How to Become Ms. or Mr. Mother Hen – Day 18 May 8, 2012


(Cue the “prison door slamming” sound effect.)

Actually, I sort of hate that term, “lockdown.” Instead of locked doors, I’d rather be thinking of fuzzy little chick faces peering out of my hand.

A bird in the hand

This is totally worth two in the bush


But at the same time, calling it “lockdown” can be a good reminder.  It means, “After this time, the incubator is not to be opened until the hatch is completed.” And also, “From this day forth, there will be no turning.” And finally, “Beyond here, there be dragons.”

Well, maybe not that last bit, right? But it is the same sentiment. Day 18 Lockdown, means “STAY OUT!”

The babies should begin to get themselves into final position for hatching at this point… and in order to be able to hatch in an incubator, a higher humidity, 70% to 80% during the last three days, is crucial, too. When you lift the incubator lid, you let out humidity, and that can cause the egg membrane can get too dry during the hatching process, more or less sticking the babies inside the eggs.

At day 18, I do the final candling, and then… nothing. That’s the part that’s truly excruciating. After Day 18, there’s nothing to do but wait. Handing out congratulatory cigars to your chickens is generally frowned upon.

We go with mealworms instead.

Hand feeding treats

Congratulations, sir.

However, this time, I candled on Day 14 because I had to open the incubator to refill the water reservoirs, anyway. It’s not likely that I’ll see anything different a few days later… so I’m making the call not to candle today after all. I really want this to be a good hatch. But if I don’t do it today, I won’t be looking at them again until the hatch is over, because it’s lockdown. Gah!

But that’s okay, I can totally do this. I can keep my hands out of the incubator. I CAN.

Truthfully, it’s even more tempting to open the incubator in lockdown than you might think, because the babies can actually begin peeping from inside the egg a day or two early. It’s hard to resist! What I always want to do is pick up the chirping egg and talk to it… peep back… cluck like a hen.  Tell it everything will be okay. Pet it a little. Am I crazy?

Okay, kinda. I admit it. But chickens have their own language, so it’s natural for the baby chicks to call out to Mother Hen from inside the egg, and it’s natural for Mother Hen to purr and cluck right back. When I’m  hatching eggs, I’m Mother Hen, so it’s my bounden duty to talk to the eggs, right? RIGHT?!

I just have to remember to talk to them through my incubator, lid stays down. Three more days!




Brinsea wants to celebrate Mother’s Day with you by providing a Mini Advance Incubator for one lucky My Pet Chicken blog commenter located in the US! Plus, My Pet Chicken will be offering the winner six assorted fertile hatching eggs you can use to fill your fancy new incubator for the first time. That way you can become Ms. Mother Hen… or even Mr. Mother Hen, as the case may be!

To enter the contest, comment on this blog post below telling us your best ideas for keeping yourself from opening the incubator during the “lockdown” phase–or else share a story about why you felt you had to ignore the warnings and open the incubator during this time! (Please note that complaints about particular incubator manufacturers, particular suppliers of hatching eggs, particular candlers, etc. will be disqualified as entries.) Contest ends May 13, 2012.

Keep watching our blog for updates on Lissa’s hatch in our “Ms. or Mr. Mother Hen” blog series to find additional opportunities to enter. If you missed your first opportunity to enter, do so right here.  The second opportunity was here.  The third was here


Kim May 8th, 2012

Seeing as I don’t have an incubator and have only hatched from the light in my oven, a great big sign on the door saying, “STAY OUT!” seemed to do the job for me and my kids. 🙂 I have to admit that I did open it once when hatching finch eggs to candle one last time. I had an egg that just didn’t seem to be looking right, and it wasn’t. The anticipation is awful!!

Michaelle May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator yet but my girlfriends tipfornotopening it during lock down is to put a piece a piece of bright color tape on it so if anyone went to open it they couldn’t because it was taped shut. This works really well for her with little curious kids that want to get a closer look at all the action.

Deb May 8th, 2012

SO FLIPPIN’ HARD TO WAIT!!! Day 18 tomorrow for ours…right along with you!

oh, dang. I forgot to check the box that indicated I am human…think I need more coffee…

Jackie Winkelman May 8th, 2012

I want babies…but closest thing to lock down for our house is my kiddo keeping the bedroom doors shut. That way the house bunnies don’t chew the underside of my bed. She is NOT very good and it. I bet I can keep the incubator on lock down tho.

Betty Walker May 8th, 2012

I truly hope to get an incubator!!! HOW wonderful would that be? I have a broody hen now, who was setting on eggs for over 10 days… and then the eggs just disappeared… DON”T have a clue at all what happened… Only had 2 under her, so I am going to make a enclosed pen for her and try again… BUT if I had a incubator… LOL!!!

Dylan May 8th, 2012

I do not yet have an incubator but I hope to win one! Anyways I can remember my kindergarten teacher incubating eggs for us and she had to duck tape the door closed so we would not bother the little eggs. Lol

Lisa May 8th, 2012

We just recently hatched our first batch, using an old vintage incubator. ( think large steel disk with tiny 2IN peep hole) It was painful to hear movement and peeps and NOT want to open it every few minutes… ( but if we had a shiney new and see-thru Brinsea our anxiety would be greatly reduced) We did ok in that department most of our eggs hatched, but we did have trouble with the later hatching eggs as they got dried out from all that opening/checking.

Jessica Berger May 8th, 2012

I sometimes ignore the waiting if I feel there is a baby in need of serious care. I’ve had that “bad feeling” that something was wrong around day 21-22 and opened, candled and found babies alive but stuck due to humidity issues. I have helped babies out with success (and sometimes without.. which is sad) but I feel like if it was MY fault that they are stuck, it’s my DUTY to help, right?

Sav a Chick is AWESOME and has saved many babies of mine

Nicole D May 8th, 2012

I don’t have too much of a problem staying out during lockdown because I don’t open the incubator much anyways. I installed a computer fan in my styrofoam one and it came with a turner so I let them do their thing. I figure the more I mess with them the less likely they are to hatch. And I want all the sweet babies I can get! Of course I do sit and watch the eggs for wwwaaayyyy too long around day 20. They could always hatch early!! : D

Bobbie Clark May 8th, 2012

I have to put myself in the mindset that opening that incubator can kill the nor hatched eggs. It’s much easier to keep my hands out of the incubator with that in mind. Only reason I will break the rule is if the hatch is taking longer than anticipated and they need more water or I need to help a chick out. I only help if it’s shrink wrapped (usually happens on the 22nd day+ because of lack of water).

Cheri Graham Childers May 8th, 2012

I keep myself from opening the incubator on lock-down by placing duct tape on all 4 sides of it. That way I will remember it is on lock-down and “DO NOT OPEN” so far it has worked out fine for me

Ariana May 8th, 2012

I believe that the BEST way to keep from peeking in the ‘bator (as hard as it may be!!) is to fill the day with playing with all of my other little peeps in different stages of growing up. After all, lots of socialization makes for sweeter adults! It’s always fun to plop down on the grass with a handful of mealworms and have some fun!

Bonnie Nunamaker May 8th, 2012

before my incubator was broken, I used to just sit beside it for hours trying to hear any little peep or peck of the egg! caught myself a few times almost opening it. would love to have my Grandkids experience the hatching.

Tiffani May 8th, 2012

It’s so hard to wait through lockdown! I can’t wait to see your chicks! And I’d really love to have my own incubator so I can test my will against lockdown once again. muahaha

Shannon Krogmann May 8th, 2012

I dont have a incubaror yet either and use a brood silkie to hatch my eggs. Let me tell u : NO getting by eggs if she is sittin 🙂 Too bad I could not put her by incubator :)tbut since I cant I really like the BRIGHT TAPE idea 🙂

tinaking May 8th, 2012

I have made the mistake of trying to hatch two different sets of eggs at two different hatching times. That is why I would open my incubator. I had to turn the other set of eggs that would not hatch til a later time. I never have gotten more than 5 or so to hatch. The chicks would be totally developed and never hatch. I see now by the post that I don’t need to check them any longer after the 17th day. Maybe I will have better luck nest hatch. I also will not try to hatch more than one batch at a time. Thanks again for the post! very helpful information for us newbies.

Mike H May 8th, 2012

I don’t think I would have a problem waiting. Im too buisy.

Sharon Roberts May 8th, 2012

We’ve have hatched many batches of chicks and quail…didn’t know there was a lockdown time….we have to open ours to add water to keep the humidity up. We also don’t have an auto turner. We have over 3 dozen quails that should hatch this weekend. Would love a new incubator!

Lorna Violet May 8th, 2012

OOOHHhhhhhhh it’s so hard to resist, especially when they start to peep at you! I just lean my ear against the incubator and peep right back at them ,lol.

Kelly May 8th, 2012

Lockdown is a hard time, especially when they peep at you! I only had one survive from my last hatch and I believe she survived because I opened during lockdown. I had to rescue her from her shell because she pipped the wrong end (a day early) and then couldn’t get out. I would love to have a newer incubator (the old styrofoam one is past it’s prime I believe).

Michele May 8th, 2012

I have never had an incubator…yet! I am hoping to win one though!! I would think the only reminder I would need, would be that opening it would possibly kill my babies that I’ve nurtured along that far. That would be enough for me!

Kadee Roberts May 8th, 2012

I can’t stay out….I want a new incubator 🙂

Lindsay May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator yet but I can totally see how it would be hard to keep from opening the incubator to hear the early peeps. I hope I win this so my family can experience it!!

Makenna May 8th, 2012

Its so hard to resist the temptation, I mean IM THEIR MOTHER!!!! I cant just leave them in their!!!!! GAH!!! My chicks are gonna hatch in a couple days and I can hear their peeps and just wanna stick my hand in their to cuddle with them! But of course I’m not a hen so I should not do these kind of things 🙁 One of the ways I have been ignoring the temptation is to be out with the hens a lot instead of staring at the bator lol

Keara May 8th, 2012

Lockdown is like the start of a loooong Christmas Eve.

