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How do you position your eggs during lock down? - Page 2

post #11 of 24

I'm going to come in on the dissenting side here and say, I prefer to hatch them in the cartons (large end UP). I believe I get better hatch rates this way than on their sides. I have not run a double blind clinical trial to support that belief, and it's possible that my better hatch rates are due to greater experience compared to my first few hatches (which were done on their sides). But here is the supporting evidence for my belief:

 

  • When hatching on their sides in an incubator, the eggs do get kicked around. A lot. Especially if there are only a few eggs in the bator--versus full capacity. Lots of folks say this doesn't matter, but I have personally witnessed eggs start to hatch and then stop after having been kicked into apparently untenable positions. I have noticed that chicks tend to try to poke a hole on the "up" side of the egg... if the "up" side suddenly becomes "down" after the chick has already poked its hole, this seems to cause problems. I'm guessing here, but it seems likely that liquid from the egg might leak through the membrane and either drown the chick (if it is internally but not externally pipped) or cause excessive loss of fluid before it's ready (in the case of externally pipped eggs). For whatever reason, eggs that have been kicked into a different orientation after internal or external pip SEEM to me, based purely on undocumented observation, to have lower hatch rates.
  • Yes, eggs hatch on their sides under a mother hen. The mother hen also holds them more-or-less in place with her body, checking on them frequently, and preventing games of egg soccer. In an incubator with eggs under capacity, there is no one to hold them in place or interrupt these games.
  • Hatching in cartons forces the babies to hatch UP, which does in fact cause the hatch to take longer. This might be a "con," but I have not known it to ever prevent a chick from hatching once it got started. What it does do is force the babies to strengthen their legs while working to hatch, and the babies come out stronger and more coordinated than chicks that hatch on their sides. Again, this is a benefit inside an incubator where there is no mother to tuck them neatly and safely away and prevent injury. Uncoordinated chicks have a tendency to do things like get trapped under eggs in corners, or otherwise injure themselves. 

 

On the downside, hatching in cartons does cause one potential issue: When chicks are left in the bator for more than 12-24 hours at a time, they will tend to start climbing on the eggs and can sleep on top of them... this can cause a pipped or zipping chick to get stuck, trying to push against the weight of another chick perched atop. Easy remedy is simply to remove any dry chicks twice a day, before they reach this stage. 

 

By the way, humidity does not need to reach the under side of the eggs during the hatch. It only needs to reach the portions of the egg that are opened, to prevent them drying out from exposure to the air. I used to cut holes in the bottoms of my cartons, but I've never known it to make a difference, so I don't bother now. In fact, due to a mistake, I once hatched eggs in cardboard cartons that ended up soaked in water... so the eggs were sitting in wet cardboard throughout the hatch... and they ALL hatched.

 

I get 95-100% hatches (based on numbers that reach lockdown, not counting those who die earlier--I only WISH my rates were that high total! lol) using this method.

 

The reality is, eggs are pretty resilient. As long as the basics are right, you'll probably do fine. But if you're thinking about hatching in cartons, give it a shot. You might like it. Just be really, really sure you place the egg with the large end up, or you will drown your babies.

 

Good luck either way!

Look what the cat dragged in: Curiosity Cat's Urban Unschooling Homestead

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Look what the cat dragged in: Curiosity Cat's Urban Unschooling Homestead

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post #12 of 24

lazygardener--probably a good idea to start a new thread for optimal results. :) However, I'll go ahead and throw my advice out there--go to the department store and buy a roll of rubber shelf liner. It's usually a buck or two a roll, and it's GREAT stuff for lining the bottom of the incubator. It cleans up nice when you're done, too.

 

I use it with quail hatches, and quail are as small as a quarter when they're hatched. It will get a little muckier than wire, but it's worth it for the cushy surface, and it does have holes so it still drains out any excessive moisture. And, like I said, it's easy to clean.

 

Have fun!

