|Tom A ||
Posted 08-21-2003 at 08:18:30
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We also have Dominiques, and have been hatching eggs for just a few years now. I blieve that hatching eggs is more art than science, despite all the books, and takes a lot of trial and error.
Temperature differences are related to type of incubator (still air versus blowing air) as well as differences in the thermometers themselves (take 4 or 5 identical thermometers and set them side by side for a few hours...you'll likely get at least 3 different readings!).
Advice that I was given, and proved true in my experience, is that the first few hatchings you attempt will have a low hatch rate, and fairly high percent of marginally healthy chicks. Take good notes, study the books (and various websites which also have "hatching problems" troubleshooting charts) and make adjustments with each try.
I have "helped" some chicks break out of their shells. Sometimes they've grown into healthy chickens, other times they were weak or deformed and didn't grow up at all. You just have to do what you're comfortable with.