I am down to the last three days of incubation of nineteen eggs. I have found that I have had to constantly adjust the thermostat on the incubator in order to hover around the ideal temperature. The humidity has been even more unstable. I’ve done my best to keep it around ideal by pouring small amounts of distilled water through the vent hole, without opening the incubator.
Yesterday was the big day when I opened the incubator for the first time since I candled the eggs about two weeks ago. It was time to take the eggs out of the automatic egg turner. I had marked the eggs that I thought might not be good after inspecting them. One of those marked eggs was moving around on the plate I set it on, so I’m glad that I didn’t dispose of the ones that I thought looked too porous. I lined the screen at the bottom of the incubator with cheese cloth and laid the eggs back inside. Since then I’ve seen a few more of the eggs move around a bit.
Unfortunately, this morning when I checked on the incubator the temperature had dropped down to about 96º, and the humidity had dropped all the way down to 48%, which concerns me. I’m guessing that the removal of the egg turner and addition of the cheese cloth somehow affected the air circulation, or something? I don’t know. Since I only have the incubator at half capacity, one of my theories is that it is calibrated for a bigger load.
I raised the temperature and added water and can only hope at this point that the chicks were able to survive the change. It’s nerve wracking after having gotten them through the last nineteen days. Wednesday afternoon is the expected time for them to start pecking their way out of their little worlds into the bigger, badder world waiting for them. I know first hand now what it means to say, ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatch.’