removed I filled the water channels and the humidity jumped to 69%, which is a little high for me, but I did okay because this group of chicks mostly hatched on day 19 and finished on day 20.  With the warm summer air and 69% humidity the chicks didn't dry off too soon in the incubator that was in the garage.  I had the eggs resting in my barn  a couple of days before they were placed in the incubator.  The barn got rather warm during the day from the summer heat and I think this just started the incubation before the incubator went to work.

My neighbor let me use 2 Little Giant model 9200 still air incubators along with using the Janeol8-48.  These eggs did not hatch until day 21 and finished on day 22.  I had around 34 eggs in each Little Giant and of the 68 eggs 44 chicks hatched.  I had to hand roll the eggs, and rolled them morning and evening only.  These eggs were dry incubation as well and water added on the 19th day to the water channels.  The high humidity did keep the chicks damp after they hatched and were much happier in the brooder once they were removed from the incubators.

Overall, all the incubators mentioned in this blog have worked best with dry incubation.  Meaning don't add any water until day 19 when the chicks are ready to hatch.  This has reduced drowning chicks when they peep the air sac before peeping the eggshell.

I have plenty of pullets for the season so I will store the incubators until next spring.  Best of luck on your incubation. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Hatch Dry Hatch

Notice the piece the of wood between the lid to relieve the heat.

Nice mix of Orpington's!
This is round 9 incubation an my wife asked me to take the incubator to the barn for the summer.  My barn is constructed of tin and heats up pretty fast during the hot summer days.  By noon the incubator alarm is sounding off because its too hot.  Instead of lowering the digital temperature, I place a board between the lid to help adjust the heat and this work till early evening hours.  Once the sun went down I had to remove the board and let the incubator do its proper incubation.
I had a 52% hatch rate using the dry incubation through day 19.  I forgot to take the eggs off the turner until late of day 19.  The humidity read 30-45% through day 19.  When I went to remove the turner I already had a hatched chick completely dry and several eggs peeped.  I removed the egg turner and placed 2 cups of water in the channels and this raised the humidity to 60-70%.  I did have to place my board between the lid on day 20 and the chicks continued to hatch.
By the end of day 21 I had 25 chicks and it appeared all the eggs that were going to hatch was complete, so I  remove the unhatched eggs and only had 9 clears with 13 dead chicks.  I'm sure the heat raised too high before I relieved to problem during the daytime hours.
If you haven't tried the dry incubation method (no water added through day 18), may I suggest you give it a try.  It works fine and a lot less mess with water.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Janoel8-48 Conitnues Low Percentage Hatch

Hatch number eight with Janoel8-48 resulted in a 37.5% hatch and I was disappointed in these results.  I followed the dry humidity incubation method; day 1 through 18 I didn't add any water to the incubator.  The incubator humidity measured 12-15% most of the time and when a storm passed through the humidity raised to 21%.  Day 10 candling was promising with only a handful of clears.

Day 19 the eggs were removed from the egg turner and I added 2 cups of water to the water channel.  This raised the humidity to 60-65% and it remained at this reading through the end of day 21.  Most of the chicks hatched on day 20.

At the end of day 21, I opened the lid and removed the chicks.  I had 2 eggs cracked open, but the chicks were stuck to their membrane and they were all slimy for being in the egg too long.  The water channel was completely dry and I was bother with viewing a dry water channel and the humidity reading was still showing 60% at the end of day 21.  The incubator needed a little water for those last chicks to hatch properly.

Over a dozen eggs didn't hatch and after inspection 6-8 of those eggs were fully developed and something failed towards the last stage for a hatch.  Not sure if the 2 cups of water was too much and the eggs absorbed the water, causing a drown when the chicks peeped the air sac or something else is going on and I haven't figured this problem out yet.

On the next incubation I will only add 1/4 cup of water at day 19 for humidity rate of 45% and add 1/4 cup daily through day 21 and analyze the results.

On a brighter note I have sitting hens who are hatching eggs without issues.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Productive Marsh RX Automatic Fourth Round Hatch

Low humidity incubation was used for the fourth round on the Marsh RX incubator and the hatch was very good.  During day 1 through 18 if the students were in class they added 1/4 cup of water to the incubator.  Otherwise no water was added on non-school days or weekends.
On the 19th day a water tray with sponge was added for humidity during the hatch that took place on the 20th and 21st day. 
Students are excited to take their chicks home today. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Low Humidity Hatch Complete With Modest Results

Hatch #7 using the low humidity during incubation appeared to be successful.  I began with the 48 eggs, however when day 11 came I candled the eggs and had a lot of clears.  Not sure why so many clears from the variety of breeds I placed in the incubator.  On day 19 I had 22 eggs ready for hatching and 17 did complete the hatch giving me a 76% hatch rate.
Throughout this incubation I maintained a 45% humidity or lower.  I added 30 ml of water to begin with and this gave me a 45% humidity reading.  Whenever the humidity dropped to 10-12%, I added 15 ml of water using a syringe and this  raised the humidity to 45%.

