Chickens / Incubation

Basque Hatch Lockdown

Yesterday was Day 18 and so I moved the eggs to my other incubator, which I am using as a hatcher.  I set them in cut-down cartons, increased the humidity to above 50%, and left them to hatch.

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One Specked Sussex had other ideas, however.  He had already pipped when I went to move the eggs!  I didn’t want to get him stuck, but there was no way I was going though a hatch with all of the eggs sitting in the turner.  Although I could easily turn it off, I am sure I would have had legs stuck between the plastic rows and injured limbs.  Nope, he had to move.

The problem is that a sudden drop in humidity (although he pipped with only 20-something percent humidity) can dry out the egg and make it difficult or impossible for the chick to turn and zip.  I sprayed some warm water on a paper towel, draped it over his egg, and moved him to the other incubator.  I moved everyone else, leaving the paper towel loosely over his egg, and then sprayed a bit more water on the floor as I lifted his cover and closed the incubator.  Hopefully, he will be alright.  If not, I’ll know why he was stuck and probably pull him out.

I’ve never had a pip right at the start of Day 18 before!  I bet somebody was sitting on this egg for a few hours before I collected it.  Silly hens.  I’ll keep you posted!


4 thoughts on “Basque Hatch Lockdown

  1. I don’t think that kind of pip is a prone to dry out as say a zipper might be… that’s why I hop in at first pip to kick the humidity way up. Fingers crossed!
    This is eggciting! I will be candling the 45 sometime today.

    • Yeah, he did alright! He’s out, and there is a pip on an Australorp egg. I am so curious to see how your 45 are coming. But, wow, 45! Where are you going to grow out all of these chickens?!?

    • It works best for eggs that have been in the automatic turner because they have been top-up for all of incubation. If you were hand-turning eggs which were laying on one side or another during incubation, then you’d want to lay them on their side for hatch, too. But neither is hard-fast. I like having them in cut-down cartons because they don’t get knocked around as much by hatched chicks and they have something more solid to push against when they hatch. That said, if you don’t notice a low pip, they can suffocate in the carton just the same. I like to cut them down for more air flow to try and prevent that. I think each method has its pluses and minuses.

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