Amy Kehoe May 8th, 2012

I have eggs hatching today and tomorrow. It is SO HARD not to peek inside the incubator when I hear those babies in there calling out. Even harder for my kids to not lift the lid. I have explained lockdown to my youngest, the older boys seem to get it. Perhaps tape like another commenter suggested would do the trick. Just something bright, like a sticker as a reminder not to open yet. Can’t wait!

Tracy May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator yet, but I can imagine the temptation of wanting to peek inside. I can’t go more than a few hours without check on my chicks, holding them, giving them treats, letting them chase me around the yard. And these are babes I got! If I were hatching my own, it would be excruciating not to check on them. But I would have to do the old “I think I can I think I can, I KNOW I can mantra.” Just knowing I can put them in danger by opening that door though would be enough to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Kristen May 8th, 2012

Since I want to hatch out eggs with my 6 year old to replace our backyard flock I think the hardest part will be trying to tell her to wait! I am a birth doula though, so I am used to waiting for babies to make an appearance on their schedule, not mine, so I think I can do it!

Nicole May 8th, 2012

Being able to see inside would definitely help! 🙂

Brandi Adkin May 8th, 2012

It sucks to have to wait 21 days;[ but its worth it;]

joan taylor May 8th, 2012

At this point the tiny voices are so hard to ignore. Then all of a sudden it’s Christmas! I am always amazed at the colors and then surprised when the tiny Barred Rock chick has a pea comb or green feet. I don’t think anyone appreciates the wonder of hatching chicks as much as “chicken people!”

Gwen May 8th, 2012

I need one too.

S. E. Parker May 8th, 2012

Reading all your stories on Incubators and lockdowns sounds like bursting at the seams with anticipation….. I have a small flock and each one is a treasure with individual personalities…. I would so enjoy the fun and anticipation not only for myself but for all the little visitors that come to see our chooks, feed them treats and help to collect eggs. Would love to have an incubator to add to the wonderment of hatching eggs….

Heather Schleifer May 8th, 2012

I would put the incubator in my bedroom/bathroom. I have a padlock I can put on the outside door. 🙂 My 8 year old son would be wanting them to “come out” as soon as they were put in. I can almost hear it now, When are they gonna open, how much longer is it going to be. Lol out of sight out of mind, and this way I can be sure they are safe and sound.

Teri May 8th, 2012

One of our teachers put a webcam in so you could watch them daily. I don’t know how well that would work. For me it would have to be a sign saying “BE PATIENT” with a picture of one of our babies before they grew up.

Tara King May 8th, 2012

I also have a hard time waiting when chicks are on lock down. My two year old son says babies any time he can see an egg. Does that tell you something. We really have to watch him the last 3 days of a hatch. He knows how to candle and loves to do it.
I recently tripped the breaker switch on the incubator but I did not realize that is what it was. I put all 5 eggs under my broody hen, on lock down. Only one hatched…. 🙁
Good reason to stay out of the incubator. I have 3 more new ones in the incubator and will not touch the last 3 days!

Patti Smith May 8th, 2012

I’m using the big styro incs right now and would like to upgrade.

Anita Hewett May 8th, 2012

I would love to have a new incubator. I think mine has seen better days. For some odd reason my eggs didn;t hatch on Sat. May 5,2012. Which were Light Brahma,French Black Copper Marans, Mo 365. Blue Marans and some Bantams eggs And I did everything right. The last 3 days before eggs hatch it is really hard for me not to take just a small little tiny peak. So me and my flashlight become really good friends the last 3 days.

Anita Hewett May 8th, 2012

I would love to have a new incubator. I think mine has seen better days. For some odd reason my eggs didn’t hatch on Sat. May 5,2012. Which were Light Brahma,French Black Copper Marans, Mo 365. Blue Marans and some Bantams eggs And I did everything right. The last 3 days before eggs hatch it is really hard for me not to take just a small little tiny peak. So me and my flashlight become really good friends the last 3 days.

Loretta May 8th, 2012

I would love to win this incubator, since my family has fertile eggs coming out our ears and needs another one to incubate all the eggs. My first experiance was just over one week ago when the eggs started hatching and everything I was reading said never open the incubator we had one silkie chick hatch with no problem then another one with no problem but then we were watching the third one hatch and it started out fine it had the little crack and seemed like everything was going to go okay 9 hours later the little one only had its leg out and the egg was only cracked a little we waited a little bit longer and didnt seem like anything was happening. So we had to open the incubator we cracked the shell the rest of the way and the chick came out the rest of the way the inside of the egg shell was so dry that a small part was stuck to its head. The shell fell off about 30 minutes later and the rest of the eggs hatched and the little one is doing great and is having a good old time with the rest of the chicks.

robin mcdowell May 8th, 2012

Lockdown is the hardest time. I try to stay outside because the bator is in the house so if I stay outside with my chickens it’s much easier to take my mind off of the bator and what’s going on inside. I just hatched out 7 chicks this past saturday and this was really hard beacuse I use a styrofoam incubator and I had 16 eggs only 7 hatched and out of the 7 chicks 5 died by the next day. They were tiny compared to the rest and I know if I had a better incubator I wouldn’t have to o through the torment and hurt as to see a baby chick die. The styrofoam I use has given me such a hard time with the temp staying wher it should. The temp would be perfect all day and when I would get up in the morning it would drop to 95 degrees and sometimes it would go real high to 103 degrees. That is why I had such a hard time with this hatch and lost so many chicks that when candled on day 18 all were doing great.I am so needing this incubator so I won’t have to have anymore baby chicks die.

Lisa May 8th, 2012

I would probably have to give my DH a key to the garage and have him lock the door and hide the key. I’d ask for permission to go in and tell him to tell me…I can wait. Yah, right. I’ll need to keep looking and I won’t get anything done around the house.

Jessica shatley May 8th, 2012

With my first hatch I was unaware of the golden NO TOUCH rule and I found myself checking on my momma hen and the eggs almost daily… I think it was around day 20 I had an exploder and felt I should clean up the remaining eggs. Out of 14 I still ended yup with 10 biddies if u count the 5 tinkling we hatched with the 5 chicks. Learning allot! Can’t wait to see who wins!

Melissa Dawson May 8th, 2012

Patience at a time like this is a good thing to have, but as I am not patient I am worst than a kid on christmas morning. Really Im worst than that cause when it comes to christmas shopping i get so excited to see the face of the receiver i cant wait till christmas so LOCKDOWN is extremely difficult for me, I just keep telling myself, ” soon very soon i get to hold those little balls of puff, its better for them.” Knowing its their well being i am securing seems to stop myself from opening. SOON VERY SOON, JUST A FEW DAYS! ARRRGGG

Promise May 8th, 2012

Oh no!! I’ve never even HEARD of lockdown before this post! I DO pick up the cheeping eggs and talk to them back! I don’t THINK I’ve ever had a chick get egg bound though, so I guess having more water in the reservoirs was enough to counteract my ignorance. Eeeeee! This is so exciting! There will be baby stories any day! Yayayayay!!! This is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

brandy May 8th, 2012

Unfortunately mine are with a bunch of other peoples eggs so I can’t control it

Teresa May 8th, 2012

If a chick hatches and disturbs another egg that has pipped I will open the incubator to roll the pip hole back up so the chick inside the egg can breath. I plan carefully; at the moment I open the incubator I quickly turn the egg and add a warm wet sponge so the humidity doesn’t drop for more than a few seconds. It seems to work well while also saving the life of the chick. Rules are meant to be broken when lives are hanging in the balance… That’s my story and I’m sticking to it 🙂

Rachel G May 8th, 2012

I imagine it would be hard to keep the bator shut during those crucial days. I really like the idea of putting bright colored tape on it!!

Kayla Rosencutter-Jones May 8th, 2012

Lockdown???? I wish I could lock it down. No such luck. I don’t have an automatic turner. I turn eggs twice a day and add water as needed and mist the eggs with water several times a day.. Right now I have 6 goose eggs in the incubator and I did have 15 duck eggs in with them. Then 2 days ago the duck eggs started to hatch. So far I have 8 baby ducks with 2 more piping as I write this. Five others that I hope will hatch by tomorrow or the day after. I candled my goose eggs last night and I find it absolutly awesome to watch the baby gosling move around in the egg.

Garilyn Bardash May 8th, 2012

I would love to see new life emerge from fragile eggs, the gift of new life is always eggciting! please enter me for a chance to win a miracle! garilyn bardash

Patti Smith May 8th, 2012

I have to check the last few days too, with humidity issues and temps, have had to help several babies, mostly with good results…better than the ones I didn’t help when first starting my extended family. 🙂

Sara May 8th, 2012

If you hatch a dragon – let me know. I would like some of those hatching eggs! I would love an incubator. It would be so much fun!

Danielle B May 8th, 2012

If we are lucky to have a broody hen one year, we stick some eggs under her and I must drive her nuts the last few days. I am constantly peeking under her and listening. We told the 1st grade class the kids and I are helping with their hatching…NO OPENING! They do not have the best incubator or with windows, so it is really hard!

Karen Doll May 8th, 2012

I have not yet hatched fertilized eggs in an incubator but I would be sooo tempted to open the lid !! I think I would enlist the help and moral support of my family to keep me from doing do and also I would create a BIG sign saying DO NOT OPEN and post it right in front of the incubator to remind me that God is working in there and to keep my hands off !!!!!!!

Lauren May 8th, 2012

It’s hard waiting the whole time but it is well worth it in the end!

dawn May 8th, 2012

i found some chicken print duct tape, as it is so sticky…. it would take a while to get in,and i probably couldn’t do it without moving things… so, Ill stay out! i cant wait to see those fuzzy little fellows!

