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Not sure of days...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by katiec11, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. katiec11

    katiec11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2015
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    Ok so I'm doing my second ever incubation- first one was not very successful, only 3 babies hatched after setting 36 eggs(20 weren't fertile).

    I was using an old, cheap eBay incubator that I borrowed... This time I got myself a secondhand rcom new 20 :) loving it so far!!

    I am hatching pekin bantams...
    I put the eggs in on Wednesday I think this is day 0, Thursday is day 1 and so on... Is that right?
    And lockdown settings do I do it on day 18 or day 19 because I didn't count the eggs going in as day 1?? And when should I expend to see hatching- day 21??
    Sorry dumb questions but couldn't find simple answer anywhere.
    Really wanna get it right my last experience was pretty disheartening :(

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Lock-Down Period
    The last 2-3 days before the eggs hatch is a critical time! How do I do it correctly?
    There are two important things to do during the last 2-3 days of your hatch.
    First: stop turning the eggs. If you are turning the eggs by hand, just stop turning them. If you are using an automatic egg turner, remove the turner from the incubator, place the eggs on the wire mesh, and LEAVE THEM ALONE! This is the stage where the chick will move into its final hatching position.
    Second: you need to increase the humidity level in your incubator. During the last three days (the "lock-down" period), the humidity level should be increased to between 70-80%. For information about how to do this, see the section above on "Humidity Control".

    Be prepared for eggs to hatch early. With bantam eggs I would do the 3 days before hatching.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    An egg does not have a day’s worth of development two seconds or two hours after it’s put in the incubator. It takes 24 hours for it to have a day of development. So yes, when you put them in is zero, 24 hours later is “one”. We say Days but it might help to think of it as Days of Development.

    An easy way to check the math is that the day of the week you set them is the day of the week they should hatch. You set them on Wednesday, the 21 days of development are up on a Wednesday. Lockdown should be on a Sunday after 18 days of development.

    A complicating factor is that all that is theory, assuming a perfect egg in perfect conditions. Those don’t exist. There are a lot of different factors that cause an egg to be early or late: heredity, humidity, how and how long it was stored before incubation started, plus just basic differences in eggs. Size, porosity, or just how thick the white is inside the egg can alter when it hatches. One really big factor is average incubation temperature. If the incubator is a bit warm the egg can be early, sometimes a couple of days. If the average incubation temperature is a bit cool the eggs can be late. These are the ones that really worry us. The 21 days is a target, not something set in stone.

    Hatching is not an instantaneous process either. The chick has to do a lot of different things to get ready to hatch. Some do a lot of these things before external pip. These generally zip and pop out pretty quickly after pip. Some do a lot of this after external pip. These can take a long time to zip after they pip. Yes, these cause us to worry.

    The exact timing of lockdown is not hugely critical because of the differences in the eggs. Since different eggs lose moisture at different rates there is no perfect time for all eggs. You are looking more for an average. The egg needs to lose a certain amount of moisture so it can hatch, but there is a fairly large range of moisture that works. Thank heaven for that. People that weigh eggs to determine moisture loss are sometimes surprised by how much difference there is in individual eggs. You have to go by an average.

    A chicken egg does not really need to be turned after two weeks of development, but further turning doesn’t hurt. So as far as turning, the exact timing of lockdown isn’t important. But you want the moisture increased before the eggs external pip. That’s when you have the biggest danger from shrink-wrapping them, after they external pip. Since some eggs do hatch a couple of day early, lockdown three full days before the theoretical 21 days covers those. If they have lost enough moisture it doesn’t hurt the late hatchers.

    Most of the time with mine, whether under a broody or in an incubator, all the eggs that are going to hatch will hatch within a day or so of the first one. I’ve had that happen on Days of Development 21, I’ve had that happen on Day 19, even under a broody. I’ve also had some hatches drag on for over two full 24 hour days with a broody or in the incubator. Each hatch is unique.

    A lot more than you asked I know. You may have already known this but I’ll mention it anyway. Good luck on your hatch.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. katiec11

    katiec11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info- might start lockdown on the evening of the 18th day... Early lockdown won't really hurt will it??
     
  5. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It won't hurt.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. katiec11

    katiec11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Perth, Australia
    Thanks heaps @ridgerunner!
    Love how you have said days of development that makes so much more sense...
    I know I need to chill and let it do it's thing but don't want a repeat of what happened with my first incubation.
    I will keep you all posted with how I go :)
    Thanks again!!
     
  7. katiec11

    katiec11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Update... Half way through- getting excited!!!
    I set 30 eggs but after candling on day 7 only 11 seem to be fertile/developing. Hopefully they continue to grow strong :) hope the next half goes fast ;)
     
  8. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck with your eggs hatching. I have seven fertile eggs out of a dozen hatching (I hope) this coming weekend. Japanese bantams-my first attempt was bad luck. All the eggs had been damaged in shipping.
     
  9. katiec11

    katiec11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2015
    Perth, Australia
    How exciting! Let me know how you go- I love Japanese the chicks must be tiny and super cute!
    I just candled my eggs for day 14 and it's not looking good at all [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] maybe 2 [​IMG]
    I don't know where I'm going wrong! [​IMG]
     
  10. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check your thermometer and hygrometer readings. All to often the instruments give incorrect readings. Also, be sure to use your incubator in a room where the temperature does not fluctuate greatly as this will effect the temperature in many incubators.. These are all problems I have had with incubators in the past. Now, I use broody hens whenever possible. I keep my incubator set up in case something goes wrong with one of my hens; hasn't happened yet, but just in case.

    Neither of the hens that have Japanese eggs got off their nest this morning when I fed the birds, which is not their usual behavior. Normally they come off the nests to get some of the treats before they are gone. So I'm hoping that the eggs are starting to hatch.

    My guess is that your thermometer is not accurate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015

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