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.
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!