Chickens / Incubation

New Hampshire Lockdown

My current hatch has not been without incident.  During the first week, our days were hot and nights were cold.  Since, we have had fairly frequent rain and high ambient humidity.  I removed 5 of 15 eggs after day 14; there was a clear egg and a few blood rings and quitters.  The air cells are smaller than I would like by a good bit.  I suspect that the ambient humidity had this effect even though the readings were normal – I need to find our how my hygrometer arrives at its reading.  We also had a power outage during the third week of incubation.  With all of this, I am just hoping that at least some of my 10 remaining eggs hatch.

I incubated using my new Genesis 1588 with a digital thermometer because it is so easy to adjust the temperature and moved the eggs to the older Genesis for lockdown.  By using the new incubator only for incubation, the small feathers and other debris of hatch will not become imbedded in the stryofoam or get stuck in the fan, and this will extend its life. The older Genesis is being used as a hatcher.  You can read more about lockdown and incubation in my incubation guide.

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I placed the lids of plastic shoe boxes upside down under the wire to hold water with a large surface area to generate more humidity.  I put a “bumper” of paper towels around the wire because sometimes little legs can get stuck between the grate and the wall.  I covered all of this with foam shelf liner; I usually use paper towels but wanted to give this a try.  So far, I like the way it will further protect the chicks from the edges.  I have a piece of aquarium tubing running through an vent hole down into a shoe box lid so that I can add more water without opening the incubator.  Last hatch, the chicks climbed on the tubing and it fell inside, so now I am using a vent hole plug on the tubing to keep that from happening again.  I like to put the eggs in a cut-down carton to keep them air-cell-up and prevent hatched buddies from knocking them around.  I cut off the tops and the bottoms so that air can move all around the egg preventing the chick from stifling if they pip in an odd place.

My temps are just below 100 degrees, and my humidity is about 65%.  I’ll let it go down to 55% before adding more water and try to keep it generally around 60%.   Today is Day 19.  I usually have my first pip then, but nothing yet.  Maybe the power outage put us back a few hours.  I have my fingers crossed that I will have some little chicks soon!

2 thoughts on “New Hampshire Lockdown

  1. good luck with your hatch i do mine in a homemade incubator made from a refrigerator should have some hatch any day now as well. Interesting blog gonna follow so i can learn more. Thanks Royce

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