Trying to keep chicks separate but they are jumping the separators - can i open incubator and take c

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wahmommy, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About 6 out of 8 marans chicks have hatched, and only 1 ameraucana out of five that made it to lockdown. I really want the other ameraucanas to hatch so I want to be careful not to accidentally shrink wrap any chicks.

    That said I also want to see if any of the unhatched eggs have pipped (I can't see all around the egg) but it looks like they haven't. I don't want to open the incubator but with the chicks trying to jump over I am also worried they might get burned on the heating element... I am on day 21 for two more hours...

    I have a hygrometer, so I could steam up the bathroom and make sure it was high enough to be higher than what's in the incubator...

    The reason I want to use the bathroom and not just mist, is it might take me 30 seconds to get the chicks out AND some of the separators out (it was hard to put the top back on the incubator because the little corrals I put in there make it a bit difficult to get the top back on without finessing it a bit.

    I am following Bill Worrell's advice on dry hatching, and he says DON'T OPEN THE INCUBATOR FOR FIVE WHOLE DAYS but I assume he wasn't hatching kangaroos disguised as marans...

    Thoughts?
     
  2. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brooder is ready and I just did a test and I can get my bathroom to 72% humidity (higher than the incubator). When DH comes back from his game I'm going to take out the ones that have fluffed up out and tag them to ID, do a quick check on the eggs that are in there (check for pips). There's a power outletright on the counter so I should be able to do this without jeopardizing the unhatched eggs.. let me know if anyone out there feels or knows differently. I know I have to be careful so that the water in the trays doesn't slosh around too much when I move the incubator.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Take the chicks out quickly, let the humidity recover and then go back for the separators? It'll be less hassle than carrying the incubator around.
     
  4. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Sumi :)

    Yes, but I need time to tag each chick and I also wanted to take a look at the eggs that hadn't hatched...they are in egg cartons so if they've pipped in the wrong place I wouldn't be able to tell.. although that would probably be a moot point since they wouldn't make it anyway right?

    I just know that at my kids school when they opened the incubator even if it was for a second to take out a chick, they ended up shrink wrapping chicks. I would rather deal with the inconvenience of moving it. I won't try and move it myself I would wait for my husband to get home so we can do it together carefully. Is there any downside to my plan other than the hassle of it?
     
  5. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, when I went into lockdown it took me a couple of minutes to get the lid closed because it didn't want to close with the separators in there... so that's another reason for the shower solution. I don't want to be fussing with trying to get the top closed over the separators I have to leave in there...
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Hmm, that does put a different spin on things. I'm starting to think the bathroom would be a good idea after all. Maybe I'm just lucky (to some extend), but I've opened the incubator a few times and I didn't have shrink wrapped chicks. (Touching wood here LOL) I cannot remember where I read about someone doing what you are planning, moving the 'bator to the bathroom and someone replied and said it's not a good idea. Something about icky water? Oh man, I can't remember! I read too many posts... Take the water out before you move it? [​IMG] Either way, keep an eye on the temperature while you're fiddling with the chicks and the cartons and the separators and keep me posted. I'm curious about this bathroom idea. Good luck!
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Off topic question: what eggs are those in your avatar? I love those colours!
     
  8. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These are the eggs I am/was incubating... the darker ones are Black Copper Marans and the blue ones are Wheaten Ameraucanas :) I love these colors too, that's why I'm trying to hatch them - :)

    I went ahead and moved them into the bathroom with the shower going the whole time, it was about 70% humidity, close to what the incubator had going. I pulled out all the chicks except one that hatched last night- I wasn't convinced they had fluffed up enough. Also I figured it can't hurt to have one chick chirping in there to encourage the eggs that are still in there. I checked the eggs that hadn't hatched, no pips. All felt heavy and warm. I don't know, its day 22 so I'm hoping for more hatches but I think a lot of mine hatched early (temps running on the high side of 95.5 maybe) so I'm a bit worried that I won't have any more chicks. But the ones I have a pretty cute :) Still only one Ameraucana hatched out of 13 eggs, and it was a textbook incubation and the majority of the local eggs hatched. So I think I did the best I could considering they were shipped eggs.

    Regarding the dirty water, I also put the small table the incubator is on onto a towel and dragged it across the room instead of picking it up -I only picked it up to take it into the bathroom and put it on the counter. I also (overkill) put a level on top so I would be aware of when I was tipping it when I picked it up.
     
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I want chickens that lay nice coloured eggs too. So I'm researching. [​IMG] You can test the viability of your remaining unhatched eggs by doing the float test. Take a bowl and fill it with warm (100*) water, gently place the eggs in there, one by one and see if it wiggles or moves. Or you can just do what I do and hold the egg against your ear and tap it with your fingernail. If there's a live chick in there it'll tap back or move around so you can hear it. I love doing that!
    If it's day 22 there is still hope. I've had late bloomers hatch under a hen on day 23 and one last peep on day 25! I moved the hen and the chicks to the chick pen and looked at the remaining eggs and saw, oh poo, here's an egg pipped! I put her under the heat lamp and watched her hatch. She zipped that egg so fast and tried to stand up 5 minutes after getting free of the shell. Like she was saying "Hang on! I'm coming!" LOL She's now a beautiful hen who lays very well and everyone wants to buy her, because she's so pretty. I just love her to bits.
     
  10. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you - I think I will leave it for a bit - my humidity was at 40% when I woke up this morning so I quickly added water without opening the incubator with aquarium tubing through a vent, but since they haven't pipped I think it was still okay- but now I want to go tap on the shells to see if anyone is still alive in there! I wish I'd known that when I had the incubator in the bathroom, I would have tried it then... now I think I better leave well enough alone. Well here's hoping I've just got a few late bloomers! Thanks Sumi [​IMG]

    PS my favorites are welsummers (speckled eggs) marans (dark solid or speckled eggs) ameraucanas (blue eggs) and easter eggers (you name it they lay it- but mostly shades of green and blue- I have two EEs and they both lay a greeny khaki colored egg.
     

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