Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Dry hatching experiment  (Read 33519 times)

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2015, 10:22:05 pm »
Yes, I think you need more water. Check my maths but I reckon that means they will have lost about 100g too much over the 24 eggs by hatch which I think would be about 20% weight loss which would be going to high rather than too low (I haven't checked my stats since last year but isn't 16% about the weight loss limit at the top end?).

H

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2015, 10:01:15 am »
Yeah, might but a bit in to get it back on track.

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2015, 01:50:06 pm »
Finally cracked and added some water. Put in the post hydrometer this morning and it read 28% humidity. Outside the incubator is 46%. Filled one channel and it has shot up to 50% which although too high, might bring the weights back into line a bit. It really shouldn't be this difficult! I have decided that I am going to play with water levels to try and get to ideal weight at hatch and see how that goes.

Really need to invest in a proper cabinet incubator for next year. Probably Brinsea 380 with the humidity pump. Either than or get myself a small army of pekins and set up a nursery in the field.

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2015, 07:46:01 pm »
Quick update if anyone is interested. Added water the other day and weighed tonight. Target is around 1650g and actual weight was 1620g so it's coming back towards target. I plan on keeping it under target by a little bit but will monitor and add water if required again. Fingers crossed.

Weight was 1640g on the 5th so have only lost 5g per day since then with water compared to the 9.8g desired. I suspect this may be the reason for my previous failures as I had kept the water filled from day 1.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 07:49:53 pm by Stereo »

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2015, 09:02:20 pm »
Quick update if anyone is interested.
:thumbsup: very interested in your progress
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit.

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2015, 09:22:32 pm »
What do u mean by lock down, what day and also what should the humidity be at lock down I'm thinking of setting 24 eggs should I run them dry?
Thanks
follow on FB@BramhamWiltshireHorns

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2015, 12:45:20 am »
What do u mean by lock down, what day and also what should the humidity be at lock down I'm thinking of setting 24 eggs should I run them dry?
Thanks

Lockdown is about day 18 and when the broody hen will just sit and not move the until hatch.  At this point the  humidity needs to be much higher than the previous period of incubation / warming / cooling. In an incubator, you lockdown by adding water, stop the turning and hope for the best.

Annoying thing is that hens can just do this with no manual, no forum, no instructions or humidity pump. I often think I should use broodies more.

B3a5tie

  • Joined Feb 2015
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2015, 08:52:06 am »
For chickens I tend to only add half of one side of the two troughs in the Brinsea 7 egg mini as we have high humidity in general here in Cornwall and we are in a draughty old farmhouse! Based on a poor hatch a couple of years ago where I think too much humidity caused hatching problems for chicks.  :( let the water evaporate to nearly gone and then top up to the same level again (every 3 days or so) throughout. I filled both full though when hatching Call Ducks and got 7 out of 7 - think they prefer higher humidity. Problem is that it's hard to tell what has gone wrong. I do try and leave them be as much as possible though i.e. not handle/candle too much! Good luck with your hatch! I have 6 Light Sussex eggs wibbling and wobbling in the incubator (1 was infertile at Day 8 Candling) - Lockdown Friday and Hatch Monday.  :fc:

Update on this - 6 out of 6 chicks hatched successfully yesterday using the same unscientific method here! 6 Maran eggs and 1 Speckled Sussex egg started yesterday. Have heard Marans are difficult so we'll see.

Kimbo

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Anglezarke, Lancashire
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2015, 08:59:17 am »

Annoying thing is that hens can just do this with no manual, no forum, no instructions or humidity pump. I often think I should use broodies more.



Please advise a novice poultry keeper here. If you have a broody hen you could use, would you always use her rather than an incubator? What are the pros and cons?
Is it time to retire yet?

Steeple Ducks

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2015, 09:45:44 am »
Did you crack the shells of the died at point of hatch? You would know if the chicks died due to too much humidity if they're still surrounded in liquid. It's so disappointing getting losses at hatch especially if no idea why.

