Well, this is more of a failure story than anything else, but they finally hatched!
What? How is hatched chicks a failure you ask? Well this is the first three of a total of seven. Now had I been hatching a dozen I would have said ok, not bad. But there were THREE DOZEN EGGS IN THERE! To say I was miffed was a radical understatement. This is the third batch of eggs I have put through the incubator that I inherited from my mom. At first glance it looks like quite a technical unit. But the problems with it are many.
First batch major humidity problems. Chicks need a constant 60% humidity during incubation and higher through hatching. The reason being that a chick has to rotate inside their shell in order to hatch, and if the humidity is too low, the inner membrane will shrink and the chick will be unable to maneuver into hatch position. It also has to do with how easily they can pip and unzip their shells. Those are technical terms by the way.
Back to my problem. The incubator I have is a forced air and uninsulated. And here in the almost desert, in January, the air in the house is so dry I had a terrible time keeping the humidity up. My first batch we didn’t have a hydrometer. So I bought one at Home Hardware and started over. Well my house temperature goes up and down quite a lot according to the exterior temp. So when I came home one day and checked the eggs to see a temp of 44C I was disapointed. Ideal temp is 37.5C and 41C is lethal. So that batch was totally cooked. Literally.
Thinking I had the problem licked with further adjustment of the thermostat I tried again. This time a friend transported hatching eggs from Edmonton for me. Plymouth Barred Rocks. I had grand ideas of taking the best dozen of these hens, getting a Rhode Island Red rooster and making some Red Rocks. Great layers, big eggs, hardy breed. Until hatch time came along.
AND ONLY SEVEN HATCHED. GRRR…
Well my patience has been tested with this incubator and I give up!! I am not fighting withe it anymore. Trista and I went together and bought a new one.
I am collecting eggs as we speak for a test batch. Then I will try again to see if I can find some fun breeds to hatch.
Wish me luck…..