new to this

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new to this

Postby dye29 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:50 pm

hi guys ive just got 15 hens about few month ago and im loving them ive just built a separate run for some bantams so i thought id try hatching some ive just purchased a brinsea Mini II Advance Incubator and would like lots of advise please my plan is so far i have built a 4ft long by 2ft wide wood brooder box and have a electric brooder plate is that all i need
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Re: new to this

Postby RichmondHens » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:29 pm

How many chicks are you hoping to hatch? Remember half will be cockerels. Do you have plans for those? Don't expect to be able to rehome them all, most people don't want other people's spare cockerels unless they are excellent examples of pure breeds, and even then they will be lucky to find a home.

Once hatched keep them in the incubator for 24 hours to fully dry off and be strong on their legs. They can then go into the brooder.

As long as the brooder box is draught free and totally secure, then an electric hen in one corner at the correct height (adjusted every couple of days) is sufficient to keep 20 chicks warm for as long as it takes them to grow their feathers. At this time of year chicks can be off heat by 4 weeks old, but be prepared to keep them on heat if there is a sudden cold spell.

Once they are off heat then they can move into a secure coop/run outside on the grass. Don't mix chicks into your existing flock until the youngsters are at least 16 weeks old.
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Re: new to this

Postby dinosaw » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:54 pm

All good advice by Richmond. Don't forget you will need chick crumb, a small amount of chick grit plus a small feeder and drinker. With the Brinsea Mini's, once the eggs have started to pip NEVER open the incubator until all of your eggs have hatched, it loses so much humidity and it will adversely effect the remaining chicks ability to eat through the membrane. It will be worth having a dry run of the machine to make sure you can comfortably get humidity up to 70% at the time of hatching by using the water reservoir, if not then small pieces of wet sponge can be used to raise humidity levels.
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Re: new to this

Postby Marigold » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:07 pm

All good advice so far - but do prepare a liner out of something soft, like cotton cloth or shelf lining stuff, to enable their little feet to grip so they don't get spraddled legs as they dry out. Remove the turning circle when the day comes to boost the humidity and go into lockdown for the hatch, and add the liner before replacing the eggs.
Brinsea minis are excellent little incubators, I had good hatches with mine. Many people have found that it's best to keep the humidity really low until boosting it for the hatch. Atmospheric humidity of 45% is adequate on its own, and too much humidity will adversely affect the chicks through their porous shells, so they may even 'drown' if it's too hgh.
How much space do you have for all these birds? Remember, each adult needs a minimum run space of 2 sq metres, and overcrowding leads to problems. And as Dinosaw says, you need separate accommodation for your young birds until at least 16 weeks old, so a separate run is needed.
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Re: new to this

Postby dye29 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:17 am

thanks guys , thats great for the brooding then i only plan getting 6 eggs to start and i know they all prob wont hatch , my incubator came with a corigated cardboard base ? , my run is seperate from my hens ive built this purely for bantams its 8 sq meters , so whats the plan of attack when the time comes to do eggs simply fill res sup with water turn incubator on day before leave eggs to rest 24hrs then put in
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Re: new to this

Postby Marigold » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:50 pm

Yes, test the incubator before putting the eggs in - if it's new it's probably OK but if you have a good digital thermometer, put it inside and see if it agrees with what you've st the incubator to. Personally I would put just a minimal splash of water in to start with - does th control panel tell you what the humidity is? One of those little hygrometers would enable you to test that humidity was no higher than 45% whe the incubator was heated up.
What sort of eggs are you getting, and where are they coming from?
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Re: new to this

Postby dye29 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:11 pm

i was thinking of bantams from ebay
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Re: new to this

Postby Marigold » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:18 pm

Ebay eggs are sometimes very dodgy, too old or too dirty to hatch and sometimes incredibly expensive for what they are. Plus they have to go through the post, which adds travel time and increases the risk that they will be badly shaken up en route. However, there are some good breeders on eBay and maybe people on here could recommend one, if we knew what you were after, Any idea what breed of bantams you're looking for? It's possible that some of our knowledgeable members might be able to supply you with suitable eggs, well-packed, nice and fresh, and from good parent stock - (the conditions the parents are kept in, and their age and fertility, are very important to the hatch rate and strength of the chicks.) Whereabouts do you live, and how far would you be happy to travel to collect eggs yourself so they don't have to be posted?
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Re: new to this

Postby dye29 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:21 pm

ye im not 100% yet i fancy silkys and polish ones but dont really know whats out there , im at staithes so dont really want to travel more than 20 miles . back to the breeder box how long can i keep them in this for as my plan is from this then into there own outdoor pen so ideally could 2 month be ok .
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Re: new to this

Postby Minorcafan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:19 pm

I use a small house for growers in their outdoor run which is replaced by a larger house as they grow larger. Since foxes visit all my runs are double fenced and enclosed.
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