Staggered hatch - need help

zxsaaaw

In the Brooder
Sep 6, 2019
29
20
31
Hi,
I am a newbie and accidentally started a staggered hatch. They are four days apart, and the first batch has 2 live eggs, whereas the second has 5 (eggs were delivered and in the first batch 4 were delivered dead). The first batch is on day 14, and the second is on day 18. The eggs seem fine so far (except for saddle air-cells in some), growing rapidly, and I am candling them maybe too often and monitoring their growth. Yesterday I saw a little chick jumping about and I think I saw a leg too.
I'm scared that I kept the humidity too high at points during the incubation (65%) - the air cells seem OK and not too small, but I am not sure. Two days ago, I lowered the humidity to around 35% to counteract the higher humidity, and the air cells seem to have grown a bit.
Now, I don't know whether to start lockdown now or in a couple of days. I don't want my eggs to die, as many have saddle air-cells so have a lower chance anyway. My gut instinct is telling me to start lockdown now and continue turning the 5 eggs in the second batch until day 18, but this would require me to open the incubator for about 30 seconds every couple hours, which apparently is bad, and would also mean I would have to raise the humidity. My logical side is telling me to start lockdown later, since 5 eggs are more valuable than two, but I really don't want to do this if early lockdown won't really affect the 5 eggs, and also since I have become attached to my tiny blue and little brown speckled egg.
(as a side note, is the Welsummer the only chicken that will make a medium-brown speckled egg?)
I would love any information you guys might have.
Thanks
 

starri33

Crowing
Feb 28, 2016
1,404
4,094
407
Golden Valley AZ
do you have a second incubator? a lot of the ladies here have 2, one for the first 18 days and one for the lock down period, this way they can do the staggered hatch, if you don't have a second one, You tube has a lot of video's about diy's.
 

zxsaaaw

In the Brooder
Sep 6, 2019
29
20
31
do you have a second incubator? a lot of the ladies here have 2, one for the first 18 days and one for the lock down period, this way they can do the staggered hatch, if you don't have a second one, You tube has a lot of video's about diy's.
I don't have a second one and I don't think I can make a DIY since I only have 1 working thermometer
 

cmfarm

Crowing
May 3, 2010
1,492
514
281
Elgin, TX
I would continue turning the other eggs over the next few days. Opening the incubator quickly a few times a day won't hurt them. They aren't as delicate as everyone makes them out to be.
 

zxsaaaw

In the Brooder
Sep 6, 2019
29
20
31
I would continue turning the other eggs over the next few days. Opening the incubator quickly a few times a day won't hurt them. They aren't as delicate as everyone makes them out to be.
OK thanks I will try this and let you know how it goes!
 

zxsaaaw

In the Brooder
Sep 6, 2019
29
20
31
Just leave the humidity lower until the first pip.
Shutting down the turner now won't hurt the others.
This is another part of the issue though - my incubator is a small manual-turner, so opening it drops the humidity by about 20%. This morning, I opened it for 5 seconds to turn the 5 later eggs, and it dropped to 45% from 65%. I added a piece of warm, wet cloth to make up for this. I have stopped turning the first 2 eggs, but I wouldn't be able to change the humidity as they hatch as I would have to open the incubator. Do you think I should just stop turning all the eggs, and keep the humidity high now, so that I won't have to open the incubator any more? 5 eggs would be in lockdown three days early, but it would make sure the first two won't get shrink-wrapped during hatching.
 

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