Manja May 8th, 2012

I do not have an incubator. I had a hen hatch some eggs last year and the wait was soo hard. I wish I had an incubator right now. My favorite rooster got killed last night and I have some eggs that I wish I could hatch to get some of his babies.

Kimberly Sanders May 8th, 2012

To look or not to look? That is the question. In this case the answer is a firm NO! So how to pass the time while we move from day 18 to day 21? Play with your other chickens? Look at pictures and videos of hatching chicks on the Internet? Knit the new babes little chick booties? Oh, I like that last idea 😉

elly sauls May 8th, 2012

i’ve never hatched eggs, but it does sound exciting!

Julie Puckett May 8th, 2012

After day 18 , all water filled I put a big post it note on top that says NOOOOO “You Can Do It ” so I don’t even get tempted I get scolded by myself for just looking in the window !!!!

April Poulter May 8th, 2012

I’ll admit, I chick chick chicked to the eggs during lockdown and talked to them lol. I did have some issues with humidity, not sure if it was human error or equiptment error. My babies ended up shrink wrapped and after 2 days and no progess after the first pip I did the unthinkable and opened the bator. I took the egg out and helped it. As much as I doubted my actions the baby I helped was the only one to make it. The others seemed to have passed before I got up the courage to open the bator and help.

Mary R May 8th, 2012

Can’t wait to see your hatch. Won’t be too much longer!!

Jean Castle May 8th, 2012

one good thing about obeying the lockdown- if you do not open the incubator you are not tempted to “help” a pipped chick out. – those who pip but do not make it out usually have a problem and really should not hatch- Mother Nature’s way of preventing these problems.

Theresa May 8th, 2012

I would have to pretend they didn’t exist. Maybe make lots of plans those last few days to keep me buisy. Lol

Lidia May 8th, 2012

I need to get an incubator so I can find out how I’ll deal with it!

Kylene May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator so I’ve never experienced this. I think I’d have a hard time waiting, though– When our latest batch of chicks came in the mail, I could hardly sleep for days beforehand!

Judy May 8th, 2012

I like to incubate a few eggs at a time to see how they turn out. It is hard to wait to hear the churping coming out of the eggs. I like to have several different breeds to hatch to see what they lay.

RoseMarie Fiske May 8th, 2012

I had my first batch of eggs hatch 4 weeks ago and did not know about lockdown. So I probably opened it too much. But the first two chicks who hatched were flopping around all over and sending the other eggs flying everywhere, I was afraid the other chicks wouldn’t hatch because of it. I searched desperately on different web sites about what to do. Some advised to take them out once they dried. I’m still not sure of the right answer to that one. But I’m really glad for this blog, it has helped me to be better prepared for the next time Of course it be a dream to have a Brinsea Incubater I know that would really reduce my anxiety and help me to deal better with my inexperience.

raina May 8th, 2012

I dont have an incubator, but I had two chickens hatch from Mama Hen and one of them I heard peeping the day before. It drove me crazy! the baby ended up needing help hatching, its legs were over its head or some crazy thing and it was spraddle-legged when we got it out. But the good news is we fixed her all up and she is currently out in the yard with the rest of the flock and doing GREAT!

Alice Martin May 8th, 2012

Last time I hatched the kids had me so busy that I just forgot about the incubator. I walk into the living room hearing a peeping and looked everywhere for a baby chick that I thought had gotten out of its box. (I ordered babies for a friend and was keeping them until they were a bit bigger.) After 20 minutes of searching for the baby I finally remembered the incubator and had to go look in the window.

Leslie Burton May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator, but I sure do want one! I’ve got 3 dozen fertile eggs right now, and all we can do is eat them! YUM! I know people who have hatched eggs, and lockdown was excruciating, especially with one hatching a day early! Not sure what I’d do in that situation, but I’d need to have an incubator to find out for sure! LOL.

Deb May 8th, 2012

I think the hardest part would be once I realized one had started hatching. From then on, it would be very hard not to peek. I’d love to try though.

Marilynn Britton May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator but I believe I could resist opening it at the last part. I would love too try anyway. I miss my chickens. The hens used to do all the incubating for me. AND the turkey hen. I didn’t have a male turkey and she insisted on setting so I put other fertile eggs under her so she could be a mommie.

Laura Butler May 8th, 2012

I’m in day 20 of lockdown for some mutt chicks. Sometimes it gets much easier…like now. But I have 23 show quality Araucanas in the 2nd bator now. Thats the one that I am fretting over. I already put 12 araucanas eggs in from another breeder and didn’t get one live chick. So these 23 I’m watching like a mothe rhen. I don’t even want to leave the house for the next 17 days.

Jenn Hetherington May 8th, 2012

I don’t have a working incubator but I do have a huge, beautiful lemon cuckoo Orpington Roo that would make some great babies!! Hoping to hatch some late summer babies for my birthday!

Cheryl Lindsay May 8th, 2012

This is pretty cool, what happens if a chick hatches early, or do you open it up on day 21 to see them hatch? So much to learn!! I hope we can experience this first hand ourselves some day!! Fingers still crossed!!

Mariam DiMaggio May 8th, 2012

We have never hatched any aggs, We want the chance to and thats why we are wanting to win the Brinsea incubator. We didnt know anything about candling and never knew about “lockdown”. These blogs are interesting and we are learning alot! Thank you

Leslie Cates May 8th, 2012

I would use a big sign and possibly tape as well. Then just sit and think about how magical it will be when they start to hatch. Possibly even better than Christmas morning.

kate glaze May 8th, 2012

We haven’t had a chance to incubate or hatch out own eggs. It would be amazing to have this opportunity. It does sound like it would be hard to have a “lockdown” phase. I would want to open and hold the eggs all the time.

Carly Morganwalp May 8th, 2012

I’ve never hatched eggs either. But I have a feeling it would be hard to me not to open it also. Usually to prevent myself from doing something easy I make it more difficult. Maybe I’d tape it shut so it would take time for me to undo the tape and then in the time of undoing the tape I’d realize it would be a bad idea to open it! I’d love to hatch some baby chicks! This is so exciting!

Kemp Cove May 8th, 2012

I like the bright tape idea! I’m SO impatient, and have terrible willpower, but maybe it would be easier knowing it is what’s best for the chicks. 🙂

Wan-Chi Punga May 8th, 2012

I’m a worry wort and it nearly kills me to have to wait and not know what’s going to happen!!! I tape the thing shut and spend all my worrying time outside with my flock. They like all the extra attention and extra treats during those days 🙂
That was when I use to live with my in laws though, now I am on my own and need my own incubator to start my own new flock!! Can’t wait to see who the lucky bird is going to be

Marie K May 8th, 2012

My four young children and I are embracing a chicken adventure. They have been researching breeds together and assisting in a coop renovation project. Our first batch of chicks are ordered, but how exciting to be able to hatch our own! I proposed the lockdown dilemma to my 3 and 5 year old. They said duck tape was a must, and a candy jar next to the incubator was also important so that we could reward ourselves for not peeking.

Chris May 8th, 2012

In my classroom we called it “Get Ready Time.” On the 18th day we would pour a little extra water into the incubator, then each child would write their name on a piece of tape and “secure” the incubator for hatching. Then on the 3 days after we would prepare the “chick box” for the new hatch lings. The kids were never too eager to open the incubator during this time.

L Fleming May 8th, 2012

Oh my gosh… this is stressing me out. I just want the babies to all hatch so the incubator can be opened!!

Katie May 8th, 2012

I haven’t hatched anything yet, but I’ve totally caught the incubation bug! I would love to win a reliable incubator to work with! I can only guess, since like I said I’ve never attempted hatching, but I would think locking yourself out of the room with the incubator in it would be a foolproof way of keeping from opening the incubator before anything hatches.

Angie Hoxie May 8th, 2012

I have never incubated eggs (but desperately want to) so I am not sure how I would keep myself from opening the incubator. I certainly would love the chance to experience that excitement! I figure it’s going to be like last year when I was waiting for my chicks to arrive in the mail and was practically going insane with the long wait. I was so excited to finally pick them up at the post office that I’m pretty sure I scared everyone with my happy dance and uncontrollable squeal. Pretty sure they all thought I was crazy, oh well!

Melissa May 8th, 2012

I promise I’ll learn to have patience if I get the chance to hatch my own eggs!

Tamara Kleinsasser May 8th, 2012

We loved the experience of hatching our own eggs in a borrowed incubator… as mentioned by others; it would help to be able to see them 🙂

Colleen v May 8th, 2012

Oh man i havent hatched in an incubator yet and I’m sure ill be just as impatient! Maybe I should tape it closed lol

Valerie Robinson May 8th, 2012

What interesting information!! I had no idea there was or should be a “lock down!” I would hope knowing that this puts the chicks in danger, I wouldn’t be tempted to open the incubator. However, as a reminder I’d put a sticky note to the incubator…DO NOT DISTURB!!!!

Avery Robnett May 8th, 2012

One time I unplugged my turner and forgot to plug it back in and I noticed it about the ninetienth day that it was unplugged so I opened the incubator and candled the eggs to see if they were still okay and ended up having about a 92% hatch rate.

Dawn Bunn May 8th, 2012

I would have to put signs up to remind all 6 of my kids to stay out. Me…. knowing that I could hurt my little ones if I opened it would be good enough… the Catholic guilt would keep me out!

Trina Andersen May 8th, 2012

Hardest. Four. Days. Ever!!!! Stay outa there, you can do it!!! Can’t wait to see the outcome, it has been super fun to share the journey with you 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

Wendy S May 8th, 2012

I would need an incubator that has a clear lid. I would be going nuts! When waiting for my grades to post I would check 10 times a day! I would be hovering over it listening and watching all day long!