Look what the cat dragged in: Curiosity Cat's Urban Unschooling Homestead

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Look what the cat dragged in: Curiosity Cat's Urban Unschooling Homestead

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post #13 of 24
I agree. They climb out just fine upright.
post #14 of 24

I admit I don't spend enough time on backyard chickens trying to help some "newbies". I was a lost and somewhat panicked "newbie" with chickens and incubation not long ago. I gotta say that I was actually disappointed at either the lack of information or the lack of consistent info available on here or any forum site. My boyfriend is a genius in so many ways and he helped me research and come up with an incubator that is so near perfect that it almost can't fail. I believe if any egg doesn't hatch in it then it was something wrong in the egg itself. I will try to post a picture of it and some close ups of parts of it in my profile for everyone to see as soon as I can. A lot of what we have done over our multiple incubation attempts has been trial and error, but we found excellent remedies for anything that wasn't performing as well as we'd hoped with our original designs.

For starters we used a foam cooler that was very even sized bottom to top. Those ones with the small bottom space and larger top opening are nearly useless. We found a piece of glass from a frame that was inches smaller than the top lid. We cut an opening for it that was an inch and a half smaller in both directions, all the way thru the depth of the lid, and then carved into half the depth of the foam lid at the full size of the glass so that the glass could set into the top and rest on the created ledge. Then we used tooth picks in an angle across each of the glass corners to secure it fully. Then we did the same thing on the side wall, but used plexi-glass plastic instead. Plastic is actually a better insulator as a wall than glass. It allowed us viewing angles from both the top and the side. For the floor we used a toaster oven grate with a tiny soft and flexible plasti-coated metal mesh over it and folded slightly around the edges and sewn on with an overcast stitch. It is way too small of a mesh for the babies to get their toes caught in or get splayed legs, but allows the humidity to rise from underneath it and prevents the eggs/chicks from getting soaked. You want them damp from humidity, but never wet from sitting in a "puddle". We used a fan from a computer (approx 5"x5" i think) and pinned it to the side of the foam wall adjacent to the bulb with pieces from a metal hanger. The bulb should be placed up high on a shorter side wall off center near the fan. Turn the fan so that the air blows at the wall and not into the incubator and just make sure the fan is suspended a half inch or so away from the wall. Use two more stems of (maybe 8"s long each) of metal hanger and wrap a doubled piece of tin foil to create about a 4 1/2"- 5"x 7" heat shield to put under your bulb to prevent too much of a hot spot directly beneath the bulb. Drill a one inch hole near the bottom of the  bulb wall on the opposite lower corner (make sure it is a half inch above your lower rack) and another two one inch holes up higher on the longer wall that you have the fan on. Cover one of the upper holes with duck tape or a cork. This can be covered or opened as needed to adjust humidity during lockdown. A MUST is a thermostat attached to the bulb. the wattage of bulb you use will depend on a few factors such as season, temps where you live, temp you keep your house at, etc. We used a 20 watt bulb in the summer when we had a heat wave and no air conditioning and a 75 watt during winter when the house temp was never above 67. play with a few to see what works best for you. (Most likely you will use a 40-60 watt) Definitely include a dial hygrometer to gauge your humidity. We have had the best luck with 25-35% humidity during the first 18 days and 65% (60-70% aver) during lockdown. These %'s can be achieved with using a spray bottle into an open area of the bator thru a hole during the first 18 days and then...very differently during lockdown...well... this is CRITICAL: when building your bator dig three 3/4" inch deep channels into the bottom lengthwise. On day 19 remove your eggs for the few mins of set-up time and take out the rack. Measure an even layer of paper towels to be used across the entire bottom of the bator. Then fill the channels with hot water and place the paper toweling flat on the bottom. It will absorb the water. Then wet the toweling more so that it is evenly soaked. Then put your rack back on top and cover your rack with a slightly bigger sized piece of foamy-rubbery mesh drawer liner stuff. It's comfier for tiny newborn toes that are trying to spread out and walk. Tuck the edges in with a butter knife to hold it down. Then put some small rubber rings (bout 1 1/4" diameter) on the floor of the bator (not directly under the bulb) (no more than a couple inches apart so they can hear the clicking sounds they send out to each other) so you can place your eggs at a slight upright angle. (Pencil drawing your egg's air cells right before lockdown during your last candling, is helpful for placement angle.) I was so confused on placing them upright in cartons or laying them down and realized that in-between at an angle is ultimate. This is only important while the chick is positioning for first pip. Once they all start hatching, and some get knocked over, it's less of a concern for any disorientation. The chick is in perfect pipping position at this point and a little jossling around is probably way more encouraging than disorientating. For a final list it will be: hot water with paper toweling, rack, liner, bulb with thermostat, heat shield, fan, hygrometer, thermometer on wall over eggs and thermostat probe near farthest eggs, eggs tilted on rings, and a small 3" circular cap/shallow dish  to add warm drinking water/food thru a straw if necessary during lockdown for earlier hatching chicks...BECAUSE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS NEVER NEVER OPEN IT DURING LOCKDOWN. While it's very tempting, you will cause shrink-wrapped chicks. If you don't open it the humidity will remain constant and perfect the entire time of lockdown. A helpful hint is to place a terry towel across the top glass during lockdown. It stops the fogging of the glass so u can get a perfectly clear view inside the bator by simply lifting the towel. For turning your eggs during the first 18 days all u need to do is cut the top off an egg carton (and use only the bottom). Hot glue a plastic stick (for a handle) to the bottom of the carton in the dead center going the long way. This creates a tilting motion and a perfect 45 degree angle in each direction. It's best to use a two piece handle from a swiffer floor thingy so u can put the carton with half the stick on it in the bator, put the stick thru a hole u drill in a lower wall and then screw on the rest of the handle on the outside of the bator for easy turning 3-5 times daily. Place your eggs in the carton (with or without a bit of cotton for perfect fit depending on egg size.) Every time you turn them don't forget to write the time down in a log and say "Wheee!" lol  The thermostat we used is a Hydrofarm MTPRTC digital thermostat. We paid $26 on Amazon and it is worth every penny to be able to sleep at night and leave it unattended when necessary. ( Please don't ever cover the glass with anything unless you have a thermostat because the bulb light will reflect back in much stronger and raise the temp to a disastrous killer level!) I hope this helps people create awesome incubators with less stress. Please feel free to ask me any questions if anything I said was unclear or confusing. smile.png jumpy.gif

