Monday, September 14, 2009

Incubator review & results

I was able to switch off the Hexabator today, for the first time in 3 weeks. So how did it perform in the end? I'm happy to report, of the 17 eggs left, after I candled them at day 10 - all 17 chicks have hatched successfully. And may I add, they all managed it by day 21 too.

The fact they all hatched on their due date, gives an indication I had the temperature set correctly. It's always an anxious time when using an incubator for the first time, because you need to test how it performs. Well, now I know to set the temperature around 37.7 degrees celcius according to the digital thermometer - and have the sensor (of the thermometer) at egg level.

And here are all 17 chicks, squeezing into a girls' size beanie. I put the beanie in, because I wasn't happy with the temperature inside the brooder. It should be around 35 degrees Celsius, but it was more like 30 degrees instead. When I noticed the chicks were all stumbling over each other, huddling for more warmth, I went looking for a stuffed toy. I couldn't find any that were the right size and wasn't my daughter's favourite, so then I saw the beanie she'd left laying on the ground.

Her messiness turned out to be a blessing as the little chicks love to sleep in it together. I'm going to look at buying a ceramic light-bulb in future too, as it seems the energy-saver isn't quite warm enough in the brooder. The old incandescent bulbs used to work a treat, but I blew my last one and you can't buy them any more. Se la vie, as they say, but there are other alternatives, thankfully.

As for the Hexabator incubator, I'm really happy with the choice I made. You could say it was a 100% success rate, of the eggs which managed to develop by day 10. I was expecting a few eggs not to be fertile, as my Gold Lace Wyandottes had only been breeding for a few weeks before I started collecting the eggs.

Well, now I'm off to find a good beanie knitting pattern, so I can make a few more!


  1. You're obviously a natural. Try the Notice Board on Andy Vardy's Backyard Poultry Site - I think I've seen those light bulbs advertised there. You could put a wanted notice up and see what happens.

  2. Awwww, too cute! Well done you!

    They look happily warm -though it may get a bit squishy in that beanie soon... !


  3. I haven't checked out the notice board for a while greenfumb, so I could've missed any being advertised. Although I've also seen a local freecycle ad, requesting the incandescent light-bulbs for a brooder too.

    I'm interested in the ceramic ones though - to see if they last longer. Have some research to do. :)

    And the beanie is getting a bit squishy already mountainwildlife, it's amazing how fast they grow. And all from such a tiny little egg!

  4. Right Chris- I'm blaming you and your cute chicks for this!

    I joined up with BYP yesterday (instead of just lurking!) and answered a post selling Wyandotte eggs! also v interested in the hexabator, did a bit of research (then just read yours instead- thanks!)

    Now I'm just trying to convince hubby! Not that he's really against it, he just can't see why we need a dozen eggs...or more chooks ....

    I was trying to avoid reasons like 'cute little chickies' and 'fluffballs' when he said "c'mon then, sell it to me!"

    He will come round...... ;-)

  5. I'll take the blame, LOL. ;) I love the fluffy little chickens. And oh yes, even Dave loves a cuddle of them. He picks them up and talks to them.

    I reckon your hubby is just waiting for the offer of something he REALLY wants, LOL. You know what I mean? *wink-wink*

    Guys can be so funny sometimes - as I'm sure we are with our chicken addictions, LOL.

  6. Oh Chris, congrats nanna:)Aren't they just so cute:D

  7. I guess that does make me a nanna, hey. :)

    They're getting bigger too - I'll do an update when they're about a week old, just to see if there's a noticeable difference.

  8. Chris - you have babies! Oh how sweet they are.

    Won't be long and the beanie will be too small.

  9. ohh super cute!! Well done for hatching all of your eggs too! It can be a tricky business. The ceramic light makes a big difference - we bought one when we had a few little chicks a few years back and it kept the temperature just right. I put an old ugg boot in the brooder which they loved but there weren't enough of them to huddle up and keep warm. Your blog is looking terrific, by the way. I'd happily come sit on that chair and look out at your wonderful garden and chook houses. About to start a sunflower garden like the one you did last year - you inspired me!

  10. Thanks for leaving your comments Littlefarm and Jacqui, I've been meaning to reply but the days get away from me too fast!

    The beanie has now gone and they're developing flight feathers too. I've been meaning to do an update - in the next few days hopefully. :)

    I'd love to see your sunflowers once they're all in full bloom, Jacqui. They put a smile on my face every time! I cannot look at a sunflower without smiling. They're just so darn, happy looking. ;)

    Which reminds me, I still have to plant my sunflower seeds saved from last year too.


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