Delilah May 8th, 2012

Oh man! Incubating eggs may prove to be absolute torture for me! LOL! I can barely deal with the anticipation of the feed store ordering my chicks for me! I’ve already been there twice in the last 2 weeks just to fawn over all of the babies waiting for their new mrs. or mr. momma hens coming to pick them up. Oh the agony! I may literally have to pad lock the incubator shut!

deborah plessinger May 8th, 2012

I hear peeping in my living room! But only a few not all the eggs made it. I have a hard time with lockdown but this time I did mostly ok. I do have some turkey eggs in there too that still need turned but the little bantams are in a separate tray to keep their heat in when it is open and also make sure they don’t make a mess of the whole incubator box when they start coming out. My kids never mess with the incubator because they will have the wrath of Mom but a little window gives them a chance to peer at what is going on.

Elizabeth May 8th, 2012

I can’t wait to see what hatches out of your incubator! I keep the incubator on lockdown by staying busy. I go to the library pick up a couple of books and movies. I go to the park with the kids, and try to keep everyone out of the house. Once the eggs start hatching tho I can’t keep my hands out. I keep checking to see if their dry enough to put in the brooder.

Valerie May 8th, 2012

Day 18 in my home made incubator is this Friday. To say the least I’m crazy excited as this is my first time hatching. To prevent me from opening my incubator I’m going to move my inCubator out of site and set an alarm on my phone for hatch day!!!!

aubrey deyoung May 8th, 2012

I think I would go crazy maybe take up knitting to keep my hands busy little chicken sweaters LOL

Tami Hall May 8th, 2012

Oh my gosh that would so be my problem too. I hate to wait for things like that. I can’t wait just to jear about when they hatch

Aslan May 8th, 2012

I couldn’t really hear any peeping in my incubator since I had some hatched chicks right next to it, plus the fan was pretty loud. I ended up opening it to add water anyways. I suppose the more times you incubate, the better you might get at being patient and leaving it alone.

Megan Work May 8th, 2012

We had to open the incubator during the “lockdown” once; an egg exploded! That was messy, smelly, and gross.

Tanielle Waggoner May 8th, 2012

I have always thought that lockdown to hatching was the hardest time when hatching eggs. I haven’t had any trouble keeping the lid closed as I know the importance of humidity and I definitely don’t want to do anything to harm the babies. I think It would be important in my house to have some sort of locking system on the incubator because I know my 3 year old nephew wouldn’t be able to keep out! I love hearing the first peeps…I try to talk to my newest babies but I find that I lack in chicken sound making abilities. A bunch of my friends can peeps like chicks but I can’t do it. I love that my girls learn the sound of my voice anyway and come running when I call them! I have been thinking of making a tape of a hen with baby chicks and playing it to the incubating eggs and the new babies to make them feel more comfortable and have a “more natural” upbringing; us humans do that with our offspring…I think it could work with chickens too!

Karen N. May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator yet and have not hatched any chicks. I am so looking forward to the experience. I can relate to the dilema of not opening the lid as the peeping would make me want to do it too.
Guess I can just tell myself to be strong and do what is best for the babies.
The first time I had chicks and no mother hens to care for them I spend 3 to 5 hrs a day looking in on them. Now I just check on them 3 to 5 times a day.

Jocelyn May 8th, 2012

I have no idea, I guess I would start on a big project outside so that I don’t mess with anything. It’s been hard enough to not check when they are under a broody, I can’t imagine when you don’t have a hen getting annoyed with you for messing with their eggs.

Rachel Best May 8th, 2012

A tub of chocolate ice cream would keep me from messing with the incubator!

Elizabeth Reeves May 8th, 2012

I have thought about putting a huge ‘NO’ sign on the incubator during lockdown.

My boys are pretty good about giving me an incentive NOT to open it, though.

My five year old would say, “Are you going to open that? Are you going to HELP ONE HATCH? Because HELPED chicks DIE, Mom. They DIE. So, DON’T OPEN IT!”

Hard to argue with him!

Betty Urie May 8th, 2012

It truly is difficult trying NOT to open your incubator for the last couple of days. It is amazing to hear the peeps so far in advance of the actual hatch. Just keep telling yourself not to peek with the incubator open! It is especially hard if you know a late-hatchling is having difficulty emerging from that egg – if only you could help it a little. Sometimes the “helping” can be sucessful, but many times it is heartbreaking. Many thanks for the opportunity to enter this drawing. Such a reliable incubator would be an amazing Mother’s Day gift.

Kristen E. Martin May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator, but I do have a Plymouth rock hen who thinks she wants to set. Eggs are infertile, though. I’d…put a sign on the incubator lid that said ‘don’t you dare’.

pat bivins May 8th, 2012

it’s hard for me not to open and check, but trying to explain the concept of lockdown to the three drandaughters is nigh unto impossible.. they are 3,7, and 9 and LOVE the hatching experience… each one of the eggs is sooo very special to them…to have another incubator of their very own would be fantastic.

Beth May 8th, 2012

Our hatch is over. 10 for 12 is not so bad for a styro incubator and our first time! One of our peeps died because my 7 year old “helped” it out of the egg while I was at work. It lived 24 hours but it was really little and had not absorbed the yolk sack yet. We will be starting another 33 tomorrow.. I must say I didn’t know about the “lockdown” rule and removed the peeps as they dried. I will do better this time! Promise!

I was having a problem with humidity at first and discovered that by putting some moisture absorbing crystals for plants in small clay flower pots I got perfect humidity for the entire time. I just spritzed them every morning when I did the eggs.

Here we go again! Wish us luck!!

Trisha May 8th, 2012

I’m at day 6 of fertile eggs under my first-time broody hen. *crossing fingers* I so wish I had an incubator, so I could watch over the eggs the entire time. I’m so excited for the babies. I love my chicken ladies!

Carol Trochelman May 8th, 2012

Well, I don’t have an incubator yet, but it would be just as hard for me. I would be like a two year old all excited and barely able to wait, but I would just talk to myself in my Mother voice and tell me “I need to wait, and there will be a big surprise at the end if I do.

Taryn M May 8th, 2012

I would have to put a pice of tape on it. And a sign. And maybe even a paddlock if it was some chicks i was really excited about seein. DH would probably have to stand guard or something so i wouldnt be tempted to peek inside.

David May 8th, 2012

I’ve never experienced this as we don’t have an incubator, but I feel for you. One day when I have an incubator, hopefully a free one, I will be going through this same thing! Just hang in there.

Judy Moser May 8th, 2012

I’d spend the time decorating their new home-to-be.

Vivian Hogue May 8th, 2012

Well since I haven’t used one in years I’m sure I would have a very hard time…just got to remember…you open it up you might not get the peeps you want!

Brenda Davalos May 8th, 2012

It would be harder to keep my kid out they get so excited about babys. I would probable move the incubator to the garage instead of the basement. They never go in the garage (out of sight out of mind) until they had hatched

Diana May 8th, 2012

we always would look in the window, during the last 3 days, knowing that it might hurt our babys made it worth not to peek lol but we would get so excited to see the eggs move when they started to hatch.

Lazey May 8th, 2012

Sit on my hands for three days. I have a hard enough time not peeking on Christmas Eve and that’s one night, not three days!

Kayla Felton May 8th, 2012

I simply have to remind myself that if I care about my unborn chicks I will leave them be and let them hatch in peace. You can truly hinder their efforts and progress by opening the incubator during the hatching process. We don’t remove chicks until the morning of the 22nd day, then we spray lightly any unhatched or pipped eggs with warm water and leave them for another day.

In some instances I have had to open the incubator before the morning of the 22nd. On one occasion I had a chick in distress and screaming his head off because his little bum was stuck inside the egg and he couldn’t wiggle out of it. Apparently when he hatched he didn’t get out all the way before falling asleep and woke up stuck like chuck because his little down feathers on his bottom dried to the leftover egg yuck! lol. Sometimes they fall over on their backs like little turtles and they cry and cry until someone comes to their rescue. I can’t stand to hear a chick cry in the incubator. They should be making their little warm and happy chirps, so any loud peeping causes me to worry.

I have also had the odd chick or two over the past few years to hatch a day early even though the temperature never fluctuated over 100 degrees F. I didn’t want the chick to dehydrate by leaving it in the incubator until the others hatched, so I removed it quickly and sprayed the heck out of the eggs and all was well. If you do have to open the incubator during hatch time do it quickly, then use a spray bottle set on a fine mist and spray the eggs lightly (don’t drown them or anything) and they will be fine. =]

Heather Harris May 8th, 2012

I think to keep me from giving in to temtation I would have to put lil notes on the incubator..Like STOP! and back away from the incubator…. Or Do Not Touch..LOL

Paula Langhorst May 8th, 2012

To keep from opening the incubator I would put a picture of my little boy. It took 9 months for him so I should be able to wait for the little chicks!! Both are SO CUTE!

Shawn May 8th, 2012

Pretty simple I think of it as if I open that lid I am potential going to kill my precious baby chicks. Could not live with that.

Michelle Lynn Benge May 8th, 2012

PLEASE PICK ME!!!! My poor wonderful husband is going broke!

Darlene May 8th, 2012

Sounds harder than waiting for the post office to call and say your chicks are in but less scary than opening the box for the first time! Can’t wait to try incubating eggs this blog has made it so interesting.

Carol Schanz May 8th, 2012

I think I would go with the tape shut method. I would have a hard time not opening especially with peeping going on!

Sister Gabriel May 8th, 2012

I always anticipate the hatching – watching for that first crack in the shell. Checking several times a day – but not opening the hatch. What is an exploder? I haven’t heard the term before………………. I would love a new incubator – maybe would have more success in the classroom! Just love those chicks.

luther34 May 8th, 2012

I think just the fear of killing one of my sweet little fluffy babies would be enough to keep me from messing those last three days! But to remind myself I’d probably put a ring of post-it’s around the incubator. 😛

Kristin Dorton May 8th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator yet but I know it is going to be so difficult to wait! I know I will have to put a note on it to keep both myself out of it but also to keep my son from being curious too! I am looking so forward to being able to hatch my own babies!