post #15 of 24

your also welcome to my notes

 

 Hatching Eggs 101 ~ Guide to ASSISTED Hatching ~ Mushy Chick Disease

post #16 of 24

Yea, all of yall have given great advice, this will be our 4th hatch coming up Feb 10th & I'm hoping we'll get a better % this time.

 

I do know, that i HATE whenever they play "soccer" w/each other in the incubator - usually its not that big of a deal b/c we always have someone watching the bator 24/7 during pipping/hatching time & we usually catch it before it starts knocking the other eggs around - we have a little tupperware cup that's short enough to fit in the incubator but tall enough to keep the chick in it until it dries off some - & it also keeps it from knocking eggs around, then we'll move it from the cup into the brooder.  And yes I have also noticed ones that have pipped & then got knocked around have stopped & they never made it - so it might affect it some...seems like it would, considering its a miracle those things hatch in such claustraphobic conditions as it is! It'd tick me off if someone knocked me around after I'd already gotten situated lol....

 

And whether to lay them on their side or not - this last hatch we did have them in cartons, BUT i found that I don't really like it that way mainly b/c it did seem harder for the chick to get out, PLUS the big thing for me is...I LOVE seeing the eggs wiggle...& while their in cartons I can't see them do that hardly at all, I kinda monitor the wiggling & I have my eggs labeled so, I usually right down the times of each one that pips & even started wiggling time so that I know if say a chick has pipped 24+ hrs & it hasn't made any progress to make sure it doesn't need some help, even though I only help as a last resort & if I do, I gently crack around the pipped part all the way around the egg but don't break the membrane, just crack the shell lightly, seems to work!

