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Monday, May 10, 2010

Incubation - Part II The Aftermath.

If anyone out there is actually reading this blog.. maybe someone may have been interested in what happened with my hatch.
It was a complete failure. 32 eggs-  Not one chick.  Not one hatch. In my hatching group everyone else got tiny bodies of lovey joy wrapped in fluff. I got a rock... then I got the rock taken away because I broke it.

Most likely my Franken-Bator was the final death blow.

I saw movement, but no pips, no little beaks breaking through the shell. On day 24 I candled them again-- no movement.  I opened them up yesterday (ironically) on Mother's day to find that their umbilical cord had not closed and they were all covered in a gooey sticky membrane with un-absorbed yolk sacks. 

Feeling like a gooey sticky membrane myself, I studied each little lifeless body to see that they also had malformed head and beaks. I referenced the "what went wrong" guide and figured it was the roller coaster ride of temps and humidity. 

I learned quite a bit. Darling hubby and kids brought up my spirits with coffee, good chocolate and a new book about chickens.

Relief is a much deserved after thought. In the future to anyone who might actually read this blog-- if you want to start hatching your own chicks here are a few very important lessons I will heed in the future.

1. To save my sanity- get three thermometers. A digital thermometer/hygrometer, a mercury and a stem thermometer.
2. Only candle eggs at 10 and 18 days. I think I candled the eggs too much and all that handling and opening the incubator took it's toll. 
3. Incubator location needs to be in a stable temperature area. I put my incubator in our mud room which fluctuates by 5-10 degrees... bad bad.
4. Don't use expensive eggs on your first hatch.  In hindsight I should have offered to hatch some barnyard eggs for someone else before popping in my super nice and spendy silkie and cochin eggs.
5. Learn from mistakes. ie: Don't do anything I did in my last post. Bad Bad.

I have a new sets of eggs in the Hovabator which I have placed upstairs in my walk in closet of all places.

Meticulous is my mantra for this hatch.
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