HELP!!! Just starting my first Lockdown...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BigWeenMachine, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. BigWeenMachine

    BigWeenMachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so I have 6 eggs I am getting to put into lockdown and this is the first time I have ever hatched eggs in an incubator. They are duck eggs that I collected out of my yard. 3 were put in on the night of 3/9, 2 were put in on the morning of 3/10 and one was put in on the morning of 3/11. How should I proceed with lockdown???

    One problem that throws a monkey wrench in this equation is that the incubator I used for the first 7 days ran up and down on temps and then once I moved them to a better incubator I acquired, they ran about 96.8 degrees for 3 days until I got an accurate thermometer to adjust the temp up to 99.5. So much stress happened to these eggs yet they still have lil ducklings kicking inside.

    Sunday night marks the end of 25 days for the first 3. Should I put them all in tomorrow night at the same time or maybe wait until Monday afternoon to put them in lockdown??? Or does it really matter that much if I put the first three in Sunday night, the next 2 on monday morning, and the last one on Tuesday morning??? Does it really kill the chicks to open the bator during lockdown, and what if I spray some water mist into the bator before I shut it to get the humidity to rise up quickly again??? As long as the humidity comes right back up again wouldn't it be okay to open the bator???
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Seeing as they are all within 3 days of first set, it's actually not that bas as long as your air cells look good. Now, considering the low temps in the beginning you will probably see a delay in the hatch anyway. So you have a few options here. You can go into lockdown as normal, you can wait a day and lockdown on the middle set's date or if you don't get any pips before you can wait until the third day to go into lockdown. If your air cells are nice and big and where they need to be, I'd probably wait the extra day and then go into lockdown. If they are small and need more time, I'd wait until the first one pips or until the air cells measure better.

    No opening the bator during lockdown has no certainty of death, as a matter of fact, if you have decent humidity, it poses very little risk as long as you are not holding the bator open for an extended period of time, and your humidity recovers once you shut it. Yes, you can mist it before you close it to help with humidity.

    I believe the biggest risk you run is having the membrane around the pip drying and possibly sticking to the chick. (Which can also happen if you never open the bator.) If you at any point see the membranes around the pip turning yellowish/brown, and leathery, it needs to be moistened and you need to check the inner membrane to make sure it's not becoming stuck to the chick. If it is, you moisten it an loosen it from the chick, and usually, problem solved.

    I open my bator frequently during hatch (too frequently to count,) I have never had a chick (I do chickens) shrink wrap or die during pip or zip. I keep my humidity at 70-75% (I prefer 75%) and it often shoots up over 80% once they start hatching. I use this to my advantage and I remove hatchlings as they become active, pull shells and roll over pippers that have been knocked. I also assist if I need to (or think I need to [​IMG].) Being hands on and opening at hatch isn't for everyone, but you can be just as succesfull as hand off too.
     
  3. BigWeenMachine

    BigWeenMachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much, that really helps. So I have them in a Lyon incubator now with an auto-turner. I think I will leave them in there until Monday afternoon on the middle set or until I see a pip. Sure wish I could hatch them in there because my only option now is to go back to that styrofoam farm innovator bator to hatch them in (which has already killed 3 eggs from my yard and 8 ancona eggs that are a week behind the 6 I'm getting ready to lockdown). I have a bunch of ancona and runner ducks in the Lyon bator that has been soooo amazingly consistent for the last 2+ weeks so I hate to move 45 eggs to risk in the sporadic bator to hatch 6 in the Lyon.

    I bought a brinsea octagon as well but there are 15 runner eggs in there too. It is tough to get the humidity up in that one but the temps are right on. I could prob sneak all but 7 runners from the brinsea into the Lyon once I move my yard ducks into lockdown. Would you suggest putting my lockdown eggs in the bator with constant temps but hard to keep humidity up in while putting seven 10 day runner eggs in the sporadic bator until the yard ducks hatch, or putting my lockdowns in the sporadic temp bator and lowering the temp a degree or 2 to try and hatch my 6 from the yard??? As for staggering, I now agree with you that I don't like it for reasons such as this. I created a mess for myself by having too many staggered settings.

    The 6 yard ducks are from a fawn and white runner female named Quacks and a welsh harlequin male named Heff and a Blue Swedish male named Sghetti (for his love of, you guessed it, spaghetti). All the rest of our ducks were killed from a dachsund massacre so these are the last survivors from last year. Would love to see what the chicks end up looking like from that trio....
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Why can't you hatch them in there? What is the FI bator doing? At lockdown, I feel humidity is the big thing.
     
  5. BigWeenMachine

    BigWeenMachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The FI incubator is just sitting vacant right now. I am afraid to use it cos I had temp fluctuations from 95 to 106 degrees. I think there is something wrong with the digital thermostat on it. If its the humidity that is important, should I try to use that one as a hatchery and just constantly monitor the temp??? My humidity stayed constant in there until I finally shut it down and took all the eggs out.
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Ouch. That's a big variant. You certainly don't want heat spikes that high. Were you going by the temp display on the bator or did you have a seperate thermometer inside the bator?
     
  7. BigWeenMachine

    BigWeenMachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had two separate thermometers in the bator and they both were reading the same while being off from the bators thermometer.
     
  8. BigWeenMachine

    BigWeenMachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I will be home doing book work and yard work all week so I can probably monitor it pretty closely for three days and turn the heat up or down on it as needed. Just a lot of hassle and didn't know which eggs would be best to put in there. The hatchers or the 10 day old eggs
     
  9. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    You totally lost me on this post!!! LOL! I don't know what you have or where you have it!! :lau

    Can I just say that I am new to using my brinsea octagon 20 and I do not like it!! Yes, temp is excellent but humidity is a nightmare. I hate attempting to lockdown in that thing! Also, I will add that for hatch time aka "lockdown", humidity is much more important then temperature. Are you good at candling eggs? Right before an egg internally pips the membrane grows dramatically and slants at an angle. If you look carefully you can actually see the membrane forming around the chick (duckling) and you can see the contour of the baby. I've added in eggs a day or two later on a few occasions. As long as your air cells have had proper development all along you should be fine. Check them and once you see that slant or curve and the air cell looks like it suddenly got really big then it's time to lockdown, increase your humidity. Sounds like you've got a lot of juggling to do! I wish you the best of luck!!

    Here's a pic of peafowl eggs that had finally drew down. Just to give you an idea of what it will start to look like when the time is close.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    If you need to pick a range for temp, err on the side of slightly low for hatch. If the temp is a degree or too low, it's ok, they are producing body heat at that point. Many people drop the temp at hatch a degree or two. It's better to be a couple degrees low at hatch rather than high.

    [​IMG]
     

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