*12 GLWs, 7 SLWs, 7 AMs, 5 FBCMs, 4 Nankin/oegbs, 1 Blue Silkie, 2 Leghorns, 13 Seramas, 1 Australorp, 2 Austrawhites, 2 JG mixes, 3 Favucaunas, 1 SF, 1 SS, 1 PPRock, 1 Marandotte, 1 Easter Egger.
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*12 GLWs, 7 SLWs, 7 AMs, 5 FBCMs, 4 Nankin/oegbs, 1 Blue Silkie, 2 Leghorns, 13 Seramas, 1 Australorp, 2 Austrawhites, 2 JG mixes, 3 Favucaunas, 1 SF, 1 SS, 1 PPRock, 1 Marandotte, 1 Easter Egger.
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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikymommadukes View Post

I admit I don't spend enough time on backyard chickens trying to help some "newbies". I was a lost and somewhat panicked "newbie" with chickens and incubation not long ago. I gotta say that I was actually disappointed at either the lack of information or the lack of consistent info available on here or any forum site. My boyfriend is a genius in so many ways and he helped me research and come up with an incubator that is so near perfect that it almost can't fail. I believe if any egg doesn't hatch in it then it was something wrong in the egg itself. I will try to post a picture of it and some close ups of parts of it in my profile for everyone to see as soon as I can. A lot of what we have done over our multiple incubation attempts has been trial and error, but we found excellent remedies for anything that wasn't performing as well as we'd hoped with our original designs.

For starters we used a foam cooler that was very even sized bottom to top. Those ones with the small bottom space and larger top opening are nearly useless. We found a piece of glass from a frame that was inches smaller than the top lid. We cut an opening for it that was an inch and a half smaller in both directions, all the way thru the depth of the lid, and then carved into half the depth of the foam lid at the full size of the glass so that the glass could set into the top and rest on the created ledge. Then we used tooth picks in an angle across each of the glass corners to secure it fully. Then we did the same thing on the side wall, but used plexi-glass plastic instead. Plastic is actually a better insulator as a wall than glass. It allowed us viewing angles from both the top and the side. For the floor we used a toaster oven grate with a tiny soft and flexible plasti-coated metal mesh over it and folded slightly around the edges and sewn on with an overcast stitch. It is way too small of a mesh for the babies to get their toes caught in or get splayed legs, but allows the humidity to rise from underneath it and prevents the eggs/chicks from getting soaked. You want them damp from humidity, but never wet from sitting in a "puddle". We used a fan from a computer (approx 5"x5" i think) and pinned it to the side of the foam wall adjacent to the bulb with pieces from a metal hanger. The bulb should be placed up high on a shorter side wall off center near the fan. Turn the fan so that the air blows at the wall and not into the incubator and just make sure the fan is suspended a half inch or so away from the wall. Use two more stems of (maybe 8"s long each) of metal hanger and wrap a doubled piece of tin foil to create about a 4 1/2"- 5"x 7" heat shield to put under your bulb to prevent too much of a hot spot directly beneath the bulb. Drill a one inch hole near the bottom of the  bulb wall on the opposite lower corner (make sure it is a half inch above your lower rack) and another two one inch holes up higher on the longer wall that you have the fan on. Cover one of the upper holes with duck tape or a cork. This can be covered or opened as needed to adjust humidity during lockdown. A MUST is a thermostat attached to the bulb. the wattage of bulb you use will depend on a few factors such as season, temps where you live, temp you keep your house at, etc. We used a 20 watt bulb in the summer when we had a heat wave and no air conditioning and a 75 watt during winter when the house temp was never above 67. play with a few to see what works best for you. (Most likely you will use a 40-60 watt) Definitely include a dial hygrometer to gauge your humidity. We have had the best luck with 25-35% humidity during the first 18 days and 65% (60-70% aver) during lockdown. These %'s can be achieved with using a spray bottle into an open area of the bator thru a hole during the first 18 days and then...very differently during lockdown...well... this is CRITICAL: when building your bator dig three 3/4" inch deep channels into the bottom lengthwise. On day 19 remove your eggs for the few mins of set-up time and take out the rack. Measure an even layer of paper towels to be used across the entire bottom of the bator. Then fill the channels with hot water and place the paper toweling flat on the bottom. It will absorb the water. Then wet the toweling more so that it is evenly soaked. Then put your rack back on top and cover your rack with a slightly bigger sized piece of foamy-rubbery mesh drawer liner stuff. It's comfier for tiny newborn toes that are trying to spread out and walk. Tuck the edges in with a butter knife to hold it down. Then put some small rubber rings (bout 1 1/4" diameter) on the floor of the bator (not directly under the bulb) (no more than a couple inches apart so they can hear the clicking sounds they send out to each other) so you can place your eggs at a slight upright angle. (Pencil drawing your egg's air cells right before lockdown during your last candling, is helpful for placement angle.) I was so confused on placing them upright in cartons or laying them down and realized that in-between at an angle is ultimate. This is only important while the chick is positioning for first pip. Once they all start hatching, and some get knocked over, it's less of a concern for any disorientation. The chick is in perfect pipping position at this point and a little jossling around is probably way more encouraging than disorientating. For a final list it will be: hot water with paper toweling, rack, liner, bulb with thermostat, heat shield, fan, hygrometer, thermometer on wall over eggs and thermostat probe near farthest eggs, eggs tilted on rings, and a small 3" circular cap/shallow dish  to add warm drinking water/food thru a straw if necessary during lockdown for earlier hatching chicks...BECAUSE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS NEVER NEVER OPEN IT DURING LOCKDOWN. While it's very tempting, you will cause shrink-wrapped chicks. If you don't open it the humidity will remain constant and perfect the entire time of lockdown. A helpful hint is to place a terry towel across the top glass during lockdown. It stops the fogging of the glass so u can get a perfectly clear view inside the bator by simply lifting the towel. For turning your eggs during the first 18 days all u need to do is cut the top off an egg carton (and use only the bottom). Hot glue a plastic stick (for a handle) to the bottom of the carton in the dead center going the long way. This creates a tilting motion and a perfect 45 degree angle in each direction. It's best to use a two piece handle from a swiffer floor thingy so u can put the carton with half the stick on it in the bator, put the stick thru a hole u drill in a lower wall and then screw on the rest of the handle on the outside of the bator for easy turning 3-5 times daily. Place your eggs in the carton (with or without a bit of cotton for perfect fit depending on egg size.) Every time you turn them don't forget to write the time down in a log and say "Wheee!" lol  The thermostat we used is a Hydrofarm MTPRTC digital thermostat. We paid $26 on Amazon and it is worth every penny to be able to sleep at night and leave it unattended when necessary. ( Please don't ever cover the glass with anything unless you have a thermostat because the bulb light will reflect back in much stronger and raise the temp to a disastrous killer level!) I hope this helps people create awesome incubators with less stress. Please feel free to ask me any questions if anything I said was unclear or confusing. smile.png jumpy.gif