Jill Boling May 8th, 2012

When ever I’m hatching eggs and I get to the last days, I move mother hen and her eggs into a box in my room… to ya know, keep an eye on her! 😉 One ended up hatching at 3:00 in the morning and kept me up all night with it’s peeping!!

Jenner Dunn May 8th, 2012

I would love to have an incubator to hatch my own chickens without a frustrating broody hen. They are not reliable! I hope I win!

Beth May 8th, 2012

When I was hatching my eggs I talked to them all the time. Even in the last days but I did not pick them up. I just listened for them and talked to them. I wanted baby birds to come out and see mommy (me). When they did not hatch I was so sad. This blog is making me want to try again soon. I want my daughter to see the baby push its way out of the shell. It is so amazing that those tiny wet things can break through the egg at all.

Nick Belton May 8th, 2012

Any time I want to check them during lock down I just have to make sure I shove my hands in my pockets to keep them away from the lid. Then I just pace back and forth like an expectant father at the hospital until the desire goes away.

Gerrit Husar May 8th, 2012

Hello again,
I don’t have chickens and have never hatched eggs, but I have read about this lockdown period. I think what would keep my hands OUT of the incubator during this time is the fact that the chick’s lives are on the line. One wrong slip on my end could be fatal to the innocent little peepers. Of course all of us want successful hatches so we must keep our hands out and the lid closed! Can’t wait till your little furry babies hatch! So excited for you! Happy Blogging!
-Gerrit H.

Karen Surprenant May 9th, 2012

Duct tape

Cara Switzer May 9th, 2012

Our school’s classroom chicks are in the process of hatching – it’s so exciting! My daughter said something about not being able to open the incubator. Now I know what she’s talking about! I’ll have to pass the tips above onto her teacher. I’m with Karen S above…I’d need to wrap it in a few rolls of duct tape! Or maybe a lock then give my husband the key?

Rosemary May 9th, 2012

That sounds so neat. We just started with chicks in march. The kids and I have really been enjoying them. My daughter keeps asking if when they start laying can we please hatch some and I told her we have a lot to learn and will need an incubator. So for right now it’s a hold on and wait. Thanks for sharing so much information.

Deb S May 9th, 2012

My old styrafoam incubator has the little plastic panels so I can watch through them. It is Very Very difficult to not open it when I hear the little peep peeps though.

Marissa May 9th, 2012

ya lock down… it is the hardest part right after knowing you are not suppose to help them out of the shell EVEN when you see they already have a hole and want out….

Jennifer Higgins Foster May 9th, 2012

Well I guess you can also look at “LOCKDOWN” as being a way to make you feel like a big kid! My five year old is one that when you tell her she can’t do something she is going to do it or die! I always felt the same way during the last few days of hatching, but we always had the incubator in the “smokehouse” so we would just simple put a lock on the door and watch through the window…a lot. I miss those days and the times I had with my grandmother. I just hope I can create memories with my children that will last them a lifetime as have mine.

Tricia K. May 9th, 2012

I have a really hard time not opening the incubator during lock down. This last hatch I had to open the incubator because one of the hatched chicks had pushed an egg that had pipped so that the pip was down. And I did not want it to sufficate.

Melissa C. May 9th, 2012

reminding myself that not opening during lock down is giving my chicks the best shot at a healthy hatch would be enough to keep me out!

Elizabeth May 9th, 2012

Hi, I’m sure I would have a hard time keeping it shut lol. Would love to win so I can hatch my own babies! 🙂

Amanda May 9th, 2012

Lock Down is soooooo hard for me! The few times I have hatched I felt like on lock down day the bedroom door was being slammed in my face by a 14yr! You spend so much time turning, candling, and refilling the water. When that time comes to stay out its almost heartbreaking However in the back of your head you know there should be a even better outcome!

I cant wait! to hatch again, I have been waiting for awhile and now just waiting on the girls to lay, once they start I just got to get a bator and I’ma start hatching!!

Lisa Palmer May 9th, 2012

I know nothing of lock-down, but it sounds terribly hard! I hope I get a chance to hatch!

Vanessa May 9th, 2012

The lockdown seems to be soooooo hard! I’ve never hatched chicks before, but I’d probable (futily) get their brooder ready! When I got my first chicks last year, the brooder was ready like 1 week before we got them! There was a lot of water dispenser and food dispenser testing along with positioning the heatlamp perfectly! That may be a good way to keep busy…for a little!

Jan DeBack May 9th, 2012

How eggciting! Lockdown is the hardest part but also lets you relax a tad if you’ve been turning eggs for the past 18 days. LOL Now all you have to do is wait (and pace) and wait (and pace) and wait. :o) Hope you get loads of babies!!! MIne are just over 3 weeks old now. Luv ’em!

Ellie S. May 9th, 2012

Never incubated any eggs, but I don’t think it would be an issue. I would keep it locked in the bathroom, where I have my “brooder” and that pretty much keeps me away.

Roxanne May 9th, 2012

I’ve never incubated eggs or been through a lockdown, but I would probably resist the urge by keeping my hands busy with crochet.

Judy E May 9th, 2012

I think I’d just have to stay really, really busy doing something else! This is so exciting! Can’t wait to see pictures of the hatch.

Dolores Becker May 9th, 2012

We don’t have our own incubator the one we have we borrowed from a
friend of ours. It is an antique. Big and metal thankfully it has two little windows
on the side so we could watch and keep up with the humidity. If it was’nt
for that i wouldnt have been able to keep my hands or my husbands out
of it.

Mellissa May 10th, 2012

I ave never hatched eggs before so I am not sure how I would for certain but most likely I would put a post it on it that said something like “keep closed” or “stay out” and than tell my children to help remind mommy (they are 4 & 5) to keep the incubator closed so all the babies hatch properly.

Loretta Forman May 10th, 2012

Its so hard to keep myself out of the incubator when “lockdown” starts! and seeing how i hatch chickens in my kitchen haha they are RIGHT THERE for me to see! i will be the first to admit that i open and look! ahh thats right!!! i do it! HOWEVER I have been able to keep myself out this past hatch because of my 2 year old! i have to tell him and set the example that we cant open the incubator. When i saw him push a chair over to the incubator with a flashlight in hand look in on the eggs and then adjust the temp (yikes!!!) I knew i had to stop LOL!!!! So other than putting the incubator in the basement (haha yeah right!!) the only way to stay out of it is to remind myself that my shadow has figured out how to use the incubator!! i was very glad i caught him who knows what the temp would have went to ….

Christy J May 10th, 2012

The horror stories I heard about chicks who got ‘stuck’ in their shells because the humidity fluctuated from the incubator being opened, were more than enough to keep me from opening the incubator! I even learned to pour water in through the ventilation holes if the humidity dropped so I didn’t have to open the incubator.

Martha Waugh May 10th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator, but my tip would be to put it in a low traffic area of the house where the temptation wouldn’t be dangling in front of you.

Sherry May 10th, 2012

I would wrap the lock with beautiful ribbon like a chritmas gift and put a note card saying “DONT OPEN UNTIL…”. I would love to see new life emerge from the eggs. I would love to see my 3 year old as she watches this process and learns from the experience. Thank you for allowing me to enter! 🙂

Heather O'Keefe May 10th, 2012

Since I’m one of those that hasn’t had the opertunity to hatch my own eggs yet, just reading the blog entries here make me think the temptation to peek would be agonizing. I’d seriously be looking for a support group to talk me out of opening the incubator. If that failed, probally start my own support group for ‘Lockdown Support’. I know I’d be driving everyone crazy in the process and probally burning up my mom’s phone chatting to her just to distract me from the urge to take a peek and share a peep.

Joyce L. May 10th, 2012

I don’t have any great tips to keep you from opening the incubator. Honestly, I’m a real calendar person. I just right the date on my calendar and that’s that. I must obey the calendar!

Amber May 10th, 2012

I do not have an incubator at this time but if I did, My son would be all over it. He is 8 and loves his chickens. Loves telling people hes a chicken farmer. He would be all over the incubator, making sure no one messed with it unless it was necessary. He is all serious when it comes to his chicks, and being able to hatch them would be so awesome for him. And for me, since as he says i am the “chicken grandma” =)

Donna Santi May 10th, 2012

It is so hard not to want to peek and check…but I do know this is never a good idea!!

lela May 10th, 2012

Would love to win this!

Laura May 10th, 2012

My tip is to leave a lot of the planning, naming, etc. until Day 18. That way, once you reach that point you can keep busy by readying the brooder, thinking about names, starting to research on Craig’s List if anyone is looking for a rooster, procuring chick products (feed, electrolytes, etc.) All that stuff can usually keep you busy and excited for those last three days.

Karen May 10th, 2012

I would love a brinsea mini advance. It would keep me to only 7 eggs incubating.
With the bigger ones….. Oh that means trouble.
I would love to incubate Isbars, cream legbars, or WCB polish.
Or ….. An EMU roflmao

Cindy Irene May 10th, 2012

I like the suggestions above, so I would probably choose one of those to serve as a reminder. 🙂

Tally Calvert May 10th, 2012

Scotchtape around the edge. If you go to pull it open it woun`t and then you go DUH!

Heather White May 10th, 2012

I think it would be really easy to resist all temptation during lockdown if I had a brand new Brinsea Mini Advance Incubator since I would be able to watch the hatch through their clear dome, designed for high visibility! If I could watch what was going on from the outside, I would have no reason what-so-ever to open the incubator. See, problem solved!

