Monthly Archives: November 2013

  1. Important Components of Building an Incubator - (Part One)

    Thermostats

    Building your own incubator can be an exciting way to make a custom more affordable effective egg incubator. The components you use in an incubator can vary depending on the amount of money you plan on spending and your desired outcomes.   While there are many components that need to be considered when building your own incubator this article is going to focus one important component the thermostat.

    The first step to picking a thermostat is to understand what the main types of thermostats are and how the operate. There are four common types of thermostats: mechanical, electronic, digital electronic, and proportional.

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  2. Ducklings in the Brooder

    I moved my chicks to the brooder in two separate groups, instead of as one unit. This was because of how spread out the hatches were. I wondered why this happened, and how spread out the hatches are supposed to be. I found out that they should all hatch within 36 hours of each other. Mine hatched between the morning of day 27 and the morning of day 30 . . . roughly 72 hours apart! I can find no indication of why they hatching time varied some much. It cannot be due to species variation, because they did not hatch in any order based on breed.

    I did find that many people stop turning the eggs two to three days before the hatch, as opposed to me waiting until one day before. I don’t know if this had any significant impact on the hatching time or survival rate. Because of the varied hatch times, I began to think of them as two somewhat separate groups. Each group consists of three e

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  3. Hatching Day!

    At last my eggs neared the hatching day, which is day 28 after incubation starts.

    I had the humidity up and the temperature down, and I was ready to take them off the rotating tray and put them directly onto the incubator mesh. Before I could, however, one of them hatched! The egg shell sat empty in it's place, and the chick, which looked healthy and strong, if a little unsteady on it's feet, was in the corner.

    I immediately removed the other eggs  from the tray. The next two eggs followed suit, hatching quickly and easily without any concerns or issues. They, however, hatched on the day they were supposed to, instead of a day early like the first one did. I wonder if this duckling will do as well, but so far it seems to be doing great. It quickly showed good signs, including a lot of movement and preening itself. The other two were similar.

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  4. Candling, Part Two

    I candled my eggs again today, exactly sixteen days after I started the incubation process. The results were great.

    Of the twenty-two eggs I had recieved, nineteen had been fertilized. As far as I could tell, all had survived to the first time I candled. As I candled them again, my excitement rose with each egg. I went through, one by one, examining them closely. The first was dead, I could tell, and this was dissapointing.

    The second, (which happened to be the one that seemed to be developing best when I first candled) was doing well. The embroyo filled most of the egg, and veins were clearly visible. Some movement was also obvious. All but three of my eggs were similar cases, full egg, visible veins and movement. Some of my eggs, though, were so full that little was visible, though some still was. These were mostly larger eggs.

    Of all the breed

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  5. Right Before the Hatch

    Today I set up my brooder, and prepared the eggs to hatch. The brooder kit I got is quite ingenious.Two rolls of plastic can be unrolled and taped together to make the walls. PVC pipe forms a tripod, from which an ultra-violet heat bulb hangs.

    I set it up in my garage. I live in northern Utah, where winters can get pretty drastic and very unstable. So at first I worried whether or not the temperature would drop so much at night that even the heating lamp would not be enough to keep them warm. So I monitored it for a few days. I determined that while the heat does, in fact, go down, it is not too severe as long as you keep the garage door closed. Most of the cold that does get in tends to come from the cement floor, so I decided to layer the floor thickly with padding, which brings us to my next question.

    What would I use to cover the floor? The most important thing about

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  6. A Few Questions

    As my eggs have incubated over the past couple of weeks, a few questions have arisen.

    First, as I previously mentioned, the temperature spiked after I placed the eggs in the incubator. I researched the question, but the best answer I found was a vague article mentioning  that it may be due to chick development, particularly around days 12-14. The temperature spiked after I put the eggs in, but slowly decreased back towards normal, this was mildly frustrating for a while, as it required frequent adjustments or the temperature would get way to low. The last few days, the heat has began to rise back up. (Right on schedule, according to the information I found.) I think this may be because the chicks inside the eggs put off heat of their own, which adds to the heat you are already applying.

    Another issue I had been wondering about was smell. T

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  7. Low Cost Electronic Thermostat for Egg Incubators

    Low cost electronic thermostat for egg incubators

    Low cost electronic thermostat for egg incubators

    Today we are testing samples of a brand new thermostat that we hope to start selling very soon.  This thermostat provides a mid-ground between the bi-metal mechanical thermostats and the digital electronic thermostats that we sell.  Here are the specifications for this new thermostat:

    •   -110 Volt AC (Sorry no 220 Volt version yet)
    •   -Heater Indicator Light
    •   -Temperature Control Range Switch (Narrow or Wide)
    •   -Easy turn temperature adjustment
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  8. Candling

    Today I candled my eggs for the first time. It is a little over a week into the incubation process.

    First I washed my hands. I had read that this was important but wondered why. Upon looking it up, I found out that eggs are covered in tiny pores, which are vital to help the egg ‘breath’. The oils in your skin can quite easily clog these pores. After my hands were carefully cleaned, I went into a dark closet with each egg and candled them.

    The candler is a small gray cylinder with several LED light bulbs, which illuminate more clearly than regular light. This is because the light is ‘cooler’ (This refers to the color of the light, not the actual heat output.) To candle, you go somewhere dark and set each egg, in turn, on top of the candler. You wrap your fingers around the point where the egg meets the light, in order to eliminate excess light. As the l

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  9. FAQ's About Poultry Molting

    Have you ever checked on your chicken coop and wondered if a predator got in your coop because of all of the feathers scattered around?  You check around for holes in your poultry wire and then count your chickens and joyfully find that they are all accounted for.   So where did all of the feathers come from?

    Your birds are probably molting. 

    What is molting?
    Molting is a natural process a bird goes through.  It normally occurs at the end of the laying cycle in the Autumn.  As the days get shorter and feeding time decreases, their natural clock tells them it’s time to take a break from the rigors of laying and replenish their feathers.  Feather production requires protein, just as egg production.  So the bird stops laying eggs in order to redirect the nutrients to the production of feathers. 

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