 

Sorry.. but having hatched out all kinds of chicks from quail and parrots all the way up to emu I have to say that is the one blanket statement that I hate the most .. Plus I have been hatching them out for over 50 years now.

 

opening the bator during "lockdown" will NOT cause shrinkwrapping... what normally causes it is the location of the fan in relation to the hatching eggs. 

If the humidity has been correct throughout incubation and there is no direct fan blowing across those eggs they will not dry out  and shrinkwrap. Just look at a broody hen.. the humidity under her does not suddenly rise three magical days before hatch.. it stays the same until the first chick is out of the egg.. even then I have seen hens leave their nests with pipped and zipping chicks and come back later on and hatch them out perfectly. The major difference between her and an incubator is that she does not have a fan under her behind blowing right on those eggs. 

 

It is USUALLY suggested to newbies not to open the bator because they have a bad habit of messing with things too long.. picking at the hatching eggs and helping when a chick is not in distress.. so for someone new to hatching it is recommended that they "lock down" their incubator

 

A good proof of needing to open the bator during 'lockdown" is the Reptipro. it does not have vents so you HAVE to open it several times a day during "lockdown" in order to get a good exchange of fresh air.. without that the chicks will die in shell due to carbon dioxide poisoning. So if opening a bator during "lockdown" shrink wraps a chick then the Reptipro should NOT hatch out any chicks at all.. yet I have had it packed with 60+ eggs and have had 100% hatch rates BY OPENING THE DOOR A LOT DURING "LOCKDOWN"

 

Basically if you know your bator and know how hatching works and have good eggs you should get 100% hatch rates every time. If not then you need to rethink your hygiene practices (bad bacteria growing in the bator), incubation humidity, and the incubator to figure out what you are doing wrong. 

 

99% of the times when a chick fails to hatch it's because of lack of oxygen or too high of humidity DURING incubation resulting in drowned chicks. 

