Livestock Incubators and eggs

Donna_in_OK

Senior Member
All -

The sale of chickens in the state has been put on hold for a bit, and I want to try to hatch some of my own. We purchased an incubator. Currently I have about 4 dozen eggs on the counter. Since they have never been washed nor in anything but room temperature, can I put these in the incubator and have any success?

TIA - :-)
 

Cardinal

Chickministrator
_______________
All -

The sale of chickens in the state has been put on hold for a bit, and I want to try to hatch some of my own. We purchased an incubator. Currently I have about 4 dozen eggs on the counter. Since they have never been washed nor in anything but room temperature, can I put these in the incubator and have any success?

TIA - :-)
I assume you have one of those Styrofoam incubators?
Yes you will have success, but not 100% with those.
Make sure to check it daily to make sure there is still water in it, the water evaporates quickly.
And when they start to hatch, keep a sharp eye on them. Some chicks will need 'help.'
Others may get caught in the little egg holes so be sure to remove them quickly.
Have fun.
 

Donna_in_OK

Senior Member
I assume you have one of those Styrofoam incubators?
Yes you will have success, but not 100% with those.
Make sure to check it daily to make sure there is still water in it, the water evaporates quickly.
And when they start to hatch, keep a sharp eye on them. Some chicks will need 'help.'
Others may get caught in the little egg holes so be sure to remove them quickly.
Have fun.
Thanks. We got a Harris Farms Nuture Right 360 from Tractor Supply.


The styrofoam one they had was cheap and had bad reviews.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
All -

The sale of chickens in the state has been put on hold for a bit, and I want to try to hatch some of my own. We purchased an incubator. Currently I have about 4 dozen eggs on the counter. Since they have never been washed nor in anything but room temperature, can I put these in the incubator and have any success?

TIA - :-)
Depends on how old they are. Every day past 5 days, above 50 degrees, hatch rates drop fast. If they haven't been moved daily, you'll likely have stuck chick issues. I always prioritized the incubator for the best size, cleanest and freshest eggs... we could eat month old (refrigerated) eggs just fine... almost like store bought!

Summerthyme
 

Donna_in_OK

Senior Member
Depends on how old they are. Every day past 5 days, above 50 degrees, hatch rates drop fast. If they haven't been moved daily, you'll likely have stuck chick issues. I always prioritized the incubator for the best size, cleanest and freshest eggs... we could eat month old (refrigerated) eggs just fine... almost like store bought!

Summerthyme
Yikes.... we've been in the 90s. :/ House is about 75.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
You are very unlikely to get 100% hatch rates with ANY incubator -- the styrofoam ones can work quite well, but I do think they aren't the best incubators out there. I've got one styrofoam one, and the Nurture Right 360, and have been using both this year. The NR360 has a candling light on top of it -- candle your eggs about a week after you've set them, and see if they are starting to grow. You should see a network of veins in there. If it's clear, toss the egg at that point.

I've been doing 'dry hatch' this year -- it is actually dry incubation, because you do add water the last three days before they start hatching. It's working well for my chicken eggs.

And I almost never 'help' chicks out of their shells. If they can't get out on their own, they aren't strong and I don't want them in my flock, where I may breed from them. Usually, if the humidity is up where it should be at hatching (65%-75%), you don't get stuck chicks, so that shouldn't be the reason they are having trouble getting out. If you consistently have problems, you may want to look at what you are feeding your parent stock -- they may need a higher level of nutrition.

Fresher is better, but people have hatched chicks from eggs as old as three weeks, so don't give up on them until after they've been candled.

I was keeping all of my eggs in the styrofoam incubator until three days before hatching, then moving them to the NR360 for hatching. I had put both incubators away, but a friend gave me back a dozen eggs from a flock descended from some of my original Icelandics. I added a couple of green Lavender Ameraucana eggs from another friend, and a dozen bantam eggs, and filled up the NR360 (over-filled it, actually, but I'm sure I'll be tossing a few after I candle them on Saturday). This is the first batch that will stay in the NR360 all the way through, but I have been impressed with how well it holds temperature, and we like all the clear plastic, which allows us to watch the chicks hatch.

