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Discussion Starter · #161 ·
Some hens are pretty dominate from the start and they will do things like that if a Tom is not in the mix. So it doesn’t totally mean they are boys but it could be a very good sign they are. Just keep a eye on those two. The good thing about having a good amount is you probably do have a few of each gender and as they get older you can compare them and figure it out.
Calistar if you HAVE to open the incubator, first look in, if you can see threw it and make sure no one has pipped. If they haven’t it is safe to open it. If you can’t see in or they have then take the incubator into the bathroom and turn the shower on, wait until it’s nice and warm and humid in there and then open it. The problem with opening it is once they have piped and you open it your letting cool dry air in there and could shrink wrap the babies. And that is not fun. But I don’t stress about humidity unless it drops below 50%. Once they start to pip and hatch that humidity will go up.
So two of my turkey hens that were sharing a nest hatched out 9 poults. That was fun herding them into the coop. The plan was to just leave each hen with 2 poults and take the rest but I picked up half of them so there wasn’t so many to herd and they knew some were missing and kept trying to go back and find them. So they get to keep them all for now. I checked on the next nest and herd peeping so they are in the process of hatching those eggs. There is 3 on that nest and the one hen hisses at me every time I give them water so that should be fun to move them when it’s time lol
 

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A hissing hen is never fun, lol. But a good mama at least. I will be bugging you like crazy when it’s that time for my turkeys. I want the moms to raise them (even though I know I’ll suffer a lot of poult losses). I want to eventually figure out who is the best at hatching babies then keeping them alive. I hope to keep two toms but we’ll see how many hens I have and how the boys act. If I don’t have many hens, I’ll just keep one Tom and when the time comes to fill my freezer, I’ll be an emotional mess.

I definitely want lots of updates (and details) on where your turkeys lays eggs, nest, hatch out, and raise their young so I can start planning. That’s not too much to ask, right.
 

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Quick questions, my 9 turkey poults and 5 RIR chicks are in a makeshift (solid walled) pen in the barn that’s about 5.5’ x10’. They are 3 weeks old today. Everyone gets along well, the two sick/weak ones have been reintegrated but one is still off though seems happier with all his buddies. At what age will I need to expand their pen and by how much?

And when should I let them have field trips outside? The pen attached to their barn is fenced and covered with aerial netting but I’ll probably build a smaller, temporary enclosure for them for when they first venture outside. I’ve read articles that say 4, 6, and 8 weeks is when to let them spend an hour or two outside. I think 4 weeks is too young for my comfort level. Just wondering what everyone else does with theirs.
Mine out grew their brooder at about 6 weeks. They are now in a large rabbit cage outside until they are big enough to join the other chickens. Yours should be fine going outside at 6 weeks as long as the temps don't drop too low and they have shelter.

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Discussion Starter · #165 ·
I will absolutely update you on everything! In case you didn’t notice I love my turkeys and like talking about them lol
Lock down happens the last 3 days of incubation. You remove the turner, or stop turning them, bump up the humidity and lock them down. Not moving them gives the chicks time to get in the correct position to start hatching, and the higher humidity kinda softens the shells and also keeps the chicks from shrink wrapping. Shrink wrap is not fun, the membrane will dry out and kinda wrap around the chicks so they can’t move or bust free.
 

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Hmm, I think my humidity was 56 when I left for work this morning. I have a Hovabator Genesis and added water to the second trough like the instructions said, but it's never gotten to 65% . I'm afraid if I add water to the third trough it will be too much. Since dry hatching is a thing, should I assume that too little humidity is better than too much? I guess this is why they tell you to do a practice run first lol!
 

