From 1st pip, how long till they're out? --- Brooder help also

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JBarringerNC, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    Today is officially day 21 and I just happened to be up in time to see the very first egg being pipped out of the
    24 total that I've got in my 1st Homemade Incubator.

    Biggest question is: Do I remove the chick(s) after they've emerged and had time to rest (or do I leave them in the Incubator awhile?) -- It's running steady at 99-100 and Humidity at 63
    & How long will it take for each chick to hatch (on average)

    If anyone can suggest a very simple way to ensure a 90-95 degree temp inside a makeshift Brooder PLEASE tell me, because all I can think of is using another Thermostat like the one in the incubator.

    The 250 heat lamp I bought will be way too much for them if used as a heat source around the clock..

    Should I stick with the 250 heat lamp? or use another Wattage and a thermostat? That tote wont hold a constant temp with all the 1/2" air holes it has...

    -- Sorry for all the scattered questions and comments, I'm pretty excited right now.. and worried that they'll be here soon and I won't have all the bare essentials they'll need.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    • Leave the chicks in the incubator until they are dry, if you can. This will keep the warm humid air intact for the other soon-to-be chicks
    • The amount of time that it takes a chick to break out of its shell varies, from 10 minutes to 36 hours. Usually within 24 hours of first external pip.
    • The chicks need space to self-regulate their temperature in the brooder. Hang the heat lamp so that at its very center on the floor of the brooder its 95F, but give the chicks plenty of options to get away from that center to where it is cooler. No thermostat needed--the chicks have their own :)
    • Every week you raise the heat lamp up so that the center temperature at the floor of the brooder is 5F less than the previous week
    • Depending on your setup, 250 watts may be too much. I use 75. You just need to be able to hang it high enough to meet the requirements stated above.

    Hope this helps!
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Congrats! You're going to have fluffy butts soon!
    I'll try and answer some of your questions:
    First of all, a chick can take anything from a few minutes to 24 hours to hatch from pip to finish, so don't worry if it looks like they're taking too long. Leave them, sit on your hands and don't help before it's been at least 30 hours and there's been no progress. Also don't be tempted to open the incubator as this will make the humidity drop. Once that chick's pipped it needs to have high humidity around it, so it doesn't dry out and get stuck in the shell. You can leave the little ones in there until they are dry and fluffed up and then remove them quickly. Don't have the door open too long!
    For the brooder you'll get lots of suggestions and ideas, but what I do is hang the heat lamp over on side of the brooder. Hold your hand under it at chick height and check if it's too warm, in which case lift it up a bit. Leave an area clear of the lamp's direct heat where they can cool down a bit, if they feel they're getting too hot. What I like to do for them is hang a feather duster in the brooder, not to close to the lamp! Then they can crawl under it (they feel safe there). If you put your hand under the duster you'll feel the heat it absorbed form the lamp, so make sure it doesn't get too hot!
    Don't put the water and food bowls under the lamp if possible. The water will get too warm. They won't need food and water for the first 2-3 days, but you can show them the water by gently dipping their beaks in it. Make sure you use a shallow dish as they will very likely end up inside it (little chicks are really clumsy!) at some point and they could drown. What you can also do is add a little ACV (apple cider vinegar) in the water (a good ratio is 4-5 tablespoons to a gallon water). This will help prevent their butts pasting up, which could be fatal.
    Most important: relax, have fun and post some pics so we can see them!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  4. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    I have the eggs sitting in a potentially harmful position for the chick to fall off the egg crate and under the crate there's no padding, but there is hardware cloth.. So i'm more worried about them hurting themselves than anything else.. I'm certainly not going to attempt to help them hatch if they take a long time.

    I need to open the incubator for (at most) a 30-second interval,, is this OK ??

    I'm going to place some egg-crate FOAM under padding where they can't hurt themselves from falling off the
    egg cartons they've hatched from.

    Please let me know how much of a window I have when doing an "in-and-out" padding install to the areas around the hatching eggs ??
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    It's impossible for me to say without having seen your incubator how much opening the door would affect it, but you will have to be as quick as possible if you have a pipped egg in there. What you can do to help get the humidity back up is place a clean, wet sponge in there.
  6. midwest

    midwest In the Brooder

    Sep 30, 2012
    Looks like most of your questions have been covered, With your brooder I wouldnt hang the lamp in the center if it isnt a large brooder. We put the light at one end and the food and water at the other as someone else suggested. With smaller brooders the light in the middle will not allow them to get very far from the heat if they need to. I think a 250 watt is probably more than you need. Instead of moving the lamp up and down we use a dimmer switch for temp adjustment. They make a simple one that you just plug your lamp into and then plug it into the wall so no wiring skills needed. It is a lot easier to adjust temp by using the dimmer switch then moving the lamp up and down. Caution though to keep the switch someplace where it wont be hit or little hands can reach. You dont want it to get turned up all the way and you not knowing it.
  7. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    I guess that 1st Pip was a false alarm, there's been absolutely nothing going on with the others all day.

    I have been trying to keep myself from just hovering over the top of the viewing window, but each and every time I find myself there for
    more than 2-3 mins and there's nothing happening.

    Wonder why that 1 little egg decided to just barely break out and then not go any further ???
    Does it mean it's dead?

  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Give them time. I've had early hatches and really late hatches (day 23-25). Chicks are funny things, they're going to do what they're going to do. Hopefully they will hatch out soon and put your mind at ease!
  9. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    I am sure the hatch will be delayed a bit..

    Tuesday November 13th, around 4pm
    (today is 21 days, at least by the calendar count) -- Since they were put in there so late in the day I guess I should add like 12 hrs to my 21 day count... [​IMG]
  10. Blue Farm

    Blue Farm In the Brooder

    Dec 1, 2012
    It could be a case where it internally pip the membrane and went thru shell, I had it happen on my first hatch it made it ok. As for opening your bator to remove chicks, i did it and worked ok , but my humididty was @ 70 % so it never fell below 60%. good luck, all will be fine don"t give up its worth the worry. And my bator is fomemade out of a 48 qt cooler.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by