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Beaudyne

Chicken Obsession!

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Hi everyone! Just wanted to show you all that my chicken obsession has started! 🤣

Decided to buy some Silver Appenzeller hatching eggs and popped them in the incubator last night! Stay tuned for exciting gorgeous little chicks due on the 29th! 😬

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The eggs should be on their side so they can roll and marked with pencil so that you are sure they have turned at least 90 degrees, because some might slide and the result isn't nice. You have plenty of time to do this but it's important. Good luck!

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@Beantree Thank you for letting me know this! That’s what I thought at first but I’ve read stuff online and it says place pointed end down. And there’s some conflicting advice! The manual that came with the incubator says pointed end down. I’m unsure what to do now 🙈 

I've marked the one side of the egg with the date they were incubated and it is definitely turning them but I’m not sure how much it’s turning them. If it’s enough...

@Cat tails yes will definitely post more pictures! Soo excited! Can’t wait! I’ve managed to find a lady who lives local to me who rehomes cockerels if I don’t keep any. Knowing my luck thought I’ll have 11 cockerels 😅🤣

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Pointed end down depends on the style of incubator and I can see that yours is a sliding frame, same as ours. Called a semi-automatic, because you don't open the lid and pick each one up in turn, just pull a handle attached to the frame and the eggs roll. Very difficult without egg holders to keep them upright anyway be it semi or not. The automatics rock the whole incubator 45 degrees each way. So they need to turn 90 degrees and you turn them 3 or 5 times a day for the first 17 days, the odd number means it isn't the same place they are left during the longer night period. In your case you will see the date stamp move from top to the side and at the next turn back to the top again. Sometimes instructions are total rubbish written by someone with no experience whatsoever and probably copied from someone else equally qualified.

A tip for the 'lockdown' period days 18 -21 (the day they go in is day zero): with the frame out the eggs can roll as the chick inside moves about. Also the first chick will stumble about and roll the other eggs and this will disorientate them as they are trying to hatch. This wastes their valuable energy which they need to get out of the shell. Get some foam 28mm (I think or 32mm) pipe insulation and cut rings about 5 mm thick off it to set the eggs in, still on their side, which will stop the eggs moving about. Something we've always done. There are perhaps other ways to do this but don't forget to sterilise whatever you use.

Our first hatch had 1 hen and 9 cockerels, the second 12 hens and 2 cockerels. In the end it averaged out at the normal 45:55, so slightly more cockerels, presumably because they are physically stronger? Wishing you luck.

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@Beantree thank you so much for all this advice! So so helpful! It all can feel very overwhelming not knowing if I’m doing the right things but think things are settled in place now and I’ve lay all the eggs on their side. And thanks for the tip with the egg holding foam I have seen someone else used a non slip matting to cut to size and I think that worked well too! 👍❤️

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So I’m having some trouble with the humidity in this incubator! If I put in the amount of water suggested by the instruction booklet the humidity shoots ups to 75%/85%
 

So I’ve only been putting in a tiny amount however, there is barely any in but the humidity is running at 60%/65%. 
 

Is this to too high considering advice is to run it at 50%/55%? Am I’m going to cause any harm to the eggs? Not sure what I’m best to do. My incubator is the HHD (M.Z.A) incubator off Amazon. 
 

thank you in advance!

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Run it dry Beaudyne, so no water at all. The humidity in the incubator is affected by that in the room, which in turn is affected by that outside. The danger with too high a humidity is the air sac doesn't develop. That forms by evaporation of the water content in the white. If the air sac is too small the chick can't get its head out from under its wing to pip and you get 'dead in shell'. When you candle the eggs you need to watch that sac development, which by day 17 should be about 20- 25% of the volume of the egg. There are sketches showing what you should be seeing, but they are somewhat exaggerated to make the point I think. Rarely you get a double air sac forming but don't worry, it's the size combined that counts.

With an automatic humidity system, water just wouldn't be supplied by the pump, so you are having to make an educated guess. Having said that the humidity guide is just an average figure and we've had eggs with very low shell porosity that were run dry all the way to day 18. Then it was put to 75%, although we still lost one of the 12.

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@Beantree thanks for this advice! When I’ve taken all the water out the humidity drops down to around 40% is that too low? If I can keep it at 50% is that better than dry hatching? I found a video on YT and a lady had the same problem. She ended up using a bottle cap full of water and that was the perfect amount. 