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I will absolutely update you on everything! In case you didn’t notice I love my turkeys and like talking about them lol
Lock down happens the last 3 days of incubation. You remove the turner, or stop turning them, bump up the humidity and lock them down. Not moving them gives the chicks time to get in the correct position to start hatching, and the higher humidity kinda softens the shells and also keeps the chicks from shrink wrapping. Shrink wrap is not fun, the membrane will dry out and kinda wrap around the chicks so they can’t move or bust free.
Thank you for clearing that up!
Another question. I have some duck eggs in there and I just added some more chicken eggs today. Will the lockdown affect the hatching of the other chicks? I don't have another incubator to move them to.

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Discussion Starter · #168 ·
When did you put the duck eggs in and how much later did the chicken eggs go in? If it was about a week between the 2 then they should hatch at the same time. If it’s more like 10 days you might run into the issue of needing to take the ducks out while the chicken eggs have piped. If we are talking a few weeks apart you SHOULDN’T run into a issue. This cabinet incubator is supposed to have eggs added weekly and if done correctly lock down could be happening when I have eggs anywhere from just put in to 1,2,3 weeks old (if turkey eggs). Right now I’m playing with it to see if In the end my hatch rates go down having spikes of humidity threw out their time. There are also people who do a total dry hatch, never add water and keeps their humidity about 35%, and there are ones that add eggs in daily and keep their humidity at a constant 50%. I think it all works to a degree just for some you may not have a super high hatch rate but I don’t think you will end up with a total loss.
Calistar I’m not sure which is better, humidity too high or too low during lock down. One can cause sticky chicks and drowning and the other can cause shrink wrap. I like it around 60%. If you can open it (no one has busted threw just yet) you can add a TINY bit of water to that third one and see what that brings you up to. If it totally spikes up you can crack the top, again if no one has piped, and let it out. It is SO hard to get it just right. Or just keep it at 56 and see what it does. I know with my 360 that sucker goes up and down so dang easy I’m sure some has hatched piped when it was only 50-55.
 

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Whoa, you can add eggs into an incubator at different times without causing big problems? I would assume the hatched eggs would contaminate the ones that needed longer to incubate.
I thought a cabinet incubator was to hatch large numbers of birds at a time. Is it to stagger consecutive hatches instead?

I just got home from work and checked my humidity and it's 57%. If it's going to go up (or at least hold steady) I think I'll just leave it. This is day 16 now so they could technically hatch anytime, although I heard day 18 is more likely. The hovabator has been keeping my temperature very consistent at 100 degrees, so at least that is stable!
 

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Discussion Starter · #170 ·
Well see that’s what I thought too but these people swear by it. I was going to try it before I got swamped with turkey eggs and those only come seasonally so I wasn’t going to experiment with those, then I got the cabinet so no desire to try it now. With the cabinet that I have you can do both with the one machine. You can’t hatch but 1/3 Of the capacity. Here is a picture and it might make more sense. The bottom black drawer is the hatching tray.
IMG_1622339134.938381.jpg
some people do get cabinets that are just for incubating and then will move to smaller incubators or a Hatcher for the hatching. The original plan was to just use the smaller incubators to hatch in but with the humidity being so touchy in the NR360s I want to try to only use the cabinet.
Oh gosh it’s going to be the longest 2 days lol I want to see what new baby quail look like! They are going to be so tiny and cute!!!
 

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So when you're in the last few days you put the eggs into the bottom tray to hatch? Gosh I'd be afraid some would hatch early and fall 3 stories down!

I just checked on my quail eggs this morning and 3 have pipped! Just barely though! Hopefully these 3 finish making it out and their 11 brothers and sisters follow! Humidity is still at 57%.

