Saturday, June 16, 2012

Eggs Popping in the Incubator & Cleaning It Out

I cleaned out the incubator yesterday. I still had a dozen eggs in there, but I just couldn't risk it anymore. Risk what you say? Well as I was removing a dead keet that didn't make it out of it's shell I bumped another egg. It seemed like it was stuck to the bottom of the incubator. I nudged it; it exploded! Scared the hell out of me, and then just disgusted me as parts of partially formed guinea keet oozed out with blood and puss. Imagine rotten eggs plus dead animals times two. I regained my composure and went to get it out and when i bumped the incubator a goose egg exploded. It sounded like a .22 rifle, and launched bits of shell and rotten egg goop all through the air. This egg had no forming chick in it, just a mixture of what looked like rotten scrambled eggs with spinach that had been thrown up by someone. And holy hell.... the smell. Like nothing ever to grace my nostrils. Thankfully from my days changing diapers I have developed the ability to just shut off my sense of smell and breath through my mouth so I was able to not suffer that too much, except for the fact that the smell invaded my nose and I kept smelling it for the rest of the day even though it wasn't on my clothes or anything.

I gave up on what was left of the current batch of eggs. It might have had a couple of about to hatch geese in there, who knows, but I just couldn't take it. I had to clean the incubator out, and didn't feel like putting some "ruirnt" (Southern way of saying "Ruined") eggs in there only to pop right after I cleaned it out. That batch of poultry was a pretty large failure. I haven't had much success with the goose eggs yet, and I think I'll stick to what has had the best hatch rate so far: a momma goose sitting on the eggs. The guinea eggs that I had in there (12) were a gift and had already been washed for eating when I got them, so I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of them. They ended up hatching 4 keets out of 12 eggs. There were at least 2 more that pipped but didn't make it out. Two of the 4 keets that hatched perished for different reasons. One got soaked in the waterer and could not recover, and the other got smothered or trampled by my other chicks (not sure which). From the 1.5 dozen goose eggs I tried in there I had 4 hatch successfully, but two of them died the same as the keets. They are about 1 to 2 weeks different in age though.

I needed to clean it out anyway since I am getting my quail and barred rock eggs in the next few days. I'm gearing up for the quail. I am putting together a smaller brooder box to put them in away from the bigger chicks. I searched hard for some plans for a quail brooder box online, but found nothing other than commercial brooder building plans. Maybe someone will get something from my simple plans for building a quail brooder, which I'll publish on here once I'm sure it works well etc.


  1. lol... those exploding eggs are horrible. We had one go off in our house once, not in the incubator. :)

  2. Hey Ron! Good to hear from you again! Us non-female homestead bloggers gotta stick together, lol. And yeah, I can't imagine if that happened in the house...

  3. Ugh! Too bad it didn't work. Haven't had the desire to add the extra work of the incubator myself. Have had similar experiences just letting the birds brood the clutch themselves. My geese hatched 2 babies a few years ago, but one was only half formed and the other just died for no apparent reason. Twice my hens have hatched out broods, the best success when they set up their own hidden clutch outside the coop. Hope your next batch goes better;)

  4. Yea the goose eggs are hit and miss around here. I think it is primarily due to the fact that about 3/4 of them aren't properly fertilized if I had to guess. Geese can't breed without a body of water to do it in, and I only have kiddy pools for them. It works sometimes, but I fear that they don't all use it correctly ;).

    I have had success with chicken eggs, and am putting some more in tomorrow. I would recommend it actually instead of ordering chicks. The incubator costs around $65 from the Co-op. You can get it without the egg turner to cut down on costs and do it by hand. You can do link me and find some farmer that sells farm fresh eggs for $1-3 a dozen and hatch them out into your own chicks. If you can find someone that has the kind of chicks you want even better. Then you're only out about $75 for your first 50 chicks or so, and the rest only cost you the power to run it and whatever the eggs cost you. It really isn't too hard. Just turn them a time or three a day and wait for great little chicks. The guinea and goose eggs are more of a wildcard because they breed sporadically and I never know how long their eggs have been sitting there when I collect them...

    Thanks for the comments by the way! It makes me feel like someone actually cares what I have to say, lol.

  5. nice and clean it..thanks for the share


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Yours Truly,
The Crowsons