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Incubating eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jessie Jenkin, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Jessie Jenkin

    Jessie Jenkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi i am at day 15 for incubating my chicken eggs
    i am a bit concerned about day 18, 19, 20 and 21 it says on the internet that in those 3 days you should not open the incubator
    and it says that the huminty should be 75% how am i soppose to increase the huminity if i can't open up the incubator??
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    On days 19-21 I generally aim for 65%-70%. 75% is a bit high, except when they start hatching, when you can let it go up to around 75-80%. Once the chicks start hatching it's better not to open the incubator as it can result in a drop in humidity that can cause the hatching chicks to dry out and get stuck in their shells, i.e. get "shrink wrapped". You can open the incubator for short periods, if needed, but try and do it only when absolutely necessary and for as short a period as possible. There are a few different things you can try to maintain high enough humidity: filling up the water wells in the incubator, adding more containers with water (the bigger the water surface, the higher the humidity generated), placing wet sponges/ a wet cloth in the incubator. If possible you can top up the water through the went holes, with a straw, provided the vent holes are big enough and in the right place. I found spreading a wet cloth in the incubator (not touching the eggs) works very well.
     
  3. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd refill on day 19 to bring you through the hatch. Once the first one hatches that'll raise the humidity anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  4. Jessie Jenkin

    Jessie Jenkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much everyone it helped alot :)
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The way you phrased that makes me wonder if you are counting the days right. Lockdown normally starts after 18 full days of development. An egg doesn’t have a full day of development 2 seconds or 2 hours after you put it in the incubator. It takes 24 hours of development for the egg to have a full day’s worth of development. If you started the eggs on Tuesday August 13, 18 days of development are complete on Saturday August 31 about the same time of day you started them. In theory they should hatch Tuesday September 3. An easy way to check yourself is that the day of the week you started them is the day of the week they should hatch, in this case Tuesday.

    I say in theory because eggs often don’t hatch exactly 21 days after you start them. There are a lot of things that can affect exactly when an egg hatches; heredity, humidity, how and how long the egg was stored before incubation, and just basic differences in individual eggs. Average incubating temperature is real important. If your incubator is running a bit warm, they can be early. If the incubator is running a little cool, they can be late. I’ve had eggs in an incubator and under a broody hen hatch 2 full days early. Some people have reported them hatching much later. So don’t get too obsessed by that 21 day thing. It’s a target to aim for but many of us regularly miss it a bit.

    Usually my hatches are pretty much over within 24 hours of the first one hatching. But I have had some drag on for over two full days. In my last incubator hatch, I had one chick hatch a full day before any other egg pipped, then the other 17 came out basically overnight.

    Hatching is not an instantaneous process either. The chick has to position itself for hatch, internal pip, external pip, and finally zip. During this time it is absorbing the yolk, drying up blood vessels, learning to breathe air instead of living in a liquid environment, doing something with that gunk it has been living in so it dries nice and fluffy instead of all gunked down, and who knows what else. Some chicks do a lot of this before external pip. These usually hatch a few hours after you see the pip. Some do a lot between pip and zip. These drive us crazy waiting on them to finish up.

    The reason I’m writing all this is that I think this might be your first incubator hatch. It’s an exciting time but it can be really stressful. You’ll be wondering what you did wrong, why aren’t they hatching (or why are they early), and what should you do. Most of the time it works out well. I wish you luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jessie Jenkin

    Jessie Jenkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thank you for that very long bit of information it helped alot
    I put them in there on a sunday
     
  7. Jessie Jenkin

    Jessie Jenkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2013
    On the 11th of August
     
  8. Jessie Jenkin

    Jessie Jenkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry I am at day 15 today haha
    Sorry I made a mistake
     
  9. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hatch yet
     
  10. Jessie Jenkin

    Jessie Jenkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep they hatched 7 days ago and they are very cute :)
     

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