First Time Incubating

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CHICKENFARMER22, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. CHICKENFARMER22

    CHICKENFARMER22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    180
    4
    71
    Jul 15, 2013
    This is my first time incubating eggs. I am now on day 17. I first put the eggs in on a Sunday night at 11 p.m. My question is, does day 18 start tonight at 11 p.m.? Also, I have a Little Giant 9300 still air incubator. How many water trays do I fill up for the humidity on day 18? Do I need wet paper towels in there too? I appreciate the help.

    Thanks,
    Kristian
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,956
    3,121
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    An egg does not have a full day’s development 2 seconds or 2 hours after it goes in the incubator. It takes 24 hours for an egg to have a day’s worth of development. So when you start counting days you say “one” 24 hours after the egg goes in the incubator. An easy way to check your counting is that the day of the week the egg goes in is the day of the week the 21 days are up. Since you put them in on a Sunday, the 21 days are up on a Sunday. Your 18 days will be up on a Thursday.

    Lockdown does not have to be that precise, not to the hour. You don’t have to lockdown at exactly 11:00 pm. If you lock down sometime late Thursday you’ll be fine. Friday morning should work too.

    I don’t have an LG so I can’t comment on number of trays. What did the instructions say that came with it, assuming it had instructions?

    Do you have a hygrometer to measure humidity? Different people have different opinions on what the “best” humidity is during lockdown, but I prefer anything above 65%. I don’t care if it goes to 80% or even greater which it often does when they start to hatch and release all that extra moisture, I just want it at least 65%.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Xs 2
    I prefer 70-75 for start of hatching, because I don't leave my bator closed, but I always say at least 65% too.

    For lockdown I fill my water wells and I add a spong to egg level. That way when I have a decrease in humidity all I have to do is rewet my sponge.
     
  4. CHICKENFARMER22

    CHICKENFARMER22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    180
    4
    71
    Jul 15, 2013
    Thank you guys both so much. You both helped me tremendously. Starting tonight at about 11 p.m., I will put my incubator on lockdown since 11 p.m. will be the start of day 18. I will fill the water trays and put damp paper towels in there to keep the humidity up.

    Thanks!
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    You know, it can be anytime during day 18, and day 18 is just a guideline, just as long as it's up for the actual hatching. [​IMG]
     
  6. CHICKENFARMER22

    CHICKENFARMER22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    180
    4
    71
    Jul 15, 2013
    Okay, I didn't know that. I will put it on lockdown sometime tomorrow then. Do I turn the eggs before I put them on lockdown or not touch the before.
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    That doesn't matter either. I have to pull mine out to add water to my wells for lockdown. I also trace my air cells so that I know roughly where the chick "should" pip, and I face that up so I can see when they pip.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,956
    3,121
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In theory it is not the beginning of Day 18, it’s the end after 18 days of development. But in reality it doesn’t matter that much. The purpose of raising the humidity for lockdown is to help reduce the chance of the egg drying out when it pips, causing the membrane around the chick to dry and shrink, trapping the chick so it can’t hatch. In spite of what you read on here, that really doesn’t happen that often, but it can. That’s why I consider it good practice to raise the humidity when you go into lockdown, to improve your chances of that not happening. The important thing is to get the humidity up before they external pip.

    Sometimes the eggs pip and hatch quite a bit early, as much as two full days. By raising the humidity with three days to go, you get ahead of that curve.

    The other side of it is that the egg has to lose enough moisture so the air cell is big enough for the chick to breathe after internal pip but before external pip. That’s usually a pretty big target, how much moisture loss is enough. It usually does not affect your hatch rate if you are several hours off, even a full day. You just don’t have to be that precise.

    The reasons you turn them are to keep the yolk or developing chick from touching the inside of the shell where it can get stuck, plus turning helps the body parts to form in the right places. But by about 14 days all body parts have formed and a membrane (the one that can shrink-wrap the chick) has developed to protect the chick from touching the inside of the shell. You don’t have to turn the chicken eggs after about 14 days but we customarily do just for the convenience of doing everything associate with lockdown at the same time. It doesn’t hurt to turn the eggs later, it won’t hurt them, but you don’t have to.

    You often read a lot of stuff on here and think you have to do something a specific way or you are guaranteed disaster. This doesn’t work that way. Nature put a lot of leeway in these things to make it easier for the hens to hatch the eggs. Of course you want to be as close as you reasonably can, but don’t overstress about it. I used to be in the army and I once pitched horseshoes competitively. I don’t agree that close is necessarily good enough with either grenades or horseshoes, but with these things and hatching eggs, close usually is good enough.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by