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First time Hatch just went into lock down ....nervous!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by WrapChick, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't think this would be quite so stressful! This is my first time and praying all goes well. My temps have been at a constant 99.5 humidity at about 50 and I candled a couple of night ago and didn't see any blood rings. I did see movement in some. Some the shell was too dark to see much and two had speckles but nothing else. I put them all in because I don't want to guess wrong. Is this ok? No smelly eggs.

    I have separate incubator and hatcher. They each have their own built in thermometers. The incubator has been very exact. I had purchased an additional thermometer that also measures the humidity and it has been at a constant. If the incubator temperature said 99.5 basically so did the thermometer I had inside of the incubator as well. Once I moved the 27 eggs over to the Hatcher which I did have plugged in and running all day, the Hatcher thermometer is saying 99.5 but for some reason this same thermometer / humidity reader is now saying 93 degrees??I'm not sure what to do. Do I go by the better thermometer that came with the cabinet Hatcher that is built into it or do I go by this small extra one that I have in there? Again it has always been exactly the same as the incubator temperature.

    Thank you for any help or advice you can give :)
     
  2. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, since I needed to rest my thermometer, I decided to candle the eggs after reading some other threads. Well, I think I'm even MORE nervous now! I have big movement on 21 out of the 27 eggs. The others were duds so I pulled them. I really hope I don't mess this up because knowing how alive and well they are now, I would hate for it to be my fault they don't make it. :(( I've done another adjustment to the temp and will check it again in another hour.
     
  3. dorpersheep

    dorpersheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck! I am a newbie too so can't offer any advice, we have just decided our entire first hatch failed despite following all instructions to the letter. I can relate to the nervous feelings at the start of lockdown, and I am sending good wishes your way that you get a much better result than I did!!!
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Take a deep breath and try not to panic :hugs

    I personally would trust your hatchers thermometer if it's built in. When they design the hatchers they have the thermometer in the correct position for that machines design to give the correct temp. It all goes on air and heat distribution within the hatcher.

    Wish you the very best of luck with your hatch :fl
     
  5. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you both :) I'm going to check one more time on the temp tonight . After that I will just have to hope for the best!
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If you can at all, calibrate your instruments. Check to confirm that they are reading right, especially your thermometer.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/ThermometerCalibration.html

    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/HygrometerCalibration.html

    In a way you have calibrated your thermometer, the one that is not built in. If your eggs are developing in the one incubator then that thermometer is pretty close. There is no way I’d move eggs from that incubator to a hatcher with the same thermometer reading 6 degrees difference in them. The thermometers that come with incubators are quite often wrong.

    There are two different things about a thermometer. One is accuracy. How close does it tell you the correct temperature? Due to manufacturing tolerances it’s not unusual for some thermometers to read several degrees high or low. If it is a liquid type, maybe the tube diameter is off just a tiny bit or maybe they missed by a tiny amount getting the correct amount of fluid in it. A spring type may not be bent exactly right or there might be a tiny difference in the properties of the metal they used.

    I don’t know what thermometer you bought. If it is one normally used to read temperatures outside in whole degrees, check all the ones on the shelf next time you are in that store. I’ve seen about ten degrees difference in high and low of different thermometers of the same type on the shelf together. I suggest one that reads in tenths of a degree and then calibrate it so you know what you are dealing with.

    The other thing is repeatability. The ones you get for measuring temperatures outside can be off 1 to 2 degrees in repeatability. That means they don’t always read exactly the same even when put in the exact same temperature. Being off 6 degrees in repeatability would be huge.

    I think you are wise to ask when you see that big a difference before you trusted the eggs to that hatcher. Good luck on the hatch.
     
  7. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much RidgeRunner, I'm going to do this from now on with new thermometers.

