First time incubating with class - help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kelliew11, May 17, 2010.

  1. kelliew11

    kelliew11 New Egg

    May 17, 2010

    I am hatching chicken eggs with my class. We have some questions for you chicken experts - what does "lock down mode" mean? We really have no clue what we're doing. I have 18 eggs in an automatic turner. I know the temperature should be 100 degrees, but I don't know what to do at the end of the incubation period. When do I take the eggs out of the turner? Also, day 21 will be May 29, which we won't be in school for. We leave May 27 and come back June 1. What should I do since they are due to hatch on Saturday? Do they actually hatch on day 21, or do they start pipping?

    Thank you!

    4th Grade Class in Virginia
  2. Julie08

    Julie08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    lock down is day 18 you take them out of the turner and put them in cartons to hatch (just the bottoms of the carton cut the tops off) at this point you increase the humidity if they are hatching saturday then you will have to go to the school on sunday and remove the chicks from the incubator.
  3. kupi99

    kupi99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    I'm a school teacher too, and my eggs should be hatching tomorrow!

    If everything went well during your hatch then yes, they should hatch on day 21. If you had temp problems with the temps being too low, they will hatch later than that, if they were a bit (just a bit) too high, they might hatch sooner. If everything went just right, you might see them pipping on day 20 (Friday), but they prob won't come out till Sat. What this does mean is if your everything went well with your hatch, your class is likely to miss seeing the chicks come out. Hopefully you either have an early one, or one that's a couple days late so your kids can see. This is my second year hatching eggs in my classroom, and always try and time it so that day 21 falls on a day early in the week, like Monday, or Tues. That gives the kids plently of time to see the chicks come out. The only problem with that is it means my eggs should go into lockdown. Like Julie08 said, lockdown is when you take the eggs out of turner and up the humidity. How high you up the humidity depends on which incubation method your using- the regular one, or the dry one. I up mine to about 60-65%, some people do more, some less. There's alot of debate, and I'm no expert.

    From what I understand, chicks can live up to 48 hours in the incubator without any problems, that's how long they have food from the yolk. Which means that even if every single last chick comes out on Saturday, they can wait for you to come into work on Monday and put them into the brooder. (You can make a brooder really easy out of a big rubber maid tub, or even a box. See the other section on raising baby chicks). Or you can come into work on Sunday and check on them. I would advise coming up if you can. You want to make your humidity level doesn't drop over the weekend at this stage.

    Whatever you do, do not open the bator during lockdown. This is again a controversal topic, and I know alot more experienced hatchers disagree with this. Also, it's really hard not to open the bator. [​IMG] If you need to add more water get some aqurium tubing, a funnel, rig those together and pour the water through one of the vent holes into the channel. Works like a charm for me. [​IMG]

    I hope this helps and good luck with your hatch. I know the good people here in BYC helped me have a good hatch last year!
  4. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    I would be concerned about the timing. If you have one hatch early on the 29th(or worse, on the 28th) and no one comes to school until early on the 1st then that is 72 hours....well past the time the chicks need food and water and they may perish [​IMG]

    eta- if it were me I would take it(bator and all) home and video the hatch to show the class, chicks would be safe etc...
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  5. kelliew11

    kelliew11 New Egg

    May 17, 2010
    I am very concerned about the timing, which is why I am writing to you guys. The farmer I get the eggs from just drops them off when he takes them from the nest, so I really didn't have a choice when he brought them. I wish I could take the eggs home with me, but I am in Virginia and I'm going back up to Pittsburgh for my bridal shower, and there is no way I can travel 7 hours with the eggs. My principal is going to come check on the eggs / chicks over break until I get back on Monday. If one hatches early, she will take care of it for me. I'm going to set up a camera to video the eggs all weekend so the kids can watch it when they get back.

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