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 Post subject: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
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Hi all,

just wanted to check what other BYP people do with their settings for the RCOM 20. For my first hatch I just selected chicken and hit start. This means a pre-set 21 day hatching cycle, with the first 18 days set at 37.5C and the last 3 days at 37C. Humidity is pre set at 45% for first 18 days and last 3 days at 60%. Egg turning happens automatically every 60 mins until the last three days when turning stops.

Of the 8 eggs that developed only 2 managed to pip. The rest were perfectly formed but couldn't get out. The two that pipped came out at 20.5 days. The vet had a look at the ones that didn't hatch and said they all looked perfect and suggested we try a 20 day cycle instead so they stopped turning a day earlier.

The next hatch I set with the same temperature and humidity and hourly turning except I set it for 20 days so the humidity and temperature changed at 17 days and turning stopped at 17 days.

14 eggs developed and only 4 managed to pip and they all took between 12 hours and 24 hours to hatch.

the two that hatched from the first hatch and the 4 from the second hatch have all been very healthy and incredibly active babies. So I can't understand what is going wrong!

Are people with RCOM 20 using different manual settings? are you doing less they 60 minute automatic turns. Something different with temperature and humidity? I know there are other things which can cause low hatch rates but thought I should check what people are doing with their RCOM 20 settings as a first step.

In terms of other causes of poor hatch rates, the hens and rooster all healthy, fed with showbird mp pellets with limited treats. They free range at least a couple of hours a day and get grass and insects as well as their pellets.

Would love to know if there are other options I should be trying. At this stage I think it is mostly roosters who are managing to get out- the first two were boys and I am pretty sure at least 2 of the current 4 are roosters as well. So I am reluctant to put another batch in until I can think of some alternatives for a better hatch rate.

Any advice gratefully received :hiya:


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:29 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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It’s very frustrating and a really major bummer to get a result that’s below what you’d hoped for.... I know the feeling!

So what I want to know at this point is: What were the size of your air cells at hatch time?

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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks for getting back to me Rach. The short answer is I don’t know- the longer answer is I could see the air sacs but because I wasn’t sure of what I was looking at and was anxious to get the eggs in and out of the incubator as quickly as I could when I candled at 7 and 14 days I didn’t really get an accurate sense of size other than I could see the air sacs were there. I was basically looking to see that I could see veins developing at 7 days and the eggs were pretty full and the air sacs visible at 14 days


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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If the air cell is too small then what you see are fully formed chicks that die in the shell. I’d say that the problem has been that the air cells have not developed to be big enough, meaning your humidity is too high for these eggs. Some eggs are less porous than others (they have thicker shells and/or fewer pores) and need a lower humidity level to achieve a big enough air cell. The size of the air cell is really important - it’s the chick’s breathing chamber when it internally pips. You need enough unencumbered shell to allow air flow through the pores while the chick is breathing in the air cell. Also, too much moisture left in the shell means the chick can’t turn properly and, on top of that, too much moisture impedes absorption of the blood vessels and yolk. So, it’s critical. By Day 18 the air cell should be looking like it occupies close to one third of the volume of the egg.

It will not hurt the the eggs at all if you take a bit of extra time to candle them every few days (after Day 7) to monitor air cell development. Just handle them gently. Get to know what your eggs do during incubating - candling and observation are the only ways to do that. Look up a diagram on the internet that shows you what to expect for air cell development over time for chicken eggs.

On the assumption that the air cells are too small I’d try not adding any water at all to the incubator for the first 17 days, then stop the turning and add water for 60% humidity. Give that a try.

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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:48 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks rach that’s really helpful- will let you know how it goes. Would you leave the turning at once every 60mins?


