The eggs that I put in the incubator a while back went into lock down this morning. That means that I took them out of the egg turner and I won't open the incubator again until the chicks hatch.
The turner has a little electric motor and a gear that turns the eggs back and forth so the chicks don't get stuck in the same place. With out the turner I would have to turn them by hand twice a day. A mother hen would also shift the eggs periodically throughout the day.
Out of the 20 eggs that I put in the incubator there are only 9 still in there. These two won't be going back in. I think they were cracked during shipping. The cracks allow bacteria to enter and turn the eggs rotten.
Rotten egg comes bubbling out of the crack. This egg was stuck to the turner. It smells about as bad as you would expect.
This egg had just a pin hole with egg coming out but it was enough to turn the egg.
The other thing you do at lock down is add water to increase the humidity inside the incubator. This will keep the chicks from drying out as they hatch. If it's too dry their fluff could stick to the eggs and they won't be able to hatch. I also add a wet sponge which helps add humidity. You can see the condensation forming on the window. It disappeared after a few minutes.
I added a little computer fan to the inside. The fan helps to even out the temperature inside the incubator so every part is the same. When it gets closer to the time for the hatch I'll turn the fan off. It could also dry a chick out.
I'm not sure how many chicks to expect. There is definitely something developing in 7 or 8 of them but you never know what you're going to end up with. As long as I get a decent cockerel out of this batch I'll be able to breed more next summer with the three pullets that I got from Dare 2 Dream Farm.