Here's the progress on our experiment with incubating eggs. You can read my earlier post about setting up the incubator here.
So it takes 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch. Once the incubator was set up, it was pretty easy. We just had to check the water fountain each day to refill it when necessary.
On Day 19 (which was yesterday) I was supposed to......
Turn off the automatic turner, by simply unplugging it from the dome.
I had to remove all the eggs, I put them in egg cartons.
Trying to work fairly quickly, I disassembled the thermometer/hygrometer assembly.
This step was slowed down because the washer went flying, ended up way under the table.
I swore a bit, then went crawling around on hands and knees around the woodstove, under the table and aha! Found it. Then I hit my head on the underside of the table. Then I swore some more.
With my head hurting, I removed the turning grid. See the metal screen below it?
I took out the metal screen, and put the turning grid on the bottom.
Then I put the metal screen on top of the turning grid. This is important to do -
if you don't, and the chicks hatch and start walking around, they can get stuck in between the turning grid and the mesh screen.
With my head pounding, I managed to reconnect the thermometer/hygrometer assembly. I swore again at that washer while I was putting it back together.
An important note: We read that it is important to always keep the assembly pointing down - lean it against something when you take it out, don't just lay it on the table.
I had to fiddle with the cloth wick to make sure that it went under both the screen and the turning grid.
Then I started putting the eggs back in the incubator. Now they are just laying on the screen, instead of sitting in the turning assembly. I had to make sure that the pointy end of each egg was in the Down position. This is to help ensure that the chicks start pecking the egg open at the wide end of the egg. Failure to do this can cause the chicks to drown in the fluid.
Once the eggs were back in the incubator, I put the dome lid back on, filled the water fountain and replaced that back into the corner hole.
Now, we wait and see.....they should hatch tomorrow, which is the 21st day after being placed in the incubator. It will be interesting to see if this works. I am a little excited! I did not candle the eggs - I would rather wait and anticipate the hopeful end result.
I guess in the next couple of days there will either be an excitement filled post with lots of pictures of baby chicks or........you know.
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