If you have been reading up, or asking friends about incubating eggs then you have probably heard about incubator lockdown. But what does that mean? What do you have to do to lockdown your incubator, and most importantly, when do you do it?
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Let’s start with what lockdown means. In the simplest terms, it means that you are not touching the eggs or the incubator. You will not be candling the eggs anymore, you will have stopped turning the eggs, and if at all possible you are going to stop opening the incubator until after the chicks have hatched, and preferably are dry and fluffy.
5 Steps to Lockdown Incubators
Step One in Incubator Lockdown
- remove any turning plates, trays, or rollers from your incubator. You can set the eggs out on a safe surface for a few minutes while you do this.
- Some like to use a non-slip grip on the bottom of the incubator to help the chick grain footing as they are going to be running all around crazy as they are hatching, especially quail.
Step Two in Locking Down Your Incubator
- Candle your eggs. You can find a candler on Amazon, use a small, bright flashlight, or even your cellphone flashlight as they are quite bright.
- If eggs are not showing signs of developing, remove them. You will know they are developing and you should keep them because most of the egg will be quite dark. Place back in the incubator.
Step Three in Incubator Lockdown
- Increase humidity. Make sure that you have topped up any water trays that are in your incubator. OR have adjusted your humidity pump if that is what you are using. It should be about 60-65%.
- Make sure that there is oxygen getting into your incubator. Even at this late stage, you can lose chicks due to a lack of enough oxygen.
Step Four in Locking Down Incubators
- Step turning your eggs. They need some peace and stillness to get themselves into the right position for hatching.
Step Five – Final Step to Lockdown
- Close the incubator. no more touching or candling of the eggs. Opening and closing it during this time is going to let the humidity out which can cause the membrane around the chick to dry out and kill them.
- Opening the lid occasionally for a few seconds to fill the humidity pot will not affect humidity much, and the levels will rise again, although that can take a while.
That’s all there is to it. It’s not hard, it’s going to take maybe 5 minutes depending on how many eggs you have to get everything in place, or out of place when removing turning trays. And in three days you should hear some pipping and see some cute chicks.
Ashley is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, turned homesteader, living in Canada. I have been homeschooling for years and love it. Now my children and I get to learn about and help others homeschool and be able to provide for their families and teach our children about where their food comes from.