Lockdown Day!

Hatch day is almost here! There a few things I must do to prepare my eggs for hatching. I do these things three days in advance and the following three days are called the ‘lockdown’ portion of incubation. The first, and most exciting is candling them! This is my first time candling my eggs! When I candle them I will know which ones are developing and which ones are not developing. To candle, first I take them all out of the incubator and put them on a cushy surface. Then I get my high power flashlight and grab an egg and head to a dark room. I then can hold the egg over the light and see what’s inside!

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Developing eggs will be almost completely black with a large portion of white at the blunt end of the egg. The white part is the air sac that has been growing for the past few weeks and the dark part is the chick. Undeveloped eggs will be clear or have a blood ring.

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I found that 6 out of my 7 eggs were developed! Yay! That is a really good percentage for shipped eggs! I am still going to put the undeveloped one back in the incubator just in case. I numbered all my eggs (1-7) with a pencil so that I could make sure I knew which ones were developed.

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I even saw a few chicks moving!

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Next I replace the automatic turner in the incubator with a piece of shelf liner. The eggs no longer need to be turned and the shelf liner will provide traction for the newly hatched chicks.

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After that I must fill my water pot half full to raise the humidity in my incubator. The humidity needs to be higher for these last few days to keep the inner membrane of the egg from drying out and trapping the chick inside. I also place a water guard over my water pot to prevent any of the chicks from accidentally falling in and drowning.

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Now I place them all back in the incubator and wait! Hopefully I will be able to post about the hatch results soon!

by Alexa Lehr