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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

I promised to record the best time to start egg candling. At least for me and my homemade candler, it is at 5 days of incubation.

Faint Spot of Life – Middle

It is still hard to tell what is going on in a lot of the eggs, but the ones that are not growing are fairly obvious at this point. Mistakes can happen, so I will keep the “bad” eggs in until the 10 day mark. This is about half way through the process, since with your average chicken egg, it takes 21 days to make a chick.

We received 9 more new hatching eggs in the mail. They sat overnight at room temperature in order to acclimate to the warmth and settle down from all the movement of transport. Not rushing to the incubator seems to be a key factor in a better hatch rate for mail order eggs.

Fertile eggs cannot survive a freeze. But, it is OK for eggs to sit cold-ish while fertile. A hen normally lays an egg a day in a designated spot until she gets a nice group. Then, she actually sits down on the group to heat them up – staying on the nest around the clock from this point on. Egg embryos are designed to patiently wait in a holding pattern until their mother says “GROW!”.

The first set of eggs will be chicks at the end of the week. I am in the process of making a “Hatcher”. It needs to be much like an incubator. To the best of my knowledge it does not need a fan and certainly does not need an egg turner. But, it does need temperature control and lots of humidity. I will have more on this later after it is finished. I doubt that it will be ready for this week’s hatch.

Once the eggs start peeping (YES, you can hear them from inside the egg as they ready for their transformation) and/or 3 days before their due date, they can be transferred from the incubator to the hatcher. The humidity needs to be increased, so that they can break out of their shells. Up until now, we have just left them in the incubator until they break free, but this makes a mess. The hatcher will, hopefully, be a good addition to our setup.

A few great links:

Incubating Your Eggs From The Easy Chicken for beginners

Hatching and Brooding Small Numbers of Chicks

How To Hatch Eggs – Baby Chicks – Back Yard Chickens

Later in the Incubation Cycle

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