Day 18 questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by seberger22, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. seberger22

    seberger22 Chirping

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    Hello all,
    So I have eggs in an incubator in my classroom right now. I set 8 this past Wednesday and 5 more on Thursday (I know it's not ideal, but that's the situation).
    I should've counted the days more carefully and planned better because I just realized that day 18 is on a Sunday and what's worse is that it's the weekend I will be out of town, leaving on Thursday night and coming back Sunday night.
    Last year it was the same situation (oops), and my principal graciously went in over the weekend and took the eggs out of the turner and increased the humidity.
    This year, I was really hoping to candle the eggs on Day 18 in order to see the size of the air cell so I better knew how much water to add. I don't think I can ask that of my principal though.
    I was really hoping to increase my hatch rate this year by taking more of these things into consideration and making sure conditions were right.
    So I guess basically here's a list of questions:
    -What happens if eggs are taken out of the turner and put on lockdown on day 17? Day 19?
    -When candling to measure air cell, do you candle each egg or just one or two? If all of them, do you leave each one in the incubator (I have to go to a different room that's darker) and take out on at a time? Doesn't the incubator temperature lower because of all the opening?
    -Is there a way to predict how much humidity they will need on the day 14 air cell measuring since I won't be able to do it on day 18?
    -Is there anything I should do for the eggs that were set a day later?
    -When candling throughout the process, what do I do with eggs that aren't developing? Last year I just left all of the eggs in there (I didn't candle all of them) because I didn't want to make a mistake and pitch an egg that actually did have an alive and developing embryo.
    -Is there anything else I should be doing to increase my hatch rate this year?
    -My humidity often drops lower overnight and especially over the weekend. I have a digital hygrometer and it often says humidity is lower than it should be. I have a styrofoam hovabator with the tray in the bottom and I just fill trough 1 as per instructions for setting. Is this right? Should I put a sponge in there? This is why I want to measure the air cell growth this year..

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
    SavKel&RynKel likes this.
  2. SavKel&RynKel

    SavKel&RynKel Free Ranging

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    Eggs removed from turning early have a chance of sticking to one side (I've heard claims that anything day 16 and after are just fine) and doing so late means you might open up on a pipped egg, i.e. possible shrinkwrap.
    -ideally you measure all of them, but in your situation i would pick a few. Momma hen gets off the eggs to eat, drink, etc. So i would say open the bator and do what you can as fast as you can (max ten minutes?) And close back up.the temp will lower but it will recover.
    - i don't use air cell for humidity so i can't help with that one.
    -accept the fact that the extra day will decrease their success rate immensly. You'll probably have to remove some early hatchers at a seperate time than the late hatchers (but remember they can stay in bator for 48 hours after hatch!)
    -what you did last year is what i do. If it's day 10 and there's nothing, I'll pitch, but if they give up halfway through i try to give them the chance.
    -for the last two questions i think they go hand in hand. Leaving your humidity alone for three days sounds like a long time to me, so putting a sponge or something to keep it moist longer is probably a good idea.
     
  3. obicat

    obicat Songster

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    I dry hatch so run the humidity at 30% and it then rises naturally to about 60% as the chicks hatch so the humidity wouldnt concern me at all. I'd leave them to day 19. Candle them all and remove anything infertile or quit, then lay them down.

    What is your humidty at now?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    The reasons you need to turn the eggs is that turning helps the body parts form in the right place and to keep the yolk or developing embryo from touching the inside of the shell where it could get fatally stuck. By two weeks all body parts have formed, at least due to location. A membrane has formed around the chick to protect it from sticking to the inside of the shell. After that the developing chick is so large it's going to touch the inside of the shell no matter how much it is turned. So there is no requirement to turn them after two weeks.

    There is no reason you have to candle them. I never candle egg under a broody and occasionally don't candle at all in an incubator, though I usually do at day 18 to remove any that are definitely not hatching. Candling is not going to affect how many hatch, it might make it easier to know when the hatch is over if you remove the ones with no chance. Candling is mainly to satisfy your curiosity, not to improve hatching.

    I don't worry about size of air cells or anything like that though some people really do. By day 18 you can't do anything to correct humidity issues anyway.

    I assume you are leaving town after school Friday. I'd take them out of the turner then and crank the humidity up for lockdown. Many people miscount the days anyway and lockdown on day 17 instead of 18 and still get great hatches. What counts as far as moisture loss is average humidity over the entire incubation, not an instantaneous humidity. So run the incubator humidity a little low for a couple of days to bring the average down considering the early lockdown.

    I probably don't need to say this but next year look at the calendar before setting eggs. I hope you will do ti again. I think it is good for the kids to see.
     
    Yorkshire Coop likes this.
  5. seberger22

    seberger22 Chirping

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    Ok, thanks. Yeah haha I did look at the calendar but only for looking at hatch day not lockdown day (oops).
    I'm actually leaving after school Thursday...
     
  6. seberger22

    seberger22 Chirping

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    Humidity was around 45% last I checked..but it sometimes drops as low as 16% on weekends or overnight.
     
  7. obicat

    obicat Songster

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    That would worry me. The figure itself isnt as important as it being stable. Do you know why its going up and down so much?
     
  8. seberger22

    seberger22 Chirping

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    I don't know :/ I have a hovabator, and I try to keep trough 1 filled with water but it evaporates pretty quickly.
    It did this same thing last year, and I didn't have a very good hatch rate.
    Any ideas for how to keep it more stable?
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Are you sure the lid is fitting correctly? One time I got the cord to the turner out of the groove for it and humidity dropped dramatically. It was able to keep up with the temperature but humidity was affected.

    Is the incubator located in a stable location? Changes in the temperature or moisture content of the air going into the incubator can have a big effect on the humidity of the air inside. Is it sitting where sunlight can hit it through a window, near a door where outside air can come in, or near a heating or cooling air vent? Is it in your house or outside in an area without climate control?

    Are you spilling water when you refill the tray? If there are other areas wet in addition to the tray you want filled with water the humidity will spike until that water evaporates. If you are using sponges or cloth to wick water out of a reservoir a change in how much area of that sponge or cloth is exposed will change humidity.

    I use a Hovabator 1588. The humidity inside is usually really stable but at different times of the year (is AC or heating on?) I can get a humidity of 20% or 40% with the same tray filled. The temperature and moisture level of the air going in does make a difference.
     
  10. seberger22

    seberger22 Chirping

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    As far as I know, the lid is fitting correctly. The turner cord is in the notch. I believe it's in as stable a location as it can be in the classroom.
    I am probably spilling water when I refill the tray because I try to do it without taking the eggs and turner out.
    AC and heating are not really on at this point (there is no AC and it's getting warmer out), but heating might kick on at times.
     

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