First time hatching chicks

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chickenlover772, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. chickenlover772

    chickenlover772 New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2017
    Please help, this is my first time ever hatching chicks. I had a bantam rooster in with my 9 hens and 2 other roosters outside of the coop; one was a rhode island red and the other was a barred rock. I was already planning on hatching eggs after spring break but my dog killed all of the roosters after being let out so, we gathered the eggs from the coop of that day and a couple of days later. We ended up having 24 eggs all together. After doing some research online, I bought an incubator the next day and set it up to the correct temperature and humidity levels. We put the eggs in the incubator that night, following all of the instructions: like to stop rotating the eggs on day 18 and keeping up the humidity. We also candled them and saw the chicks in the white eggs moving around. The temperature has moved a little bit up and down but no drastic changes during the 21 days. What I didn't know was that you couldn't open the incubator after that day. I think the incubator was opened 3 or 4 times after day 18. Today is day 21. 1 chick luckily hatched yesterday but other than that, I haven't heard or seen any evidence of the eggs hatching. I've only heard the hatched chick peep. I don't know what to do, I hope I didn't ruin the chance of them hatching.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    :welcome!

    You can open the incubator; the 'fact' that you can't is a myth. I do it all the time, being a hands on hatcher. So you didn't ruin your hatch by doing that.

    Do you have any further external pips? If you want to check the progress of the other eggs, feel free to candle them and see if you have any internal pips. Just try to get the humidity back up quickly after opening the incubator if you have any external pips.

    Also, since today is day 21, it's a little early to start worrying yet. What date did you set them on?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
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  3. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    OK to start-------what was the date you set the eggs in the incubator? What was your humidity for the first 18 days? Last 3 days?

    Listen I am a hands-off-hatcher so No I do not open the incubator for NOTHING the last 3+ days, But you can open the last 3 days if you have done your home-work and with good results it seems from some of the hands-on-hatchers. I did have bad luck when I opened mine during the hatch some years back as well as many others from my area---well many from a lot of area's, but I never studied to be a Hands-on hatcher.
     
  4. chickenlover772

    chickenlover772 New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2017
    I put them in the incubator on February 8th late in the evening, but because it was later, I counted the next day as day 1. I've been looking around through the tncubator window with a flashlight checking a couple times a day to see if there are any pips but there aren't any.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  5. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    I think you might have your date wrong there :) February 8th would have meant you put them in about two months ago.

    If you want you can candle the eggs to check for internal pips but at this point I'd leave them be, no need to worry yet since if you're on Day 21 they aren't yet late.

    Also, just to be sure, are you using a forced air or still air incubator and what have you been running your temperature at? Humidity?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  6. chickenlover772

    chickenlover772 New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2017

    i'm Oh my goodness, sorry I was looking at the wrong month, i put them on march 12 late in the evening. My incubator is a forced air and i keep the temperature at 99 1/2 degrees. I don't have a humidity measurer but I always make sure that there is always water in the incubator and I put in extra after day 18.
     
  7. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Okay, so you're definitely on day 21 :)

    So not having a hygrometer is going to work against you here, that's something that can make or break a hatch. If it was too low during the first 18 days, they will have lost too much moisture and will die. If it's too high, they won't have lost enough moisture and they could drown in their shells before hatch.

    And for the last three days it's very important that it's high enough so that they don't dry out after pipping and become shrinkwrapped, at which point they would need help to finish hatching or they would die.

    But before I scare you, like I said, you're still just on day 21 so no need to panic yet. Were you keeping track of the air cells to make sure those looked good at were the right size each time you candled?
     
  8. chickenlover772

    chickenlover772 New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2017
    I kind of looked for the air cells and made sure that the eggs had them and looked at the air cell that the hatched egg had and it was the right size.
     
  9. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Okay, that's a good sign :) So for now just sit tight. Like I said you can candle if you want to check for internal pips but I really wouldn't start to worry until tomorrow. If you do candle, this is what you're looking for:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. chickenlover772

    chickenlover772 New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2017
    Okay, thanks!
     

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