Kelly May 10th, 2012

I love this blog. I am past due in my pregnancy (my first girl after 3 boys) with 2 months now of prodromal labor and I feel like I can very strongly relate to the lock down situation, even though I’ve always been too scared to hatch my own eggs since we can’t afford an incubator. One of these days…

Lila May 10th, 2012

It is so exciting to me to go thru the whole process.. I have an incubator in my office hatched out my first batch close to a month ago.. So hard not to open the lid. We could hear the little peeps the day before they started to hatch – that really made it hard. At the same time had a chicken sitting on her eggs outside- hers hatched about a week later but drove me crazy when she got off the the last 5 eggs to start frollicking around with the chicks. I could see that they were just starting to show signs of hatching and she wasn’t going back on so set up another incubator and moved them inside.. Well it worked 3 of them hatched out the next day for me. Now have 30 more eggs in the first incubator in my office and should hatch on 5/23.. My new hobby.. And I love it..

Michele McNulty May 10th, 2012

I learned the hard way with my 1st incubation, do NOT open the bator no matter what after day 18. I had a terrible hatch rate 15 out of 63 eggs! So, on this hatch I’m going to make my husband check the bator so I’m not even tempted…

Karen May 10th, 2012

Oh yeah. I forgot.
To avoid opening the incubator, I go outside
In the sunshine and play with my chickens.
and if that doesn’t work. I go shopping for chick presents
and moma hen (me) presents. If that doesnt work I get duct
taped to a chair right in front of the bator so I can look, but
NOT touch.

Garnet Brooks May 10th, 2012

I am so hoping to win this great incubator and assorted eggs, I have had great luck with my own “home-made” incubator but always wanted a more professional set-up. I raise chicken purely as a hobby, the love of chickens and of course for the eggs. We live inside the city limits but still keep hens (sans a rooster due to noise ordinances) but all my close neighbors have never complained, I think that’s part due to the fresh eggs I distribute to them.

Sara May 10th, 2012

I have a broody not an incubator. I do have to force myself to leave her alone. I try to keep myself busy by doing stuff with the big girls or ducks. I like to take my ducks for a walk around the yard. We have a mini parade.

ErikaB May 10th, 2012

I’ve never hatched and we’ve been thinking about trying it, but I can’t resist the cute cuddly ones when we go to our local farm store and the kids beg for them so we keep putting off buying an incubator. Unfortunately our last batch we brought home only 5 out of 9 made it, they had a rough travel and would love to try it on our own from our girls and our Manly Mr. Red. He already struts his stuff, so being a big proud Papa would make him even more puffed up! Our action for lockdown would probably have a HUGE sign that says…If you want see us hatch…don’t touch the latch! 🙂 Best of luck to everyone!

ryan whelpley May 10th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator yet. It would be so cool if a small suburban farmer from the Detroit metro could win.

Janna May 10th, 2012

So I did okay not opening the incubator until the chicks started hatching. They flopped around so much and then moved around so much I was afraid they were turning the other eggs—and one did start pipping from the bottom and had trouble hatching. But I did add extra wet sponges to my LIttle Giant to increase humidity when I opened it to get the crazy new chicks out. 🙂 I would love a Brinsea with the auto temp controls, I had a hard time monitoring mine in the Little Giant.

Julie Stockton May 10th, 2012

I would love to win this for my 10 year old son. He has been in love with chickens since age 5 and has finally started to try to incubate eggs this year. We have a tiny incubator that he faithfully tends to, but so far only one has hatched and that chick quickly died. 🙁 Being on a budget from recent upgrades to the “chicken shed” and enclosure mean that he is stuck trying to muddle his way through temperature changes and humidity guessing for a while longer. He would go crazy with happiness if he won this incubator and FERTILIZED EGGS! Thanks for all of the wonderful info you share with all of your fellow chicken and poultry lovers. 🙂

PS I have to lock down the internet at night because he is up until the wee hours reading your blog and looking for new chicken goodies on your website. lol

Barbara S May 10th, 2012

Two words… DUCT TAPE!!!!! It’s a great “Lock-Down” reminder! The anticipation is hard… like a kid waiting for Christmas morning! But, it’s all worth it when you finally get to welcome the little fuzzies into the world! It has been many years since I have experienced that joy. I would LOVE to win the Brinsea so I could share it with my grandchildren!

Leslie Johns May 10th, 2012

I cannot STAND the waiting process for those last 3 days!!!! I made the mistake of staying home from work on day 21 the first time I incubated eggs so I could see if anything happened…big mistake! It was everything I could do not to open it up, especially after that first pip!!! and first chick!!! AAARRGGHH!!! Now I know to just go to work…plus I put a piece of tape on all 4 sides of the ‘bator to remind (discourage?) me from even trying to open it. I keep myself BUSY so I’m not hovering for 3 days!! 🙂

Deanna Parrish May 10th, 2012

I am awful about being patient and allowing the babies to go into lockdown makes it worse. I tend to over worry and want to open the bator, but I know that its best to keep it closed. The best way I’ve found to avoid opening the bator during lockdown is to keep myself busy. If I’m off working on building a new coop for the babies when they are ready to go out I”m not worrying so much about the bator.

Deb May 10th, 2012

And we have chicks and pips!!! Our favorite teenage chick (bators going all the time) died in a freak accident when I attempted to introduse them to the flock. Her name was peep and my six year old and I were so sad. Our first new chick in this batch?? Same breed and looks identical (so far).

Riley named her Peep2.


Kathy McCurdy May 10th, 2012

Going to put a sign on the incubator at day 18 “Do Not Open til the eggs do!” That way students and I will start anticipating the hatch. That will be eggciting!

Cherie Platts May 10th, 2012

I don’t have my own incubator, yet, but the best way I can think of, because I practically live on my computer (I’m a graphic designer working from home) would be to set up a web cam pointed at the incubator. That way I wouldn’t have to run out to the chicken house every 2 minutes. I could keep a live feed going in the corner of my screen 24/7. And if I added infared and sound I could even take a peek if I woke up during the night or if I heard any peeping.

Liz Oliver May 10th, 2012

Patience is not one of my virtues. And I haven’t hatched baby chicks since grade school. So the only way I could keep that incubator under “lockdown” would be to hire one of our Great Pyrenees to guard it from me! 🙂 I think Annika would do a great job since her favorite job is being Nanny to any and all babies that come on the property. If I win the incubator I will definitely have Annika the Great Pyr be my assistant and Nanny.

Steve May 10th, 2012

REALLY REALLY LIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

michelle May 10th, 2012

At 28 I have a real issue leaving the incubator shut I always feel like I should be right there to check for pips and make sure they are doing ok and no one is stuck in a shell!

Jaci May 10th, 2012

Some day not to far in the distance future I will be among all these tramatized chick lovers. I am anticpating that day, not thinking I could be so bothered by the mothering of wanting to open the incubator early…..It has been fun reading about all the experances people go through.

Alicia Parker May 10th, 2012

It is hard to open the incubator during lock-down but I myself just keep thinking about the babies to keep myself from opening it!!!

Korrie Klingelhutz May 10th, 2012

When I was a little girl my mother had this huge incubator/brooder. It was amazing to watch and wait and see the little ones coming out of their shells! I don’t have an incubator myself, but would love one. I do have some really great hens that have dozens of chicks in my barn every summer. There is nothing like watching the little ones tagging ofter mom through the flowers 🙂 If I had an incubator I would definitely try the tape, My kids will respect that and help me to also!

Ronda Morris May 10th, 2012

I don;t have an incubator yet but can see it would be hard to resist opening it to see these cute little chicks!! I would not open in though because I would want them to be healthy!!

Shanandoah May 10th, 2012

I put a sign in front of it that says “Chicks at Work – Keep Out!” to remind me if it happens to slip my mind that I’m not supposed to open it.

rebecca May 10th, 2012

I really never have had a successful “lock down”. I have tried to. I have had family members distract me in various ways… never happens.(take me to the store, away from the house and bator) I always have had successful hatches….so this makes the rule even harder to obey. I turn into a sneaky child….I find ways even with 5 children (who are obeying the rules) watching me like a hawk…..I sneak in and open it at one point or another…I am hopeless!!!! LOL. Even when my intentions are pure….a small helpless duck is slow go and needs a tiny bit of help….or a chick has flipped and is struggling and needs a little nudge. May be with the see through bator I wouldn’t need to peek so much! Possibly an alarm that sounds loudly throughout the house and yard would be a good idea!

Courtney May 10th, 2012

I would probably have to install an alarm or something. I have a really hard time with waiting. Probably just let my daughter be in charge of it she is a great mommy to her baby chicks.

Cheri Kaelin May 10th, 2012

I am so bad but I keep scolding myself

Liesa Stiller May 10th, 2012

Actually, I do not think you’re crazy… unless I am. I talk to the eggs the entire time. When they hatch I cuddle them and coo to them. If I hatch geese eggs, I snuggle them and call to them, ‘wooly, wooly, wooly.’ A phrase I use their entire life. I guess I am the Mother hen.

this might explain why I’m still single. 😉

Ellen May 10th, 2012

I would keep the’ bator in the basement where I do not walk every day. Easier to forget about it and not hear the babies that way!

Carol May 10th, 2012

When our eggs hatched a week ago, I was so surprised to hear the eggs peeping the night before they hatched. Several eggs had pipped and they were really very loud!

Laura Jones May 10th, 2012

Would love The Brinsea Incubator! “Lockdown” don’t remember doing it with my first and only attempt with my old styrofoam incubator. Nature has it own ways of how things should go and we can only do our best to mimick those actions. We as humans and love for our chickens find it hard to wait but with patience, we can usually be rewarded. Mother hen does what nature has told her, so we must do the waiting too.

Lisa M May 10th, 2012

So enjoying your blog about incubating. Completely echos my experiences and emotions. I peeped at my eggs several times a day all throughout the incubations & hatching. Very instructive for anyone thinking of incubating for the first time. Thank you!

P.S. Have some little mealworms available after the first day they hatch. Your little peepers go nuts for them once they figure out what they are and they’ll start mobbing your hand for them each time.

