Thursday, November 27, 2014

Second Round Incubation Was A Challenge

Happy Thanksgiving!
I was holding out for one of my Jubilee Orpington eggs to complete its hatching at the end of day 21, but it didn't survive the hatch.  DANG! was counting on at least one EBay egg to hatch.  7 of the fresh barnyard eggs hatched with 1 hatching on the 19th day and 6 on the 20th day.  As you can see in the photo one of the chicks membrane lining was stuck to his back and he's not too pretty but seems to be okay in the brooder.  A little review of this incubation round 24 of the eggs had been refrigerated prior to incubation and all the eggs were clear.  Seven of the eggs were EBay Jubilee Orpington eggs with 4 of them clear,  2 embryos, and 1 developed chick who didn't survive.  The other 17 eggs were fresh barnyard mix eggs and 4 were clear, 5 embryo, and 1 dead chick.
Upon viewing the dead embryos, chick development stopped between day 11 through the 14th day.  I noticed on my records, day 10 through the 14th day I had to add water regularly to maintain the humidity level above 55%.  This time period was our first cold spell that lasted several days.
The incubator is cleaned and I will begin the 3rd round next week when I have a good selection of fresh eggs.  The 3rd round I will have the Hava-Bator thermometer inside to help maintain an ideal temperature of 99.5° F and may leave some of the egg turner area free to place a wet sponge on the tray if we have cold weather during the incubation. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Egg Turner Removed

Comparing the 1825 Hava-Bator thermometer to Janoel8's thermometer which was set at 37.6°  Celsius (99.68° F) and the Hava-Bator was reading 101° F, so I lower Janoel8's to 37.5° C (99.5° F) and the Hava-Bator adjusted to 100° F which has been holding at that temperature the last couple of days.  

One of the barn yard eggs has piped the outershell and is peeping away at the end of the 18th day.  Water channels are full of water and I placed a container of water on the hatching tray to hopefully keep the humidity at 65%.  The winter days has evaporated the water from the channels every couple of days and maintaining a good 55-60% humidity range has been a challenge.  
The egg turner has been removed at the end of the 18th day and hopefully a good hatch takes place over the next couple of days. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Barnyard Chicks are Growing

These chicks are on fast track to feathering out since ole man winter showed up right after they hatched.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Candling of Second Round

Humidity alarm was sounding at 5 am this morning, had to drag my self out of a warm bed and placed a cup full of water in the channels until later this morning. The Humidity reading was 44% and the alarm goes off below 45%.

We have our first snowfall for the winter and close to 2 inches so far.  I candled the eggs this morning and the good news is I still have a few developing eggs.  The second round incubation contained 24 refrigerated Araucana eggs and 19 were clears leaving 5 with signs of development.  4 of the 7 eggs from EBay Jubilee Orpington's were clear leaving me 3 with signs of development.  From the 17 fresh barnyard eggs only 1 was clear leaving me with 16 eggs with signs of development.  All of the 25 clears were clear when I broke them open and there are a few of the developing eggs remaining in the incubator that will be questionable at day 18 even though they presented blood vein network.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cold Spell Rough on Incubator

It's day 9 on the second round of incubation an the cold weather is taxing the incubator.  The humidity level has dropped to 45% every 2 days after filling water channels with 2 cups since the cold front showed up last Tuesday.  Once I refill the channels the humidity  quickly raises to 60% and then drops gradually the following day.

My digital thermometer Acu Rite 0088 arrived yesterday and I placed the temperature probe in the incubator and so far my incubator temperature and the digital thermometer reading are not matching.  Dang!  The Janoel8 instruction manual recommends a setting of 37.6° C = 99.68° F and the digital thermometer has had various readings from 98.2° to 99. 1° F which is not giving me a good feeling.  I have moved the probe around to various places inside the incubator and I get different readings.  After viewing the various reading I have pulled the digital thermometer out and began comparing it with our other Acu Rite 00782 model and the new digital readings don't match.  Thinking the new digital isn't true and reading the warranty says it has a 1 year return with a $5 handling charge.  Great!  I paid $14 for the digital and is it worth the return! 

My thoughts to a plan of action is:  I am leaving the temperature settings along until the 11th day when I will candle the eggs.  If  the temperature has been to low especially on the 4th day then I am going to be disappointed in my candling.  With the incubator made of plastic I am wondering if keeping a consistent temperature is a greater task when it's cold weather outside.  The room temperature varies between 68-78° F throughout the day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Going To Be Cold For A Few Days!

