I’m finding that hatching my own eggs is productive and enjoyable. I have three Brinsea Mini Eco incubators at work full of eggs. These little incubators have been a great tool.
I got the crazy idea that I wanted to incubate some of my own eggs. I’m sure my husband wishes I hadn’t, but he actually enjoys the new additions when they arrive.
I purchased one incubator last fall when I received a gift coupon for Amazon.com after I agreed to take a survey from another company. It was a great gift, especially after I came across these cool little incubators. A little well in the middle for water keeps the humidity just right. A built-in thermometer shows the temperature, so you can be sure that it remains constant.
This spring, I decided that one incubator wasn’t enough so I ordered another. Then that didn’t seem to provide me with the flexibility or variety that I needed in eggs, so I ordered one more. Three seems to be the ticket for me right now.
I have learned a lot since I started incubating my own eggs and if there is a beginner out there, maybe this post will provide a bit of help. Not every egg hatches, because not every egg gets fertilized. The eggs shown here are in the beginning stages of growth: one is a banty, and the one at left is a duck.
I have been able to see growth within three to five days after putting the eggs in the incubator, so I always get excited about that. I know that the duck eggs will hatch on day 28 instead of day 21 like the chicken eggs.
Sometimes the eggs get started and stop halfway; even if I’m not sure what’s happening, I leave the egg in the incubator until the hatch date comes and goes. Usually, I can tell … but, when in doubt, I don’t take it out.
Another thing I’ve learned is how important the due date is. If you let an egg go too long, they will explode because of the gas built up inside. They don’t smell good. Sometimes you can tell you have a bad egg before the hatch date. If so, get rid of it!
I was checking eggs one night shortly before their due date, and I set one on the counter to check the others. It exploded with a loud pop and spewed all over the mirror, wall, incubator and a few of the other eggs. That is not an aroma you want to have percolating in your incubator or any place else! If it does happen, clean everything as fast as you can, because the smell permeates the area quickly and everything it gets on.
As for adding eggs to the incubator, I can put banty eggs and full-size chicken eggs on one schedule and duck eggs on another. I have chicks hatching every week until the end of April.
I started with just three hens and now I have 50 or so. I love watching them hatch and can have the breed selection that I enjoy.
My focus is on producing more Polish, Silkies and blue Cochin as well as Frazzle Cochin (we hatched two about two weeks ago, to our pleasant surprise). I’m hoping to be able to offer some breed-specific chicks to my community, because it’s difficult and expensive to have them shipped to Alaska.
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
I’ve added videos of eggs and the Frazzle chick on my YouTube account, Redy2grow. You can see a couple of hatchlings emerging from their shells and into the incubator (and the world!) in the embedded videos below.