After losing my first ever and only two hens a couple months ago, I decided it was time to start an actual flock. I'm excited to have 20 eggs in the incubator right now, and I'll be happy to get 4-5 babies out of the bunch... ecstatic if I end up with more! There's 10 silver laced wyandotte eggs and 10 gold laced wyandottes, I heard peeping peeping early today and one of the silvers has just pipped!
They're not due to hatch until tomorrow (I'm sure this one won't be out until the morning anyway) but this first pip has me super excited! Especially since we had a scare yesterday morning-- the power went out for a couple of hours due to heavy winds and even though I wrapped the incubator in blankets, the temp dropped to 90 degrees for about 4 hours. I didn't think this would be enough to really hurt them, I was just upset that I finally had my first eggs on lockdown and had no clue when the power would be back on.
But I am left with a question regarding this hatch. I'm actually hatching them with a Reptibator that I stuck a mini usb powered fan in so that I could use it as a still air incubator for geckos or a moving air incubator for birds. It has reservoirs in the bottom filled with water for humidity but... I also had to add three little dishes with sponges in them to get the humidity up to an ideal level (It has been 45-50% through incubation and it's at 65% right now). I'm slightly concerned about space in the incubator. Reptibators aren't huge and between a mini fan, three dishes and 20 eggs, it's a tad cramped. I'm debating pulling the fan out and letting them hatch in still air so they have more space (would that be bad?), and pulling them out as they fully dry off because I'm nervous the first chicks to hatch will knock all of the other eggs around and mess up the other chicks trying to hatch. Does that sound like a decent plan or will constantly pulling babies out cause any problems?
I'm also going to (hopefully!) try to sex them by their wing feathers as it sounds like you can do that with wyandotte chicks. I'll try to post pictures when they're a day or two old and maybe all you professionals can help me guess genders :)