A total of 40 eggs were started in our new ReptiPro 6000 incubator this morning, if all goes well they should hatch Saturday, April 20th. There are 15 that I got from a local family in a fertile hatching egg trade, these breeds include light Brahma, Golden Polish and some mixed breed Polish, Buttercup, Silver Laced Wyandotte and Leghorn birds.
The remaining 25 eggs are from our hens.
The gray stuff along the front of each rack is some weatherstripping to keep eggs from rolling out.
I got a new hygrometer, in the back, top left. The purple thing is the water weasel which holds the temp probe, it simulates what the temp is inside an egg which is what you want. Dud eggs will be removed as incuabtion progresses.
All of the eggs have been numbered and look good. The weird round tracing on the large end of the eggs are the outline of the air cell--I'm changing my incubating technique radically and in addition to turning the eggs by hand 5 times a day (I have no life for the next 18 days) and candling them on days 7, 14 and 18 to make sure that they are losing the proper amount of weight (which is moisture--13% over 21 days), and will trace the new outline of the air cells on the eggs at that time--it'll end up looking a bit like the rings of a cut section of tree trunk. In addition I'll be weighing each rack of eggs every 3-4 days to make sure they are losing the correct percentage of weight. Between weighing the eggs and candling, you get a very good indication of how the eggs are doing--if the air cell is looking too large, the humidity is too low, if it is to small, the humidity too high.
So the hatch SHOULD be Saturday, April 20th. But given past years, the little buggers may well be a bit early or late according to Mother Nature's whim. If you go to the UStream Chickam page and see EGGS, it means the hatch is on!
The plan is for the ReptiPro to hatch the chicks, which will then immediately be removed to our old forced air styrofoam incubator to dry out & get strong. I'm going to try and get at least one of our girls to go broody so that she can take over the chicks once they are in the brooder box.
We will be testing the cam for a few minutes a couple of days prior to hatch just to make sure everything's working. We may also put the cam out in the yard with the adult chickens, our back yard is nearing completion and we may be allowing the chickens out of the run and into it for the first time.