Newbie to this incubating and hatching thing - HELP

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TarHeelBlue, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. TarHeelBlue

    TarHeelBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    I've been reading all your posts - which have been very helpful by the way - so thanks. Here is my dilemma. I was told by several people (who state they hatch chickens/ turkeys all the time) that you can candle eggs at any time and it won't hurt them, even in the final few days. Now I see many of you stating that "lockdown" is at 18 days. Have I been wrong to take them out and candle them??? Have I hurt my hatch??? Gee, I just want to find the right information and stick with it. I hope I haven't harmed the chicks that are still viable. I only kept them out of the incubator for a few seconds, and the temp dropped a slight bit (maybe a degree or two) and came back up fairly quickly)
  2. Robo

    Robo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    It is not good to candle in lockdown, but I don't think you hurt them unless you do it more than once per day. [​IMG]
  3. kelseygirl707

    kelseygirl707 Dances with Chickens

    Mar 3, 2009
    Lakeport, Ca.
    Well, in the last 3 days of incubation you are not supposed to open the incubator as it lets out the humidity and could cause the membraine inside the egg to shrinkwrap around the chick, making it impossible for the baby to move into hatch position. So with that said, just keep the bator closed from now on, make sure the humidity is where it is supposed to be and let them do their work, lol. But from day 1-18 you can candle anytime, although some say each time you candle you introduce bacteria from your hands to the egg, but I say Horse hocky, I candle almost daily up until day 18 and have great hatches!
  4. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    Many different opinions. Some say suchandsuch works best for them, others say soandso works better for them.

    The consensus is lockdown is lockdown. No opening the lid or touching the eggs at all. Some say it is nonsense, though. They opened the bator and they still got a good hatch rate.

    I just did a set of 8 eggs. Followed lockdown to a tee. Three pipped, one died before zipping, the other two died withen days. Did I do something wrong? Who knows.

    Gather what info you can and weed through it. [​IMG]
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    The problem with handling them in lockdown is not the heat but the humidity. It is called shrink-wrapping a chick. Especially if they have pipped, when you open the incubator the humidity can drop in a hurry. The membrane inside the egg dries out, shrinks, and puts a real tight coccoon around the chick. They cannot hatch that way. It does not happen each and every time, but I have done it. It does happen.

    Have you harmed your hatch? I don't know. You've reduced the odds of gettting a good hatch, but how those odds play out in your specific case, I don't know. It is not that you have absolutely hurt your hatch, but you may have.

    It is called lockdown because for all intents and purposes, you shuld consider the incubator locked until the hatch is over.

    You'll find that most of the advice on this forum are not a hard and fast laws of nature. They are guidelines intended to improve your odds of things going well for you. They are not guarantees of failure or guarantees of success.
  6. TarHeelBlue

    TarHeelBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Thanks to you all for the advice!!! When I have candled the eggs, I haven't completely opened the bator, just enough to reach in grab an egg and close. The humidity dropped, but was back up quickly. I sure hope I haven't done anything to harm these little ones, but from now on this won't happen. You have all been great and any and all advice is soooo appreciated.
  7. RedneckChikns

    RedneckChikns Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2011
    Plant City, FL
    I like to weed thru the duds between days 5 and 10...then no more candling. Your nose will usually know if something is amiss and just wait till you tocuh that explosive bad stinky egg! YICK! But Ive also opened during lockdown to help a struggling chick etc....and cant really see a huge difference in my hatch rates.
  8. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:I agree with this. I've candled before on Day 18 but only those that I'm iffy about on Day 10. If I can't really tell what's going on I will look at the air cell before putting it in lockdown. 9 times out of 10 I still end up putting it in unless it's a definite no go. I have also opened during lockdown to help chicks and remove chicks (two no-nos but I am a rule breaker by nature lol). I have noticed no difference in my hatch rates by doing this. My last hatch I woke up and found my humidity at 46% on day 20. I panicked thinking I had killed them all. Nope, later that day and the next 2 beautiful little Naked Neck mutts hatched on their own. I am starting to believe these little things are a lot tougher than we think.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

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