Removing the hatched chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by natvinyl, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. natvinyl

    natvinyl Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi All. I have 20 eggs in my incubator (this is my first attempt) 3 hatched yesterday on day 19. The others are not even pipping yet. How long can the chicks stay in there? I read around 24 hours but opening it today to remove the chicks will surely have a negative effect on the yet unhatched eggs. Do I just leave them? How long before they need food and water? Thanks in advance. Nathan
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  2. Flutterbee

    Flutterbee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey Nathan, I've never done an incubator before, my hens usually hatch for me, but the chicks survive on the yolk from inside the egg and are good for about forty eight to seventy two hours without food (but they could eat a few hours after birth once they are dried off). I honestly think it depends on the incubator. If it's one of those huge ones where you can put in food and water, I think that is your best bet so long as it is away from the other eggs (you don't want the water spilling) otherwise I think it'd be alright to move them as long as no one else seems to be hatching.
     
  3. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Take them out now. The danger of opening the incubator is if an egg has pipped, you get a blast of dryer air and that can dry out the membranes and they get stuck. If no eggs are pipped, then it it fine to open the incubator and remove the ones that have hatched. You could add a paper or cloth towel in a small container with very warm water to boost the humidity back up quickly, but as long as the humidity is high enough already, it will recover quickly.

    I think there is a good chance none of the others will hatch, if you set them all at the same time. Mine all hatch, or at least the last ones are pipped, within 24 hours, especially the the same breed.

    Better to get the live ones out and into a brooder. Yes, they can survive up to 3 days, but they get a better start if they aren't force to do that.
     
  4. natvinyl

    natvinyl Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice :) they are actually 3 different breeds in the incubator. It's the Cream Legbars that have hatched. The Exchequer Leghorns and Lavender leghorns haven't done much yet. Will these probably not hatch or is it because they are a different breed? They were all started off at the same time. :)
     
  5. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mine often hatch a day early, in fact, I purposely incubate at 100 instead of 99.5 to try to get them to hatch a bit early rather than a bit late because I've heard the chicks are more vigorous if they hatch on-time or early. But hatching at day 19 means your temps might be a bit too high, perhaps your thermometer that you check/adjust with needs to be calibrated. I had a setting of duck eggs years ago that hatched several days early (and only 2 out of a lot of eggs). I later found my digital thermometer was off by like 2 degrees and I was really adjusting the temp to about 101.5.

    As for whether the others will hatch, all you can do is wait and see at this point. I do hope they hatch for you, those are some special eggs you got there.
     

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