What is the point of "Lockdown"?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Squawkbox, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Songster

    Dec 25, 2011
    I'm having a hard time grasping the concept of lockdown and why it is important. When a hen is sitting on eggs and it comes down to "lockdown time", she doesn't raise the humidity to 70 (or whatever) and obviously in the last 3 days she has to get up and eat/relieve herself..so why is lockdown important? Wouldn't the chicks get shrinkwrapped when she got up and the air reached them? So then why can't I open the bator considering I already have a ton of vents open, what is the difference?[​IMG]
    Can someone please explain this, as I am confused.

  2. SherrieT

    SherrieT Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Barrington, RI
    I've been wondering this also

  3. Glenmar

    Glenmar Songster

    Jan 17, 2011
    I heard that when the hen feels the babies moving and realizes that they are hatching, she will not get off of them.
  4. DCasper

    DCasper Songster

    Jan 13, 2012
    Benton, KY
    I was wondering the same thing.
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    The environment under a hen in a coop and subjected to weather patterns is vastly different than the air and temp inside the house and inside the incubator. The blast of air the comes through the incubator is different than when a hen rises off the nest. In Spring/Summer.. she may be hopping off the nest in 92 degree humid as heck weather. In the house when you open the lid, it'll be dry a/c at about 70 or so. Cold enough and fast enough air to shrink wrap a pipped chick in the incubator with the sudden change.

    Incubation do's and don'ts are subject to environment and conditions. "Lockdown" is fool proof regardless... the eggs don't need turned, it can make it more difficult on the chicks to shift around. Humidity keeps the membrane moist to avoid stuck chicks that can't shift in the egg well when it dries out. The heating element of an incubator is very drying.. not so under a broody. Leaving the lid shut and not opening it (thus the term lock down) ensures that you won't send a cold, dry blast of room temperature air in that could shrink wrap the membrane around the chick.

    Different methods have different guidelines... with a broody you don't have to worry much, just if she's a good mother or not and that she's being diligent with setting. Once you go artificial, you can't treat the incubator like a broody hen.. it's a different environment for the eggs.

    At least that's my take on it. Thinking back on it, I don't remember my broodies getting up when hatching started. Maybe hens have a lockdown period too.
  6. tmoore8595

    tmoore8595 Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Jefferson County, Al.
    X2 Well put mandelyn.[​IMG]
  7. 92Pony

    92Pony Songster

    Mar 1, 2010
    South Carolina
    Thanks mandelyn! I had been wondering myself. Very informative post!


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