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Incubator Help

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Guest ~libby~

hey guys we've just recently bought an incubator to house the eggs of the females who keep letting them get cold... we've fostered out as many eggs to other birds as possible some even have 8 so really had no other option, but my question is ... at what temperature should the incubator be set?

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Sometimes it is necessary to incubate eggs yourself. This can be due to your hen being ill and not having another hen to foster the eggs to.

 

Most bird specialists set the incubator dry temperature at 37.2 degrees C and it works well for most species. Acceptable extremes are 36.6 to 37.7 degrees C. The temperature should not fluctuate more than 0.2 degrees C either side of your chosen setting.

 

Eggs incubated at cooler temps may hatch several days later.

 

Warmer eggs hatch a little sooner (but don't put it warmer then needed because it could damage the chick or cause death).

 

For best information on this subject a book called a Guide to Incubation and Handraising parrots by Phil Digney is terrific for all the help you need.

 

The temperatures above are measured in degrees celcius. Convert to Fahrenheit if necessary for your incubator.

 

Incubation Time, from BBC FAQ

 

Last update: 2007-04-13 01:57

Author: Kaz

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Libby,If you are haveing a problem,with hens leaveing the nest.I would be looking for a

problem in the nesting boxes,I would`nt have no more then 1 hen a season leave the eggs.

 

If you go along the line of useing the incubator,you will need foster pairs to feed the chicks.

A mate of mine brought a incubator to hatch chicks from his good pairs.But gave it away after

1 round,the chicks hatched,but he did`nt have enough fostes to feed the chicks,or the time to hand

feed the number of chicks, If you have the time go for it.I would`nt even attempt to feed day old chicks. :feedbirds:

Edited by Nerwen
fixed typo

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If your hens are leaving the eggs they may not be fertile. Candle the eggs to see if it's even worth incubating. There should at least be some indication of a blood spot or vein development. If the hens have left the nest part way through incubation then the chicks may have already died in the egg. Again candle the eggs to see if there's any sign of life. Then foster the good eggs first, and leave the questionable ones for the incubator IF you run out of foster parents.

 

Elly (Kaz) has posted some good info. Temperatures averaging 37.5 are the ideal, with minimal variation - not more than 2 degrees (ie 1 degree above 37.5 and 1 below). Humidity is also important when incubating eggs. Too dry and the chick will not be able to turn to pip the egg properly, and the membrane may be too tough for it to break.

 

The eggs also need turning regularly to develop properly. Does your incubator have a turning mechanism of some sort?

 

You'll also need a brooder to move the chicks into after they have recovered from hatching.

 

Another book with useful info is "Practical Incubation" by Rob Harvey.

 

Good luck,

KathyW.

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Guest ~libby~

thanks guys i've got a dish of water in there for humidity and will bathe the eggs a day or so before hatch date... i'm home all day so turn them regularily and i have hand reared a chick from one day old before but i'd also rather not go back down that lane:P... the plan this time around it to only take a few of their eggs the rest are left with the mothers as the chicks from certain boxes hatch the idea is to swap with a dead egg in the nests and see how the mother goes with the newborn should this not work and my other pairs wont foster i'll be hand rearing ones needed. but thankyou all very much for your help it's only a trial thing at this present time to see how it goes because we were getting fed up of all the DIS... we've watched the hens in the aviary and there appears to much distraction for them to want to sit on their eggs aside from a few dedicated mothers who're maxed out with eggs (one has 9) but because we'd like to see a little more produce from them we're trying this way... i guess trial and error will see if it works:) i'll keep ya updated on how the returning to the parents turns out

cheers libby

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Libby if you are so keen on breeding,You should be useing breeding boxs &

you would`nt have the problems you are haveing. :)

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Guest ~libby~

i have breeding cabinets and cages in a seperate area for the ones left in the aviary i like to give them the option to breed freely should they choose to do so. only came on here for help not criticism.

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Libby, I was just wondering if at all possible you are having mice in the aviary ? Because once when I was breeding in the aviary mice were getting in and driving hens off their eggs and out of nests in the night time. Also anything that frightens them off their nests can be a problem if perhaps there isnt enough light to help them find their way back to their nests. A night light helps with that. But my worst problem was mice getting in. Any chance you may be having a similar thing happen ?

