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Date Posted: 19:14:44 06/01/09 Mon
Author: Shawna
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: Are all eggs fertile?
In reply to: Nikki 's message, "Are all eggs fertile?" on 16:59:51 05/25/09 Mon

I hatch all my eggs in an incubator. The hens are too unpredictable and there are only certain times I really want chicks such as spring and fall. They tend not to sit when I have time to take care of extra birds.

Majority of eggs are fertile even from brand new layers. The males will start mating even before the females start laying. Sometimes the first eggs from new layers can have problems but that's much less with buttons than chickens. Your biggest problem is probably the incubator you bought. Those cheap little dome bators are a joke. They don't hold temp, they don't hold humidity, and you'll be lucky to get one egg out of them after many attempts. They just aren't big enough with thick enough material to hold the proper numbers. If you want to incubate eggs the cheapest still effective incubators are the small styrofoam tabletop versions. A hovabator 1602 or little giant 1900 are the cheapest models. Without fan or turner these will run you about $40. For a little more a hova 1588 is the favorite small bator on chicken forums. If you want one a turner is about $40 plus a little more for quail egg trays. I just put mine in egg flats and prop the edge up. Then switch which side is up 3 times a day. I've had 95% and higher hatch rates from button eggs in my hova including eggs from hens that started laying that month. I've hatched hundreds of button eggs, 250 coturnix quail, and I don't want to count how many chicken eggs from my cheap little still air hova and lg. I much prefer the hova particular when hatching during dry months because it holds more water.

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