lock down questions

mlove

Songster
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
403
7
119
tx
I put my eggs in the incubator the morning of 5/24. Day 18 (lock down) would be 6/10 correct?

I'm using a foam Hovabator 1602N. What would be the best humidity level for lock down?

Should I keep the red plugs in or take them out?

I was up all night researching past BYC articles and after having a horrible nightmare last night that my chicks were drowning in the eggs I'm a nervous wreck.
 

pkw

Songster
9 Years
May 14, 2010
618
3
129
North Edwards, CA
If you put your eggs in the incubator 5/24 then your 18th day is June 11th so probably don't open your incubator after the 10th. If you want to start with lockdown it won't hurt.

I have 2 different dates on my eggs in the incubator: June 12th and June 14th expected hatch dates so I am locking down on the 10th as well (so on the 10th on I will not be opening my incubator).

Good luck and I hope you have lots of chickies that hatch.
 

FenDruadin

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
3,744
215
281
Charlotte, NC Area
I think Day 18 would be June 11... but it's late and my brain's not working properly, so I may be wrong...

Not sure about humidity--I've only hatched chickens once--I usually hatch ducks. But I always leave the vent plugs out during the hatch. Babies need air even more than they need humidity (not that humidity's not important, of course!).

Good luck! I'm a nervous wreck every time and I've done it about a dozen times now...
 

chicnfarmer

Songster
9 Years
May 21, 2010
174
4
111
Quote:I like your math because I started eggs on 5/20/10 and I have calculated hatch at 6/10/10...
 

kid-n-chickens

Chirping
9 Years
Feb 14, 2010
179
0
99
mlove: you should lock down on the night of the 10th or the morning of the 11th, your lockdown date is technically the 11th. You should try to get your humidity up to 65%. If you get it above 60% all will be good. Your hudmidity will go up as chicks hatch and dry. If it gets so high that condensation is forming on the windows you should barely crack one open just long enough to clear the windows. Other than this do not open the bator till all the eggs are hatched and you are ready to accept that any left unhatched at the time you open the bator will not hatch! You have up to three days after the first chick hatches before it needs food or water. Main thing is don't panic! During the hatch I take out both plugs.

Chicnfarmer your hatch date is 6/10. Easy way to always calculate is if they go in on a wednesday they will hatch on a wednesday!
 

mlove

Songster
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
403
7
119
tx
Thank you so much. I candled tonight and most I'm not sure about a few. In one egg I saw no veins anymore and in two others I did not see any movement or chick shapes only the bottom half filled with thick matter/shape. I did not throw any of them out so I hope I don't end up with an exploding egg.

I was also extremely upset to find out that one of my eggs is small side up. The chick inside was moving and I hope it will be okay until lock down when they will all be placed on their side. Do you think the chick will be okay? It's one of the tiny silkie eggs and I can't believe I placed it wrong side up.
 

FenDruadin

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
3,744
215
281
Charlotte, NC Area
That sounds like exactly how the eggs should look at this point. And no worries--it takes a while for a dead egg to build up the bacteria loads that cause explosion--it's unlikely to happen even if they die right before or during lockdown.

Also, everyone's experience is different, but I open the bator about twice a day once they start hatching. I have found that having too many babies in the incubator can cause more problems than opening it occasionally. It IS important to keep your humidity up--I've had shrink-wrapped babies and it's no fun. But as long as you get it good and high right before opening, you'll be okay to do it a couple times a day if you need to get the babies out for some reason.

Don't take them out right away, though, unless you have a recovery brooder where you can either regulate the temp or supervise their recovery carefully. They won't be very coordinated for several hours and can get themselves into trouble getting too far from the heat or caught in a corner of the brooder. I do keep a recovery brooder, because I like to take out all hatched babies when I open the bator, and not leave the freshly hatched ones. But it is a pain--for a couple hours I have to keep a very close eye on them, and then move them to the other brooder when they are up and walking around normally.

Good luck with the hatch. Sounds like all is well so far. Now you just have to summon your patience and sit on your hands for a few days. It takes FOREVER.
 

mlove

Songster
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
403
7
119
tx
I can't express how thankful I am for everyone's help. This first time has been very scary for me since I feel responsible for the eggs/chicks. I'm hoping I get at least two healthy chicks but will be super excited if I get more. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it's a good weekend.
 

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