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Hatching conundrum

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Having lost Margot, my blue egg laying araucana bantam, to the dog attack just before lock down I’ve decided to have a go at hatching a replacement. I’ve got some eggs (red black araucana bantams) from someone nearby who very successfully shows them. He says he’s not certain they’ll be fertile as his cockerel has a bit of a limp, so I’m not paying anything for them until day 10.

Anyway - to the conundrum!!

As mentioned on another thread, Duck my pet almost house pekin has gone broody in the wardrobe in the part renovated spare room. She is sitting there quite happily, but when I lift her off she will beetle around the garden pretty much as normal. I don’t want her to actually incubate eggs in the wardrobe for many reasons! I’ve tried moving her to my spare Eglu Go in the late evening, but she quickly snaps out of the broody trance and then is frantic to get out, and when she does she heads straight to the Cube and up to bed as normal with the others.

I’m thinking I’m going to have to at least start the eggs off in the incubator, but has anyone ever either transferred them half way through (if I could get her to sit in the Go), or on hatch? I do have a brooder so I can just do it all without a broody I was just hoping not to!

Any thoughts?

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What they do here is to hatch in an incubator (the easy bit and more reliable) then transfer the day old chicks under their broody at night. Presumable they put pot eggs under her for a few days to get her to sit? Not a technique I have tried, but as rearing is the hard part it is a good idea. Unfortunately I couldn't discuss it much with the owner of a house we looked at because my French isn't up to it. The gentleman was very surprised when I told him that we use 'machines' for everything and when he asked why I said to avoid transferring 'diseases', which he accepted as a good reason. Actually I meant mycoplasma, lice and red mite. Not sure if I helped you there Mullethunter?

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7 hours ago, mullethunter said:

Thanks Beantree that is helpful and certainly food for thought. Duck is very laid back so it could work if she’s still broody then. 

CT if I can get her to sit it somewhere more suitable than the wardrobe that’s what I’ll try.

Could you try shutting her in your broody coop overnight and see if she'll sit tight on some pot eggs?

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Well that’s exactly what I did try - except a few of the girls eggs. Success!! I thought as I checked her before bed. She was sitting quite happily and although she kept missing the eggs, every time she realised she scooped them back under (‘Egg? What egg?!’) so I thought by morning we'll have cracked it. Wrong. This morning the eggs are completely cold. So the ones for hatching are in the incubator 🙄 Ah well, you never know who might go broody over the next three weeks! And the eggs may yet be infertile anyway.

Edited by mullethunter
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Calling anyone with experience hatching in an incubator!!

I’m using a Brinsea Mini Advance II. In it with the eggs I’ve got a cool little temperature and humidity sensor that sends readings every minute to my phone. The website says the sensor is generally accurate to +/- 0.3 degrees at 0-60 degrees C, with a maximum tolerance of +/- 0.5 degrees. It says anything less accurate than that maximum tolerance is not sold.

I have my incubator set at 37.5 degrees, and according to its read-out, it’s running at between 37.4 and 37.6. However according to my sensor it’s running at between 36.6 and 37.2. 

Last time I used it to hatch, out of 4 developing eggs, 1 Wyandotte bantam pipped at 19 days and hatched healthy, 2 Pekin bantams pipped at 20 days - one hatching healthy and the other with curled toes and generally slightly wonky but she’s OK, 1 pekin was dead in shell. Does this suggest it probably was running slightly cold as I thought bantams should be 18 days?

What would you recommend?

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Cool temperatures result in a late hatch Mullethunter, so I'd say your sensor is reading low as your last hatch worked out right. Curled toes is a lack of vitamin B (I think) in the hen that laid the egg. Our bantams run at 21 days as large fowl do so I don't know where your 18 days came from? Dead in shell may be due to too high a humidity in the first 18 days which didn't allow the air sac to develop so the chick couldn't manoeuvre to pip. Is your sensor at the same level as the Brinsea temperature sensor unit?

I recommend you leave the unit set as it is and check the sac development to be sure your humidity is correct as shell porosity affects that; the 'standard' figure of 45% is just an average.  We've run dry before now to get the air sac right.

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