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Guest ~libby~

i thought about mice at first but dad has rat sack down around the yard and we've tried traps but nothing not to mention nothing living manages to get past my dog.. if it isnt in a cage she sees it as her dinner:D the night time doesnt seem to be a problem so much for them it's more day time whenever i'm out there during the day only a few sit the rest stay outside their boxes for ages but at night everyone seems to have returned to their nests :s it's odd do you think perhaps my dogs scare them?

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i thought about mice at first but dad has rat sack down around the yard and we've tried traps but nothing not to mention nothing living manages to get past my dog.. if it isnt in a cage she sees it as her dinner:D the night time doesnt seem to be a problem so much for them it's more day time whenever i'm out there during the day only a few sit the rest stay outside their boxes for ages but at night everyone seems to have returned to their nests :s it's odd do you think perhaps my dogs scare them?

 

Barking dogs can scare them of course. They could also be behaving in a territorial manner to each other within the aviary and not allowing each other to go nests. This happens a lot if the nests are too close. You can see a budgie fly at another one each time the hen tries to go in her own nest, and eventually the hen gives up caring for her eggs. Once she begins to incubate her eggs she should only be off them for around 20 minutes breaks.

Another menace in the aviary and goes unseen a lot, but causes hens to go off nests is good old cockroaches. They hide under nestboxes and in crevices. They scare the *** out of the birds in the night, and cause all kinds of problems with sitting hens.

Then there is the other variable...hens too silly or too young who just purely "dont get it" that they are meant to stay on the eggs.

As I used to breed this way but now do not, I can tell you from experience ( no judging you here at all ) ....but if there will ever be any problems breeding birds it mostly will happen when you colony breed. Unfortunate but true. Some horror stories from breeder cabinet attacks also, but in general less trouble with breeding cages...I am sure you know that anyway.

 

Cheers karen

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Hi Libby, I am sorry if you felt like you were being critized, I know that was not the intention by any means. We are all here to help in many different ways. Some of us express better then others and with the internet it is very to hard sometimes say things with emotion so it comes across brash. Suggestions and advice are the biggest one that seem to come over wrong (I know from experience) so please don't be upset.

 

Here is a great article about aviary (open) style breeding vs closed style breeding from one of our breeders who started out the way you are breeding. Coloney Breeding VS Closed Breeding Article from our BBC FAQs

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Hi Libby.

 

I started out cabinet breeding with two pairs but when I got my first aviary and a few more pairs I decided to let the birds breed more "naturally". Yes I had dramas over the years but for the most part it was more positive than negative.

 

My previous aviary complex was 3 huge open flights - irregular shapes in, under and around the gum trees - roughly 9 meters long and 4 meters wide each. The birds loved these and bred well (and sometimes fought just as hard too :dbb1: During years when many breeders couldn't get their birds to breed at all, I couldn't get mine to stop! Despite open flights and very little weather protection the nest boxes were only empty of eggs/chicks for about 2 weeks at the height of summer (when it got to over 46 deg C) and again during the worst of winter (-4C wet and miserable).

 

As a result of letting them "do their own thing", which sometimes despite lots of choice led to "line breeding" instances (mother/son, brother sister etc) eventually a recessive pied trait started to appear. My original stock were "rejects" from a pied breeder, but obviously some must have been split for pied. So eventually after 20 years the proportion of birds carrying the recessive pied genes built up enough for some visual pieds to appear.

 

Another spin off of uncontrolled breeding was that many birds reverted to the small "wild type" in size.

 

By progressively selling off most of my non-pied birds I now have a strong recessive pied line that I'm trying to improve. So have made the decision just this year to stop uncontrolled breeding and return to the cabinet system.

 

My new aviary complex has 3 big open air budgie flights that the birds can enjoy when they are not breeding, 3 finch flights (and a "cat cage" for my "vermin controller/despatcher"). It also has a lovely big bird room area for cabinets and holding cages.

 

I would be the last person to try to discourage you from aviary breeding. It can lead to exciting developments as well as huge disappointments. If I had stayed with selective cabinet breeding from the start I may never have re-discovered the recessive pied genes in my own flock that I love so much now!

 

So I wish you all the best with your aviary and birds. You will have bad times as well as good times, comes with the territory. But if or when you find the time comes that you want to experiment and control pairings for a specific trait, then cabinet breeding is the best way to go.

 

All the best,

KathyW.

Edited by KathyW

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:angel1: :):D

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