I made a mistake


In the Brooder
Mar 12, 2018
I set eggs on 2/18 - I marked these eggs because I have different ages in one incubator, and then switch to another for lock down. I basically move out eggs by date and replace so the incubator never stops. So like I moved the rest the other day and have new eggs in their place with dates.

Well, I missed one of the 2/18 eggs. It was still in the turner, still low humidity. I moved the others but I guess I didn't see this one. It pipped this morning, I could hear it chirping - humidity in there is in the low 30's. These aren't expensive eggs or anything, but I still hope it can recover.

I moved it to the "lockdown" incubator (already running with the other 2/18 eggs), wrapped in a damp paper towel. Our ambient humidity is in the 40's or so.

Think it has a chance? It had a big pip but isn't chirping as much since I moved it. I feel bad for missing that egg, and it's chirping alerted me this morning. I thought it was my lockdown incubator but didn't see any pips and my husband found this one in the other one.
It was a warm damp paper towel, I soaked it in hot water then did the fast move of about 3 feet from one to the other. I was definitely trying to not chill the little critter.
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

I do the SAME exact thing. :jumpy

I think it has a chance... but I don't think I would keep the moist towel on it. Part of what causes shrink wrapping is when the incubator with high humidity gets opened and suddenly the cold air and instant loss of humidity rush in.

So, after a big pip... it is common for chicks to rest up to about 24 hours before starting to zip. So it may just be resting, absorbing it yolk and such. :fl

Hope you don't mind if I share my technique with you....

So to start off, I don't use the wells inside my incubators because it's hard to clean them out with rolling hatches and they get slimy. So I use tin foil boats placed around in there.

On the very from of the eggs I label them LARGE in Sharpie marker... with a different set of #'s and letters. I also mark down how many eggs I set on that date and do a count to make sure I've got them all when transferring. So my first set will be marked 1-18. My second set will be marked A-S. My 3rd set will be marked A1- A10. 4th set B1- B15 or whatever the count is. After I move the first set I start back with just the # for the next ones I set. Or something to that effect depending on how many eggs per set and that stuff. My dates are only marked on the bottom of the eggs when I collect them so I make sure to set them in a reasonable time frame. I mark set and hatch dates on my google calendar, with notations of how many eggs and what they are labeled and set an alarm for 4 days prior to hatch to remind me of lock down the day ahead so I have everything prepared. If I run out of #'s and letters... I might move on to triangles and squares or something silly and distinctive... but haven't had to do that yet. And I even have 2 incubators, sometimes the set eggs get separated to the other if I don't have enough room.

Now it CAN get really confusing... because I move the eggs to a new spot in the bator EVERY day to ensure even development. So the notes are extremely important for me!

If I have to open my lock down bator with the much higher humidity, like when so many have hatched other eggs are being bowled around and I decide to remove some of the fluffy babes ... I wrap extra blankets around the top and sides of the bator and reach my hands up under leaving them draped to capture the heat/humidity and reduce the possibility of shrink wrapping and only open the lid far enough to barely reach through.

I will let you know if I remember anything else. :fl :jumpy :jumpy
I would definitely take the towel off; even a warm damp towel will chill a chick.

It definitely has a chance and in fact will be fine. I've missed eggs like that too and have actually accidentally left them in the main incubator until they were totally hatched. So they hatched all on their own without ever going into lockdown in an incubator that had humidity at 30%. They are tougher than we think. I'd be yours will be just fine.
Thanks that was an awesome description. I write in pencil on the top of the egg the date they are set and write it down in my book, then set reminders on the Iphone. What I should do is record the number of eggs set, but sometimes I forget. I try to set them all in 1 line or row but that isn't what happened with this one. He/she was in with the 2 dozen silkie and large frizzle eggs. I must have had an empty space there or something.

It seems mostly ok, the big pip membrane is white and not yellowed. I just hope it isn't shrink wrapped. My hatcher is at 68% humidity. It's a plastic type without the water retaining rows, so you just put a little straight in the bottom of the container, and there's a plastic mat above it below the turner. It's a little harder to control the humidity, as it takes very little water to make it really jump, but it's a Rite Farm (red one) and works really well. I usually use the cheapie styrofoam for my hatcher but I'm out of space due to goose eggs. DH suggested I get a 3rd incubator and leave the cheapie just for hatching out and not turning or anything - can't complain there I suppose.

ETA: I only used the towel for the transport to the hatcher, I removed it when I got the pipped egg down in there - I didn't leave it in.
DH suggested I get a 3rd incubator and leave the cheapie just for hatching out and not turning or anything - can't complain there I suppose.
Oh, that's right... I have a third "hatcher"! :oops: We try not to talk numbers, cuz then hubby gets nervous. :cool:

Good Hubby! :thumbsup (mine to, but I mean yours).

And we all make mistakes
Gosh, I've made so many mistakes. :smack But we are mostly here to share with, learn from, and support each other. :hugs
It hatched with a little assistance. It was partially shrink wrapped around it's head so I peeled that back a little and it managed to kick it's way out, it's dry but all the feathers are matted down.
I don't usually "help" but this was my fault, and I barely peeled enough off it's face so it could straighten it's neck out, seems like I actually "helped" and not hindered. But figured I'd drop a line to say he made it out!

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