Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hatching Day!

Thursday July 8th we had two new members join the Sartell family. About a month ago we brought home 3 adult Blue Laced Red Wyandotte hens who had been with a rooster at their previous residence and were laying fertile eggs. (See Monday July 12th, 2010 post for the story)

We kept them in a separate coupe for a while so we could collect their eggs, and know that they were in fact the BLRW. We have several hens who lay a large, light brown egg, so it would have been impossible to figure which belonged to which. Hens who have been with a rooster will stay fertile for up to 10 days. Our incubator (which is the Brinsea 7 Auto) holds 7 eggs. It is a no brainer incubator. We started with a different incubator that hatched 40 eggs (can't remember the manufacturer) But it had a Styrofoam base, and after we waited 24 hours for the thermostat to settle it started sparking at us. The Brinsea that we purchased doesn't hold as many eggs but you have more control over the temperature, humidity, turning times etc.
After the girls had laid their 7 eggs we let them go with the rest of the flock. You can keep fertile eggs safely for 10 days in temperatures under 70 degrees, this delays the beginning of growth, so that once you put the eggs in the incubator they will all hatch at the same time. This is important, because there are different things you need to do at each stage of the egg's growth. For example, two days before the eggs hatch they must stop turning and the humidity must be increased. It would be difficult to stop each egg at a different time.
We put the eggs in the incubator on June 17th in the evening around 5:00 and the chicks hatched on July 8th one around 3:00 pm and the other around 8:30 pm, twenty one days to be exact! We have one breaking through on video, If we can ever get them to download correctly I will post it.

The first chick made a small hole about 12 hours before it came completely out. It would roll around and poke it's beak through and nibble on the the edge of the shell.

Once they hatched they stayed in the incubator for 24 hours or until their feathers dried. And they were nice and fluffy.

Here is a photo of us candling the egg at 13 days. The darkness at the top is the chick, the round lighter circle towards the bottom is the air sack. You could see the chick moving around, and something that looks like a heart beating. Most of the veins that are visible earlier on were gone by then.
We put in 7 eggs and 4 of them were not fertile, just like people, it doesn't always take. After candling, we cracked them open around day 13 and they were just normal eggs with a yellow yoke. We lost one around day 15, the egg shell was very porous and most of the time those eggs don't make it to hatching day, the egg started to smell so we took it out so the bacteria wouldn't harm the other eggs.
But on Day 21 two beautiful little chicks popped out.

Check out 5-18-2010 post Raising Chicks to see how we raise all our baby chicks.

Also check out link to Brinsea at http://www.brinsea.com/products/incs.html

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