Late Lockdown Day 20


Apr 20, 2018
Melton, Victoria, Australia
Hi Can anyone tell me if they have had any experience with locking down an egg at Day 20 and the result. I popped the rest of the eggs into the hatcher and missed an egg. It's now day 20, the egg is extremely full , therefore can't see any movement. I just really hope I haven't accidentally killed the poor little thing ?
Where is the egg now? Where was it after the others were locked down? What happened to it? It's been a day, what happened? Did it hatch?

It's probably too late to help you but those eggs can be really tough. Also don't get to tied up with numbers. Lockdown on Day 18 is a guideline for a reason, it is a good practice. But it is a guideline, not an absolute law of nature. I'd keep trying, sometimes they will really surprise you.
Where is the egg now? Where was it after the others were locked down? What happened to it? It's been a day, what happened? Did it hatch?

Hehe...You seem more panicked than I did, haha, thank you for being interested. Hi, I have 2 incubators set up, 1 in normal mode and the other in lockdown , I just transfer them across on Day 18. I had missed one of the Cream legbar eggs and didn't notice until day 20 with humidity of 40-50. It's day 22 and if nothing has happened day tomorrow night I'll float test it I suppose, it is too thick and dark to see anything with torch candling I'm afraid. I was just wondering if anyone was around that has done this too to ease my guilt and make me feel better, and if it turned out ok. haha
Actually my questions were more about getting information. Where was the egg during those two days? Was it left in the incubator or had it been laying behind the incubator on a shelf for those two days. If it were left in the incubator I'd say it still had a good chance. If it were on the shelf I'd give it a chance, some people have had eggs hatch in similar conditions but it's not a good thing. I don't like to assume things like this, I like to know what you're actually dealing with.

There are issues depending on the scenario. One is that it was probably still being turned if it was in the incubator. To me that is not a big issue. You don't have to turn chicken eggs after two weeks. The main functions of turning are accomplished by then. It doesn't matter if the egg is turned after that, especially since you got it out before pip. If it had been left on a shelf and not turned this would not be an issue either.

Another issue is humidity. It is possible that the egg could shrink wrap if it external pips in a dry environment. That's why we up the humidity in the hatcher or during lockdown. Not every egg that external pips in a dry environment will automatically shrink-wrap. There are different factors involved. But since it can happen and raising the humidity during lockdown can prevent it, higher humidity is a reasonable precaution. Since you moved the egg before external pip it's not that big of an issue. I've also had eggs external pip before lockdown and hatch fine. I did shrink-wrap one though one time so it can possibly be an issue.

The other part of humidity is that the egg needs to lose a certain amount of moisture during incubation. For different reasons different eggs lose different amounts of humidity during incubation in the same conditions. There is a pretty wide window of how much moisture an egg can lose and still hatch. It's possible with the egg being in your incubating humidity instead of lockdown humidity that it could lose enough moisture for that to be an issue, anything is possible, but that widow is so wide that it's unlikely. If it were on a shelf in pretty low humidity that is more likely to cause a problem.

Another issue if it were on the shelf is temperature. If it was in an incubator that's not an issue. If it were on a shelf it could be. At this late stage the egg is generating a lot of heat on its own. The shell will keep a lot of that heat in. Unless your house is really cool, it's possible a chick could stay alive inside hat shell for a couple of days. Once it hatched it would need heat.

The actual timing of lockdown isn't that critical as long as it is before the egg external pips. Many people lockdown a full day early because they count the days wrong and it usually causes no issues. From what you described in your second post if that egg doesn't hatch it probably wasn't going to anyway.
@JanineM Did it hatch? I am asking as I just set chicken eggs last night, not realizing I am on a business trip on Lockdown day and I was wondering if I should do Lockdown before or after day 18... Anyone?
Hi, Unfortunately it did not, and I discarded the egg last night, however, either did the other 3 that I DID put into lockdown on the correct day, so just one of those things, maybe a humidity issue due to being quite thick shelled eggs? I would choose to lockdown earlier rather than later. I have just put eggs into lockdown on day 16 and both have hatched perfectly. To be honest, with larger eggs I think this is beneficial to them. Gives them longer to orientate themselves. Good luck with them :)
@JanineM Did it hatch? I am asking as I just set chicken eggs last night, not realizing I am on a business trip on Lockdown day and I was wondering if I should do Lockdown before or after day 18... Anyone?

Based on your hatching history, how sure are you of the day that should hatch? Mine consistently hatch a couple of days early, whether under a broody hen or in my incubator, which has been calibrated.

How well does your incubator hold the higher lockdown humidity? How likely is it that the reservoir will run dry before you get back? Or can you get someone to top it off? With a flight delay how sure are you that you will be able to get back, if you are flying?

Those are the two things i'd consider in making that decision. The reason we traditionally lockdown on Day 18 is that you want the humidity higher before the egg external pips to reduce the risk of shrink-wrapping an egg. If you are relatively confident your eggs won't external pip until day 20, I'd wait as long as you are reasonably confident you will make it back.. If not, go early but consider if the reservoir might go dry at a bad time.
Thanks. My incubator is automatic, i.e. if I set the humidity to say 70% for lockdown, it will automatically turn on humidifier if it drops below that. So I just need to decide if I should do the lockdown a day earlier or at day 19. It will be my first chicken hatch. I've hatched quail and they are absolutely punctual when to start piping.

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