Before going to bed last night, I added some warm water to the "Cooler Bator" to increase the humidity for the "1st Hatch" eggs in lockdown. When I woke up around 3:30 am this morning, I got out of bed & checked the "Cooler Bator" - no pips, but the humidity wasn't close to being high enough. So, I added more warm water, to the tray beneath via a funnel and tubing. The humidity did climb, but I decided to go ahead & add a sponge & small container of water. I had to open the lid of the hatcher to do so, but I think it'll be ok. It spiked to over 70%, but when I checked again at 5 am, it was around 60%.
I do have to calebrate my other hygrometer, to double check it's accurate, but since the accepted range is between 60% - 70%, there's some wiggle room.
Oh, by the way, I had trouble with the auto egg turner in the Genesis 1588 incubator getting "stuck" & the control arm popping out of place. I think it was due to overloading the turner, even though the motor could handle it. I put a rubber band around the motor and turner rail, but it didn't work. Then, the Lord gave me the idea to wrap the rubber band around the upright part the control arm goes up & down on. That worked, and I've checked it several times a day. But then again, I've also removed most of the double-stacked eggs, so it could just be that now it's not overloaded! I guess that means I'll have to try again! :)
Then, I candled the 2nd "Test Hatch" again - since Monday there were around 8 eggs that were iffy.
This morning, I also reorganized the eggs as I was candling them, so they were according to what coop they came from. That'll make it easier when they go into lockdown next Wednesday! It also enabled me to get a more "official count" - and I found out that I missed a few eggs when I originally counted them. I wrote down in my Google Docs "2015 Egg Incubation" spreadsheet that I'd set 55 eggs from 2/20 - 2/24.
Today's count revealed:
11 eggs from Bob's Coop, aka, the Biel Coop -3 Bielefelder & 8 Catskill Homesteader x Biel
8 eggs from the SFH Coop - 1 SFH (porous, but developing!); 7 Catskill Homesteader x SFH
8 eggs from Dad's Coop - all single-combed brown Catskill Homesteaders
20 eggs from PA Coop - 9 green, 11 brown Catskill Homesteader - all small combed, except for a single combed SFHx pullet that lays medium-sized cream-colored eggs
3 green eggs that I didn't mark which coop they came from
2 "iffy" eggs - not infertile, but perhaps quit; 1 "test" egg which was very cold & 1 from Bob's coop
That adds up to 52 eggs still in the incubator
But, I also removed this morning 3 more eggs - 2 looked infertile (1 PA green egg & 1 Dad's coop light brown) & 1 unmarked light brown eggs had a "blood ring" - a dark ring around the middle of the egg with no more devlopment from last candling.
So, that's adds up to the 55 eggs "total" eggs I'd set. However, I had already removed 7 eggs the last two times I'd candled. That means I actually set 62 eggs, not 55!
Not that I'm counting my chickens before they hatch, but IF 50 hatch out of the 62 eggs set - that would be a 81% hatch rate!
For a little "fun", I did a little "number crunching":
The 1st test hatch, which had 9 eggs go into lockdown from 48 eggs - all 39 of the "duds" were infertile, meaning only 18.75% of the eggs had been fertilized! Granted, I had Just moved them all to their new breeding groups on 2/12, but I'd had a total of 3 roosters with the 40 hens from 2/4- 2/12.
Now, there's a total of 7 roosters in with the hens; 4 separate groups - 3 of which have 2 roosters & 1 group of 6 hens has 1 rooster. The "boys" have done an excellent job of bringing those rates up in just a little over a week, especially since was so cold & snowy in February!
The eggs set on 2/13 were from 2/10-12 - they had a 18% fertitlity rate.
Only 9 days later, on 2/21, the fertitily rate of the eggs I set had increased to 55%.
10 Days later, 82% of the 2/22 eggs that I set were fertiltized.
Of the 2/24 eggs, I have not removed any for lack of fertility or otherwise, so I'd say that's 100%.
Well, I better stop writing and get to work - lots to do before any chicks hatch!