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40% might be too low, but it all depends on the air sac development. If you can run at 50% OK, but if candling around day 10 shows the sac is too small you may have to run dry from then to lockdown. You have already had a few days where the humidity is too high and the sac may not have developed much, but certainly leave the eggs untouched until day 7. As said, the whole point of this is to get the air sac right, so you may need to adjust accordingly. The humidity figure given is just a general guide that gives best average results.

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So my husband helped me candle the eggs today. He’s way more excited about them hatching than I thought he would be! 😍 although he is loving winding me up pretending they are dinosaur eggs 😂

9 out of 11 are looking promising. I’m going to leave it a couple more days to see how they go but as far as I can tell one has a blood ring and one doesn’t have anything happening in it. 

Here’s a picture of one of the good ones. 

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Here are the 2 that I think are bad/not developing. First 2 pics I’m pretty sure is a blood ring and second 2 pics I don’t think ever developed. 

Question is do I need to discards these ones? Are they ‘bad’ or will they explode if left in? 

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They are great candling photos - mine were never anywhere near that good! I agree with your assessment of the two eggs in the photos above. The first two photos clearly show a blood ring, and then second two don’t appear to be developing. Really clear in comparison to the photo of the developing egg. Personally I would Chuck the blood ring egg, but would keep he other egg until you next candle. Others will advise you to Chuck that one now too. I guess you could - 9 out of 11 is great.

I live in Cornwall where ambient humidity is high - I dry hatched in a Brinsea Mini Advance with so-so results, but it was with eBay eggs sent through the post so don’t know how much was down to the incubator and how much the eggs.

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Yes they do explode contaminating the whole hatch and the incubator. First sign is 'weeping', so little crusty spots on the surface. That happens around day 12 so get them out very carefully as they could break in your hand.

I can see an air sac developing, which looks about right at this stage. It should finish up about 3 times that volume.

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Removed the 2 eggs that I thought were bad. Put them in a little box and left them on the front door step outside until I next went to the bin. 2 hours later I went to pick them up and they exploded!!

So glad I took them out the incubator now! 
Picture before they exploded. I was surprised as I couldn’t see any cracks or oozing. Maybe the temperature difference and leaving them outside did it?

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Unless I actually just knocked them. Seems more unlikely when I think about it that they exploded just like that?

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Managed to get some video of the embryos moving inside. I originally didn’t think 1 or 2 were moving at all which worried me. But the did! 😅

Can’t upload videos for some reason so here are some pictures of them instead

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Day 19!! 😬

 

So the first week seemed to go sooo slow but these last 2 have flown by!

Eggs have now gone into lockdown 😃 

7 are definitely kicking around however 2 I’m unsure about. Don’t seem to be moving. But we’ll see!

 

Was going to do a dry hatch but was concerned as I didn’t know as much about dry hatching. So went with adding water all the way through. My concern now is how do I add water during lockdown if I need too? 
I can usually go 24hrs without needing to add water but usually have to after that point. I’ve read I can’t open it up once in lockdown so what’s my concern.

 

There is a tiny hole on the underside, was thinking I could thread a straw through it and somehow pump water into it?? 
 

Or am I worrying unnecessary and am I okay to open the incubator for a short period of time if I need to?

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Ooh how exciting!!! Does your incubator have a humidity reading? If so what does it say? 

Basically once they’ve internally pipped you don’t want to open it because that’s when it’s really important not to lose humidity because he membranes need to stay nice and supple. Obviously though the clue is in the name - it’s an internal pip so you can’t necessarily tell it’s happened (although you can often hear them cheeping 🥰).

Personally as long as your humidity is reasonably high I’d just leave it shut and keep a close eye on what is going on. With my last hatch the membranes seemed really tough even though I had the lock down humidity high - both chicks that hatched broke the shell all the way around and were trying to push the cap off but there were still bits of joined membrane and I had to help them by moistening and then very gently tearing the last bits so they could push out.

Keep us posted!!

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Managed to get the humidity to 70% last night. However this morning it had dropped to 67% and I was concerned it was going to drop even more. 
 

I figured as long as the humidity doesn’t drop loads there shouldn’t be a problem opening the lid really quickly and pouring water in. 
 

So that’s what I did. Humidity dropped to 65% while open but I poured water really quick and shut the lid. Now it’s sitting at 74% and steady. 
 

I heard some of the eggs chirping last night 😍 I’m soooo excited  🙈

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@Luvachicken We’re almost there!! 😬 the 29th will be the 21st day and we have 1 that’s pipped and halfway cracked the egg and has done all that in just 4 hours! Then we have a second that’s just pipped! No signs of pipping on the 7 just yet but it’s still early. I’ll keep you all posted ❤️

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