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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by swhite144, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. swhite144

    swhite144 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone, only just new to the forum. I have been incubating eggs and am now at day 18. I am having trouble raising the humidity in the incubator. Also the incubator itself seems to be callibrated differently, for 37.5 degrees i have to have the incubator set at 40. I know this as I have tried two different thermometers and they have given me the same reading so the incubator itself must be wrong. Any tips/hints for the next few days?
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    You can wet a couple sponges and add to the bator to help with humidity. I fill my water wells and add sponges at lock down and then when I need to boost humidity I quickly slide out the sponge and wet it and slide it back in instead of opening and filling the water wells.

    A good majority of people will tell you don't open the bator until hatch is over. My advice is use your best judgement. You don't want to open it if you don't have to, especially after they start pipping, but don't freak out if you really have to. I believe that the higher the humidity at lockdown the better. (I shoot for 75%).

    It's a long process. So be ready to do a lot of sitting on your hands and worrying and stressing wether they are going to hatch and then wondering if the chick is ok because it pipped 8 hours ago and hasn't done anything since. It's a wonderfully stressful experience that is worth it when you get to see your eggs hatch out cute little fluffly chicks.

    Usually you can figure about 24 hours between transitions. If you hear peeping from the inside shell then generally you should see the chick externally peep within the next 24 hours. Once they have externally pipped, then it can take another 24 hours for them to finish the job. As long as the membrane is nice white and papery and there is movement and cheeping, don't get worried. My experience the eggs averaged 12-18 hours before they hatched some less, some more.

    21 days is an average. Some hatch early, some late. GIve then a few days after the 21 mark before giving up if they haven't hatched. (When you set the eggs in the bator you didn't count the day you set as day one right? Day one started 24 hours after set.)

    That's all I can think of for lockdown tips. Good luck on the hatch and I hope you get lots of little fuzzies.
     
  3. swhite144

    swhite144 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your response.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’m glad you caught that on your incubator thermometer. Those things are unreliable. Although many incubator instructions say to not trust the thermometer they send with it, many people do and have real problems with their first hatch. You are way ahead of the game.

    I agree about opening the incubator during lockdown. It is possible that you can harm the chicks by opening the incubator after one has pipped, but it is also quite likely you will do no harm. I consider it good practice to not open the incubator during lockdown without a very good reason, but if there is a real need, go ahead and do it.

    I use this to add water to my incubator during lockdown without opening the incubator. I go in through a vent hole and can reach every reservoir with this. You can get the accordion straws a lot of places. Try to use a tape that water doesn’t bother. I got the syringe at Tractor Supply but there are other sources.

    [​IMG]

    Amylynn did not leave out a lot. A chick absorbs the yolk before it hatches so it can live for three days or more without any food or water. You don’t have to be in a hurry to get them out.

    That 21 days is a general theoretical target, often not hit in reality. There are many things that can cause an egg to hatch early or late, heredity, humidity, how and how long they are stored before they go in the incubator, and just general differences between each egg. A real big effect can come from average incubating temperature. If the incubator is averaging a bit warm, they can be early. If it is cool they can be late, maybe two or even three full days off.

    I’ve had hatches a full two days early under a broody hen and some right on time. I’ve had the same variation in my incubator. Many of my hatches, broody or incubator, are over within 24 hours of the first one hatching, some drag out more than two full days and nights. In a recent hatch I had one chick totally hatch a full 24 hours before another egg even pipped, then the other 22 came out with 24 hours. Each hatch is unique. Patience is usually your friend.

    Have your brooder set up and running about a day before you think you will use it. Bring it up to temperature and ensure it is working right before you need it.

    That’s about it. Hatch is a stressful time, not only your first time either but it gets better with practice. You are dealing with living animals so things don’t always turn out the way you want, but usually it does. Good luck!
     
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  5. swhite144

    swhite144 Out Of The Brooder

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    Day 21, still no movement :-(
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Don't get discouraged. 21 is just a number. Good vibes.
     
  7. swhite144

    swhite144 Out Of The Brooder

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    Would just be happy to see a bit of movement , very anxious lol
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Nothing yet? [​IMG] Come on little chicks get crackin'!
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    My first hatch I was so psyched. I had 18 that were just a moving in the eggs at lockdown. I was feeling pretty confident. Day 21 came and went as did day 22...it was either day 23 or 24 I finally had one pip. He was just about out when the second pipped. Unfortunetly the second one did not make it and after another day of eggs in the bator I finally gave up, dissapointed. I had one that needed a lot of atention being an only....lol So, I was grateful. I wasn't going to do a second hatch, but my son wanted to try so we agreed to one more try. I got three new thermometers and checked them all and found out that my thermometer for my first hatch (which was also new) was a good 6 degrees off!
    I am really glad that I did not give up as my next hatch was a complete success!
    So, don't give up and if it doesn't go good give it another try!
     
  10. swhite144

    swhite144 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hopefully I won't have to give it another try, still haven't lost hope.
     

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