During the 19th to 21st day I added 60 ml of water in the incubator for a 55-60 %  humidity at the beginning of the 19th day.  I had 4 eggs that appeared to be lacking enough humidity for the chicks to break through the shell after they had peeped the shell.  On the 21st day I ended up helping 3 of the chicks by cracking their eggshells so they could enjoy a new world.
Incubation #8 is underway using the Dry Humidity Incubation method.  I am not adding any water during the first 18 days.  Once the 19th day comes I will add water to have a 50-60% humidity level during the hatch.  I am on day 4 and the humidity is reading 15-18% most of the time and rising to 21% as the storms pass through.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marsh RX Incubator Does Good With Low Humidity Hatch

27 Barnyard Mix Brown Egg Chicks

15 Special Breed Chicks
On the 19th day 55 eggs were ready for the hatch and 42 completed the hatch with a 76% hatch rate.  Vo-Ag students are enjoying the chicks in the brooders today.  The best part for me is the low humidity hatch was successful.  I added 1/4 cup of water daily to raise the humidity to mid 40% and within 24 hours no water was present in the water channel.  No water was added over the weekends.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Second Round Low Humidity Incubation Holding Steady

I am doing better with the low humidity attempt with the Janoel8-48 this time.  I'm using a syringe an adding 30ml or 1/8 cup of water when the humidity drops below 10% two or three times daily.  When I add 30ml the humidity raises to 45% and lowers thereafter in a 6 to 8 hour period.

I candled the EBay eggs today on day 4 and of the dozen 1 appears clear with 11 showing blood vein lining.  Lets hope the continue developing.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hatch 7 Attempting Low Humidity Incubation

12 Ebay Ohiki Phoenix Bantams eggs are among the 48 eggs and I'm hoping for some red Ohiki's hatch.  I am attempting another low humidity incubation with the humidity running between 30-45%.  At the moment I'm having trouble maintaining this range through a 24 hour period. 
Couple of days ago before starting the incubation I place 1 tablespoon of water in the incubator and had a 45% humidity for 6 or 7 hours and then it steadily dropped and I added 1/8 cup water 12 hours later.  The 1/8 cup raised the humidity to 32 % for another 7 hours before dropping to 27 % for awhile.  When I added the eggs to the incubator I cut a sponge in half length ways and laid the 2 pieces in the center of the incubator soaked with water.  The humidity is in the mid 40's thirty minutes after the lid was placed back on the incubator. 
I'm hoping by adding water to the sponges will stabilize the humidity in the 30-40 % with less than 1/8 cup of water for a longer period throughout the  day. The prior methods of 1/4 cup or more of water to the water channels would raise the humidity to 50-60% ranges and I want to avoid this.  I am drowning too many chicks in their eggs before they hatch.  This is happening when the humidity is too high and water absorbs into the egg filling the air sac.  The chick drowns as it peeps the air sac that's holding water to breath before peeping the eggshell.
I will make another adjustment to the humidity alarm setting and will be lowering it to 5% before the alarm sounds,  this hopefully will make it through a 24 hour period without sounding the alarm in the early morning hours before I get out of bed.
The Marsh RX incubator at the school is on track with developing eggs.  We are adding 1/4 cup of water daily while school is in session.  On the weekends no water is added.  Eggs were candled on the 5th day and the majority had developing embryos.   

Friday, March 27, 2015

Marsh RX Automatic Loaded with Eggs

Third hour Agri-Science Class at Sedan loaded the Marsh incubator with 70 eggs on Wednesday and the lesson on incubating begins for 8 freshman.  The thermometer with a wick to measure the humidity isn't reading properly, so I am relying on the instruction manual with water at the first post should have humidity in the 48% level.  Adding 1/4 cup water comes to the first post and has been evaporating at 24 hours.  During the week students will add water when it has evaporated,  and weekends will be dry humidity incubation.

The students inspected their eggs and several eggs were given names based on their size or color.  After the incubator was filled a couple dozen eggs were left over and the students decided to take the remaining eggs to home economics and fixed themselves scrambled eggs.

I will let you know the outcome of the hatch.  As for the Janoel8-48 incubator I am taking a brief break because I have roughly a 100 chicks from the recent hatch's and my pens or brooders are full.      

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Humidity Too High

Something went wrong with incubation # 6 using Janoel8-48  as only 8 chicks hatched and 11 died at different stages through day 21.  I suspect the humidity remained too high after I added water to the channels.  I wanted a dry hatch incubation with the humidity running in the 30's through the first 18 days.  However, my effort created a 60% humidity for several hours before the humidity dropped down into the 40-30% levels.

I used a squeeze bottle with tubing and added 1/4 cup water once the humidity dropped below 20% and never lifted the lid until the 19th day when I removed the egg turner.  My problem may have been when I added water and the humidity raised to 60% and held that range for several hours before dropping into the 40's for most of the day, then gradually dropping off to the teens before I added more water.  The water channels were drying out regularly on a 24 hour period.

The positive side is the squeeze bottle kept the humidity at 60% during the hatch period.  When I start the next incubation, I will use a syringe to add water by tablespoon measurements to get the 30% humidity level.

A lot of clears were in this batch of eggs and I wasn't surprised either.  I had been gathering eggs on very cold days.  Our cold days are hopefully behind us now and were ready to enjoy spring.