Lock down humidity

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by eechick08, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. eechick08

    eechick08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
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    Hello. Quick question. I have my eggs in my incubator.. Next week I'll be on lockdown phase. But I added about 7 additional eggs at a later date.
    Question is. Will my 7 eggs get affected my the lock down humidity ? I'm not sure what to do. Any help or suggestions will help .. I only have one incubator
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
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    That’s why I don’t do staggered hatches with one incubator. It creates problems. But you have a situation to deal with.

    The reason humidity is important during incubation is that the eggs need to lose a certain amount of moisture before the chick pips so the air cell is big enough for it to breathe when it internal pips and learns to live in air instead of a liquid environment. If it loses too much moisture, the membrane can shrink around the chick and keep it from hatching. That amount of moisture loss does not have to be extremely precise, just enough but not too much. If it had to be exact, we would not get many eggs to hatch. You have a fairly large window that will work.

    I don’t know how much difference there is in the timing of those eggs. The reason that may be important is turning the eggs. The eggs really don’t need to be turned after about 14 days, but they do need to be turned while body parts are forming and that membrane that keeps them from sticking to the wall of the egg shell is forming. Turning may be more of an issue for you than the humidity.

    The reason you raise the humidity for lockdown is to keep that membrane from drying out after the chick external pips. There is nothing magical about doing that three days before the eggs are due to hatch other than sometimes the eggs pip that much early. There are different reasons eggs can be really early. I’ve had eggs under a broody hen hatch a full two days early. They can also be that much late. When they will actually pip is a great unknown.

    What to do? As far as humidity, I’d be really tempted to wait a bit on raising the humidity. Sometimes you can hear a chick peeping after it internal pips but before it external pips or you see an egg moving. If you hear that peeping or see an egg move, it’s time to raise the humidity. You could wait until you see a pip. As long as you catch it early, it’s probably not a big deal. But the problem is that might occur just after you go to bed. So I suggest you wait until bedtime the night you are supposed to go into lockdown unless you see an egg moving or hear a chick peep. It’s not perfect but it’s a plan.

    I don’t know if you have a turner or are turning by hand. Also, when can you stop turning the late eggs? Could you help me out a bit here?
     

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