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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That should be fine for chook eggs. I’d leave it at 60 mins :)

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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks so much :hiya:


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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No worries. Hope you have a great result next time :)

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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:15 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi,
I just came across this item. I have had the R-Com20 for 7 years. I guess though you soon will be going into incubating again soon so I thought I would reply by private message.
I leave it at the original settings with the temperature and humidity that you mentioned which is factory when it is turned on.
My turner plastic connection broke about two years ago and a friend mended it with a screw so it still turns but it does make a clicking sound at night.
So I guess I have had to change my way of doing things to you. I turn it off when I go to bed and start it again in the morning.
I turn the turner off completely on the 18th day.
Though I must tell you that I sometimes even have half full with a new batch and half with the ones which are ready to hatch and manually turn the others four times a day till I have the first chicks out and strong enough to go into the brooder.
I then remove the other eggs and put them into a egg carton to keep them warm and clean out the incubator and dry it. I thoroughly wash the foam underlay and hang it out to dry during the day in the sun. I just put the eggs back sitting on tissue with the seperators till the foam dries that night,
I then remove the eggs from the incubator momentarily into the egg carton and then put the foam in, seperators and the eggs and start the turner off again.
I do this so I can keep hatching going because unless you have lots of layers in your shed it takes a while to get 24 eggs within a 7 day period. I only use eggs 7 days or less. The eggs I collect I place pointy end down in an egg carton, manually turn 4 times a day before going into incubator.
Now in regards to hatching I candle on the 20th night and can see what is happening. I use this wonderful small torch LED LENSER P3AFS P Professional Series torch I got from a camping store. It is like a small magna lite and shows in great detail the embryos from day 4 even swimming around.
I shift the eggs I know are moving to first in line in the tray and check the others through the day and place them in order of how they are progressing. Most will hatch out naturally but others don't. You could be right it might be the roosters that are stronger.
I let them go for 12 hrs and if I can see them moving inside with the torch with the heads still moving upwards but not coming out I gently put a small break in the shell over the aircell. I then wet the membrane to help the chick. I have found quite a lot of the time that the Breeders ration must make the shell and membrane very strong. I do this because it is better to take a chance trying to help them than they just get tired and die. I have found this very successful. I just keep the moisture onto the membrane and they appreciate the help as it softens it just with a few drops of water every now and then when it dries out. You can also just chip away the egg shell above the air cell. You must not break the membrane as the chicks will bleed to death (I found that out the hard way). If I have found that after another 12 hours they are moving strongly but not out I help them out gently about 3/4 and then they will finish the job within a couple of hours. Sometimes they lie there and think they won't survive and get up in the morning and they are all running around. So I guess my solution is giving nature a helping hand. It might work or it might not but what have you to lose. As I have been doing it for years I just know what I am doing now and it gives me a satisfaction that I was able to help. I always think that the one that didn't hatch could have been the one.
Sorry for the long essay. By the way even though the humidity goes up higher when hatching the first lot with the chicks running around, and me opening and closing it doesn't affect my hatching the 2nd lot. I try to go in and lift each egg gently out each time and candle or wet the membrane and place them back in asap. You will still always lose a few if too weak but the stronger the chicks the better I think.

Lana
(Copied from a private message recently to Trillian for others to see for future hatching)


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:57 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Thanks for adding your advice to the thread for others to see, Lana :)

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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:52 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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My pleasure. I thought it great if people help each other with practical advice from experience.
Lana


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
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I was very grateful for both Rach and Lanis responses! I had one last go and only got one egg hatched although at least 4 others were moving! Again failure to pip and inability to absorb yolk sac but otherwise perfectly formed. So still a bad success rate- I had put the humidity down to the lowest setting of 30% ( I wasn’t game enough to try with no humidity). I won’t try again now until spring where I will try again with factory settings but measure the airspace at 7 and 14 days and if it hasn’t got any bigger I will the drop the humidity at 14 days as the next attempt.

On the plus side I ended up with 6 girls and one boy all up and they are all bright happy very pretty chickens! Will post some pictures of them as grown ups

Thanks again for all the help and advice :hiya:


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:37 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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A couple of questions - were all the eggs the same breed and from the same source?
Other than humidity, another reason for failed hatches is parental nutrition - what goes into the egg affects what comes out and specific nutrient deficiencies impact at different stages of incubation.

BYP has a facebook Incubation group with a good workshop which includes incubation/nutrition.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bypincubation/


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:52 am 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks sue- yes all bantam langshans and all on showbird mp- will keep an eye on the Facebook site :hiya:


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:11 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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How big were the air cells this time around, Trillian?

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