Robert May 10th, 2012

Looking for new equipment to further grow our 4h poultry club…this would be awesome

Heather Cook May 10th, 2012

What keeps me from peeking during lockdown is that I don’t have an incubator…yet 😉

Jody Pautsch-Wygans May 10th, 2012

Oh how this incubator AND hatching eggs would make for such a great Mother’s Day!!! How to keep out during lock down? Self control. And if that doesn’t work, it doesn’t hurt to have a husband and four boys constantly reminding you!

Cheryl May 10th, 2012

Oh MY!! I have not tried to hatch since I did this as a project for my daughter’s (now 27) kindergarten class. That brings back memories… I was the biggest kid sitting by the incubator all weekend afraid we’d miss something. Only 2 of our 10 chicks actually hatched, (wished I had your blog back then) so I went to a farmer and borrowed a bunch of babies to sneak in so the kids were not disappointed.

I’d love to try it again, no kids around anymore to shake eggs and open the incubator every 5 minutes. I know how much fun my 3 chickens are and having more will make me be a big girl this time. 🙂

Sharon Moore May 10th, 2012

I currently do not have an incubator. But want one. lol How would I keep my incubator shut for the last days?
Easy put the kids chore check list on it, they will never touch it. 🙂
Seriously I would put a post it note on the top and tape it closed with clear tape so they think that it has a lock. 🙂

Coleen May 10th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator (I get day old chicks), but have always wanted to hatch my own chicks. When I read your blog and the comments posted I can feel the excitement and anticipation in watching this miracle take place. Even though I have not incubated my own eggs, I can just imagine how excruciating it must be not to take a quick peek! I would have to follow my crock pot rule…if you lift the lid before it’s done, what you put in might come undone!

Michelle May 10th, 2012

I think my mom would still end up opening them toward the last days, lol. I know that when they would start hatching and we could hear the peeping we would all gather round and watch through the little window and could not wait to hold them.

Rachel May 10th, 2012

I don’t have an incubator yet either, but I can imagine just how hard it is to wait. I would setup the incubator in an out of the way place, to avoid my wanting to peek (and avoid my cats rubbing on it). I think that I would also employ the “tape it shut” method mentioned above. If there was an emergency of sorts, then I would try and get things done as quickly as possible. this would include adding a moist sponge or bit of wet cloth to help keep the humidity at the right point. It’s also beneficial that I live in Florida, and most of the time our humidity is about 50% to start with, if not up to 70% plus. Overall it would be tempting, but I feel I could resist the urge for the better good of the chicks.

JhaRee Miller May 10th, 2012

I’d have to lock the door to the room the incubator is in to keep the kids out – they are forever curious and don’t understand the hazards to the chicks.

Tina Egan May 10th, 2012

I like that my GQF Hatcher has a plexiglas door! I can see! Otherwise I would probably be peeking!

Judy Jacobs May 10th, 2012

I add cellulose sponges under the mesh screen after removing the turner to keep the humidity up. and dribble water through the vent hole in the lid. Watching the cellulose change color through the plastic panes on the lid is kind of the opposite of watching paint dry.

Debbie Chioffe May 10th, 2012

It is so very tempting! I am with you..I want to provide the tender clucks and reassuring coos that I feel that they need. It is just natural for any Mommy(Me) to want to hold their precious babies. I have gotten them delivered as day old chicks too…talk about immediate gratification! I love it..but there are so many great aspects to breeding and brooding my own. Another advantage is that it teaches me paitience which I struggle with in out “instant” world. I like being able to calmly wait, and we all know that they say good things come to those who do. The whole process is just so fascinating!

Christie Albertin May 10th, 2012

Lockdown Days: These are the absolutely worst days in the world, even if you have a “window” to see inside the incubator. It is especially horrific if you hear pipping. Of course, if you have to turn the eggs manually, day 18 is a great day, because I don’t really enjoy turning an incubator filled with eggs. But there is that faint tap-tap-tapping on the eggshell, and the little cheeps when the beaks make it into the airsac. ARGH. I hate “LOCKDOWN”. I want to help and cradle and listen close to the shell and hear the little one move about. It is the most frustrating time to play “mama” to a chick, because you aren’t allowed to do anything. Yes, sometimes I do help a little fellow out of the shell. Sometimes it’s OK and sometimes it’s not. When I help I anguish over the baby until he is up moving and fluffy or I feel extreme guilt because I tried to help. My husband just hopes all the biddies are hatched while I sleep, but that never seems to work, except under those broody hens. Since I can’t really see what’s going on, unless I heppen to check under the hen and find a chipped shell, I rely on that odd behavior the hen does when she has a moving thiingy under her wing. Some hens are quite proud and other are astonished, but none have ever thrown one out (except the time a duckling scampered over the edge on his own and then five hens gathered around him to protect him – 4 pointed outward and the “mother” stuffing him under her wing). But my hens don’t always go broody, and never on MY schedule, so I would enjoy a working incubator once again, so I can experience the miracle of chick hatch on my own without help.

Dana May 10th, 2012

My lockdown is coming up tomorrow! I have 9 silkies and 6 Serama eggs kicking inside those eggs and I have been talking to those babies for over 2 weeks and will continue talking to them through lockdown. To keep myself occupied this time I’ve decided to have an open house a few days after they’re hatched so that all of my city friends (and their children or grandchildren) who have been wishing to come see the babies can experience the pleasure of cuddling little fuzzy butts. So, I’ll be baking cookies, cleaning house and getting the brooder all set up in anticipation of their arrival. After the chicks are about one week old my friends will be invited where they will be given a crash course in keeping ourselves and the chicks safe washing hands before and after and safe handling of the babies.

What do you think my chances of recruiting a few more chicken owners will be after they meet my little chicks?

Shannon Bish May 10th, 2012

I would REALLY love to win this incubator!!!! I want to add to my flock, but my current incubator does not keep a constant temprature! My last clutch of eggs were doing so well then two days before hatching the stupid thing cooks them. I use my birds as therapy and education birds. I love watching kids that have never seen chickens learn about them. My girls also help the disabled, the residents at my brothers work, all verous forms of disablities, love “playing” and loving on my girls. They think its so funny that the girls do tricks.

Lauren Allpress May 10th, 2012

I also don’t have an incubator yet, but I use sticky notes all over the house to keep myself and my husband out of things. =)

Vail May 10th, 2012

I have never incubated my own eggs, I have always purchased day old chicks…oh how I would love to be able to hatch my own w/my 4 girls! Good luck with your hatch!

Karen May 10th, 2012

I make sure the viewing window on my incubator is squeaky clean so I can watch the eggs. For better viewing, I use a small flashlight to shine on the eggs and subsequent babies.

Alissa D. May 10th, 2012

I think it would be fairly easy for me to keep it closed, just knowing what great little surprises id be getting in a matter of days, my only problem would be my 3 yr old son trying to “help mommy” but I could easily bribe him with candy or money. Reading these blogs makes me want to hatch my own so bad now lol I can’t wait!!!

elizabeth May 10th, 2012

I had a little wind-up chick I put on top of incubator with a little sign that says “Wait for Me :)” Then if got anxious I just wound it up & laughed. That & duct tape

Kelly G. May 10th, 2012

We are hoping to get an incubator soon as our chickens are getting older and we found one to be a rooster! Unfortunately, Lola will have his name changed. I think to keep myself from going to the incubator I may put the scale in front of the door. With summer coming, who wants to step on a scale? 🙂

Wendy May 10th, 2012

I would love a new Brinsea incubator! Our family hasn’t experienced hatching our own chicks yet even though we have over 50 chickens! We are so crazy over our hens and roos. We are always out in the garden with them and fussing over them. I can’t imagine how we would be with peeps about to hatch. But we would love to find out!

Bianca May 10th, 2012

I have yet to hatch eggs, although I would very much like to. I, like you Lissa, would find it hard not to peep back at the little eggs. I would have to have the incubator near my desk so I could keep an eye on it. When ever I felt that irresistable urge to peek in on the eggs, I would walk outside, go down to the coop, and talk to my adult chickens. I would most likely tell them all about the eggs and how excited I was to have them hatch soon.

tanya veitch May 10th, 2012

Would love love love to hatch our own chicks at home! And especially have been wanting this incubator!! To win one would be awesome! Thanks

Mary May 10th, 2012

Closer…closer…closer… 🙂

Anna Hyde May 10th, 2012

I havent hatch In a Incubator But my hens Have on there Own Id Like to Have a Incubator For the Eggs though

Katie May 10th, 2012

We put a band of bright pink duct tape all the way around the lid. That way you really have to think about it and remove all the duct tape to get in- makes you think twice……and…..makes it obvious if you do (no sneaking!).

Nann Wilson May 10th, 2012

I love my baby chicks.

Margaret Myette May 10th, 2012

We’re homeschoolers with lots of chicken and lots of eggs. We would love to hatch chicks! We’ve all talked about it and want to, we just haven’t been able to get an incubator yet. All 5 of my kids (and me) are hoping to win. I think it would be a blast to let them hatch as often as they want since they are small batches and not one of those huge incubators. We are clearly addicted to chickens, lol.

Janetta Dobler May 10th, 2012

I am incubator challenged and would love a Brinsea! Once my eggs reach lockdown, I have to frequently remind myself not to open the bator. Had one experience where a chick needed assistance and I didn’t help it – that one died. It had zipped the shell, but was unable to break through the membrane. From that point on, I keep an eye out and will sometimes assist a chick if it has gone 24-36 hours after pipping without progress. I have to open the bator to add water as well.

JD May 10th, 2012

My strategy would be “out of sight out of mind”. The incubator would have to be in a room that I don’t often go into. Even if I did see it though, I would have enough willpower not to look. I would hate to compromise the hatching at the last minute.