So instead of people NOT opening their bator during "lockdown" they need to learn to leave the darn vents OPEN and not close them in hopes of having high hatch humidity.. Oxygen is far more important to a hatching chick that humidity is anyday at hatch.

 

someone recently hatched out chicks directly on their couch.. and I seriously doubt they put a dome over the broody hen to keep the humidity high at hatch.

I don't have poultry.. I have mini feathered velociraptors
Emu Hatch 2013-2014    Emu Hatch 2013   Emu Hatch 2012   Hatching Muscovy Eggs  Turkey Incubation and Hatching

Sexing Emu Chicks   Our Hoop Coop build   Blowing Out Emu Eggs for Crafting 

 

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I don't have poultry.. I have mini feathered velociraptors
Emu Hatch 2013-2014    Emu Hatch 2013   Emu Hatch 2012   Hatching Muscovy Eggs  Turkey Incubation and Hatching

Sexing Emu Chicks   Our Hoop Coop build   Blowing Out Emu Eggs for Crafting 

 

My Swap Page     

I ignore Trolls, so if I suddenly stop talking to you, it's not that you have won, you're just not worth the effort

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post #18 of 24

Great  post  by  an old timer.  I  have  somehow little  less than  50  years  experience  keeping  and hatching  poultry,  but  I do  agree  100%   with  the above observations  however  unorthodox as they  may  sound.  Definitely  fan positioning   is the  culprit  in  drying   eggs. I greatly   improved my  hatches   slowing  the fan  using  dimmer  during  "lockdown".   Also drowning  the chickens  (too  much  humidity  along the hatching  process)  lack  of oxygen,  yes!

Broody  hens  body  provides about  50%  humidity  and yes,  it does not  change during  hatching  process,  and she leaves  the piping  eggs  going  out  the nest,  and yes,   they  still  hatch.

 

Unfortunately   the misinformation   about  humidity (most  sources  including many  "experts"  recommend 60%  during  the  first  18  days,  which  is the invitation  to  disaster cause the eggs do  not  lose  enough  fluid  in  the process and the chicks drown)  and other factors  is  being  slammed down  the throat  of   poultry  keepers.

 

Also  rarely  mentioned  are local  climatic  conditions,  US  is a vast   country  with   sometimes extreme  climates and local  humidity.  That has to  be taken  in  consideration.

 

Myself  I   keep  my  bator  at  no  more than  35-40%  in  humid Florida   day  1-18    after drowning  many   chicks and  other  species for  some years LOL.

 Game  bird  eggs,  quail,  pheasant  etc  are even  more  sensitive  humidity wise  than  chicken  eggs.

 

Be very  careful   with  sites like  "e-pinions"  and many  others,  lots of garbage there,  my  favorite  (check  it  out)   they   give advice  about  raising  quail,   specifically  Bobwhite  quail,  showing  coturnix eggs  as  a Bobwite eggs.

 

Some of those people  could not  tell  a chicken from  a duck  not long  ago,  then  they  become  "experts"   over nite.

Good  Lord  made birds  of meat   for us  to eat.
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Good  Lord  made birds  of meat   for us  to eat.
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post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pascopol View Post

Great  post  by  an old timer.  I  have  somehow little  less than  50  years  experience  keeping  and hatching  poultry,  but  I do  agree  100%   with  the above observations  however  unorthodox as they  may  sound.  Definitely  fan positioning   is the  culprit  in  drying   eggs. I greatly   improved my  hatches   slowing  the fan  using  dimmer  during  "lockdown".   Also drowning  the chickens  (too  much  humidity  along the hatching  process)  lack  of oxygen,  yes!

Broody  hens  body  provides about  50%  humidity  and yes,  it does not  change during  hatching  process,  and she leaves  the piping  eggs  going  out  the nest,  and yes,   they  still  hatch.

 

Unfortunately   the misinformation   about  humidity (most  sources  including many  "experts"  recommend 60%  during  the  first  18  days,  which  is the invitation  to  disaster cause the eggs do  not  lose  enough  fluid  in  the process and the chicks drown)  and other factors  is  being  slammed down  the throat  of   poultry  keepers.

