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 Post subject: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:31 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hi all,

First attempt at staggering a hatch, so some advice would be welcome as they progress.

I have 7 barnevelders at 12 days in my hovabator genesis, down from the original dozen (2 quit, 3 infertile and a further 1 is suspect).

I was unable to organise getting a half dozen vorwerk to arrive at the same time, so decided to add a week later. As it turned out the seller was unwell and this delayed them for a further couple of days... I was then offered a good number of eggs of several varieties and figured why not..

So, when the barnies were at day 10, I have added 10 vorwerk (4 added to my posted 6) and 16 others.


I was hoping for my Wyandotte to go clucky and raise the lot but that was before I had to stagger the hatch..

At what point could the chicks from the two hatches be combined? I ask because I only have one brooder... So if need be I'll sort another out or try and get the Wyandotte clucky to take the barbies off my hands!

I know not to introduce them to adult birds till 6-8 weeks. Our plan there would be to temporarily section off part of the chookyard to house the younguns at 6 weeks and introduce them at about 8 weeks to the adults out in the backyard so the young ones have space to spread out.


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:17 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:54 am
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Location: Canberra
6 weeks of age is when they can come off heat, not when they can go in with adults. I would wait much longer to introduce them to adult birds. Keep them separate until they are either fully grown or the same size as the adults - whichever comes first. So, more like 4 months or 16 weeks.

As far as combining the chicks goes I’d probably do it when the youngest are a couple of weeks old. So, it’s best if you arrange a second brooder.

Hope you get good results at hatch time.

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:05 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Unfortunately the smaller 15w poziwarm is out of stock at Brookfield, however I do have one of the larger poziwarm hotplate style brooders and I was considering sectioning off two brooder boxes and having the poziwarm in the center to be shared between the boxes and place barriers to prevent the chicks from getting to each other for the first 2 weeks.

I'll check other suppliers but given my infrequent hatching I would prefer to try with the single brooder and perhaps borrow one from a fellow byp'r if possible


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:21 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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One brooder with a barrier in the middle sounds like the way to go. Will get the chicks used to each other too and you’ll have a better idea of when they’re ready be combined as one group.

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:36 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yup, just grabbed it from the shed, it's a 42w, 40cm x 40cm, 30-35 chick model.. Plenty big enough to section off.

Would you recommend that I use wire to section off so they can see each other and interact somewhat? Otherwise I was going use a scrap of aluminium cut to size.


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Also, looking to have these in our shed, which does have evidence of rats, so I will have to bait them and have some way of protecting the brooder


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:54 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:54 am
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Location: Canberra
A wire barrier would be good. Go for something with 10mm x 10mm holes. They will get through anything too much bigger. Make it as high as you can up to the level of the heat source.

Yeah, definitely need to have a rat barrier.

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:31 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:00 pm
Posts: 350
I often combine different hatchings in the one brooder without problems as the aggressive behaviour does not seem to kick in until chickens are older by which time they have sorted out their pecking order.
I am sure others have posted similar experience before.


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:25 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks, I'll separate them with a wire barrier initially and see how they get on once supervised.

1 more barnie discarded :(, blood ring present and no where near the development of all the others etc.

Now, lockdown for the barnies will be on Friday night, which will be day 7 for that larger batch...

I don't have a second incubator and don't plan to make staggered hatching a regular activity... I'll be putting the barnies into a basket for hatching to contain them and their mess.

The dilemma is whether to perhaps drape a hot damp hand towel over the basket to keep it humid so I can continue to turn the 2nd batch or whether to just leave them all locked down and then resume turning and low humidity on day 11-12 for a week or so before locking down that lot.. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
I’d be inclined to keep turning the second lot by hand right up until the first lot start pipping the shell. It won’t hurt to use a damp towel but I don’t think it’d be essential. When the first lot start pipping the shell stop turning the second lot and leave them all in lockdown till the first lot are finished and out.

It won’t hurt the second lot to sit there without turning for a few days. Turning is most important during the first week or so, to encourage good vein development and to give the embryo access to new nutrients in the egg white. Once a good vein network has developed turning isn’t such a life or death matter.

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Blue Swedish Ducks


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:49 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks 70%, I'll follow that advice.

Re:turning.

Unfortunately due to work, I've been unable to turn more than once in the morning and once at night, roughly every 11-13 hrs.

I'll be interested to see if this has resulted in a greatly reduced hatch rate this time around and is one of the reasons that I've loaded up the incubator with more eggs than I normally would set.


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
Posts: 1375
Location: West of Bendigo
The rats are likely a bigger issue than the incubation system/s. Traps - lots of traps. Baiting with poison is dangerous to wildlife, there has been other mention of it here - owls most particularly at high risk. More traps. Snaptraps, water buckets, live traps, drop traps, air gun, Jack Russels.

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:50 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Good point, I've never had much luck with snappers so will try some other methods.


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am
Posts: 225
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Discarded a lavender leghorn and a potential lakenvelder egg due to being clear. Also got 4-5 others that I suspect have quit (vorwerk, leghorn and a polish I think)

Have put the 6 barnies into a basket with non slip matting, humidity is at 65%.. Considering adding water to another trough to get it towards 75%.

Will continue turning the batch 2 eggs for another day or so.


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 Post subject: Re: Staggered hatching
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:43 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
Hope you get a good result :)

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Cheerio, Rach
Blue Swedish Ducks


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