Marilyn H. May 10th, 2012

I would put a frowny face sticker on the lid and a note “do not open!”

Nan Moore May 10th, 2012

I would reward myself with chocolate for not opening the incubator! Most appropriate would be a Cadbury choclate egg!

Jan DeBack May 10th, 2012

Looking forward to seeing how many hatch. I’m guessing you’ll have a great hatch rate. Best of luck!

Barbara May 10th, 2012

I’m in lockdown also and tomorrow is hatch day. I keep them in the other room away from drafts and go in a peek through the windows of the lids. There are times I feel extreme pressure to help, but for the most part I resist the temptation and walk away…very hard to do at times, but I’ve learned it’s best. :O)

Wishing you a great hatch…

Fallon Duncan May 10th, 2012

I’m not so great at lock down though I did a ton better with this 2nd hatch . It’s way to tempting to peek 🙂

Susan S. May 10th, 2012

How exciting! I’d love an incubator of my own!

Lanna Jones May 10th, 2012

Tape that thing shut! Keeps curious little hands out 🙂

Beth Clure May 10th, 2012

I want an incubator so I can watch the eggs hatch… My silkies are too little still to be broody.. Of course, knowing my luck, I rarely win anything… I want to learn and experience the “lockdown”.. Please please pick me to win..

Teresa Fultz May 10th, 2012

Do something else to distract myself – bake endless loaves of bread, go out and work in the garden, work extra shifts….

Deborah May 10th, 2012

Have a brinsea so its easy to do lockdown, and wait till they break out one by one.. exiting !

Raquel Green May 10th, 2012

I would make it a fun contest with family members (or maybe even a blog idea..hint…hint…), on which egg would hatch first, second, third, etc. No one could open the incubator until lock down was over, because the contest has to be finished!

Cheryl Martin May 10th, 2012

You are definitely not alone, I want to pick them up, put them to my ear and listen for pecking or cheeping and talk to them too.

Brandy Noody May 10th, 2012

Temptation is hard, I know it. However, I equate waiting to open the incubator to waiting to see that first ultrasound during your pregnancy. It can be agonizing waiting 15 weeks to get that first glimpse of your child, but it’s worth the wait. Nature truly is beautiful.

Megan Zielinski May 10th, 2012

My baby chicks are due to be picked up Tuesday, Brooder is ready. These are my first – soooo excited Next time around I think I’d like to try and hatch them myself. Love taking this journey with you

Miranda May 10th, 2012

I’ve never heard of lockdown. I hatch eggs with my high school zoology kids, and staying out is pretty much the name of the game. I let them have brief times to see/candle/turn eggs, but they mostly have to look through the window for the entire process anyway. (Sad, but we missed hatching this year). I do take eggs out or raise the lid briefly to let them listen to the peeps, and we have a quick look-see once babies are hatched and scooting around. Once they are dry – talk about some spoiled rotten chicks. They actually complain about not getting to be held in a hand and rocked to sleep. 🙂

billie May 10th, 2012

antipation is half the fun. I loved peeking in everyday as a child to see if the chickens were hatching.

Michelle Lynn Benge May 10th, 2012

It would make my day to win. I lost a chicken and my sweetheart turkey today to my son’s not so nice dog. He’s outside the fence now, but I miss my little girls. I can never replace them but I can pour all my love on the rest.

Brenda May 10th, 2012

I think the hardest part would be once I realized one had started hatching. From then on, it would be very hard not to peek. I’d love to try though.

RoseMarie Fiske May 10th, 2012

Having never hatched before I didn’t know what to do when the first 2 chicks hatched and started flopping over the place and spinning the other eggs flying all across the incubator. One little guy had pipped but the 2 that hatched spun him around and sent him into the incubator wall trapping the hole he had pipped in his shell against it. So once they had dried I took the little hooligans out of there and reset the other eggs. They were so happy to see me, they were chirping and calling. When I lifted the lid they ran right over to me. It dawned on me they thought I was their mother. Wow what a cool feeling that was! Then the next 3 hatched and sent the remaining eggs flying all over again. The poor little guy still had a hole but hadn’t gone any further so I had 3 still chirping and no pip and the one little guy with a hole who didn’t make any more progress. So one again I opened it and pulled away some shell to make it easier. He ended up hatching with a little help from me. 3 other never pipped. So next time I will be very conservative about opening it.

Cindy L May 10th, 2012

I would probably have to put tape on the incubator to keep my girls out. Myself, I would probably have to take up knitting to keep me busy.

Lori S May 11th, 2012

I have been hatching chicks with my big round metal incubator,,for my 22 grandchildren,,,,,,,, They find the whole process so amazing,and so do I,,,,no matter how many times they hatch. My lock down is literally….Duck tape with a wax seal,,,just in case and then I know someone sneaked in,and around here nobody is always getting into things and this is something Nobody,somebody or anybody is not going to mess with!!!!! As far as a new incubator..I love turning the egglings as it really connects you to the miracle that is happening inside,,, although life does happen and I have been known to forget a time or 2,and a incubator that all the kids could look into,,,instead of the 2″ window,,would be sooooo awesome,,,this is a great learning site glad my girlfriend sent me a link ,It would be wonderful if more people could have a connection with the animals that provide such an outstanding food product to kept us happy and heathy,,,,,,In return we treat them with respect,and keep them heathy and happy,,,, the circle of life,,It;s what life is about,,,,

Deleith Campos May 11th, 2012

I have never had an incubator BUT you can guarantee I would post a DO NOT TOUCH sign on it to keep from opening it lol ..I have no doubt the temptation would still be eating at me

Brenda May 11th, 2012

OH I sooooo would Love to win what a perfect mothers day gift !

Phill B. May 11th, 2012

We’d love to start hatching some of our own birds.

Mary R May 11th, 2012

Hurry…want to see the new baby pics

Courtney May 11th, 2012

The hatcher is in my closet so it is easy to walk away now. I find I get much better hatch rates when I just step away from the bator!

Brandon May 11th, 2012

I don’t have one yet so it is easy to keep from opening it.

Susan S. May 11th, 2012

What great hatching pics! I love taking chick pics! Would love a new incubator, too!

Patrick May 11th, 2012

I that time I’m so excited for my chicks to arrive and waited so long that I won’t do anything that is going to screw it up.

Paula Brown May 11th, 2012

Being new to chickens and never hatching any myself. I dont know what I would do. I do know I would be checking in on them pretty regulary. But I think I would have the will power not open it… Well………maybe we will have to see. Happy Mothers Day! Can’t wait to be one.

jess s May 11th, 2012

Everyone keeps each other accountable for not opening the incubator during lockdown. We all police each other to protect le chicks.

Elizabeth May 11th, 2012

Love following along for your chicks to hatch. Longing for my own some day soon.

Pam May 11th, 2012

I have never hatched but I can imagine the temptation to open! I’d probably have to tape it shut (because of the kids too).

April Brown May 11th, 2012

I would love to become Ms. Hen and have the chance to see chickens hatch for their first time. I have been trying for years many years with no luck. I have had an area ready for baby chickens for ever and it still remains empty. I would love to fill that up with some babies. I no getting an incubator would be my answer to all my prayers and keep my farm going and my son’s spirt alive. For he is the reason why I love chickens and they taught me alot. Watching some be born would be a grate blessing and a learning experience we all need. Please give me that chance.

Jenner Dunn May 11th, 2012

To keep myself from opening the incubator door during lock down I would…………Probably go spend time with the girls! Gee I can’t wait to see who wins!

Than Angell May 11th, 2012

I will simply put a note on the incubator saying “do not open until chicks hatch”.

Tamara May 12th, 2012

Have my children shout, “DON’T MOM!” every time I’m near it then my sense of shame at my own impatience will kick in…

Kelley Thies May 12th, 2012

I would love to win a Brinsea incubator, I have wanted 1 for yrs but being on disability I can’t afford it, been stuck with an old worn out, careful not to pump it or the temp changes incubator, lost a great many eggs to that. But now I have hope in a wonderful dream of winning a Brinsea.

Thanks for the Dream

Carri May 12th, 2012

I would place the incubator in an inconspicuous space so I could forget about it and put a reminder in my calendar to not forget to check on them and hope I would not peek

Shelley Guerra May 12th, 2012

I hatched chickens at the school I work at this month. In the past I had problems with chicks not hatching even though I had candled them and they were all alive. I recently read an article in Backyard Poultry about hatching chicks. In it it said that most chicks don’t hatch because of loss of oxygen after breaking into the air space but before peeping. They said they make a very small hole in the air space end of the egg after candling them to see if they have broken into the air space, but not peeped yet. I tried this as an experiment this time and had all my eggs hatch. I think this would be the only reason that I would open the incubator. I recomend reading the article in the last issue of Backyard Chicken.

anke May 13th, 2012

Knowing that “lock down” is very crucial for a successful hatch, I can keep myself out of the incubator. It is actually more the time before (like day 7 to 14) that I want to open the incubator up and candle to see the development progress.

Aurelia June 17th, 2012

Neat I have had a hen hatch egg none were Roos though

Aurelia June 17th, 2012

Must be hard 2 wait

E Hnilica May 13th, 2016

I am just getting started in raising chickens. I have 5 girls I raised from chicks, one is on some “borrowed eggs” because she was very broody. And we have a brooder with 12 chicks, almost ready to leave the brooder. About 2weeks ago we got a 3month old rooster. My 7month old hens have stopped laying all together. Any ideas?

Lissa May 19th, 2016

Can you explain a little better what you’re wanting to get advice about? You have listed a few different situations, but haven’t explained what type of advice you’re looking for. If you’re looking for advice about how to introduce your new birds to the flock, we have that on our website. We also have a list of possible causes–and related solutions–if your hens should stop laying, and how to help a broody hen. You can also write an email to if you have questions unrelated to this blog topic. I hope I’ve helped!

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