Time Sensitive Hatch Question


11 Years
Mar 13, 2008
Hi, I just found this site last night when I googled "chirping in the egg"! The posts in this forum are so helpful!

My son and I are incubating 11 banty eggs (our first time, trying to enrich the life of a hiIQ, ADHD underachiever), and it is day 20. They've been chirping since yesterday, and we've got 3 with pips as of 5 minutes ago. 2 days ago I added extra water, and last night I quickly added a wet washcloth after reading this site (we have nothing measuring humidity).

This morning I saw a small amount of white sludge growing in a water trough! I am horrified the chicks might (please G-d) hatch in there and be breathing and walking around near that "growth". What should I do? I've thought about heating my oven to warm, preheating a pan and lining it with washcloths and a bowl of water, and moving all eggs to there for a few minutes while I clean out the incubator-but darn it that would totally blow the temp control in the incubator!

Should I just leave it and see if anyone hatches and then move them out quickly as soon as they are dry?

TY to anyone who replies. The temptation to DO SOMETHING is overwhelming, but like birthing babies maybe the real key is to just sit back and wait??
I'm not sure about the growth. I don't know how long it will take you to clean it. Sticking the chicks in the oven seems wrong on so many levels I don't even want to think about it. I've only hatched one batch myself but remember, even a mother hen leaves her eggs for a short time to eat and relieve herself. I'd say just be quick about it and close the incubator back up. Carefull what you use to clean though. You wouldn't want to poison them.
Do you have hard water? Are you maybe just seeing sediment? Is there hardware cloth between the water dish and hatching eggs, or will the chicks actually be standing in it?
At this point in the game I personally would not mess with the incubator. The only way I would try to fix the contamination is if you could somehow remove the trough and clean it with minimal amount of moving the eggs around. Although, I am always surprised at the hardiness of the eggs and even the newly baby chicks.
Well, I did temporarily remove the eggs to a warm pan and clean off the grate and troughs (hovabator). Took about 5 minutes.

Then I took a shower and did housework.

I returned to find a chick! I'm a little concerned about it, because while it is kicking, moving, breathing, and preening a bit-it hasn't stood up and it's been ~ 15 minutes since I found him. Nothing I can do I guess but see how it does.

If I had more time to upload a photo to a hosting site, I'd post a pic of him!
It can take a little while - sometimes several hours before they start walking around. he needs a rest - it's been a long day for that little chicky!

Good luck with the rest of the hatch
TY for your advice and info. today,Friday, we have 6 happy chicks in their brooder and 1 still chirping in the egg

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