Temporary incubator power loss after lockdown - opinions on moving eggs?

Ith

Hatching
Oct 19, 2020
2
2
5
Hello all - we're 7 months new to owning hens and have taken the dive into hatching our own. Our Brahma chicks are expected to hatch from 30 October 2020. They are currently in a Brinsea Mini Eco II Advance incubator with automatic turning (hourly) and we thought we'd try a cooling cycle of 60 minutes per day since day 9. I'd be interested in the opinion of the collective on the following situation!

Essential repairs will take place at our house w/c 26 October and we've been told by our energy provider that we will have a planned power interruption - most likely on what will be day 19, for up to five hours. This is not a guaranteed timeframe, so it would also be reasonable to anticipate that mains power may be on/off for very short periods at any point during working hours of that week. Evenings/overnight and weekends will not be affected. Not ideal for the home stretch, but we didn't know about the timing of the power disruption until after we were well on our way on this hatching journey. We are considering:

Option 1 - location A + move the incubator at day 17 (when repair work starts to avoid any power interruption). The new location is not in the current house, but is a 10 minute drive away and accessible 24/7 if required. The eggs will be seen daily, for most of the day. The 'unknown' is suitability of the overnight environment due to temperature stability. During the day it is habitable, but overnight the temperature will drop (likely below 10 degrees Celsius; no snow or ice as based in Cornwall, UK) and there is no central heating. There are no draughts. Lockdown as normal from day 18 (auto-turn and cooling stopped). Concerns: (i) overnight ambient environment temperature drop; (ii) extra handling - transporting eggs on day 17 plus day 18 removal of turning plate and final candling/weighing.

Option 2 - location B + move the incubator at day 18. Another possibility is setting up at a friend's house, also 10 minutes away. It will be accessible only once daily in the evenings to check eggs and humidity. There is no central heating here either, however the temperature will not drop as much (room specific heaters so more ambient heating) and will be more stable overnight. Concerns: (i) moving on day 18 - small risk of short power interruption (leaving in-situ day 17) vs handling eggs only once at point of lockdown and also not causing too much inconvenience to friend; (ii) better temperature vs fewer opportunities to manage any issues daily and around hatch day due to reduced access (also, friend doesn't know about chickens/incubators/hatching, so we need to manage everything); (iii) Covid-19 rules - our area is in the 'medium' risk tier (for those non-UK, this means that we are allowed to meet others indoors or outdoors in groups of <6 persons), but am conscious that this could change. Our friend is also in a higher risk category (but not presently shielded) and we are mindful of that.

We'd prefer option 1 at location A (much more convenient for access and to catch any issues, and if I'm being selfish I really do want to be there at hatch) and can potentially combine that with a move on day 18 instead of day 17. We have assumed that there will be no moving/handling after day 18. We have also considered purchasing an uninterrupted power supply, however have dismissed this as there are no affordable options that would cover the anticipated five hours of down-time. We don't have - or know of - any broody hens.

Has anyone who has dealt with an incubator move at point of lockdown have any advice? Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks in advance!
 

Muscovy Wunda

Crowing
Nov 5, 2018
2,114
7,792
407
Central West NSW Australia
I want to start with, what ever you choose to do, it's good enough. There's no crystal balling for this unfortunately. This is just my experience, but 5 hours isn't that long. Especially if its split up into smaller time frames. I've had 2 days in a row with 12hr outage in winter and eggs be fine. I've also had similar hours for outage during lockdown and eggs be fine. They generate their own little bit of heat at this stage. I myself would think its safer to leave them where they are. I know people wrap blankets around their incubator or sit in an insulated box to help retain heat but I'd only do this if you will be at home so can remove when powers back on and avoid fire. Best of luck with whatever you decide and happy hatching! :jumpy :jumpy
 

cmfarm

Crowing
May 3, 2010
1,460
479
261
Elgin, TX
I would do option 2. Not sure what kind of incubator you have but room temp can really effect the temp in your incubator. It sounds like option 2 would be warmer.
 

Ith

Hatching
Oct 19, 2020
2
2
5
I want to start with, what ever you choose to do, it's good enough. There's no crystal balling for this unfortunately. This is just my experience, but 5 hours isn't that long. Especially if its split up into smaller time frames. I've had 2 days in a row with 12hr outage in winter and eggs be fine. I've also had similar hours for outage during lockdown and eggs be fine. They generate their own little bit of heat at this stage. I myself would think its safer to leave them where they are. I know people wrap blankets around their incubator or sit in an insulated box to help retain heat but I'd only do this if you will be at home so can remove when powers back on and avoid fire. Best of luck with whatever you decide and happy hatching! :jumpy :jumpy
Thanks for your input - we went with your 'option 3' of leaving the incubator in situ. The four viable eggs have resulted in four healthy chicks. On top of everything, they actually hatched 24 hours earlier than expected. Now the joy of raising lockdown babies!!
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom