Seeking lockdown & hatching info

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Want Less, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Want Less

    Want Less Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    We are on our last week of our first incubation (17 eggs still in) and Thursday will be day 18. Lock down day, right?

    I'm trying to prepare myself... [​IMG]

    1. Lock down means no opening incubator at all? (Can I open quickly to add water if needed?? If not, I have a Brinsea Octagon 20, how to I add water if needed without opening lid?)

    2. Need your nest tips & tricks for raising the humidity in a Brinsea 20!

    3. When we start seeing signs of hatching... when do you interfere? What issues to look for that need help? How long until you open incubator and start retrieving chicks?

    Actually, any and all advice for a first timer is very welcomed since I tend to be a Nervous Nelly about things like this. Links? Pictures? Videos? Love? Wine? Will gladly accept all of the above...
  2. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    I know nothing about Brinsea 20 but ill try to help anyway.

    1. Lockdown means you just let the eggs go and not bother them. No turning, no touching, just leave them alone. Only open the incubator to add water. That is fine. Don't keep the incubator open longer than 30 minutes.
    2. Its hard to get the humidity to a certain percentage. If you find it hard to reach the 60%, try increasing the surface area of water. This can be done by adding we paper towels or sponges. You can also try putting in warm water. Warm water will evaporate or humidify faster. Just don't let the humidity drop drastically and you'll be okay.
    3. So first you'll probably hear some peeping. Then you might see a little pinhole or crack in your egg. This is the first pip. At this point, the chick usually takes a couple hours for a break. Don't panic this is normal. The chick will then slowly start zipping the egg. Literally meaning it will create a crack or zipper like hole on the outer edge of the shell. At this point the chick will take another break. It will then try and push the top right off the end of the egg. Once this happens it will keep trying to push out. This can take from a couple minutes to a couple hours. Keep in my from the time of the first pip to actually coming out of the egg can take from an hour to 48 hours. All depends on the chick.

    When to worry or get antsy:

    Since i raise my chickens for fun/hobby i will help them out if they absolutely need it. Occasionally when i see the first pip i wait around 12 hours. If no other changes occurs, i will wiggle the egg to "wake up" the chick to get it moving. This usually kicks it in the butt and gets them to start zipping the egg.

    Depending on you humidity, the zipping and pushing off the top of the egg is a crucial part. If your incubator is too dry, the membrane around the chick can dry out before the chick is able to get out. The chick will then get stuck and die in the egg. If you see the chick is stuck, you can gently crack some of the shell to help it out. This is usually discouraged since if the chick is not strong enough to get out of the egg, it isn't strong enough to live and will likely die before it matures. This is just an opinion. Im against it since i don't really care how strong my chickens are. I just like them to look at and lay eggs.

    By all means if you see a pip and no other activity for a day or so go ahead and crack it open and see if the chick is still alive. Once again you technically shouldn't do this but you waited 20 some days for this so you might as well.

    If you don't see any pips by day 24, crack the eggs open and see where the incubation went wrong. This gives you some idea how to change your incubation technique for next time.

    Good luck.
  3. Want Less

    Want Less Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    Thank you so much for the info! We are excited and ready for hatching this weekend. Going to be a long few days!! [​IMG]
  4. cva34

    cva34 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Van Vleck ,TX
    Welll Said...cva34
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If you have the small tubing, you can run it through the hole on the right hand side, down through to the paper below the fan.

    I bought the advance EX (you can still buy that to add to your bator) and it automatically adds the water with a pump.

    For my New Year's Day Hatch, I hatched out 18 of 19 at lockdown. I don't ever open the bator until there are a goodly number of chicks out and eggs without pips.

    I kept my humidity at 67% for the last three days.


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