Hi everybody. Today is Tuesday, the eggs have been in the incubator for two weeks and four days. Today I'm going to remove the automatic egg turner. There are some things to take into consideration when doing this. But, before we get into this, some things that have occurred since the last update.
The temperature of the eggs started to rise a little bit at the two week period. There is nothing unusual about the fluctuation in temperature, but they stayed a little bit high. So, I lowered the temperature a little bit. This particular incubator has an extremely sensitive thermostat. When I started the eggs originally, I started early in the morning so I would have all day to set the temperature. I did the same with this temperature adjustment, I did it in the morning.
I've also found that with this particular batch of eggs, I need to fill the water troughs up every two days. Don't ever let your water troughs go dry. Yes, there are much more sophisticated hydration systems. This is just the way this incubator operates.
The expected hatch date is Friday and Saturday, and maybe a few stragglers on Sunday. But, hatch or not, the unhatched eggs will be discarded Sunday night. We're getting close here, three days away. There are a few things I'm going to remind you about that you need to have. Some type of a brooder, feed, water and the equipment to deliver them, a source of heat in a draft free environment. It needs to be dog and cat proof. This applies whether you're hatching your own, or you've got chicks coming from a hatchery.
Now, back to removing the turner. Folks, this is the place where you want to pay attention. It's easy to shift your incubator when you do this. It's easy to drop an egg. I'm going to talk you through it right now. Follow me here. Always know where your cords are. There is a cord going to the incubator and a cord going to the turner. Do not be standing on one of them, no joke, I've done it more than once.
Remove the top portion of the incubator and set it down flat.
Before you remove the top, make sure the turner is in an almost flat position where there is no angle to the eggs. Read that last sentence again.
Okay, the top is off, you're not standing on one of the cords, very gently lift out the turner. Do not lift it by the egg trays, or you might find yourself holding an egg tray and the rest are on the floor. Set the turner down.
At this stage you should have unplugged the turner from the electrical outlet.
This is not the place to drop an egg. Grasp each egg and put it back into the incubator. I would start by putting a couple in each corner, because these guys like to roll and you don't want to crack an egg at this stage.
While you have your turner out and before you put any eggs in, fill up your water troughs. Now continue putting in all of your eggs. Don't get in a hurry. If any eggs have any gooey type substance coming out of them, discard them quickly. They will not hatch.
Now, all of your eggs are back in the incubator. You've got the water troughs filled up. It's three days to hatch. Put the top back on and make sure it's good and square and solid. Wait about an hour and check your temperature. Go ahead and put your turner back in the box that you saved. If it needs to be cleaned, and it probably won't, but if it does, just follow the instructions on how to clean them.
You are probably going to have to adjust your temperature up a little bit. The reason being, the turner motor produces heat, and it's not there now. And if you don't believe me, when you first take your turner out, reach down and grab that little motor. As my grandmother used to say, "I bet you won't do that again!" That little motor is hot.
The next three days, do not turn the eggs. Keep a very close eye on the temperature and humidity. If your incubator has a couple of plugs you can remove when your humidity increases, then remove the plugs. Because when these guys start hatching, you're going to have a sharp increase in moisture, which is not necessarily bad. But you want your baby chicks to dry also.
If you have one chick hatch real early, then just leave it in the incubator. It's not going anywhere. Start removing baby chicks from the incubator when you have five or six that are dry and ready to go. They're going to go in the brooder that you have ready and you're going to need to give them their first drink. If you need a review, now is a good time to read back because you still have a couple of days.
So, time is near. Watch your temperature. Enjoy the birds hatching out. Do not help them out of their shell, especially if it's getting to be late Sunday evening and a bird has almost hatched and it's been that way for the whole day. Then you need to discard that bird. There are people that would disagree with what I just said. But you need to discard that bird.
Okay. I've got baby chicks coming from the hatchery that should hatch about the same time as the ones I'm hatching at home. The eggs are hatching are from my Easter Egg chickens and from a friend of our that has an assortment of mixed breeds. My birds are going to hatch Friday and Saturday. About Thursday I will be tapping on the incubator and cheeping at the birds. Not clucking but cheeping. Cheeping is baby bird talk. Clucking is big bird talk. Hope you enjoy these little reminders.
We'll talk more later. Soon. Frank