Open lid in lockdown to remove hatcht chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Spitman, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Spitman

    Spitman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Ok I understand that we shouldn't open the door or in my case i have a very small round opening at the top of my hatcher , but my ? is why . Is it that we dont want to lose the humidity ? , or the small temp change ? , What makes the chick so vulnerable at that time? i pulled 3 chicks out yesterday and put them in brooder , then 2 hours later another one piped and hatched in 4 hrs . I dont lose much humidity it fell from 75% - 68% and the temp fell from 99.9 to 98.4 for only like 4 sec. So just wondering why do we (LOCKDOWN). It did not seem to bother the last chick that hatched for me .
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    That much of a humidity drop can dry out the yet unhatched chicks. The temptation to reach in is almost devilish, I know, but it is best to resist it. The hatched out chicks will be fine in the incubator for up to 2 days, there is no good reason to remove them.
  3. abbylane35

    abbylane35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2011
    Lodi, New York
    The humidity is the big thing, i guess, so the chicks don't dry out and stick to the shell. I usually end up taking chicks out once a day when they are hatching, but do it quick! The only reason I take them out is they get feisty in there and start crashing around. I know that if they were under a hen, this same type of thing would happen, but it drives me nuts. It doesn't seem to effect my hatch if I keep it quick [​IMG] and congrats on the new chickies![​IMG]
  4. Spitman

    Spitman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Quote:ya ok I have seen shrink rap in the past . I had a different system , and I dont want that for sure !! Im just saying that the last chick hatched perfectly and fast , clean healthy hatch. It was going on three days , the other 3 chicks hatched thursday night. Thats why I opened the lid and removed them. The last chick surprised me , no shrink rap or sickness just clean healthy chick.
  5. Spitman

    Spitman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Quote:Some people cant even get there humidity up to 68% I dont think that will dry them up mabey if it was 30-40 over longer period we are talking less then 2 min at 68%.
  6. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    As long as you open the bator, take out the hatched and fluffy chicks, and then close it back quickly, you should be fine. I had a staggered hatch - with chicks hatching over a five day spread. Whenever a chick was completely dry and fluffy, I'd reach in and take him out and put him in the brooder. The temp and humidity varied very little - and I had a great hatch rate. The bator was only open for a few seconds at a time. I think the lockdown thing is over-emphasized. Eggs under a broody hen aren't kept at an exact temp and humidity during the last three days. As long as you do it quickly, there should be no issue with opening the bator to removed hatched chicks. ETA: Just my opinion based on my experience. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is the humidity and not the temperature drop. Temperatures temporarily dropping during lockdown won't really affect the hatch unless you get ridiculous about it.

    What can happen is that the humidity CAN drop enough that a chick that has pipped dries out and gets stuck to the membrane. It is glued in position and cannot move to complete hatching. I've done it before. I know it CAN happen. I know you should not open the incubator during lockdown, but sometimes you have to deal with problems.

    Eggs that have not pipped are not very likely going to have this problem. The ones that have pipped are the ones mostly at risk. And not all eggs that have pipped will get stuck. For me, when I have opened the incubator, most don't get stuck, whether they have pipped or not. It is not something that happens to each and every chick each and every time. It is something that CAN happen, so many of us recommend you avoid doing something that CAN put your hatch at risk.

    Not all incubators are the same. Some lose humidity faster than others. Some regain humidity faster than others. Some of us haved drier conditions in the room or something else that causes the humidity in the incubator to drop quicker than others.

    I know I am shouting by capitalizing CAN, but many people seem to think that because they violated it and got away with it the recommendation is always rubbish. Like a whole lot of other recommendations on this forum, they are things that CAN happen, not absolutely will each and every time. They are intended to improve your odds, not guarantee success if you follow them to the letter and not guarantee total absolute failure each and every time if you don't follow them exactly. Some people take these things as guarantees. They are not. They simply improve your odds of success.
  8. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Yinepu has opened the bator over a dozen times during hatches and had no problem.
    I broke lockdown twice in one recent spell and had 100% hatch.

    If you actually consider the very short time bator is open as against the amount of heat stored up in the eggs and bator structure itself, AND the fact that all the humidity isn't just gonna go flying out, AND the length of time a moist shell membrane would need to be exposed to low, low humidity to become impenetrable...

    there are very good reasons to consider the 'inviolability' of lockdown pretty overstressed, in fact.

    Especially if you have a unit small enough that it can recover the slight temp and RH loss quickly.

    I used a hovabator as hatcher. the temp and rh drops were so shortlived that i could almost consider them as--sort of--not happening.

    And if you have a great Octagon................they recover in seconds.....................

    so as i said.....................good reasons to consider it quite overstated..........................and this from real life experience.

    Of course, not all have the same experience, but from TX to MA what i have stated is true
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

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