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How long can hatched chick stay in incubator?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I always struggle with this one thing - I put my eggs in the incubator at the same time, and of course they begin hatching pretty close to the 21st day (sometimes slightly early, sometimes right on time and others who straggle a bit behind).  I've been told not to open the incubator until all the eggs hatch.  How long can you leave a hatched chick in the incubator waiting on the others?  Should I open it long enough to snatch the hatched chicks out at some point?hu

post #2 of 8

You can snatch them out I always throw a wet hot paper towel in there as I am snatching so I don't kill the humidity. But a chick can go 3 days without food or water because of the yolk they absorb. As for the hatching on different days they were layed on different days so they will hatch on different days smile good luck fl


ETA spelling


Edited by cpegram - 10/21/11 at 7:24pm
starting over again and it FEELS GREAT!!!  I have Blue copper marans, Golden Cuckoo Marans, Blue Black and Splash silkies, and a few mixes 
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starting over again and it FEELS GREAT!!!  I have Blue copper marans, Golden Cuckoo Marans, Blue Black and Splash silkies, and a few mixes 
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post #3 of 8

I pulled my 20 chicks out as soon as they dried. I have three more in there drying and 7 left to hatch. No one else had pipped yet though!

Raising Bearded Silkies in most colors. Eggs, chicks and started birds available occasionally. You can find us at the PoultryBid group on Facebook.
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Raising Bearded Silkies in most colors. Eggs, chicks and started birds available occasionally. You can find us at the PoultryBid group on Facebook.
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post #4 of 8

I will leave mine in until they are dry and a little more stable.  I have heard about people who keep the incubator at a certain humidity and don't open it for ANYTHING during lockdown.  I'm not that careful with mine.  It stays around 65-70% humidity, but if I feel like I need to open it, I do.  One time I saw a chick pipping and opened the incubator to video tape the hatching (so cool!), and that chick and all the other hatched out just fine.  I also keep a wet paper towel in the incubator to help with humidity.  I sometimes think we don't give eggs & chicks enough credit.  I think they can handle a lot more than we remember sometimes.  Like the spike in temperature that my incubator had with my last hatch... it was up to 114!!!  All the eggs that had started developing were fine.  Thank goodness!  I know it's better to err on the side of caution, though, so I try to be somewhat careful but I don't stress over it.  Best of luck!

Live well.  Laugh often.  Love chickens!

I raise purebred Russian Orloffs and Naked Necks... soon to add Dominiques and Austra Whites.
Visit my swap page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=102916-swap-page

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Live well.  Laugh often.  Love chickens!

I raise purebred Russian Orloffs and Naked Necks... soon to add Dominiques and Austra Whites.
Visit my swap page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=102916-swap-page

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post #5 of 8

Everyone does it different. I open my hatchers and grab the hatched chicks and their shells out quickly as soon as they hatch. I don't leave the chicks in the hatchers to dry out. I have brooder boxes I let them dry out in. My hatchers don't loose much humidity and the temp stay pretty good too and they recovers quite quickly. My brooder boxes are set to 99 degrees. After the chicks have dried out in the brooder boxes they go into a brooder cabinet. It works for me.

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Heritage Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & soon Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds

Member of the American Poultry Association &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

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HEY LOOK!!! ---> UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events

---> Florida Fair Schedule 2013/2014 and  FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!

Heritage Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & soon Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds

Member of the American Poultry Association &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

thanks everybody for your help:)  I have moved four to a brooder and am watching two more hatching now:ya
I have six more eggs in the incubator with no signs of hatching yet - wish me luck:fl

post #7 of 8

fljumpy

Live well.  Laugh often.  Love chickens!

I raise purebred Russian Orloffs and Naked Necks... soon to add Dominiques and Austra Whites.
Visit my swap page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=102916-swap-page

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Live well.  Laugh often.  Love chickens!

I raise purebred Russian Orloffs and Naked Necks... soon to add Dominiques and Austra Whites.
Visit my swap page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=102916-swap-page

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post #8 of 8

As you can see from the varying answers, there are quite a few different ways to do it. If you find what works for you, stick with it! Some people's incubators are forgiving enough that they can open them up to remove new chicks while other ones are still pipping and hatching. Some people have tried it and found that it tends to cause their chicks to shrink-wrap.

Personally, I like to try to stick to the guidelines. Once my first chick has hatched, I'll leave it in the bator for what I consider a reasonable amount of time so as to give the others a good chance of hatching out in optimum conditions. After 36 hours I'll have a look in and see how everybody's getting on. If the bator's getting crowded and the still-to-hatch eggs are mostly unpipped, I'll sneak in and remove the boisterous fluffies. If I do that, I'll leave newly hatched ones and weaker looking ones to dry off and get their strength up free of being trampled all over by the stronger ones. I've never had a problem with chicks becoming shink-wrapped after I've opened the bator, so I'm happy doing it. Even so, after 36 hours, if I have a lot of chicks still pipping and zipping, I'll leave the bator shut for another 12 hours or so. I've never had a problem yet, but that doesn't mean it won't ever happen to me.

You can leave chicks for 72 hours without food and water, so if you do have shink-wrapping problems, leave the bator shut as long as possible...

Breeder of Marsh Daisies; keeper of a pick-n-mix laying flock of Leghorns, Marans, ISA Browns, Black Rocks, Daisy culls and various Mystery Muttleys. The dogs in my avatar pic are fat Sam, the assumed cross of a greedy black Lab and a sneaky Collie, and grumpy Meg, the smallest and narkiest Jack Russell for 50 miles in any direction.
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Breeder of Marsh Daisies; keeper of a pick-n-mix laying flock of Leghorns, Marans, ISA Browns, Black Rocks, Daisy culls and various Mystery Muttleys. The dogs in my avatar pic are fat Sam, the assumed cross of a greedy black Lab and a sneaky Collie, and grumpy Meg, the smallest and narkiest Jack Russell for 50 miles in any direction.
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