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20 days out - 1st incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jkelly83113, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. jkelly83113

    jkelly83113 Just Hatched

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    Jul 26, 2016
    Heltonville, IN
    Hi guys!! I am 20 weeks out with my 1st batch incubated. I have 14 viable eggs in the bator right now at 20 days today!! Did anyone ever have any early hatchers? Or did they hatch right at 21? Also, how long do I keep the late bloomers in there?

    Thanks!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    First that 21 day thing is just a guideline. It’s not that unusual for chicks to hatch a day or two early or late, whether in an incubator or under a broody hen. There are a lot of different things that can make them early or late, heredity, humidity, how long or just how the eggs are stored before incubation starts, possibly size of eggs, and just basic differences in the eggs. A really big one, especially in an incubator, is average incubation temperature. If the average (not instantaneous but average) temperature is a bit high they can be early, low then they will probably be late. So look at the 21 days as hitting the bull’s eye. But just hitting the target still gives you a score.

    There is a common mistake people make, are you counting the days correctly. An egg does not have a full day’s incubation the instant you put it in the incubator, it takes 24 hours for an egg to have a day’s worth of incubation. An easy check on your counting is the day of the week you start them is the day of the week the 21 days is up. If you start them on a Tuesday the 21 days are up on a Tuesday. You might be surprised at how often this mistake is made. But even with lockdown and hatch date a full day off most people still get great hatches. Nature has a lot of forgiveness in that 21 day thing.

    Before the chick hatches it absorbs the yolk. This allows the chick to live off of that yolk for three days or more without eating or drinking. That’s why chicks can be mailed. Sometimes my hatches, incubator or broody hen, or over within 24 hours of the first one hatching. I’ve had broody and incubator hatches drag out for almost three full 24 hour days and that is with all the eggs started at the same time. That’s why the chick absorb the yolk, so the first hatchers can wait on the late hatchers. So you can leave the chicks in the incubator for three full days before taking them out. I’ve had broody hens take over four days to bring the first chicks to hatch off the nest and they did fine, but the broody is talking to her chicks. She knows they are not in trouble. But since I don’t speak their language I consider 3 full days my limit in an incubator.

    You will often see warnings about opening the incubator after lockdown. It is possible to shrink-wrap a chick if the humidity drops too low after a chick has pipped but before it has finished hatching. That’s where the membrane surrounding he chick dries out and shrinks around the chick, preventing it from moving to hatch. This can possibly happen, I’ve done it. But the reality is that it very seldom happens. There are plenty of people on this forum that ignore this warning and open the incubator during lockdown all the time. I personally will open the incubator to take care of an immediate problem, realizing there is some risk but that the actual risk is pretty low. I consider it good practice to not open the incubator unless you have a good reason. But if I have a good reason I don’t hesitate.

    So you can leave them in there for three days without a problem. Or you can take them out as they dry off but realize there is a small risk involved.

    Good luck with the hatch.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. jkelly83113

    jkelly83113 Just Hatched

    23
    1
    16
    Jul 26, 2016
    Heltonville, IN
    I did take into account the 24 hour thing. So, I put them in the bator in the evening, and counted that next evening as day 1. This evening (when I get home) will make 20 days, tomorrow evening would be 21 so on and so forth. I am soooo excited, I just cant stand it, but I know I need to be patient as well. So, after they hatch, they can stay in the bator for 3 days afterwords?

    Thanks-
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Great advice there for you from @Ridgerunner.

    Yes they can stay in the incubator for 3 days after they hatch, they survive on the yolk they have absorbed prior to hatch. I too find it good practice to leave the incubator closed until hatch is complete. The only time I open is if the incubator is crammed with hatched chicks and it's looking very full.

    Hope you have a fab hatch :highfive:
     
  5. jkelly83113

    jkelly83113 Just Hatched

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    16
    Jul 26, 2016
    Heltonville, IN
    Very great advice!! :) OK, so what if the incubator goes over the 70 for humidity? I feel like I cannot get it under like 74%? :(
     
  6. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    That's fine, no problem. As long as you have any vents and or plugs open so there is plenty of oxygen in there they should be fine. Many people shoot for 75% for hatching. I've had humidity hit nearly 90% when a number of chicks have all hatched at once. As they dried off it decreased and all was well.
     
  7. jkelly83113

    jkelly83113 Just Hatched

    23
    1
    16
    Jul 26, 2016
    Heltonville, IN
    Yes! I have both of the vents open so it can get plenty of air!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My humidity also often jumps to 85% to 90% when a bunch hatch. It's not a problem.
     
  9. jkelly83113

    jkelly83113 Just Hatched

    23
    1
    16
    Jul 26, 2016
    Heltonville, IN
    OK, tonight is day 21!! I did not have any pipping this morning or any seen movement. We have a 4H meeting this evening so I wont be able to watch every movement, but I am getting so nervous that I have done something wrong during the process and they wont hatch?!! :(
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    At this point patience is your best friend. You can’t do anything to help and you can do things to harm. I know it’s not easy if you don’t see something. It’s often not easy when you do see something. If you don’t see movement tomorrow let us know and we can discuss it.

    One thing you might try. Tap the incubator with your fingertips and listen closely. Sometimes the chicks will peep inside the egg after they internal pip. If you don’t hear anything don’t lose hope, they don’t always respond. But just hearing a chirp may help you feel better.
     

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