Chicks are due tomorrow... Am I doing everything right?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickenJill, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. ChickenJill

    ChickenJill Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2010
    My eggs are due to hatch tomorrow... I don't have a himidity guage. My incubator is "Little Giant" it has channels for water on the bottom that I have filled. I have the temp at 99 Is this OK or do I need somthing to measure the humidity to be sure it is ok?? Nervous new mother...
    When will I start to see or hear any signs....
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    A hygrometer really helps to know where you're at but if they are due to hatch tomorrow I wouldn't worry about it for this hatch. Even if you bought one today you would need to calibrate it which takes 12-24 hours, and if you don't calibrate it you really can't rely on its readings anyway.

    Good luck with your hatch!
  3. Chinchilla2

    Chinchilla2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    Red Rock
    How many reservoirs did you have full during incubation? If it was just the big one in the middle (the square shaped channel), filling the two on the side may do the trick. While it is impossible to know exactly what the humidity is at this stage, you may consider putting a small 2" x 2" square sponge in there as well as another humidity source. It depends upon the room humidity where the incubator is. My house (heck the entire state of Texas) is dry right now so I have to add extra humidity sources to get up to the 50% mark.

    Keep an eye on them with as little lid lifting as you can. Depending on the amount of light let in through the view screens, you might find a penlight or small flashlight to "spot" the eggs. This way you can look in the incubator without having to open it. Hopefully a few are positioned in a good spot where you can see the majority of the larger or pipping end. If not, next time you check the water twist and gentle move a couple around so you can see them through the windows with the flashlight. This way you have a few to stare at.

    Usually the day before and the day of hatching, I can see eggs "wiggling" around a bit. If you stand there and watch them through your windows, you may see one or more eggs jiggle a bit like they are moving in regards to a subtle vibration of the table or floor. Those are the ones you want to keep an eye on for pipping signs. I call 'em Egberts [​IMG]

    Don't give up if nothing hatches tomorrow. Even with the best of intentions, there will be the occasional batch that decides to mess with you and hatch a day late or a day early. While many people say hearing peeping is a good way to know if they are hatching, I listen for the sound of shake rattle and roll as the newly hatched chick decides to pretend its clutch mates are bowling balls.
  4. ChickenJill

    ChickenJill Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2010
    Oh I really want some Eggberts!! I keep looking at them and they just look like eggs..
    It may be my imagination but I think I smell a bad smell, could an egg be bad even though I don't see signs of a crack? Maybe I am just being paranoid.
    The last time I candled them some looked dark with small air chambers and others looked like they did about 10 days ago, I did not throw them out because I was not "sure"...
    All of the water chambers are full (middle square and side ones). Should I add a sponge? I heard somewhere they can get too much water is this true? Is 99 still a good temp to keep them at?
    Thanks,Thanks, Thanks to all of you other chicken people!
  5. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is 99 still a good temp to keep them at?

    That's a good temp because more than likely it will jump up with a chick pips. Same goes for the humidity. I'd leave the humidity alone for now because it will spike when your babies start hatching. Sounds like you are doing everything right. Good luck!​
  6. Lightfoote

    Lightfoote Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2011
    Quote:About that smell that you think you detect...

    I would not otherwise disturb eggs during the lockdown period (you would be better off not moving/handling them because this can run the risk of disorienting the chick inside as to its proper position for pipping and zipping successfully) but for the sake of a potentially nonviable bad egg NOT affecting the rest of them negatively - that is worth making an exception, I believe.

    In order to insure that your olfactory sense (smell) functions optimally, I suggest you have a small measuring cup of fresh coffee grounds or coffee beans near at hand.

    Just like eating an unsalted soda cracker will "clear" your palate, basically returning your sense of taste to "neutral" (as opposed to confusing residual flavors from one food or drink to the next) between samplings, so too will placing your nose directly over the fresh grounds or beans clear your nose between sniffing one egg and the next. You will notice a difference, I believe.

    Pick up each one carefully and get it far enough away from the others that you know you are only smelling THAT particular egg. A "bad egg" smell should be readily apparent, and you should certainly trust your own sense of smell.

    In this scenario you cannot afford to be wrong, because a bad egg could crack or explode, contaminating the other eggs or hatchlings with toxic bacteria...the gooey mess itself would be the least of your problems.

    I encourage you to do this promptly, and let us know how many bad eggs you separated from your "lockdowns"

  7. ChickenJill

    ChickenJill Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2010
    OK, I followed your directions. One of the eggs smelled just a little bit off. first I candled it and I could only see a small dark area inside. I broke it outside and there was an embryo that was about 2 inches long that looked like it stopped developing. I did not smell a terrible smell after it was cracked, but I think it must have been the bad one... I know there are a few more that only have small dark areas, should I candle them and get rid of them or leave the rest alone? I think the smell is gone now..

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by