Today is Day 19... also known as the beginning of lock down for the incubator. A lot happens today. First, we removed the incubator from the automatic rocker, shown above. If you don'd have a rocker or egg turner and you have been manually turning your eggs, today you stop.
For the next few days, we want the humidity levels to be higher. Follow your incubator's instructions, but for our Brinsea, the instructions say you want to boost it above 65% for the last three days. We do this with the fabric scrap I've mentioned several times before, which dips into the water filled wells and increases the surface area of the water (allowing it to evaporate more and increase humidity).
Then, we replace the tray of eggs and lay them on their sides after carefully removing any dividers that have been holding them up. This allows the chicks inside to have a couple of days to orient themselves for hatching. Important: Do NOT turn your eggs during the last three days! Lock down means lock down... other than opening the lid and making quick water additions for humidity control, leave your eggs undisturbed!
Here you can see the 10 eggs that made it to lock down day. We started with 13 eggs that were shipped in from a breeder. Two were removed early because they were not fertilized and a third was removed last week for failure to continue development. At last candling a few days ago, all of these eggs were coming along nicely and we were getting obvious movement from the chicks inside.
Now is the waiting game. Three days to go!
On Day 19:
- If they haven't done so already, chicks will puncture the inner membrane of the egg with their beaks, accessing the air cell.
- They are starting to orient themselves in the shell for hatching on day 21.
- The chicks begin to absorb the yolk into their bodies.
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