 

Also  rarely  mentioned  are local  climatic  conditions,  US  is a vast   country  with   sometimes extreme  climates and local  humidity.  That has to  be taken  in  consideration.

 

Myself  I   keep  my  bator  at  no  more than  35-40%  in  humid Florida   day  1-18    after drowning  many   chicks and  other  species for  some years LOL.

 Game  bird  eggs,  quail,  pheasant  etc  are even  more  sensitive  humidity wise  than  chicken  eggs.

 

Be very  careful   with  sites like  "e-pinions"  and many  others,  lots of garbage there,  my  favorite  (check  it  out)   they   give advice  about  raising  quail,   specifically  Bobwhite  quail,  showing  coturnix eggs  as  a Bobwite eggs.

 

Some of those people  could not  tell  a chicken from  a duck  not long  ago,  then  they  become  "experts"   over nite.

 

That's why I recommend monitoring air cells rather than trusting a hygrometer which is more than likely inaccurate anyway (they need to be calibrated before every single hatch which most people don't do). If the shell is too dark to monitor the air cell then I tell people to invest in a good gram scale and monitor weight loss... both the weight loss and the air cells will tell you more than a hygrometer will . If the egg looses weight too rapidly then more moisture needs to be added to the bator.. the same goes with air cell size.. if the air cells start to grow too quickly then more moisture is needed. 

i always incubate dry.. then adjust humidity if the air cells or weight dictates it. 

 

Even though a person MIGHT get away with a certain % of humidity during one hatch it can easily change from little things..like an increase in rainfall.. drought conditions...the use of an air conditioner or heater as well as the season of the year... 

Heck.. you may be able to incubate at 45%.. and your neighbor may have to incubate dry even though you live right next to each other.. the reasons for that can vary to them having an aquarium in their home or their bator may be located in their basement or bathroom.. or even because you may have more insulation in your home or have the windows closed more than they do... there are a lot of variables.. which is why a person should trust air cell size or weight more than a hygrometer

I don't have poultry.. I have mini feathered velociraptors
Emu Hatch 2013-2014    Emu Hatch 2013   Emu Hatch 2012   Hatching Muscovy Eggs  Turkey Incubation and Hatching

Sexing Emu Chicks   Our Hoop Coop build   Blowing Out Emu Eggs for Crafting 

 

My Swap Page     

I ignore Trolls, so if I suddenly stop talking to you, it's not that you have won, you're just not worth the effort

Reply

I don't have poultry.. I have mini feathered velociraptors
Emu Hatch 2013-2014    Emu Hatch 2013   Emu Hatch 2012   Hatching Muscovy Eggs  Turkey Incubation and Hatching

Sexing Emu Chicks   Our Hoop Coop build   Blowing Out Emu Eggs for Crafting 

 

My Swap Page     

I ignore Trolls, so if I suddenly stop talking to you, it's not that you have won, you're just not worth the effort

Reply
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yinepu View Post

 

Sorry.. but having hatched out all kinds of chicks from quail and parrots all the way up to emu I have to say that is the one blanket statement that I hate the most .. Plus I have been hatching them out for over 50 years now.

 

opening the bator during "lockdown" will NOT cause shrinkwrapping... what normally causes it is the location of the fan in relation to the hatching eggs. 

If the humidity has been correct throughout incubation and there is no direct fan blowing across those eggs they will not dry out  and shrinkwrap. Just look at a broody hen.. the humidity under her does not suddenly rise three magical days before hatch.. it stays the same until the first chick is out of the egg.. even then I have seen hens leave their nests with pipped and zipping chicks and come back later on and hatch them out perfectly. The major difference between her and an incubator is that she does not have a fan under her behind blowing right on those eggs. 

 

It is USUALLY suggested to newbies not to open the bator because they have a bad habit of messing with things too long.. picking at the hatching eggs and helping when a chick is not in distress.. so for someone new to hatching it is recommended that they "lock down" their incubator

 

A good proof of needing to open the bator during 'lockdown" is the Reptipro. it does not have vents so you HAVE to open it several times a day during "lockdown" in order to get a good exchange of fresh air.. without that the chicks will die in shell due to carbon dioxide poisoning. So if opening a bator during "lockdown" shrink wraps a chick then the Reptipro should NOT hatch out any chicks at all.. yet I have had it packed with 60+ eggs and have had 100% hatch rates BY OPENING THE DOOR A LOT DURING "LOCKDOWN"

 

Basically if you know your bator and know how hatching works and have good eggs you should get 100% hatch rates every time. If not then you need to rethink your hygiene practices (bad bacteria growing in the bator), incubation humidity, and the incubator to figure out what you are doing wrong. 

