Incubator "lock down" question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by snomom2000, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. snomom2000

    snomom2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2008
    I've read that you should "lock down" your incubator on day 18 and not open it again until all chicks have hatched and/or you are ready to toss remaining eggs. That sounds like a good idea in theory but isn't working so great in reality. We've had our incubator locked down since 8/18. The first 2 chicks were born early morning on the 21st. I had 1 more born during the day on the 21st and 3 more born last night. I still have 3 pipped eggs and 19 eggs that haven't pipped as far as I can see. I know chicks can live without food or water the first 1-2 days, but the ones born early morning on the 21st are already close to 18 hours old.

    What do I do?

    Also, if you are in incubator lock down does that mean you don't help any chick out of the egg?

    Thanks!
    Cheryl
     
  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    When your eggs are in lockdown doesn't mean that you can't open the incubator, people are just advising you don't (for a better hatch). If your hatched chicks are already dry and running around you can take them out and put them under a brooder. The reason why chicks can survive on their unabsorbed egg yolk is that after the first eggs are hatched the hen will wait for a few more days for the rest of the chicks to hatch and in that waiting period the already hatched chicks can't starve out. If your eggs are in lockdown and you think that a chick is having trouble coming out you can help them but be aware that you could be breaking them out of the shell too early, here's a link for assisted chick hatching: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  3. snomom2000

    snomom2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2008
    Veer-
    Thank you so much for your response and the link! We have 9 total out of the shell now. One of them stopped zipping several hours ago and my husband used a warm damp washcloth and helped it out. The membrane was dried out. It has pieces of shell and membrane stuck to it. I imagine they will fall off. Another one stopped zipping several hours ago but wasn't dried our so he finished the zip but left it in the shell. It hasn't tried to get out yet so he's watching to make sure it gets out before it dries out.

    That link was extremely informative! Great information! Thanks again!
     
  4. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congratulations on your hatch! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. snomom2000

    snomom2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2008
    Thank you!

    We had more problems this morning. The humidity level dropped severly overnight and we had a chick stuck to the paper in the incubator (I had put paper on the wire because I was afraid of them getting their feet caught in the wire). He was a little bloody where others had pecked him and he struggled to free himself. I poured some warm water on the wing that was stuck and used a washcloth to ease him off the paper. He's doing fine now. There was another one that seemed pretty dried out and lethargic but he wasn't stuck to the paper. I hope they perk up. We had two pipped this morning but I'm afraid the humidity drop might have killed them. There are still 12 eggs unpipped. We're on day 23 so I guess we give them a few more days.

    What's the view on moving the incubator to another room at this stage? We have guests coming tomorrow night and the incubator is in the guest room. LOL

    Thanks!

    Cheryl
     

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