First hatch...Lockdown tonight...any tips cause I am worried


In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
Ok tonight at around 9 pm I will hit 18 days and go into lockdown mode. I would love some suggestions on where to keep the temp and humidity. Also I had someone told me something about how to cut an egg carton and position the eggs in it so they would not roll around and damage other eggs but I didn't understand him. I also had other people suggesting to spray the eggs with warm water or wipe them with a moist cloth and others say they have never heard of that...whew there is a lot to this.

I started with 12 eggs and broke two, from whats left I only see 5 that have visible birds in them and others that have some dark spots and veins but never any movement. I am trying to make sure I don't have anymore mishaps here in the home stretch. Any suggestions, tips ect would be great. They are sitting in a forced air little giant with a turner.

Cross your fingers!
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Alright...first, deep cleansing breaths...haha It is so stressful, but exciting at the same time. Hang in there and I'm sure it will go great!

The cartons aren't for everyone. Some folks swear by them, others don't like them much. The idea is that they help to maintain orientation, catch some of the mess, and give the chicks "traction" by not allowing the eggs to roll all over kingdom come. If you want to do that, take a PULP carton and cut the top off completely. You are left with the little egg-holder wells of the bottom. Cut the sides down about half way...even less if you want, but try to leave them attached to one another for stability. I did this by running around the outside first, making a little dip at each cup, then nipped off the center pieces just a bit. It was higher in the back than on the outside, but it worked out just fine.

With your cartons cut and ready to go in, set them aside and focus on the bator.

First, you'll want to remove the auto-turner. Some folks leave them in and take out the trays, but it will be messy and they could mess with the little motor. Best to have it gone.

If you need to boost your humidity (around 65% to start, then it will rise as they pip the eggs), you might want to add a few soaked sponges under the wire, around the water wells. This depends upon how your humidity has been with the water you have been adding. You may just need to add water to the wells...just think about your conditions thus far. The sponges increase the surface area of the water and hold plenty so you won't have to fiddle with anything.

Next, you can add a bit of cheesecloth to the wire and set the cartons on this. The eggs go into the cartons fat-end up. Close up shop and monitor the temp. Sometimes, removing the auto turner can impact your temps...a little bit of heat is produced from the motor. Just make sure that everything rebounds to the 99.5 degree area and you should be good to go!

I wouldn't recommend putting any water directly on the eggs, though. You might encourage bacteria to enter the shells.
Ok, eggs are in cut cartons, temp lined out at 99.5 with no turner. I had expirimented earlier with the humidity (before I got my eggs) and now the containers I had used to get to 65% only took me to 54%. Since then I have added water to one ring in the bottom and am up to 62%.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thanks so much LaurenM23
Added water to a second ring (chamber) and am able to keep it a steady 67% humidity now, so I feel better about that.
Good deal. If you keep an eye on the humidity and see a somewhat sudden spike (say it was at 65% and goes to 68 or 70%), that can be indicative of pips! Outside of hatching, that little jump has been the most exciting part for me. You'll know it is beginning!!!

So this is Day 19 for you, then? Nothing to do but sit on your hands at this point.

Do you have a method for adding water without opening the bator? I had been trying to hatch with an LG Still Air and had horrific hatches, due to wild fluctuations with the temp and humidity. The forced air models seem to fare much better. I can tell you that for the Still Air, at least, it was very challenging to get things settled down if I opened the lid, so I figured a way to add water from the vent holes. Basically it was a condiments bottle with a long flexible tube.
I took aquarium tubing put it in the wells and ran it outside my incubator then went to farm store and bought some syringes when it needed water I used the syringe to put the water in. Never had to open the incubator that way.
Shelia, I did the same thing. I started with a straw but it was difficult to get the water to go into the tiny hole at the top of it so I saw on here about the aquarium tubing and a baby medicine syringe. It works great and dont have to open the bator. Yes a sudden rise in humidity indicate pipping inside. I also keep a sponge in the bator and wet it with hot water when it seems to be going dry. Like trying to make steam. Right now its very dry here in GA and I have to run a humidifier as well. We heat with a wood burning stove so that takes a lot of humidity too. Good Luck!!
Right now I have a flexible straw and a large syringe to add water. Lucky me I can hit any chamber from the vent holes. I think I have checked them 20 times today waiting for a pip and listening for a peep lol. This waiting is driving me crazy....I might not make it. Worst of all, Friday night is day 21 and I have to start a set of night-shifts...4 of them ugh!

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