Originally Posted by timbuck2mom
No, I didn't monitor the air cells. Is that something you do when you candle the egg?
sure do.. hopefully this will help
when you candle.. if the air cell is too small you lower the humidity.. if it's too large you increase the humidity
Originally Posted by timbuck2mom
Thanks for your patience. I have more questions! The directions that came with the incubator are deceptively simple. There's a lot to hatching your own eggs!
1. How will I know if the chick is sticky?
2. You're not supposed to open the incubator while the chicks are hatching, correct?
3. If the chick is sticky, do I try to get it out of there as quick as possible for the safety of the other eggs hatching?
4. When I remove the sticky chick, do I carry it in a cloth so that it doesn't get chilled between the incubator and the sink?
I appreciate all the advice.
if the chick is wet sticky it will be covered with a pale amber fluid.. almost looks like you dipped the little guy in a thin (or thick if you found him too late) syrup.. this is the type of sticky you will really have to look out for if your humidity was way too high during incubation.. if left alone the albumen will eventually harden trapping the chick much like a bug in amber.
dry sticky is when the chick starts to stick to the membrane but isn't covered in the goo.. .. kind of like having a band-aid stuck to you
both scenarios are bad (wet sticky being the worst) since as the chick struggles it begins to weaken then eventually die
the "don't ever open the bator during lockdown" is a newbie rule.. simply because if the bator is open for too long while the chicks are hatching it can cause the humidity to suddenly drop too low and cause chicks to shrink wrap.. some people will move the bator into the bathroom with the shower turned on (to make the room humid) then open the bator and do whatever it is they need to do. I've been hatching out birds all my life.. so I don't worry about it.. I know how much time I have to do whatever I need to and am not distracted doing other things .. pretty much follow the rule but also know that if you do need to open it to pull out a sticky chick or a fluffed one to get the humidity up again as fast as possible.
the sticky chick may or may not be stuck to the shell.. so use caution if he's stuck in case his yolk isn't fully absorbed. Otherwise just take him in to the sink and get a nice warm stream of water going.. then while holding his body under the water wash him as gently as you can (be careful of the tender belly and don't get water into his nostrils or mouth). You shouldn't need the cloth to keep him warm from the bator to the sink unless your home is cold .. you'll have to decide that one based on your home temperature.. While he's getting washed he should be nice and warm.. but as soon as you get him out of the water he will begin to cool down.. so get him wrapped up in paper towels or a washcloth (removing the excess water..) then either put him back into the bator to dry (preferred) or into a brooder. There would be less of a chance of him getting chilled by a cool draft if he's in the bator. You'll have to make that judgement call if the need arises since you'll have a better idea as to how warm your brooder feels compared to the bator..
if you don't get most of the gunk off the chick will end up feeling like it's been varnished.. stiff, hard fluff and a tired miserable chick