Is it okay to open incubator on day 22 to check water wells?


10 Years
Jun 7, 2009
This is the first time we've ever used an incubator and this is day 22 with 7 eggs in it. When I woke up this morning at 6am there was a pip in just one egg. It is now 5:30pm and there has been no other activity. Should I open the incubator and check the water wells? It is an LG incubator and doesn't have a gauge that says the humidity level so we just completely filled the wells on day 18 when we removed the egg turner and hoped that would be enough water until hatch day. Now we are getting nervous that the water has maybe run out and that is why the hatch is taking longer than it should. I would have to move all the eggs to add water and I am afraid to do that right now since it's hatch time!
Yes, just mist the eggs with water. i've continued to mist ine all throughout hatch and all but 2 have hatched just fine! i still have a lot of duck eggs in that i am misting when needed and when i open the bator, they should be hatching any day. i already have some wiggling!
I just add water through the vent holes with a straw... I had one bad experience with opening the 'bator - I will never do it again!
Since you only have the 7 eggs in there- you have room to put a rolled-up warm wet washcloth inside. Only open far enough to get it in. Shine a flashlight to see if there's water- if not: make sure water is warm and ready and open really quick to fill. If you just filled it the other day- it's probably NOT empty.

I have an LG still air and I admit to opening it during hatch. I'm only on my 3rd time using an incubator- but I have been raising birds for 20 years. I have not lost a single fertile egg yet (I know I will eventually) but I can't see how just opening it part way for a second can kill all of your chicks.
I would open to slip in a wash cloth but when it comes to filling the water wells I use a straw with a nasal asperator too. prior to any being hatched you'd probably be ok but you're going to need the straw & asperator anyway for after they start to hatch. Once they really start to pip & zip *do not open that bator*. During that time you'll probably need to add water again anyway & so you'll need to use the straw & asperator then anyway so you might as well just start it now. I always use a flash light so I can see the water lever. I've used sponges too but thr wash cloth the chicks always seem to like to get on & hang on while they're resting so toward the end unless I'm having an issue with not enough humidity I use a wash cloth &/or a sock.....
You don't have to be so paranoid about opening the bator. All you have to do is spray the eggs with warm water to replace the humidity you lost and they will be fine. From my experience i have had better luck spraying them about 3 times a day and don't worry about the water wells.
I forgot to mention that if today is day 22 you are running too cool.

Also PAGANBIRD you say you had a bad experince opening the bator. Why do you think opening the bator caused the problem.
The reason i ask is there are several different incubator problems that have basically the same result.
I had opened the incubator to get the 1st chick out... it had hatched the day before. When I opened the 'bator (only had it open for about 12 seconds) my humidity dropped & even though I added warm water when I removed the chick, humidity didn't go right back up. Within the hour, all peeping & rocking ceased. None of the remaining eggs hatched. I had 3 chicks die in the shell. Internal pip, but not make it out. One had pipped the shell, but made it no further.
I believe it was due to the dramatic drop in humidity. I could be wrong, but I still won't open the 'bator during a hatch.
Thank you for all the advice. What I ended up doing was slipping some water down through a vent hole with a straw. Just after I posted my question, the chick that pipped started pecking out. We sat and watched it for hours. She has about an inch long zip. So we went to bed and I got up this morning and nothing has changed. It has been over 24 hours since her first pip. Is this normal? She is still breathing but I haven't seen her peck anymore.
Chickenaddiction there is a very good chance if you had sprayed it last night it would be out.Those bators are very difficult to get the humidity up hi enough that's why spraying is what worked best for me but it sounds like you have temperature issues.

Paganbird opening the bator most likely had nothing to do with what happened. The most common problem low humidity causes is external pip and then stick and die which is easily cured with a spray bottle. You say one hatched the day before. How many days did it take for it to hatch?

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