Marans eggs have small pores so do have a problem losing enough weight. Also some eggs seem to have much thicker, more leathery membranes. Possibly the freshest, early season eggs, with strongest shells and thicker, leathery membranes are the most difficult to lose weight.

I always hatch dry now and check the size of air sac by candling rather than weighing the egg. I'd much rather have a too large air sac than too small as the chicks come out fighting fit.

Kimbo, a good broody will do all the work for you but you can get some that are good egg sitters but do not want their perfect eggs turning into horrible little chicks and reject them, so have an incubator/brooder ready if this should happen. Broodies can also kick out an egg to get chilled and you can put it back under and another one again the next night and all is fine, sit on them partially submerged in a waterlogged nest and all is fine etc, etc!!!

lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2015, 11:06:40 am »

Annoying thing is that hens can just do this with no manual, no forum, no instructions or humidity pump. I often think I should use broodies more.



Please advise a novice poultry keeper here. If you have a broody hen you could use, would you always use her rather than an incubator? What are the pros and cons?

pros-
hatching tends to be better (but not infallible)
no cleaning out dirty chicks-mum does a great job
chicks outside from the get go
its very gratifying seeing mum and chicks


cons
chicks tend to grow up a bit more flighty
I think they tend to mature a little slower
mum can make a holy mess of your backyard showing chicks how to forage ;)
it can take alot out of the hen-they sit for 3 weeks, then are with the chicks for up to 5/6 (I have to keep mine under wire/netting due to crows and sparrowhawks) and then IME (as mine tend to sit quite late) they moult. I had a terrible time trying to integrate one back into the flock last year and despite my best efforts at slow re-introductions etc, she was badly beaten up by another hen that she'd previously grew up with.

I have 24 in the incy atm, doing it dry. Not sure what fertility is going to be like (3 new cockerels) so will candle on friday.

Kimbo

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Anglezarke, Lancashire
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2015, 01:41:49 pm »
thank you that's very interesting. Sounds as though the incubator is harder work but in the long run your preferred method. Having nearly lost one hen to serious bullying I wouldn't want to invite that problem again.
Im watching this thread carefully as  thinking of hatching some pure breds in the future.
Is it time to retire yet?

lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2015, 02:16:57 pm »
thank you that's very interesting. Sounds as though the incubator is harder work but in the long run your preferred method. Having nearly lost one hen to serious bullying I wouldn't want to invite that problem again.
Im watching this thread carefully as  thinking of hatching some pure breds in the future.

I like both methods tbh-I love not having to think about cleaning out chicks all the time and worrying about if they are warm enough and getting them out etc and I love to see a mother hen. I will let them sit if they want, think its a bit mean to not let them once a year.
The hen that fought her was unexpected and the wee ex-broody actually went missing for a couple of days-thought a fox had her. It didnt really occur to me it was another hen as I'd not had any problems in the few years previously with that group. When she turned back up she was in a bad way and the hen then had another go at her. She was in sick bay for a week getting over it. They are fine now, funny things hens. If she wants to sit this year I'll let her-I have a silkie cross I am expecting to go broody as well.

B3a5tie

  • Joined Feb 2015
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2015, 03:59:21 pm »
Some helpful advice on here - thanks! I have never had a chicken go broody so have only ever hatched in an incubator. Am hoping I get a broody one this year! Was wondering though - do you need to provide the Mum and chicks with separate housing (I have extra arks) and do you need to feed chick crumbs to the chicks (and Mum?!). Thanks!

lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Dry hatching experiment
« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2015, 04:20:31 pm »
Some helpful advice on here - thanks! I have never had a chicken go broody so have only ever hatched in an incubator. Am hoping I get a broody one this year! Was wondering though - do you need to provide the Mum and chicks with separate housing (I have extra arks) and do you need to feed chick crumbs to the chicks (and Mum?!). Thanks!

yes and yes-she can quite happily eat chick crumb although I tend to give them garvo chick mix and then the mini pellets plus chick grit if they are on grass. This is hijacking Stereo's thread a bit though, best start a new one :)

 

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