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How long to wait for pipping?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

We made a homemade incubator in a Styrofoam cooler, a light inside and water at the bottom for humidity. Day1 Egg#1 started 3/14, Egg#2-4 started 3/15 and Egg#5 started 3/16. During the first 18 days the temp & humidity stayed fairly consistent for 99 degrees and 41% humidity. On Friday 4/1, we started lockdown. In order to get the humidity up we had to put a humidifier outside the box and direct the moisture into the box through a hole.  It was very difficult keeping the temp & humidity consistent. There were times it was perfect at 99 degrees and 64% humidity but throughout the day we would have to check it and make modifications to get it right again. Prior to lockdown, we candled the eggs and all looked good - we could see the embryos moving. Egg#1 should have pipped 4/3 or 4/4 and the rest 4/4-4/5. On 4/5 and 4/6 there was slight egg shaking from 4 of the 5 eggs. Nothing 4/7 or this morning. Also, the temp & humidity started fluctuating even more on 4/7 so this morning I decided it was time to shut it down. But thought to candle the eggs one more time. We saw slight embryo movement in 2 of the eggs so we put the eggs back in and started everything up again. What is the likelihood of any of the eggs hatching at this late in the process? 

Thank you in advance

post #2 of 9

Hi Chellehman, welcome to BYC!


Sounds like you didn't have a fan in your incubator, so your temps should have been around 101 - 101.5 measured at the top of the eggs.  Since your temps were low, your hatch is going to be delayed.  Whether they can be healthy at hatch is unknown at this point, but definitely worth waiting another day or so to see what happens.


How did the air cells look last time you candled?  they should be dipped quite a bit lower than the day 18 line on this chart.

Good luck!

Edited by FridayYet - 4/8/16 at 7:33pm
Vision without action is just a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare.
Vision without action is just a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare.
post #3 of 9

You could go for a couple of more days. They may make it.  Still air incubators should be hotter. Around 101.

Before trying again, be sure to read the threads on checking air sack size to determine humidity needs.


Good luck with it.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you both. Early this morning we finally got a crack!! But the temp & humidity are even more sporadic now. We're trying to keep temp at 101 ish now but not sure if it would be OK to candle the egg at this point to determine the best humidity %. Any advice??
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

He hatched!!!!! 🤗
But now what do I do about temp/humidity for him and the rest that need to hatch???
post #6 of 9
Leave him in til he's dry and fluffy then move to the brooder.

He will be fine for up to 3 days off his yolk sac.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Is the temp & humidity just as important as during the incubation period? Both are so sporadic, I don't know what the goal should be??
post #8 of 9
Personally I incubate at 25 to 30 percent humidity. Dry incubation.

During lockdown and hatch I shoot for 65 to 70 percent.

Just seem that this way worked best for my situation.

Temp and humidity is the most critical during incubation.

You can lower temp a degree or 2 during hatching without issue.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your input.

I like to read outcomes of peoples hatching so ..

We had a scare the first night. With the temp & humidity so on the fritz, we turned on an external heater because inside the incubator was not reaching a desired temperature - we had done this throughout the last 3 days at times as well. We woke up at midnight to go to bed, checked on the chick and found that the temperature had sky rocketed to 123 degrees and the humidity was very low. The poor guy didn't look good at all so we turned everything off, pulled him out, gave him some water through a syringe and then when the incubator got to a satisfactory level put him back in. I checked a couple hours later and everything still seemed ok. In the morning, he was mostly dry and fuzzy. We then pulled him out and put him in a box with a couple other chicks we received in the mail a few days prior. I'm happy to say he's doing just fine now.. and seems to be making friends.:yesss:

Unfortunately, the other eggs didn't make it but I am so happy this little guy did. I would never hatch with the DIY incubator again, though. It was very stressful and frustrating. We're going to get one that will regulate the temp and humidity on its own.


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