lockdown day count question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ladyh, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Yorkshire is correct. An easy way to check your counting is that the day of the week you set them is the day of the week the 21 days is up. If you set them on a Friday, they should hatch on a Friday.

    They don’t always hatch at 21 days, I’ve had them hatch a couple of days earlier, even under a broody hen. Others have had them later, but the goal is 21 days.

    Good luck.
     
  3. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm I put them in the incubator in the morning early Jan 16 and marked on the Calendar Jan 16 as day 1, since it was in the am like 6:00am. Was gonna do lockdown on Feb 2??
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 18 would be the 3rd Febuary, I do mine anytime during the 18th day. It does not have to be exact on the 18th day.
     
  5. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay great, thanks... Now if the dumb incubators would stay on a consistent temperature....my home made one with the ST-1000 stayed perfect... Should have stayed with that one ..
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    People tend to think hatching is a precise science. It’s not, it’s more of an art. There are guidelines of things you should do as closely as you reasonably can but broody hens hatch in all kinds of conditions and are normally quite successful. There is a fairly wide range of conditions where the eggs will hatch. There are certain ideal conditions that improve your odds of a good hatch, so stay as close to ideal as you reasonably can, but if you are off a bit, don’t obsess over it.

    We normally do two things at lockdown, stop turning and increase humidity. Chicken eggs don’t really need to be turned after about 14 days. Turning helps keep the yolk and developing chick from sticking to the inside of the egg shell and it helps the body parts to form in the right places. After 14 days the body parts have formed and a membrane has developed around the chick to keep it from sticking to the inside of the shell. Turning after that does not hurt, but it’s just not necessary. The reason we normally stop turning at 18 days is that it is convenient to take the turner out at the same time we up the humidity.

    Over the incubation period the egg needs to lose a certain amount of humidity. If it loses too much that membrane that forms around the chick to protect it can dry out and shrink around it, keeping it from moving to get in position to hatch. If it does not lose enough the air cell is too small so it drowns when it internal pips. It runs out of air too soon. The reason the humidity is increased during lockdown is that after external pip, if the humidity is too low, that membrane can possibly dry out and shrink around the chick. That really doesn’t happen that often, but it can so we up the humidity.

    The reason we use 18 days to up the humidity is that eggs don’t always hatch on exactly the 21st day. There are many different possible reasons for that. The main one is incubation temperature, if they are too warm hatch can be early and if they are too cool hatch can be late, but heredity, humidity, how and how long the eggs were stored before incubation started, and just plain differences in eggs can have an effect. It’s not horribly unusual for eggs to be a full two days early or maybe just a bit more and you still get good hatches. If you lock down three days before theoretical hatch you have locked down before external pip on those early ones and you reduce the chance of shrink-wrapping your chicks.

    This sounds pretty complicated but there is a pretty wide range of moisture loss that works just fine. There are plenty of people that do what you almost did, miscount the days. They lock down on Day 17 instead of day 18 and still usually get good hatches. That window of moisture loss is that big. I know it’s hard to do on your first hatch, but try to get as close as you reasonably can to the guidelines but try to not worry too much about it. You will probably do fine. Sure hope so.
     
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  7. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for this....you are awesome. That is the reason I posted on this site "before" doing anything to make sure I was doing it right. You guys are awesome and so helpful. I hope my chicks hatch as I was too afraid to candle. I didn't want to disturb them LOL. I figure if they hatch great if not then they weren't fertile. I'll wait a couple days after day 21 for non hatchers to see what happens For the hatchers, I will wait the 24 hours to put in the brooder... :) I got day old chicks from a company and I was successful in raising them and they are awesome and healthy.
     
  8. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    YAY.... looks like three eggs are starting with the chicks pipping.... Keeping my fingers crossed as I tried to move them but stopped and put them back. They seems to be continuing...thanks for all of your help!!
     
  9. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    :woot

    Keep us posted ;)
     
  10. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I will, I see one moving inside ... very nerve wracking for a first timer LOL
     

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