Nervous! 1st Time Lock-down Questions!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by O.C.Chick, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. O.C.Chick

    O.C.Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Newport Beach, CA
    HELLLLP!! [​IMG]I'm a nervous first-timer on day 17 of incubation, ready to go into lock-down tomorrow. After searching many helpful posts, I still have a couple of questions, and hope you all can help![​IMG]

    1. I just weighed one of the eggs as a test, and it has already lost 14 percent of it's weight since setting. I have been keeping humidity between 45% and 50%, and temp between 99.5 and 100 degrees. Since 14% weight drop is on the dry end, I'm wondering what humidity you might recommend that I increase it to in lock-down??? Don't want those little guys getting stuck!!!

    2. When I remove my egg-turner, do I put paper towels or cheese cloth over the wire to protect the chicks?

    3. Do I just lay the eggs on their sides evenly spaced and hope they don't roll around, or should I support them somehow so they stay in place? Or, are they supposed to be able to move around when hatching?

    4. Should I put a tiny water bowl with marbles inside before lock-down
    , just in case some chicks hatch early? Then maybe I won't be tempted to open the lid and "help"...

    I know that everyone's conditions are different....I'm just hoping that some of you more experienced incubators can tell me what you would do....

    Thanks so much!!!!

    Alys
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Good questions!

    1. Hmm....I guess if it were me (I do the weight loss method as well, BUT - I take a random sampling and weigh several eggs, typically 1 for every 5, each hatch. It gives a better all-around survey of what the group of eggs lost), I'd increase humidity to 50-55 for today, and then go up to 70 tomorrow.

    2. No need to put anything over the wire.

    3. You CAN lay them on their sides; I put mine, fat end up, in a CLEAN (brand new) pulp egg carton. This seems to really help the hatch, because since the egg's not rolling, they can get a better position to push out. Also, they are not rolling the others around, which I've been told can disorient them.

    4. Chicks are just fine with no water or food for a full 3 days post-hatch, so no need for water in the bator for them.

    GOOD LUCK! I go on lockdown tonight! It will be a fun weekend! What are you hatching?
     
  3. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2666.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Ru

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    I locked the bator down at lunch today! [​IMG]

    Everything Wynette tells you is my experience as well. However, I put some of that thin foamy feeling shelf liner over my wire because my bator is homemade and that wire gave me fits. I don't want any of my chicks to get nicked on any of it.
     
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    OOOOH!!! Chicky Tocks!!!!! BEST of hatching vibes coming YOUR way as well! (I've never told you, but I LOVE your avatar, BTW!!)
     
  5. O.C.Chick

    O.C.Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Newport Beach, CA
    Thanks Wynette!

    If all goes well, I'll be hatching black and splash bearded silkies, and silver spangled Appenzeller Spitzhaubens for me and my neighbor (who I lovingly call "my enabler!). Although sadly, more than half of the silkie eggs had bacteria and quit developing. The Appenzellers are doing better. So, I'm down to 4 silkie eggs and 7 of the others that I'm hoping will pull through my inexperience!

    Good luck on your hatch and thanks so much for your advice!
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    You're more than welcome!

    Oh, I LOVE Spitzhaubens! Sorry about your Silkies, though...[​IMG]

    Hey, maybe you, me, and Chicky Tocks can keep each other updated in this thread!
     
  7. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2666.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Ru

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    Good luck to you too OC!! Do keep us posted with pics if you got em.

    I'm uber excited because I'm hatching [​IMG] Black Copper Marans and this is my second try at it. Nothing came from my first set of shipped eggs. It looks like I still might have 7 eggs developing well for me. And I have 1 frizzle that I'm excited about...and due on the 20th are six little serama eggies!

    hehe Wynette that Avatar happened on me from another BYC member. I was too tickled to get it.
     
  8. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
    Thank you for this thread O.C.Chick! I'm a nervous first-timer too - I'm officially on Day 18 at 8:30 this evening!

    Hopefully, on Saturday evening, I'll be hatching two Blue or Black Cochins that I received from BYC member PeepsInc!

    I started with 9 eggs - 3 were damaged from shipping (two broken air cells and a ruptured yolk), two never developed, one died sometime around day 7, and another died sometime between days 14 and 16 when it downpoured outside and I had a freakishly high humidity spike that I didn't manage to get back down to a comfortable 55% for about four days [​IMG]

    I candled the remaining two eggs this morning and they look great! One of them was even rocking in my hand! I'm crossing my fingers for these two guys - I won these eggs in a contest, so I'd feel bad if someone went through all the trouble to ship them to me out of their own pocket and then I failed to hatch any of them!
     
  9. O.C.Chick

    O.C.Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Newport Beach, CA
    Chicky, thanks for your advice and words of encouragement! And Wynette, Yes, I would love to hear how everything goes with both of your hatches. I'll be sending positive thoughts your way! [​IMG] Please keep me in the loop, and thank you both again!

    Alys
     
  10. O.C.Chick

    O.C.Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Newport Beach, CA
    Good luck to you too, Annarie! Let's wish one another beginner's luck!!!
     

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