Lockdown Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Broph, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Broph

    Broph New Egg

    Oct 21, 2016
    Everyone talks about lockdown on day 18 and not to open (this is my first time trying to hatch). I have had three born on day 19, they are still in the incubator drying off, once dry is it ok to take them out? There are still 5 other eggs that have not pipped yet, will they be ok if I open quickly to take the chicks out?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Is there a risk in opening the incubator now? Yes, but it’s your choice. Many people choose to do it and usually they get away with it. I’ll try to give you some information so you can make an informed choice.

    The chicks can live at least three days without eating or drinking, often a day or two longer than that, because they absorb the yolk before hatch. So you don’t “need” to take them out for another two days.

    The risk in opening the incubator is that a chick can become shrink-wrapped if the humidity drops too low. The membrane between the chick and the egg shell shrinks around the chick so it can’t move. That’s a death sentence unless you help the chick hatch. Sometimes you kill the chick by trying to help, especially if you are too early, sometimes you save it. How do you know that the chick is actually shrink-wrapped and not just slow to come out? How do you know it has absorbed the yolk, dried up blood vessels outside its body, and done all the other things necessary for it to be ready to hatch? It’s kind of complicated.

    A few things have to happen before the chick will become shrink-wrapped. It’s possible that a chick can be shrink-wrapped anyway if the humidity was too low during incubation whether you open the incubator and let the humidity out or not. The big risk is when the egg has pipped and that membrane is on the border of becoming too dry and you let the humidity out. Does that happen a lot? Not really, but it does happen.

    I personally consider it good practice to not open the incubator during lockdown, whether you see an egg pipped or not. Sometimes they pip on the bottom where you cannot see. But if I have an emergency in the incubator I need to take care of I’ll open the incubator and take care of it, whether another egg has pipped or not.
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Just a note for next time. All the chicks hatching early like this means your temperatures are out. Would be worth investing in a second thermometer.

    As long as you are very quick about it you should be fine but it also won't hurt the eggs for them to stay in there. Sometimes the little bumps and peeps from the chicks are what remind the others to start hatching. Since they have hatched so early though you may reach a point where these are a couple days old but you are still waiting on eggs due day 21-23 so at that point you will need to pull them out to feed and water. Just don't do it mid hatch of an egg or while one is still wet from hatching.

    Chicks will go 3 days with a broody hen with no food or water while the rest hatch so unless they are causing problems in there there's no rush to move them to the brooder.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I'm going to give you the perspective from the other side of the fort. I remove mine as they hatch and become active in the bator. I do not ever leave my chicks more than 12 hours and that's if they are born over night or there is a problem, (which is not the norm.) I am a hands on hatcher and I open the bator all the way through hatch, (I candle all the way through hatch too.) No pips hold no threat when opening the incubator and if you have humidity up to a good level, (I run 70-75% during hatch,) you shouldn't have any problems even with pippers.

    In regards to removing chicks, you have to find what is comfortable for you. Many people leave their chicks in until the end of hatch, many people remove them once they are dry and fluffy and there are others like me who remove them as they hatch.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016

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