Lockdown question, need a bit of advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Elwood Lightfoot, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. I have less than a week till lockdown, I modified some egg flats cut the top posts off and used a 1/8" blade on my angle grinder to cut an X in the bottom of each holder to improve air flow so the eggs have been in the flats or cartons for the incubation, So on lock down I will just stop the turner at level and the eggs will be standing on the pointed end, I was thinking maybe I should take the eggs out of the flats and lay them on thier sides,

    Which would be better? Hatching them in the cartons? or out and laying them on the smooth surface of the trays?

    I'm thinking that if I take out the flats the chicks will have more room to move around and if I leave them in they will have to climb around on the flats and other eggs.

    Would that be bad for the ones still trying to get out of the eggs and would it be difficult for the them to get out of the egg still in the carton?

    An update on the progress, On day seven (6-28-10) I candled all the eggs, I had placed 190 in to incubate and was expecting to cull around 50% as I had some rooster problems and some of the eggs were almost a month old by the time I finished my incubator, However, about 75% were developing and some were not easy to see through well enough to tell so left them in to check again later I only culled out 11 eggs, So counting my chicks before they hatch it seems I'm off to a good start :)

    Any advice on how I should do the lockdown would be greatly appreciated, Thanks
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    I think it's just a matter of preference. There are several people here on BYC that use the egg carton method and leave them in to hatch and probably just as many that put eggs on their side. I have a homemade incubator so my eggs are always on thier sides.
  3. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Here is my 2 cents worth.

    1. Broody hens do not stand them on end at any point during incubation and they do a wonderful job;


    2. I put my eggs on their sides after coming out of the turner with a piece of shelf liner ontop of the hardwire cloth so there is something soft for the babies and I do not have to worry about them plopping out of the egg from the egg standing up...they just push their way out and they are out.

    I know several that hatch in the egg carton and they do fine so I would say it is personal choice. But if Broody hen is not standing them up why should I?

    Good luck with your hatch.
  4. pkw

    pkw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2010
    North Edwards, CA
    I always incubate and hatch my eggs on their sides.
  5. Thanks for the input everyone, I tend to agree that it would seem to be easier for the chicks to push their way out with the egg laying on it's side, I have shelf paper and can use that the mesh of the trays is the same size as hardware cloth but it's a flat smooth metal with perforations and not wire so was actually thinking I can slide trays under those to catch droppings and eggshell bits etc..

    The way the turner works keeps the eggs on one side or the other so when it comes time to lockdown the trays would be set at level for the first time during the incubation, I think I may try one flats worth in the carton and the rest out and laying on their sides. This is my first time using my homemade incubator and the first time in 33 years I've hatched eggs in one so it's all an experiment as it is.

    If you want to see my creation just click on the View my BYC page on the left. I candled several last night and you can actually see the developing embryo moving in some of them, I'm pretty excited about the hatch and don't want to make any mistakes that can be avoided,

    Thanks again :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by