208893
 

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When did you put the duck eggs in and how much later did the chicken eggs go in? If it was about a week between the 2 then they should hatch at the same time. If it’s more like 10 days you might run into the issue of needing to take the ducks out while the chicken eggs have piped. If we are talking a few weeks apart you SHOULDN’T run into a issue. This cabinet incubator is supposed to have eggs added weekly and if done correctly lock down could be happening when I have eggs anywhere from just put in to 1,2,3 weeks old (if turkey eggs). Right now I’m playing with it to see if In the end my hatch rates go down having spikes of humidity threw out their time. There are also people who do a total dry hatch, never add water and keeps their humidity about 35%, and there are ones that add eggs in daily and keep their humidity at a constant 50%. I think it all works to a degree just for some you may not have a super high hatch rate but I don’t think you will end up with a total loss.
Calistar I’m not sure which is better, humidity too high or too low during lock down. One can cause sticky chicks and drowning and the other can cause shrink wrap. I like it around 60%. If you can open it (no one has busted threw just yet) you can add a TINY bit of water to that third one and see what that brings you up to. If it totally spikes up you can crack the top, again if no one has piped, and let it out. It is SO hard to get it just right. Or just keep it at 56 and see what it does. I know with my 360 that sucker goes up and down so dang easy I’m sure some has hatched piped when it was only 50-55.
The duck eggs went in 4 days after the chicken eggs.

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We have a chick!!! I checked just before my shower and one of the eggs was rocking. Twenty minutes later, I'm out of the shower and go to check the egg and it's a chick instead! Another one has started rocking, one is actively pipping, and a a couple more are either pipped or cracked but no further activity.
Hopefully I will have fluffy quail chick pictures to show you all soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #175 ·
As long as you stay up on dates they won’t hatch and fall threw. The earliest they hatch is about 24 hours and with moving them down 3 days early they won’t fall threw.
Ok that’s not as bad as if your having to open the incubator to get babies out and the other batch is starting to hatch. Just raise your humidity when you should and let it back down after they have hatched. It should work just fine. The idea with the humidity lower to start with is so that the eggs loose enough moisture to make that air sack in there so the chicks can breath after internally piping.
Awwwww I can’t wait to see them!!! That’s a healthy chick hatching so fast (are quail called chicks? Lol)
 

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Yeah but what if you forget? XD

I'm shocked to say I have 8 chicks now! A 9th has been trying to hatch since late last night. He's still working at it so I'm leaving him alone for now. I did open the incubator very briefly to add a piece of hot wet sponge so he doesn't dry out. Humidity dipped but went right back up since the sponge was hot.

It's weird because all the eggs that have hatched were on the left side of the incubator. The only unhatched one from that side is the one who's working on it still. On the right side, only one egg out of 5 has hatched. I would suspect a temperature difference, but it's a forced air incubator. Really bizarre, probably just a coincidence.

I'm preparing the brooder and hopefully #9 will find his way out soon so I can move out the first batch. Pictures will follow. Right now the cottage cheese ceiling reflects on the incubator window and I can't get any good pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #177 ·
Oh trust me I won’t forget lol and just in case I have it written all over my calendar. But next year I’ll be prepared and ready for this so it will end up being put eggs on the hatch rack on Friday put new eggs in on Monday.
So how many eggs do you have altogether again?
Fizzy goat I’m telling you right now you might want to rethink this whole breeding Turkeys and letting them hatch them out lol the pair of girls hatched their poults as I mentioned. Got them in a cage with them and all is great. My trio hatched theirs out so I put them in the cage, and it’s a HUGE pen. One of the two went nuts and tried killing the trio. Got her and 2 poults and put them in one of those smaller chicken coops (the super expensive junk ones tractor supply sells). I think all is good until I see the trio after the other hen. So I let everyone have 2 babies and take the rest and kick them out. The toms see the hens lay down for the poults and think it’s breeding time. Chase the toms into the cage. The trio is head hunting the one hen but they leave the poults to go after her. They end up loosing track of their poults and go off and about like they don’t have a care in the world. The one hen goes over and takes all their poults and is happy. I let the other hen out of her chicken coop and they are back together with 10 poults happy as can be lol so the new plan with the other 11 hens is take all but 2 poults and walk away. At least then if they loose the poults it’s not so sad but I just can’t take all their babies. These things are worse then goats forgetting about their friends when they haven’t seen each other for a day. They all get off their nests and eat in the morning together. Add a little hormones in the mix and they are nuts!
 

