Friday, March 19, 2010

Day one of incubation

The farmer who cuts our hay loaned me his incubator.  I thought my chickens would sit on their own eggs but that hasn't happened yet and I was getting impatient so I decided it might be fun to hatch them myself.  I added another 11 eggs since I took this picture so there are now 26 eggs, 3 of them are duck eggs.  I have never seen my ducks "doing it" so I don't know if the eggs are fertile or not.  I don't have high hopes that many, if any, of these will hatch because I have no idea what the humidity is in there or if my thermometer is accurate.  The hatching temperature for chickens is 101.5 for an incubator without a fan.  The humidity should be 60 to 65% for the first 18 days and 80 to 85% the last 3 days.  All I can say about the humidity is that I put water in there and it's humid.  The incubator is very old and wouldn't reach higher than 95 degrees so I put a heat lamp over it to bring up the temperature.  I have to turn the eggs over 3 times a day so they develop correctly that's why I have an X drawn on them so I know which ones I've flipped.  A few days before their hatch date I will stop flipping.   In a week I will candle all the eggs to see if something is growing inside.  I need to find a bright flashlight to hold them up to.  Chicks should hatch in 21 days and ducklings in 26 to 28 days. 

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