Kathleen
 

NCGirl

Veteran Member
When we got back from vacation last year we decided to hatch some eggs and got one of the syrofoam incubators. Went and grabbed a dozen eggs from the nest and put them in. We let the incubator roll them and we added water every couple of days. We had 5 hatch out of 12. 4 peeped out on their own on the same day but 1 was 2 days later and he needed just a little help for the last little bit but it is better NOT to help them if at all possible. My understanding is you can really hurt the chick if you "help" too much...

Now my geese! They are supposed to be very difficult to hatch. Hatchery says they have a 50% hatch rate for our breed. We sold the geese to a lady and one of our lady geese had been sitting on 10 eggs for a week or so. We told her we seriously doubted any of them would hatch but she could take them with her and try. She loaded the eggs up in a box and off she went. She sent me a picture a few weeks later with 9 little baby geese! could not believe it!!! I guess mother nature is definitely best.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
When we got back from vacation last year we decided to hatch some eggs and got one of the syrofoam incubators. Went and grabbed a dozen eggs from the nest and put them in. We let the incubator roll them and we added water every couple of days. We had 5 hatch out of 12. 4 peeped out on their own on the same day but 1 was 2 days later and he needed just a little help for the last little bit but it is better NOT to help them if at all possible. My understanding is you can really hurt the chick if you "help" too much...

Now my geese! They are supposed to be very difficult to hatch. Hatchery says they have a 50% hatch rate for our breed. We sold the geese to a lady and one of our lady geese had been sitting on 10 eggs for a week or so. We told her we seriously doubted any of them would hatch but she could take them with her and try. She loaded the eggs up in a box and off she went. She sent me a picture a few weeks later with 9 little baby geese! could not believe it!!! I guess mother nature is definitely best.

My friend here has been hatching eggs from her White Chinese geese in three styrofoam incubators, and has been having very good hatches, all but the last batch (we'd had a spell of hot weather and that may have affected the gander's fertility). She keeps the humidity really high for those, even spraying them with water daily.

Kathleen
 

bluelady

Veteran Member
You are very unlikely to get 100% hatch rates with ANY incubator -- the styrofoam ones can work quite well, but I do think they aren't the best incubators out there. I've got one styrofoam one, and the Nurture Right 360, and have been using both this year. The NR360 has a candling light on top of it -- candle your eggs about a week after you've set them, and see if they are starting to grow. You should see a network of veins in there. If it's clear, toss the egg at that point.

I've been doing 'dry hatch' this year -- it is actually dry incubation, because you do add water the last three days before they start hatching. It's working well for my chicken eggs.

And I almost never 'help' chicks out of their shells. If they can't get out on their own, they aren't strong and I don't want them in my flock, where I may breed from them. Usually, if the humidity is up where it should be at hatching (65%-75%), you don't get stuck chicks, so that shouldn't be the reason they are having trouble getting out. If you consistently have problems, you may want to look at what you are feeding your parent stock -- they may need a higher level of nutrition.

Fresher is better, but people have hatched chicks from eggs as old as three weeks, so don't give up on them until after they've been candled.

I was keeping all of my eggs in the styrofoam incubator until three days before hatching, then moving them to the NR360 for hatching. I had put both incubators away, but a friend gave me back a dozen eggs from a flock descended from some of my original Icelandics. I added a couple of green Lavender Ameraucana eggs from another friend, and a dozen bantam eggs, and filled up the NR360 (over-filled it, actually, but I'm sure I'll be tossing a few after I candle them on Saturday). This is the first batch that will stay in the NR360 all the way through, but I have been impressed with how well it holds temperature, and we like all the clear plastic, which allows us to watch the chicks hatch.

Kathleen
I love this YouTube channel. She lives at a high elevation in Wyoming where they can have snow any time of year, so she has Icelandics. This is her poultry playlist that is mostly about them; the most recent few are of new chicks hatched out by a broody hen.