This is day 6 for the second round incubation and I've made a few adjustments.  I've place the incubator on a wooden table to hopefully help balance the heat as I noticed my feet were cool while standing on the tile floor.  The cold weather has reduced the humidity and when I began the 2nd round incubation I placed 3 1/2 cups of water in the water channels instead of 4.  The channels will hold the 3 1/2 cups without overflow.  On day 4 for I added 3 cups when the humidity fell to 45% and that raised it back to 60%.  This morning the humidity had dropped to 46% and I added 2 cups and the humidity returned to 60%.

I borrowed a wireless thermometer from a good friend to help me verify the temperature and have since ordered a non wireless digital thermometer to better check my temperature readings. 

The dozens chicks from the 1st hatch are down to 11.  One of the chicks from the two chicks that needed assistance from their eggshell died and the other chick is far behind from the chicks that hatched themselves.  I have seen this happen with chicks hatched under a hen, where those having trouble hatching late seldom do well or survive in the long run.

The cold weather has blown into Kansas and is suppose to hang around for a couple of weeks.  This will definitely add another challenge to a set of eggs that are already challenged.    

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Round Two Incubation with Janoel 8-48

This set of eggs may be a challenge.
This group of eggs consist of 24 olive/blue eggs from Araucana's.  These egg were purchased at a swap and had been refrigerated a few days for consumption instead of incubation.  Years ago I took 12 eggs that had been refrigerated and placed them under a sitting hen and 4 eggs hatched.  So when I came across these Araucana eggs I though lets give it a try.  If the refrigerator temperature didn't get below 40 degrees I might have a chance.
There are 8 Jubilee English Orpington eggs from EBay and with mail delivery eggs the hatch rate varies in low percentages.
There are 11 barnyard eggs from the chickens who provided eggs in round 1 incubation setting.  The remainder 5 eggs are fresh from the hen house today and they will be a brown egg layer mix breed.
I placed another digital thermometer with a probe inside the incubator to see if the reading was the same as the incubator.  The incubator is set at 37.6° C and the digital thermometer read 37° C or
 99° F., I wish the digital had readings in the tenths.  My temperature goal is 99.5° F.  

Dozen Barnyard Chicks

Chicks relaxed in the brooder.

Fact sheet on first round incubation.
Day 21 on the first hatch using Janoel8-48 and the hatch rate was 25%.  10 of the chicks hatched on the 20th day and 2 chicks hatch today with assistance.  The two chicks eggshell appeared to be dry even though the humidity reading was showing 64% this morning.
The disappointing part of this incubation was the 9 fully developed chicks that were dead.  The yolk sac on each of these chicks had not absorbed into their abdomen, so this tells me something went wrong on day 17 or later.  The other 12 eggs with dead embryo had varied developed chicks. 
Reviewing the instruction manual for incubation faults or operator error are:
  • Eggs held longer than 7 days before incubation.
  • Incubator temperature to high or low.
  • First time incubation rarely brings hatch rate success above 50%.
Time to clean the incubator and make it ready for the second incubation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Active Chicks on Day 20

A few early chicks on day 20.
The hatch began around 7 am this morning and the chick who cracked his shell on day 18 wasn't the first to hatch today.  There are 8 chicks rolling the unhatched eggs around as they wonder through the maze of eggs and they look content on the hatching tray.  I can see several eggs with chicks pecking through the shell and few eggs lying idle. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Few Noisy Chicks on Day 19

It's the evening of day 19 and few chicks have pecked open an air hole in their eggshell and are chirping occasionally.  Hope it's not too noisy at bedtime LOL!  The humidity is holding at 65-66% and its raining outside which is probably helping the incubator maintain the 65% humidity.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Eggs Are On The Hatching Tray

Candled the 48 eggs and 15 were clear leaving 33 for a hopeful hatch.

Day 18 and this chick has peeped the eggshell.
Day 18 and time to transfer the eggs from the turner to the hatching tray.  I candled the 48 eggs and 33 showed a nice air sac with a dark area within the rest of the egg.  The remaining 15 eggs were clear when I broke them open without any development visible.  One of the eggs the chick has already peeped the eggshell and I was surprised to see this on day 18.  I would rather the chick wait for the others, because I don't want to lift the lid till the majority of the eggs have hatched in order to keep the humidity level at 65% per the instructions.   The humidity has been holding around 60% the last few days.
While candling the eggs I thought I would be able to see a chick on day 18, but even the chick that has peeped the eggshell wasn't recognizable within the egg.  The chick was moving his beak within the egg.