Last fall, I ordered a new incubator. A lovely Brinsea Octagon 40 with a turner. I did a test hatch with some Easter Egger eggs and found it worked better then my Hovabator. Eight out of the Twelve eggs hatched. In the past I was getting about half of the eggs hatch in the Hovabator.
It's been a long winter, waiting to use my incubator again. I keep my hens and roosters in different coops during the winter, so that come spring, I can pair up birds and start collecting eggs after only a few days. This has worked well for me.
So, I paired up some roo's and hens into their breeding pens, and let the loving begin. A few days later I started collecting eggs.
I fired up the incubator on February 23rd.
Incubation for chicken eggs takes about 21 days, at 99 - 103 F degrees. Sometimes, I find that small banty eggs will hatch a little sooner, then the big ones.
Into the incubator I popped
6 Easter Egger Eggs
6 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
11 Phyllis Diller Eggs (Frizzle X Polish)
10 Barred Cochin Eggs
1 Cochin X Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Egg (She quit laying when I paired her up with the Roo)
9 Polish Eggs
4 Silkie Eggs
4 Silkie X Eggs
Which brings me to 50 beautiful eggs.
March 19th the eggs should hatch. Last night I candled some Polish eggs, because they have white shells and are easy to see. After only 4 days, I could see development, in most of the eggs! I tried a few darker shelled eggs like the Easter Egger and Cochin Eggs, but am unable to see anything through those shells yet. I'm not sure how many of them will be fertile though, because I may have started collecting a little soon. Also my Blue Laced Red Wyandotte rooster, has frost bitten feet, and is very clumsy at mating, so I don't know just how successful he is, but I couldn't resist putting some eggs in anyways.
The Temperature is holding nicely at 99.5 - 100.5 F degrees. But, I am having trouble getting the humidity up. It's sitting right around 30%, (Should be 50-55%) which is strange, because the humidity in my house reads 43%. I would have thought given the warm conditions, added water, and evaporation, that the humidity would be higher in the incubator. I even have the vent, all the way closed, to try and up it. Tonight I am going to candle again and I will try adding water to another slot in the bottom of the incubator and see if that doesn't bring it up.
Yes, tonight I will candle and have another little look and see if I can't tell better who is growing and who is not. It will be easier with the light eggs, such as the Polish, silkie and X's. I will get rid of a few if I can't see growth to make some room in the incubator. What am I making room for, you ask? Well, my neighbour is going to run me down some quail eggs she has going in her incubator! I'm so excited!