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Wow, raising turkeys sounds like a circus!

I purchased 18 eggs. 4 were damaged in transit so 14 went into the incubator. 9 chicks hatched, but #9 had some issues and didn't make it. So right now I have 8 healthy chicks and 5 eggs still in the incubator. I'm not too optimistic about those last 5, but it's day 19 so I'm going to leave them for a couple more days. Fingers crossed for my chicks that they make it to adulthood; I've heard they like to look for ways to die!
 

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Oh trust me I won’t forget lol and just in case I have it written all over my calendar. But next year I’ll be prepared and ready for this so it will end up being put eggs on the hatch rack on Friday put new eggs in on Monday.
So how many eggs do you have altogether again?
Fizzy goat I’m telling you right now you might want to rethink this whole breeding Turkeys and letting them hatch them out lol the pair of girls hatched their poults as I mentioned. Got them in a cage with them and all is great. My trio hatched theirs out so I put them in the cage, and it’s a HUGE pen. One of the two went nuts and tried killing the trio. Got her and 2 poults and put them in one of those smaller chicken coops (the super expensive junk ones tractor supply sells). I think all is good until I see the trio after the other hen. So I let everyone have 2 babies and take the rest and kick them out. The toms see the hens lay down for the poults and think it’s breeding time. Chase the toms into the cage. The trio is head hunting the one hen but they leave the poults to go after her. They end up loosing track of their poults and go off and about like they don’t have a care in the world. The one hen goes over and takes all their poults and is happy. I let the other hen out of her chicken coop and they are back together with 10 poults happy as can be lol so the new plan with the other 11 hens is take all but 2 poults and walk away. At least then if they loose the poults it’s not so sad but I just can’t take all their babies. These things are worse then goats forgetting about their friends when they haven’t seen each other for a day. They all get off their nests and eat in the morning together. Add a little hormones in the mix and they are nuts!
Yikes! That sounds completely insane. I may have to rethink things. I was thinking of giving them each their own dog kennel sized area with their babies until they were a few weeks old. Basically one long run with lots of dividers and a little “house” in each. That may not work. Even at a few weeks, they need their mama. Hmm. I’m going to have to re-plan...a lot!

Wow, raising turkeys sounds like a circus!

I purchased 18 eggs. 4 were damaged in transit so 14 went into the incubator. 9 chicks hatched, but #9 had some issues and didn't make it. So right now I have 8 healthy chicks and 5 eggs still in the incubator. I'm not too optimistic about those last 5, but it's day 19 so I'm going to leave them for a couple more days. Fingers crossed for my chicks that they make it to adulthood; I've heard they like to look for ways to die!
Congrats on the 8 healthy babies! Sorry about the one you lost. I hope some more hatch out nice and strong for you. It’s kind of a bummer if you only end up with 8 birds out of the 18 eggs you ordered. Though I don’t know normal hatch rates.

And I think most my animals are constantly looking for ways to kill themselves. Your little ones are going to be even more fragile than what I’m used to dealing with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #180 ·
No that is probably a great idea. At least at 2 weeks old the babies are not tiny little things with moms 500 times their size fighting over the top of them while they stand there confused lol they can at least run from it.
So far the two moms have their babies still. The other 3 will try to start stuff but they have calmed down too and the poults stay with their two moms now.
I found on little one wondering around. I’m not sure which hen it came from since I am not brave enough to look under them lol but have him in my tote in the house.
Incubating is not going great with the new incubator. I had 4 hatch great and 3 that were wet and turned crusty hard. I guess the humidity was too high. Not sure how the same amount is so different from the little one to the big one, but seems to be. Gave them a bath in warm water and put back in the incubator and they are fluffing up very nicely. I’m pretty sure the rest of the eggs are dead though but will candle them tomorrow.
Soooooo where is our quail pictures?! I’ve been waiting to see those cute little suckers!
 
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