Newbies first hatch using a bator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ZoeysBirds, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all. Ive received excellent advice and info so far using byc so I figured I'd come back for more. Tomorrow will be day 15 of incubation. I've very excited that we're in the home stretch but also very nervous about lockdown. Somewhat confused. I know I need to keep humidity up but was also told to absolutely not open the bator after lockdown until chicks are hatched and dry. Ok, that's fine but how do I keep adding water as needed if I cannot open? I also candled today an 2 of the eggs appear that they may have quit. How can you be sure at this stage? Both had nice healthy air sacs, one had a much smaller embryo then the rest, and the other was bigger but still on the small side. I've read that you shouldn't be able to see much at this point. Most of my other eggs were just dark masses and I could see them moving inside. These 2 didn't move. I really want to candle them again but I'm afraid of handling them too much and at the same time, worried if I leave dead eggs in there it could ruin the rest of my hatch. Any Advice would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's a pic of one that I think quit. Again, this is a day 14 egg
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I would have to agree as I see no veining at all and it looks like blood ring around it -could be the lighting, but it doesn't look right to me.
    As for the humidity, you can relax. People differ on this process. Guess what, I open my bator during lockdown if I have to. The most important part is not opening if you have chicks that have pipped. At lockdown I fill my water wells and add a couple (actually three) wet sponges to my bator. This way, I can lift the lid (I use a little giant) grab out the sponge and lower the lid back down, wet the sponge and stick it back in. I don't even worry about the water wells now during lockdown/hatch.
    Once they start hatching if you open the bator and your humidity drops there is a chance of shrink wrapping the chickens in the eggs that have pipped. the more it's opened, the higher the chance you'll have of causing problems for the hatching chicks.
    Not everyone leaves the chicks in until the end of the hatch either. It's a personal choice and you have to weigh what's comfortable for you. My bator holds the humidity well and a quick open does not significantly drop my humidity.
    So yes, not opening leaves a smaller margin for problems during lockdown and hatch, but it's not the end of the world (or your hatch) if you need to either as long as it's quick and isn't significantly dropping the humidty. :)
     
  4. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. That puts me a little more at ease. I've noticed when I'm candling, I'm always quick when opening the bator and haven't lost more then a degree in temps and humidity pretty much stayed the same. I've heard of using sponges to help increase humidity and not have to add water as often. I have a few fresh ones so I might try that myself so I hopefully don't need to open after first pips
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    This is how I add water to the incubator without opening it. I got the syringe at Tractor Supply. The straws are the accordion straws. I go in through a vent hole. I know it is hard to do right now with your first hatch, but try to relax. You’ll be OK. Many of us have been through the first hatch and survived.

    Yes at 14 days that eggs is no good. The others sound like they are as they should be. Looks like you are well on your way to getting chicks. You can take those eggs out if you wish but it is not critical. The reason eggs go bad and explode is that bacteria gets inside them and multiplies. It doesn’t matter if the egg is fertile or not or if a chick is developing in there. If bacteria gets inside it will multiply. You can normally tell by smell. That rotten egg smell is pretty powerful. But if bacteria does not get inside it will not go bad and explode. I normally candle at 18 days just before lockdown and remove any eggs that look like that just to give more room in the incubator. I don’t bother to candle if the eggs are under a broody hen.

    It won’t hurt if the temperature and humidity temporarily drop in the incubator when you open it during incubation. Instantaneous air temperature and humidity are not going to have an effect on an egg before it pips. It’s average incubating temperature and average humidity that are important. The egg is too dense to instantly cool off and the shell does not allow it to instantly dry out. Late in incubation the chick is generating a lot of heat anyway. The problem in the commercial incubators where they might have 60,000 eggs at a time is getting the excess heat out late in incubation so they don’t cook themselves. In warm weather a broody hen may leave her nest for over an hour at a time without any bad effects on the eggs. In cold weather that may only be 15 minutes, but the point is that you don’t have to be in a hurry. The eggs can take it.

    It is possible after an egg external pips that you can shrink wrap a chick by opening the incubator and letting the humidity out. But just because it is possible does not mean it will happen each and every time. Most of the time you can open the incubator without any bad effects, even after the egg has pipped. If I need to open the incubator after an egg has pipped to take care of an emergency I will, but it is good practice to not open the incubator unless you ae a good reason.

    As an aside, don’t get too hung up on the 21 day thing. That’s a target but in reality a lot of eggs hatch early or late, sometimes two or more days early or late. There are a lot of different reasons for that. The hatch may be over within 24 hours of the first chick pipping. The hatch may be spread out over more than 2 full days. The chicks absorb the yolk so they can live for three days or more without food or water after hatch so don’t get in a panic in getting them out.

    Another thing. Make sure you are counting your days correctly. The target is 21 days of development. That means Day 1 of development is complete 24 hours after you put the eggs in the incubator. An easy way to check your counting is that the day of the week you started the egg sis the day of the week the 21 days is up. If you started them on a Monday, they should hatch on a Monday. That is a real common mistake on this forum.

    Sounds like you are doing OK. Good luck!
     
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  6. ZoeysBirds

    ZoeysBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Michigan
    Thank you! That was a lot of excellent info. The very first day I set them I did count that as day one but was quickly told that day 1 isn't until 24 hours after set. So yes, I set them 2 weeks ago yesterday and they're due to hatch this coming monday. Provided no one comes early or late as you said. I didn't know it could be up to 2 days earlier or later tho. I thought it was a day give it take. So from the first pip, that egg could take up to 24 hours to completely hatch? Also, I know it's never good to help a chick hatch but is there ever and instance that you should? I'm hoping nature will just take its course and do what is supposed to happen, but I also know me and if a chick seems distressed, I'm gonna fight myself to not help save it. One of my eggs may be twins too
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    It sure can take that long. Most of mine are at least 12 hours after pip and some between 18-24 hours. :) There's a lot going on in there after they pip. They have to rest, (they've done a lot of work at this point that we don't realize), they have to absorb all of the yolk sac and the veins in the membrane need to dry and receed. This link: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching in my opinion is an absolute neccessary read. It helps understand what's going on and why it's important to not be too quick to assist and if you feel it is neccessary the correct way to go about it. My 11 week old roo was actually hatched at day 24. He was the only survivor of a bad hatch due to a faulty thermometer.
    My last hatch-out of 13 I assisted two. One that was very malepositioned and was not going to do more than it's original pip w/o help, and he is a frisky healthy almost 5 week old roo. The other assist was a turken that appeared to just be "shrink wrapped" but apparently had other issues as it had extreme pasty butt after hatch that I could not clear up and even though the first week she seemed to be doing well, she turned and we lost her a couple days after she hit a week old. So even if you can successfully help sometime there's more going on than we can see and still loose them.
    Good luck with your hatch!
     

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