Lock down survey: what do you do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Storybook Farm, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Storybook Farm

    Storybook Farm Songster

    Jun 5, 2015
    Sugar Grove, WV
    My Coop
    Hi all!

    I am a newbie Hatcher, on day 18 of my first hatch. To begin with, [​IMG]
    I am using the Incuview incubator, which is a plastic model not unlike a Brinsea or Genesis for size. If you use a larger, cabinate model, your comments might not help much (no offence meant). I am confused about how people handle lock down / hatching in terms of opening or not opening their 'bator.

    First, I understand that the chicks can go for three days without food/water. That's not my concern. My concern (or confusion) comes from what I read that people often share about early hatching chicks, as they dry and start to run around, will knock unhatched eggs sideways and then those eggs die because the chicks can't pip and rip properly, so they tend to remove chicks as soon as they are dry, interrupting lockdown briefly. Other people say DO NOT under any circumstances open your incubator until the hatch is done.

    So, what do you do? I would really love to hear from people who are experienced with more than several hatches as to what they do during lockdown. Thanks in advance for your answers!
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016

  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Opening or not opening is a personal preference. Opening could cause a drop in the humidity and chicks could become stuck in the egg. This may or may not happen there is no way to tell for sure. I just dont risk it and leave it closed. For me I'm a hands off hatcher and leave them to get on with the job. I only open when hatch is complete or the incubator is full of chicks, generally 24 hours plus after the first hatcher. I have not encountered problems with hatched chicks knocking eggs around in the incubator. My thinking is that they encourage the unhatched chicks to get a move on. Under a mother hen this would happen and the eggs would not be completely still and not moving.

    Good luck with your eggs, I hope you have a great hatch :fl
    1 person likes this.
  3. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Songster

    Apr 8, 2015
    I have the opposite approach. I am hands on! I do remove chicks as they hatch. I keep my humidity at 75% during lock down. When I remove a chick I crack the lid just enough to get my hand in and quickly pull it out. I am in and out in less than 10 seconds. My humidity does drop briefly but recovers in less than a minute. I have never had a chick shrink wrapped. I do believe that the hatched chicks chirping does encourage others to hatch. With that said I move my chicks to a brooder right next to my bator and the chirping can still be heard. My average hatch rate is currently 94%.

    IMO there is not right or wrong answer here. It really comes down to personal preference and what you feel comfortable with. People on both sides of the isle have good and bad hatches. I will suggest though that if you do become a hands on hatcher that you keep your humidity up to at least 75% and get in and out quickly. This is definitely not the time to completely remove the lid and linger.
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I too am a "hands on" hatcher, or meddler, (and proud of it) lol. I run 75% at hatch and I freely open my bator (ok, technically I pop the window out...lol) to remove chicks, flip over pipped eggs that have been rolled, pull out shells and assist if neccessary. My bator holds humidity well and recovers quickly. I use sponges atop the screen so that I can rewet when needed to boost humidity. I have never had a chick "shrink wrap", or die after pip or during zip. I would not recommend the hands on approach to anyone that has problems keeping humidity up in their unit, but I too feel it is a personal choice. I respect the hands off hatchers, but I hate to see the forceful demanding that you DO NOT OPEN the bator after lockdown. With the right precautions, you have a miniscule chance of causeing problems. An egg that is pipped for an extended amount of time even in the hands of a hands off hatcher can become glued in and the membranes can dry around the pip. I also do not agree with not providing at least water to chicks for 2-3 days. I will say that I do agree that chicks are prompted by other chicks to hatch. Not only is my brooder a few feet from my bator, I also play chicks chirping from youtube on my phone at the bator periodically during pipping and on loop during zipping. You can see how much it motivates them and keeps them working. And my hatch rates have been 90-100%
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016

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