I kinda broke the "Cardinal" lockdown rule, but today is day 20. But in my defense I only tested one egg and it is one I REEALLLLLYYYYY had doubts about. My bator is rock solid and my heat sinks keep temp very steady and I was in the process of adding more warm water for humidity control anyway. LOL
I am sure I'll be scolded by the old timers here but its done and it was very cool!
I've been incubating and hatching for a while now but I only tried float testing my eggs three hatches ago. Now, if I'm hatching eggs that are all the same breed, if a bunch of them finish hatching out but some of them haven't pipped, I'll wait till the hatched chicks have fluffed up then when I take them out, I float test all the remaining eggs. It's saved me days of waiting and worrying over whether they're still alive and whether they'll hatch - two times all the late ones were already dead and I could get my bator shut down and cleaned out straight away. And the one time I had a live chick I just dried the egg off and popped it back in the bator and it went on to pip and hatch fine by itself.
Gypsy07, I'm on day 24 and while the last of my 12 hatched out yesterday morning (the last one at 7am) and the day before I have one that pipped yesterday afternoon, got zippy with it around 9pm and then has stopped half way zipped. I didn't have any stop half way through zipping before but she's breathing so I guess she'll go when she's ready. The problem is the bator is a MESS! It's starting to smell a bit. I'm know regretting not pulling the clear egg but I wasn't sure enough of myself to pull it but I suspect it's the cause of the smell, as well as all the discarded eggs.
So after this girl's done and dry and I can move her into the brooder I'd like to clean up after the party and pull all the egg shells from previous hatches and then water test the rest so I know if I should continue on or not. I honestly thought I was done before this one pipped! Could you or someone else either give exact instructions for water testing or guild me to a link? Thank you!!!!
BigDaddysMom - It's quite easy - just get a big pan of water that's at 99-100F, let it sit till the water stops swirling, then carefully lower an egg into it, the same way up as it's been sitting in lockdown. Give it half a minute to settle, it should sit almost submerged but with a small bit of the fat end out of the water, then watch for ripples. First time I did it was with all dead eggs, but each time I shifted my weight from foot to foot, the pan of water on the table would ripple a bit. I wasn't sure if I was seeing the eggs wobble or not. Then when I did it with a live egg, wow, the difference was amazing. It was jigging about all over the place. I don't think doing this puts the chick at risk as long as the water is at the right temp and you don't float the egg for longer than a minute or so. A good idea before you do that is to just hold each egg up close to your ear and listen. Sometimes you can hear tapping noises, and you won't even need to do the float test. And check each egg carefully for pips before you float them!
Some people would still recommend that you just sit tight and wait a bit longer, and don't disturb the remaining eggs. I think that's probably very good advice! I only started floating my remaining eggs after a few hatches with my own birds' eggs, all the same breed, where I observed that everyone that was going to hatch did so all together and I never had any latecomers. If I was incubating a different breed that I didn't have experience of, I'd probably sit on my hands a bit longer and just see what happened...
Well, I just checked on the 1/2 zipped and and found a pip in another, so I guess I'm not done on day 24 anyway. I'd just like to clean the place up, I can't imagine chicks running around in that mess. Guess I have to wait a while longer. I'm supposed to teach a stained glass class tonight so I hope they're both done and dry so I can move them before I have to leave.....they've got about 7 hours....I meet with my wine guy for my wine order over the phone. I've only left the house for anything chick in the last 6 days! Getting a little stir crazy!
Thanks for the link dwdoc and the explanation Gypsy07. I think at some point I'll need to put it to the test since this in playing out so long.