When to lockdown when age unknown?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Freya, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Granville
    I'm not sure what age these eggs are because I was going to let the hen hatch them out. Since she has been eatting the eggs, I brought the remaining 2 into my incubator, but don't exactly know when I should start lockdown. I know day 18, but I don't know what day they are at right now.
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I generally candle them regularly and look for evidence that they've pipped internally--when I see that first internal pip, I lock them all down.

    So, when you candle you'll see a bright round area in the large end, which is the air cell. You're looking for a shadow to show up in the bright area, possibly a shadow that moves. Or if the bright area doesn't appear at all, then there's a good chance it's pipped & time to lock down.

    Another measure is the size of the air cell. If it's 1/4 or (ideally) 1/3 the size of the egg, then it won't hurt to lock down at pretty much any time.

    Or you could wait until you see rocking and/or hear cheeping, which generally happens shortly before the first external pip.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  3. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
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    When I candle them, they are definitely moving around and one was rocking and turning the egg when I sat it on the table 2 days ago. I can see them in the air cell area when I candle them air cell down. I'd say the one who is rocking the egg the aircell is half the egg. The one who doesn't move much is about 1/3
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At some point, you'll see them pushing up against the membrane into the air cell, which looks a little like waves on an ocean, or a cat under the covers (lol). Then, several days later, one will have its whole nose up inside the air cell--it's a very different look from just pushing up against the membrane.

    At this point also, you will see only air cell and dark--there will be no in-between because the baby will have filled up ALL the available space below the air cell, causing it all to be dark. 1/2 full doesn't seem large enough... I'd be looking for 2/3 to 3/4 full.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
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    Thank you!
     
  6. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Granville
    [​IMG]
    Ok, I just took this a minute ago. That is the bright air sac and the chickies head. So, what do you think? Hatchie time? The red is blood inside the egg... is that normal?
    I have a video too I'll try to post. Looks like it's trying to dig it's way out, so I'm not touching it anymore.
     
  7. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Granville
  8. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
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    Looks like it's only about what 12-13 days old? So I guess I do need to keep turning the egg. I'm very new at this, but doesn't the air cell look too big for the size of the chick or does it look about right (the egg photo and video I posted above)? And the blood inside the shell is concerning me.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    I think you're right about the age, and everything looks just right to me, based on the pictures. Blood vessels are a GOOD sign, so don't let that worry you. If the chick were dead, the blood vessels would quickly deteriorate and just be a dark mass. Right now, those vessels are carrying nutrients and oxygen to the chick while it develops.

    Also, the air cell looks right to me as well. Looks like it's just in the top portion of the egg (with practice, you'll learn to tell the difference between the white of the egg that is not yet full of chick and the actual air cell).

    Yup, keep turning, and keep candling every few days so you can watch progress. Good luck!
     
  10. SamJacobbe

    SamJacobbe Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Wellington Florida
    That one egg looks like it has already broken into the air cell. When my eggs start to look like that, the chick usually starts hatching in a few hours and then is done in a day or so. I'm wondering if it might just be a small chick or a bantam. I would keep a close eye on it, because you don't want to accidentally turn it and have it die.
     

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