Day 20, No activity.....Is this normal? Chicken mom freaking out! :)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by henpeckedoregon, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. henpeckedoregon

    henpeckedoregon Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2014
    Hello.

    This summer my daughter and I decided we wanted to raise some chickens, so we did the mail order thing. Our girls (mixed flock of Austrolorps, Cochins, Brahamas, Orpingtons and a Speckled Maran are almost 4 months old now). Then we decided it would be FUN to incubate some eggs, too.

    We have on of the Hovabator 1602 (I think), with a fan and auto egg turner. We ordered our eggs (Lavender and Chocolate Orpingtons) through the mail. After delivery, we let them set 24 hours to let them settle before we started incubation.

    We started out with a cheaper incubator that we could not get the auto turner to work, and the tempt was measured in celcius. We quickly ordered our new set up and about day 7 got the eggs moved over. (I was hand turning them twice a day before we got the new set up). Before lockdown, we candled the eggs and most if not all (11 of them) had large dark masses in them. Since they are brown eggs, we have been unable to see movement or veins.

    Since lockdown, we followed the manufacturers instructions and filled all the water wells with water. I got nervous today and borrowed two hydrometers. One is measuring the humity at 56, the other is 62. I have three thermometers in the incubator, one says 98.9, one 99.5 and one 101.6.........I am worried that we may have a later hatch, if indeed the lower temp is the correct temperature. I should add that the one measuring 101.6 is an old fashioned type that came with incubator, the other two are digital readouts from a probe inserted into the incubator.

    Since lockdown two days ago, we have not opened the lid, however I am getting very nervous because I have seen no signs of activity. No peeping, no pipping, no movement of the eggs. I am getting very nervous!

    Does it seem like we are doing everything okay? Thank you in advance for any advice or reassurance you may give. Our chickens are like part of the family and I would be devastated of these little guys didn't make it.
     
  2. Dcat

    Dcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Still a novice here but(working on my 4th hatch and a better incubator), I wouldn't go by the thermometer that came with your incubator. The temp could be a tad low according to the one but looks like you have a happy medium between the two. Try to raise the humidity a little more so it's around 65-70%. As chicks hatch the humidity will go up but don't fret over that. Give them a couple extra days to hatch. My first hatch was two days late because I had the temp on my still air a degree or two too low. I didn't see any moving either which scared the bejeezus out of me, thought that I had killed them but I did get chicks, just very few but learned a lot of lessons and did better my next hatch.

    Try and NOT do what I did by trying to help out when they start to hatch, remember it can take a day or two for them to actually complete hatching. You should start seeing pips soon then they'll rest for a few hours or even till the next day and then they will start to zip and hatch before you know it.

    If some don't make it don't beat yourself up about it, just be happy with the chicks you did get. Keep us updated on what happens, I'm really interested to know your results.
     
  3. HumbleHen207

    HumbleHen207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had hatches up to 6 days late successfully. It was due to a bad thermometer. I would give them some time, and if you dont see any signs of life by day 22-23, water candle them.
    Water candling is a simple process that I have found extremely helpful in late stage eggs. Fill a deep dish full of water around 100 degrees. Carefully place the eggs one at a time in the water and let them float there. All living embryos wiggle constantly, so if your eggs are alive they should wobble when allowed to float in water. Do not worry about hurting them, you would have to leave the eggs in the water for a very long time to cause them harm. You can find videos demonstrating the process on Youtube.
    Hope this helps!
     
  4. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2. This is great advice. [​IMG] The only thing I'd like to add is that the water float test should never be used on an egg that has already pipped externally (i.e. there is a hole or crack in the shell).

    If you are just on day 20, then they still have plenty of time to do their thing. I know it is the hardest thing in the world, but you just have to be patient and let them do their thing. It is normal for the eggs to be really still and quiet just prior to hatch time.
     
  5. henpeckedoregon

    henpeckedoregon Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for your advice. Today is day 21, and still no activity. I will try my hardest to be patient and hopefully in the next 24 hours I have some good news for everyone!
     
  6. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your guess is correct about the lower readings being more accurate, it is possible that they could be a little late. I know it is super nerve wracking and worrisome. But at this point all you can do is wait and hope. Also, did you count the day you set them as day one? It doesn't count as day 1 until 24 hours after you set them. That causes a lot of confusion and worry with first time hatchers. Also, 21 days is just a base line. A lot of things can affect the hatch time for eggs making them earlier or later.

    I hope to hear good news from you soon! [​IMG]
     
  7. henpeckedoregon

    henpeckedoregon Out Of The Brooder

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    I made the rookie mistake of counting the day I put them in the incubator as day 1, so technically, today is day 21. There is still no activity, but I THINK I saw some of the eggs moving a little today.

    I had to remove the cover of the incubator for a minute to put some more water in to keep the humidity up, I sure hope this didn't compromise the hatch!

    I will keep you all posted and hopefully tomorrow will bring some good news!
     
  8. Dcat

    Dcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is exactly what I did my first hatch! Try not to stress. It's easier on you if you can find something else to do physically that you have to concentrate on so you dont think about it as often lol.
     
  9. Aliciahess

    Aliciahess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Checking in to see if there is any news. I have 35 egg in an incubator right now... like to see how others are doing.
     
  10. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as there were no pips yet, you didn't hurt anything at all by opening it. Just make sure you get the humidity back up. A way to add water without opening after the pips start coming is a good idea though. A lot of people stick a straw or tubing through a vent hole and use that to get water in without opening. I hope you come back with some good news soon. [​IMG]
     

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