 

99% of the times when a chick fails to hatch it's because of lack of oxygen or too high of humidity DURING incubation resulting in drowned chicks. 

So instead of people NOT opening their bator during "lockdown" they need to learn to leave the darn vents OPEN and not close them in hopes of having high hatch humidity.. Oxygen is far more important to a hatching chick that humidity is anyday at hatch.

 

someone recently hatched out chicks directly on their couch.. and I seriously doubt they put a dome over the broody hen to keep the humidity high at hatch.

 this is one of the most realistic statements

 

I have decided, in my humble opinion, bad hatch rates come from 2 things. less than ideal eggs or less than ideal understanding of the process.

 

Doing a meta-analysis of hundreds of people on this site's hatches - including my own - I have made the following observations:

 

Get good eggs. Practice hatching on eggs from your hens or someone nearby. Know that they are fresh, unshaken and from robust chickens you have seen with your own eyes.

 

Make a plan and stick to it. If you are going dry incubation then do it. If you are following the instructions of the incubator, do it. Make notes. Learn about your eggs development. I numbered all my first eggs and weighed them on day 0, 7, 1i0 and 18. I knew those eggs when they hatched. 18 went into lock down, 17 came out alive.

 

Get a strong LED flashlight - forget the incandescent plug in candler you bought from amazon. Look at them on day 7-10, 14 and 18. Learn what they should look like. 

 

Unless you absolutely positively cannot live a day longer without a breed of chicken that is not available locally - dont buy shipped eggs, If you do, dont get all analytic about what you did right or wrong by hatching them without a baseline. Instead, hatch some control group eggs. Once you have established a good hatch rate with a local source, hatch the local eggs along side those precious ones. If you get a good hatch from the control group and a poor one from the ebay eggs then guess what? Its the eggs. Now if both batches are poor, its your technique.ou handle 

 

Wash your dirty little hands with soap an water for 2 minutes before you handle an egg. We set incubators at 99.5F - the same temp hospital labs use to see if you have bacteria in your wound blood or pee. They leave the specimen in for 3 days to see if it grows bugs. Our poor eggs are in 21 days - enough to create a biological weapon.

 

I also believe the term lockdown is like old days when the husband was in the way during birthing and told to go boil lots of water. Its invented to stop interfering - including the rolling of eggs. If you need to get a chick out of the bator to intervene or its been a staggered hatch, then get it out. There is not a magical force that suddenly shrink wraps an egg. We are making chickens - not soufles. Shrink wrapping is something that happens over time with low humidity in a pipped egg.

 

Finally, get advice from people with more than opinions. Use the resources on this site that are brilliant. Sally Sunshine and Sumi on http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/704328/diary-notes-air-cell-detatched-shipped-eggs are amazing. Sally has stayed up all night helping people assist their one surviving chick out of the egg. On that thread and many others, there are heroes of BYC. Get to know them. Get to know who you can ask for advice, get to know your incubator, get to know your eggs and finally get to know when to mess with them and when to leave them alone.

 

Good luck

want to help some needy people and have an adventure? - check out "The Chicken Mission" 

 

A wife & 2  kids we ADOPTED in the Phils wee.gif.  immigrant chooks, all sorts of poultry goats & a water buffalo. 

 

Getting the Flock out of here          ++Egg Shippers Please Read++       Hatching 101 by Sally Sunshine 

 

 The Bordeaux Bator

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want to help some needy people and have an adventure? - check out "The Chicken Mission" 

 

A wife & 2  kids we ADOPTED in the Phils wee.gif.  immigrant chooks, all sorts of poultry goats & a water buffalo. 

 

Getting the Flock out of here          ++Egg Shippers Please Read++       Hatching 101 by Sally Sunshine 

 

 The Bordeaux Bator

Reply
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