Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Urgent incubation advice needed  (Read 3807 times)

wolfie

  • Joined May 2008
Urgent incubation advice needed
« on: August 30, 2008, 09:18:22 am »
My wife recently got a R-Com Pro Auto as a birthday present.  There were humidity problems and it fused after two days and we tried to keep the eggs (20 Maran and RIR) warm until a replacement arrived.  We are now 9-11 days into incubation and have discovered the turning mechanism on the incubator isn't working - needless to say we are not pleased and the company we bought from have gone on holiday for two weeks so can't advise, replace etc.
Any advice on what to do - should we turn by hand, candle the eggs, give up (we have two small excited children waiting for chicks to consider as well so if there is no chance they will need advance warning).  We weren't intending to bother with candling this time round but if you advise can we do this without special equipment? Thanks

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Urgent incubation advice needed
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2008, 12:57:53 pm »
Oh, Wolfie. Been there. We bought a Covatutto incubator first time round. It let us down several times until eventually we just boxed it and sent it back with a note saying that we didn't care what they did with it but we certainly didn't want to see it again. I think they might have guessed we were p*ssed off.

I don't think humidity is so important early on but temperature is. Eggs need to be turned 5 times  a day - of course you can do this manually. It depends how long these things have been malfunctioning. It doesn't sound like a good combimation - everything that could break, has.

You could candle the eggs using a small torch. That would give you the state of play now. If the eggs have developing embryos, and the machine is working and you're hand turning, you could give it a go and candle again in a few days and see if there is any difference ie if the chicks are developing.

Personally, I'd give it a go but you might think it's easier on the kids to write this lot off and start again - rather than wait 21 days for maybe nothing.

Let us know how you get on.

Francis Bacon

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Belabre, France
Re: Urgent incubation advice needed
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2008, 05:26:11 pm »
Rosemary can you tell me what candling is please, I'm interested because we bought 3 Rhode Islands for egg laying.  Didn't really think we would want any more so wasn't worried about a cockerel, then one turned broody & we got eggxited  ::) and we decided to borrow the neighbours  :o for a week or so.  She (broody hen) took full responsibility for the eggs & has been sitting peacefully for 2 weeks now, taking herself off every now & then to stretch her legs etc....  Do you think we will have any success?  Do you candle to see if they are fertile? 
I've really enjoyed the experience & am now thinking of purchasing a incubator myself, there are several breeds that are not so readily available as they are in UK.
Regards Donna

 :-[ Whoops just seen the posting you replyed to Nannypol, will wait for the next time she leaves her nest to maybe candle one - would she notice that they've been touched or should I leave well alone?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 05:30:13 pm by Francis Bacon »
I Love mornings - I just wish they came later in the day!

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Urgent incubation advice needed
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2008, 08:33:23 pm »
Hi, Donna

Candling is basically shining a light through the egg from bottom to top; if the egg is fertile and the embryo developing, you will be able to see it. Not clearly but you will see the dark mass of the chick growing in size and density.

You really need to do it in the dark when your broody is in the nest. If she's used to you, you should be able to slip an egg out and back without harm other than a peck or two. I managed to put a live chick under mine and she either didn't notice or chose to ignore me and pretend the chick was hers!

Francis Bacon

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Belabre, France
Re: Urgent incubation advice needed
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2008, 10:27:10 am »
Thanks Rosemary, Bless her they're funny little creatures aren't they! She is used to me so i will try that this evening - I'll let you know how I get on.

I Love mornings - I just wish they came later in the day!

HWare

  • Joined Sep 2008
Re: Urgent incubation advice needed
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 12:01:41 pm »
You've probably got this sorted by now, but for future reference, hand turning should work fine. But if not, My R-Com had stopped turning, and it turned out to be a slipped elastic band, replacing the band and putting a small strip of tape over to prevent future slips did the trick great.
As a side point, I've had my R-Com for nearly 2 years and it recently fused too, and after buying a replacement it fused within 10 hours, does anyone know if this is a common problem? I was going to try a whole new one of the same type, but now I'm thinking I might have more luck with a different brand?

The Chicken Lady

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Cheshire
Re: Urgent incubation advice needed
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2008, 01:00:30 pm »
I have a very basic incubator that I have had fantastic success with over the years. I have to turn the eggs manually and have done this 3 times per day. I keep saying I will get an automatic incubator but never seem to get round to it. I would continue to turn your eggs manually and candle them at 13 - 14 days and then call it a day if nothing is happening. Humidity is not vital at this time of the year I just put a pot of water in the incubator and keep it topped up when I stop turning them - 3 days before hatching. I don't disturb my broodies as they tend to kick any eggs that are not fetile out of the nest. One other thing - it is nearly the end of the season. I don't tend to hatch anymore eggs now as you end up feeding them over the winter for no return as they tend not to start laying until next year and it is difficult to get them outside when it is cold. Hope this helps.  :)
Karen

 

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