Why lockdown? Do hens not move the last week of sitting on their eggs?


11 Years
Sep 15, 2008
I have been hatching shipped quail eggs with pretty good success and now have my Hovabator filled with eggs from my mixed batch of chickens.

After much research and trying with the quail eggs I've decided to do a dry hatch with the chicken eggs. I've got my Hovabator running between 20-25% humidity since I put the eggs in (almost 2 weeks now). I will kick it up the last week but I'm not sold on the whole lock down thing.

Do hens that are sitting on eggs REALLY not move that last week? Aren't we trying to mimic what nature (the hen) does? Anyone have any experience with NOT doing a lockdown?
Lock down does mimic the hen, that's the point of it. She will stop turning her eggs and stay tight on the nest for the last three days or so, causing the humidity to rise due to the moisture in her skin and the heat of her body. We mimic this with the incubator by no longer turning and upping humidity. If you do not 'lock down', you risk compromising your hatch. We may be using technology to do a poor impression of nature but that technology is based on years and years of research so ignore it at your peril ;) :D
You don't lock down for the last full week, just the last 3 days. And hens generally do sit tight those last few days.

Thanks for the clarification! I was wondering about that 'week' part!!

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