New To Baby Chicks

KB0508

In the Brooder
Jun 1, 2020
4
11
24
I am just getting started with my first baby chicks. I have five in the incubator. Two hatched last night around 10:30pm and one around 5:30am this morning. With two eggs in the incubator with no external signs of hatching. I did see some rocking this morning out of one egg. When I candled at day 17, baby chicks were present and looked good in all eggs. Today is day 21. Any advice--how long do I leave the eggs(I have read anywhere from 23-25 days)? How long do I leave the chicks? I know they can't stay in there too long without food and water, but is it better to take them out early before the other eggs show external signs or wait to encourage them to hatch. Again, any advice is appreciated.
 

kelseyk

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Apr 11, 2017
1,026
4,450
506
SW Nebraska
I would leave the eggs in there until at least day 23. And I personally would go ahead and take the hatched chicks out. They can live for 3 days in the incubator without food and water, but to me they always seem hungry after 24 hours. They also seem to knock the unmatched eggs a lot.
 

KB0508

In the Brooder
Jun 1, 2020
4
11
24
Thank you for your advice. I thought maybe it would be best to go ahead and take them out but I just wasn't sure. I did decide to take them out (after I saw your response last night-didn't have a chance to answer back) but to wait until they were all 24 hours old, which was this morning. Now I have an egg with small hole on the outside of the shell. Any experience with this? I guess that means I will have to wait until at least that egg hatches before I remove the chicks??? Would you still open the incubator and take them out or wait? I have read you aren't supposed to.
 

Offshoreorca

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
977
3,653
296
Nova Scotia
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you for your advice. I thought maybe it would be best to go ahead and take them out but I just wasn't sure. I did decide to take them out (after I saw your response last night-didn't have a chance to answer back) but to wait until they were all 24 hours old, which was this morning. Now I have an egg with small hole on the outside of the shell. Any experience with this? I guess that means I will have to wait until at least that egg hatches before I remove the chicks??? Would you still open the incubator and take them out or wait? I have read you aren't supposed to.

If the other eggs are externally pipped (like you described) you should wait if you can. Keep the incubator nice and dark so the other chicks rest and don't move around too much. If they are super active, I have been successful grabbing them out of the incubator without harming the other hatching eggs. You just have to be really fast, only go in once quickly, and have an incubator that keeps humidity and temperature steady (and recoups fast) or you risk shrink-wrapping the hatching chick. They should be fine to leave in if they're kept in the dark. What kind of incubator do you have?
 

kelseyk

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Apr 11, 2017
1,026
4,450
506
SW Nebraska
If the other eggs are externally pipped (like you described) you should wait if you can. Keep the incubator nice and dark so the other chicks rest and don't move around too much. If they are super active, I have been successful grabbing them out of the incubator without harming the other hatching eggs. You just have to be really fast, only go in once quickly, and have an incubator that keeps humidity and temperature steady (and recoups fast) or you risk shrink-wrapping the hatching chick. They should be fine to leave in if they're kept in the dark. What kind of incubator do you have?

⬆️ Ditto this. If you find you need to open the incubator to grab the chicks, you can also use a spray bottle and mist the inside of the incubator to bring humidity back up quicker.
 

KB0508

In the Brooder
Jun 1, 2020
4
11
24
My incubator is a NutureRight 360. I did end up taking the chicks out. They were quite active with the three of them in there. The poor egg was getting kicked all over. I quickly got them out and the humidity was only down a few seconds and was right back up. The chick hatched about an hour and a half ago. Thank you for your advice.
 

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