How long can hatched chicks be left in incubator?

Del1977

Chirping
Oct 27, 2015
158
9
53
Australia
Have a little problem. Husband wants to go away this weekend and we have 36 coturnix eggs in the incubator which have gone into lockdown this morning, due to hatch Sunday. We are leaving Friday afternoon, returning Sunday morning. My brother will come Saturday to feed the cat and add water to the bator but wondering how long it is safe to leave hatched chicks in the bator. Hopefully we won't have any hatch until Sunday, but I know with previous hatches we have often had one or two hatch the night before official hatching day. Will have the brooder set up ready to go in case any have hatched when my brother drops in to add water, and plan on putting some food and water in the bator just in case.

We usually take hatched chicks out as soon as they are up and running around as I hate to see them bashing the other eggs around.

Going to have a hard time enjoying myself knowing hatching in imminent.
 

nchls school

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,969
5,551
466
Tennessee
Enjoy the weekend with your husband. If chicks hatch Saturday they will be fine in the incubator until Sunday when you get home.
Incubators should be left closed during the lockdown period to keep the temperature and humidity as constant as possible-which is important during the hatch. Chicks would not need food and water that soon.

And for your husband's sake-HAVE FUN!!!
 

Del1977

Chirping
Oct 27, 2015
158
9
53
Australia
Thankyou for your quick reply and reassurance. Will try to have fun but it will be hard knowing those eggs are all alone without me to encourage them. I find hatching day a bit stressful at the best of times, wondering who is going to make it out. Might need a glass of wine or two with my SIL to take my mind off the eggs.
 

nchls school

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,969
5,551
466
Tennessee
Thankyou for your quick reply and reassurance.  Will try to have fun but it will be hard knowing those eggs are all alone without me to encourage them.  I find hatching day a bit stressful at the best of times, wondering who is going to make it out.  Might need a glass of wine Peppermint schnapps was my choice...until my wife decided it was not healthy-GROAN!or two with my SIL to take my mind off the eggs.
 

Del1977

Chirping
Oct 27, 2015
158
9
53
Australia
Can't say I've ever tried it but sounds yummy. Wonder if it can be bought in Australia.

Anyway, thanks again for the reassurance. Will be dying to see what is waiting for us when we get home on Sunday.

So it really doesn't matter if hatched chicks are bashing around pipped or half zipped chicks that are trying to hatch???
 

Del1977

Chirping
Oct 27, 2015
158
9
53
Australia
And they will be alright without food and water for that long????? Could be up to 18 hours as we won't arrive home until about noon on Sunday. Don't think any will hatch before Saturday evening at the earliest.

Can you tell I'm still anxious? LOL.
 

nchls school

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,969
5,551
466
Tennessee
And they will be alright without food and water for that long?????  Could be up to 18 hours as we won't arrive home until about noon on Sunday.  Don't think any will hatch before Saturday evening at the earliest.

Can you tell I'm still anxious? LOL.


They will be fine, but if it worries you, put the food in now-well before the eggs start hatching. I think temperature and humidity levels are most critical when the eggs are pipped and air can enter and affect the membrane and chick the most.

Likely, others may disagree and you will have to decide what's best.
 

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