Lockdown- give me the dirt on this

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by clairabean, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    First time hatcher. Lockdown is tonight. The eggs are all in cartons, with pointy end down.

    -Do they stay in cartons?
    -Humidity?
    -They do not need food, do they?
    -How long do the newly hatched fuzzy butts stay in bator?

    What else do I need to know?[​IMG]

    (Thanks! Maybe an old timer should do an all in one thread for incubating questions for newbies, like me.....)
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,965
    3,131
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'll state the obvious, just in case. I think you understand this but if you set them on Saturday the first, then lockdown is Wednesday the 19th. 18 days of development, not 18 days since you put them in the incubator.

    -Do they stay in cartons?

    People do it both ways. I put them on their side on the floor of the incubator, but some people leave them in cartons. I'm not convinced it matters that much.

    -Humidity?

    Again, it varies. The humidity that works for one person may not work for another. If your incubator came with instructions, do what they say. I personally try to increase lockdown humidity about 20% over my incubating humidity. In my case that means going from 45% to 65%. Others are successful doing other things. One thing to be prepared for. Once they start to hatch the humidity will probably go way up due to the moisture the chicks add to the environment. Don't panic over it. It's no big deal.

    -They do not need food, do they?

    Mine don't get any food or water until I take them out and put them in a brooder.

    -How long do the newly hatched fuzzy butts stay in bator?

    They can easily stay 48 hours without any problems or stress. Many shipped chicks go 60 hours without food and water and do fine. I generally leave mine in until the hatch is over and they have dried off. Sometimes due to the high humidity they are real slow to dry off. After the hatch is over, I have been known to take the dry ones out and put them in the brooder and leave the still wet ones in the incubator until they dry off.

    What else do I need to know?[​IMG]

    Lockdown means you leave them alone. I have shrink-wrapped a chick by opening the incubator while a chick was still pipping. In an emergency you do what you need to do. But resist the urge to open it up, sit back, and enjoy the process. They will look pitifully weak when they hatch. They will play rugby with the unhatched ueggs. These are not emergencies.
     
  3. Baralak

    Baralak Chillin' With My Peeps

    LOL... oh there have been plenty, but you know, they get lost..

    Ok... You can keep them in the cartons, or take them out... Your choice. If you take them out, the new chicks will play soccer with the remaining eggs. I take mine out.. but that's just me, and that also depends on what bator you have and the room inside.

    Get your Humidity to 50-60%

    They don't need food until you take them out. They can stay in the bator for 48-72 hours.. but I don't usually keep mine in there that long.. It all depends on what type of bator you have.. Brinsea Mini, or Octagon, you can take them out AFTER they dry up and fluff up. Any other bator I would wait till the hatch is over. If you do remove a group of them, make sure that there arn't any pips, or zips happening while you do it. No mater which bator just open the top long enough to remove the chicks and spent egg shells..

    Have your brooder ready to go with the heat lamp, shallow dish with water (or a chick waterer) Make sure it is shallow enough that they won't drown. New chicks should be warmed to about 100 degrees, then you can drop the temp by 5 degrees per week until they are fully feathered. You will know if they are too hot or too cold. Too hot they won't stay under the light, but around the light, too cold and they will huddle under the light and make a really loud peeping sound that's just not their normal peep. It will be loud and shrill.

    As you take them out, just dip their beak into their water. You only have to do it once, and they will know where to get water. You can use a small lid, or sprinkle some crumble chick starter on a towel for the first day. They will figure it out. I generally put a towel in the bottom of my brooder the first day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  4. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    Boy do I agree with what Ridgerunner said, Lockdown means you leave them alone. I have shrink-wrapped a chick by opening the incubator while a chick was still pipping. In an emergency you do what you need to do. But resist the urge to open it up, sit back, and enjoy the process. They will look pitifully weak when they hatch. They will play rugby with the unhatched ueggs. These are not emergencies.

    My last hatch I did what I said I wouldn't do, I helped a chick because I opened the bator during lockdown. I had chicks that hatched the day before and I took them out. I don't care what anyone says it doesn't help opening the bator to take out the one's that are hatched. Your only hurting the ones that are trying to hatch. So walk away and let them be. [​IMG]

    Good luck with them.
     
  5. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I put them in cartons to hatch, small side down, air sac up. When the chick pips and zips the egg, they will hop out of the cartons. The carton prevents the hatched chicks from knocking around the unhatched eggs.

    I keep my humidity around 60-65 for my still air and around 70ish for my forced air.

    Nope, they don't need food or water for up to 72 hours after they hatch, just before they hatch they absorb the yolk. Mine usually stay in the incubator up to 24-48 hours.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,965
    3,131
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:I had one (shipped from a hatchery) that I dipped the beak. The following day, that chick was standing around and giving the distress peep. I dipped the beak again, it drank a lot, and did OK. I'd heard that if just a few learn to drink the others will learn from them. Not so with that bird-brained chick!
     
  7. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    I will give you some advice that a fellow BYCer gave me. Sit on your hands. LOL. It is hard to do but do it. That does not mean you can not stare through the glass at the eggs. I put my first eggs ever in lockdown last night. And it is driving me nuts. But I have not touched. I am sitting on my hands. LOL:pop
     
  8. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    Thank you so much! I LOVE this forum!

    I set them on the 2nd. [​IMG]
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,965
    3,131
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you set them on Sunday the 2nd, then lockdown will be Thursday the 20th. It takes 24 hours for an egg to have 24 hours worth of development. It takes a full 18 days of development for the eggs to have 18 days of development. Hatch should be after 21 full days of development, so your hatch should be on Sunday the 23rd.

    If your incubation temperature is a little warm, then hatch could be a day or two early. If it is a bit cool, your hatch could be a day or two late. Most incubators are not dead on, so your hatch will probably not be exactly on 21 days, but if your incubator is perfect, it should be.

    Good luck!!!
     
  10. stampntam

    stampntam Chillin' With My Peeps

    300
    2
    119
    Apr 13, 2010
    Spring Grove, PA
    I set my eggs on the 9th so lockdown is Jan. 27 or 28?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by