Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pip, Pip, Hooray!

Today is day 20 on that batch of Black Copper Marans eggs that I had set in March.  Originally I started with 14 eggs but had to cull 5 of them because they did not develop.  I'm not certain if maybe the room I had the incubator in got too cold one night or the fertility is off, but this is the most I have ever had to cull from eggs that came from my own birds.  Kind of disappointing especially when I'm trying to fill an order for chicks.  I just set another batch of 19 eggs from the same flock in my other incubator and we will see how many of those develop.

I woke up this morning to see one pip and this is all I have right now.  Black Copper Marans eggs hatch best for me when I use a dry incubating technique for the first 18 days then 65-70% relative humidity for days 18-21.  Zero water is added to the incubator for those 18 days since these eggs do not dry down as readily as lighter-colored eggs.  I have ran lighter eggs with them when using this techinque but it does seem to dry the lighter eggs down too much and results in a lower success rate for those eggs.

The hygrometer that I use does not read lower than 20% humidity and does not even register a reading when the incubator is ran with no water in it.  I know some folks that use this technique for all types of chicken eggs that have had great results so the humidity of the surrounding environment in which the incubator sits plays a part.  But in a wood-heated house in the Northwest, the environment here does not have a lot of humidity to share this time of year.

When we get some chicks to show you all, I will post an update.

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