Question about timing of lock down

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by thegrovestead, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. thegrovestead

    thegrovestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Minnesota
    I have read some places that lockdown is the last 3 days of incubation. But I have also read that lockdown begins on Day 18. If that is days 18-21 inclusive, that would be 4 days on lockdown. So which is it?

    I am hatching my first time. I set my eggs on 2/3 so I'll be on day 21 next tuesday (today would be day 16). In terms of lockdown, what is the main idea there? I use sponges to maintain humidity and I'm concerned they won't last a full 3 days without drying out. Would it be better to not open the incubator or let the humidity fall during this lockdown period?

    Thanks!
    Rory
     
  2. chickengirl1230

    chickengirl1230 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello, it doesn't have to be the exact day. Sometimes I forget that they are about to hatch and turn them till they hatch and they are okay. I would say between day 18 and 20. It shouldn't drop the humidity too much I have to open mine about 4 times a day to turn them. Just try not to let it get too dry. Don't stress about keeping it too exact. People were telling me my humidity had to be in an exact range and mine was going up and down and I still had a successful hatch. Hope this helps and good luck ;)
    Taylor
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Day 18 is the usual day for lockdown. At lockdown you stop turning the eggs. (So they chicks can get into position better.) And up the humidity. (So they can hatch w/out getting shrinkwrapped in the shell. Chances are your sponges will need to be re wet. I use sponges as well during lockdown. I fill my water wells and add my three sponges. When I feel my sponges are getting too dry or my humidity is slipping, I crack my bator open grab out a sponge or two, wet it and slip it back in. I also keep my humidity at around 75% so I don't worry too much if I have to open the bator. Yes, it's better not to have to open the bator if you don't need too, especially if you have eggs that have pipped, but if you need to wet a sponge or something is going on that needs to be taken care of, you do it. Opening a bator does NOT mean something bad is going to happen. It CAN cause humidity to drop which in turn CAN attribute to an egg that has pipped shrink wrapping. This is how I relate to the paranoia of opening the incubator during lockdown: Every time I walk out of my house and get in my car I COULD get into an accident. I COULD hurt someone else or myself. That chance is always there. The more I go out and drive my car the higher the chance I have of something happening. It doesn't mean it will, it just increases the probability.
    The reason for not opening the bator is to keep from dropping the humidity. To not open it to wet a sponge or add water to keep the humidity up is no better than opening it IMO. Some people have come up with tools to add water w/o opening such as straws or tubing and syringes. I just don't worry that much. (Last hatch was 13/16. No major issues and using an LG styrofoam bator.)
     
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  4. thegrovestead

    thegrovestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Minnesota
    This is EXTREMELY helpful, thank you! I didn't know humidity was the main reason for lockdown. I have venting holes in the top of the incubator, i can just place the sponges beneath and use a straw like you mentioned to refill, then cover the holes back up.

    Follow up question, how sturdy does the floor need to be for the hatching process? I ask because I used a screen material wrapped over a frame. It has become loose over time so the eggs want to roll together in the center. I'm thinking for hatching there should be a perfectly flat surface to minimize obstructions. I could cut a piece of hardware cloth to add rigidity to the floor, or would there be something better?

    Thanks!
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the eggs will get jostled around no matter what you do once the chicks start hatching unless you take them out when they hatch, I leave mine in the incubator until they seem to be finished hatching, they climb all over the other eggs and usually move them around. Also if you have a smaller incubator like my Styrofoam one the humidity will raise quite high just from the wetness of the eggs once the chicks start breaking them open, I add water without sponges and once hatch starts the windows fog up to the point I cannot see in anymore
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I would definitely try to make it more sturdy and flat if possible so that when the chicks hatch they can get their feet under them w/o slipping or sliding and possibly causing themselves leg injuries. Your vent plugs should be out for hatch though to increase air flow and oxygen to the hatching chicks. I use a Little Giant and I don't even have the little red plugs anymore. I leave mine out for the whole incubation.
    With the first hatchling you should see the humidity rise a bit naturally.
     
  7. thegrovestead

    thegrovestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Minnesota
    Is 1/4-inch fencing (hardware cloth) good for flooring? or what would be better for little legs? Once they're out of the incubator i'll put them on pine shavings in a box.
     
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine came with 1/4 inch hardware cloth for a floor it has worked fine so far
     

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