    So I got the temps right last night and they were steady this morning too but I realized I have another problem [​IMG]. I'm not sure how I missed this in the bazillion threads I read for months leading up to setting my first eggs BUT.. I did not know until this morning when I read that day 1 actually starts 24 hours AFTER you put them in. I set the eggs on the evening of October 23rd. So really I should have been putting them in lockdown TONIGHT instead of last night. Ugh! [​IMG]

    So now that I've screwed up again, I'm tryign to do damage control. I'm thinking that since I couldn't get my humidity above 60 anyway last night and the temps are good, techically I can just manually turn the eggs twice today and then restart lockdown tonight??

    These poor babies! Advice please. And since I have not hand turned eggs, do I just turned them completely upside down once and then once more? I will put x and o.

    I don't know what I would do without this forum!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Don’t worry too much about miscounting. That is a real common mistake on this forum and most of the time it really doesn’t matter. An easy way to check your counting is the day of the week you put them in is the day of the week they should hatch. If you put them in on a Friday, they should hatch on a Friday.

    Turning is very important early in incubation. That’s when body parts are forming and turning helps them form in the right places. It also helps keep the yolk or developing chick from touching the inside of the shell and drying out or sticking. But by 14 days the body parts have formed and a membrane has developed to protect the chick form contact with the inside of the shell. Chicken eggs really don’t have to be turned after about 14 days but it’s traditional to stop turning when we go into lockdown. It just simplifies things if we use one specific time to do all the lockdown stuff.

    Raising the humidity doesn’t have to be that precise either. The eggs need to lose a certain amount of moisture during incubation so they can hatch. But that amount of moisture loss is not real precise. There is a big target area that works. So as long as you have lost about the right amount of moisture loss you are OK.

    The reason you raise the humidity for lockdown is to keep the membrane around the chick from drying out and shrinking around the chick when it external pips. You just need to have the humidity up before the egg pips to remove that risk, or at least greatly reduce that risk. It doesn’t matter if that is two days before the egg pips or two minutes. And just because the humidity has not been raised does not mean the chick will shrink wrap. It’s a combination of how low the humidity was during incubation and how dry the incubator is when it pips. A lot of people will have you believe that you have to be exactly precise in a lot of things for incubation to work. That’s not the case. The closer you are to the ideal the better, but there is a lot of tolerance between ideal and what actually works.

    Also don’t get too hung up on that 21 day thing either. There are a lot of things that can make a chick hatch early or late, heredity, humidity, how and how long the eggs are stored before incubation starts, just basic differences in eggs like shell porosity or whether the egg whites are thick or runny, and the really big one incubation temperature. If the average incubation temperature is a little warm they can be way early. If it is cool they can be quite late.

    I’ve had eggs external pipping when I went into lockdown. Although I opened the incubator to take them out of the turner those eggs hatched fine. I’ve had eggs hatch on time in my incubator and under a broody. Other times I’ve had eggs hatch a full two days early in the incubator or under a broody. No two hatches are the same and very few actually follow the script. I have not read anything from you that makes me think your hatch is at risk. Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. WrapChick

    WrapChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh thank you!! [​IMG] Your post makes me feel so much better! I did go and hand turn them a little bit ago because I was worried. After reading this, I feel like I'm OK. :)) Some posts here and videos on youtube make it seem like an exact science and then others seem like they take a crock pot approach... set it and forget it.. and they seem to be successful too. I've been monitering once a day up till now but from here till the end, I'm going to be checking much more I think! I kind of feel like I've just started labor myself..lol...

    I am really hoping that for this first hatch I don't have any problems that a more seasoned hatcher could solve. I read about shrink wrap etc and people helping with hatching when its absolutely needed. Fingers crossed all goes well... or I may be needing to come back to this thread for your advice :) (actually, I have a feeling that may happen anyway..lol... )

    Thank you again for taking the time to post all of that info for me. I really appreciate it [​IMG]
     
  10. dorpersheep

    dorpersheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Ridgerunner from me too - SO much helpful information - gratefully appreciated and filed away for future reference!
     

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