Chickens / Incubation

Day 0: Eggs Set

   This morning, I took my eggs from their cool location in the bathtub and moved them onto the dining room table next to the incubator to come up to room temperature.  As these are shipped eggs, I debated about when to turn on the automatic turner.  Shipped eggs can have disrupted or fragile air cells from the vibrations of travel.  Before my last incubation, the shipped eggs had sat for two full days.  I slightly elevated one end of the egg carton and then the other about twice a day.  This gave them time for the air cell to settle.  The current eggs sat about 24 hours.  Some people recommend leaving the turner off until the third day of incubation for shipped eggs.  I have decided to leave mine off for about 24 hours to give them a bit more time to settle.

   While the eggs sat on the table, I weighed each egg and recorded its starting weight.  This will allow me to calculate the percentage of weight lost as I go so that I can adjust humidity as needed.  Eggs should lose 11-15% of their weight in water throughout the 21 days of incubation.  Therefore, I will check on day 7 to see if they have lost 1/3 of this, or 3.7-5%. 

   During my last hatch, I believe my humidity was too low during incubation and too high during hatch.  I am hoping to correct that with this hatch and am aiming to keep my incubation humidity between 30-40%, now with an accurate hygrometer.  It’s about 41% right now, and I am hoping it will come down a bit soon; I’d like to see it sit around 35%.  I also plan to handle the eggs less.  Last time I candled a few eggs on day 6, all eggs on day 7, and all again on day 14.  This time, I will candle and weigh a few eggs on day 7 and all on day 14. 

   By day 7, I will be dying to see if any are developing.  In the interest of disclosure, I suspect that they may have been X-rayed in transit for reasons that I will not get into here.  I am hoping they were not, because this would have killed them, but only time will tell.  In the meantime, I’ll cross my fingers and hope for the best!

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