Run time of the one that popped up in the picture is 18 minutes.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qulwRiASDDo&list=PLahYrM1qHHGPh9iLXGtY-kB-rurtHyAQh

Today's video, run time 11:58. She compares these with the parents who were from a hatchery. So fun to watch!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYbruyV9aas
 
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Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I love this YouTube channel. She lives at a high elevation in Wyoming where they can have snow any time of year, so she has Icelandics. This is her poultry playlist that is mostly about them; the most recent few are of new chicks hatched out by a broody hen.

Run time of the one that popped up in the picture is 18 minutes.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qulwRiASDDo&list=PLahYrM1qHHGPh9iLXGtY-kB-rurtHyAQh

Today's video, run time 11:58. She compares these with the parents who were from a hatchery. So fun to watch!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYbruyV9aas

I really liked my Icelandics. They are pretty, fun to watch, and good layers as well as good broody hens. But they go feral very quickly! I originally bought several adults, and kept them in the coop for a couple of months before I finally let them out in the yard. They immediately started roosting high in trees, which made it almost impossible to catch them (or to keep them safe from owls at night -- my LGD was pretty good at protecting them from other predators). They can fly fairly well for chickens, since they aren't any bigger than a Leghorn, so it would be difficult to keep them inside a fenced area. Well, we'll see how this new batch works out.

Kathleen

ETA: The ones that were loose in the yard for a couple of years just about fed themselves year-round. They are excellent foragers. Might not work as well in a dry climate where there was less food for them to find, but here in Kentucky they did really well.
 

Wildwood

Veteran Member
Thanks. We got a Harris Farms Nuture Right 360 from Tractor Supply.


The styrofoam one they had was cheap and had bad reviews.
That is a very good incubator. I've been researching them for a while. I have the Kebonixxs that will hatch 12 and I've been extrememly pleased with it and it's hatch rates...even with older eggs and shipped eggs. I now want the Nurture Right. They are supposedly made by the same manufacturer and are very similar except for size. They are compared a lot and there is a video or two on YT.

My advice is to get some of the shelf liner that is a little spongey and grippy and cut a liner for your incubator for when you take the turner out. It really helps their little legs not spread out. The bottom of those incubators is very smooth. It's so easy...just take your egg turner out and use it to draw an outline with a sharpy and cut it with scissors. Another tip...if you have trouble keeping your humidity, get a clean new sponge and cut piecs that will stick up in the little water reservoir. It gets it right where you need it. I buy the six pack of colored sponges and throw away the used ones after each hatch. I also used distilled water only in my incubator and disinfect very well between hatches.
 

Donna_in_OK

Senior Member
That is a very good incubator. I've been researching them for a while. I have the Kebonixxs that will hatch 12 and I've been extrememly pleased with it and it's hatch rates...even with older eggs and shipped eggs. I now want the Nurture Right. They are supposedly made by the same manufacturer and are very similar except for size. They are compared a lot and there is a video or two on YT.

My advice is to get some of the shelf liner that is a little spongey and grippy and cut a liner for your incubator for when you take the turner out. It really helps their little legs not spread out. The bottom of those incubators is very smooth. It's so easy...just take your egg turner out and use it to draw an outline with a sharpy and cut it with scissors. Another tip...if you have trouble keeping your humidity, get a clean new sponge and cut piecs that will stick up in the little water reservoir. It gets it right where you need it. I buy the six pack of colored sponges and throw away the used ones after each hatch. I also used distilled water only in my incubator and disinfect very well between hatches.
Thank you so much for the information. Right now, the incubator is full so hopefully in about another 2 1/2 weeks I'll have some chicks. Thus far, with all the rain we have had, we've been good on the water and have only had to add it once. I'm sure we'll need to start adding it soon.

I'll be able to pick up some of the sponges next time I go out to the stores. I'm so stoked about the thought of potential little peep peeps that may come from my own chicks! :)
 
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