The Serama eggs are doing well in the incubator. I will be locking it down after tomorrow. The photo above is what one of the eggs looked like on day 12 when I candled them. I apologize that it isn’t the best photo, I didn’t want to keep the egg out too long trying to get a great shot, but you can see what the blood vessels look like inside, the air sac on the bottom, and there is also a dark area. As the time has gone on, I’ve gotten better at seeing what I am looking for. Today is day 17 and after tomorrow I will be locking things down and my hope is that the two in the incubator will hatch by Monday.
I took the unviable eggs out of the incubator on day 12. I was pretty sure that I only had two that were developing but until the 12th day I just didn’t want to risk taking them out. If I was an experienced hatcher, I probably would have felt more confident and just removed them around day 10 at the latest. The eggs I removed actually looked exactly the same as they did on day 4 when I candled them.
My incubator directions say to turn up the humidity to 65 three days before hatch. I had heard the humidity for Seramas was a little different so I was concerned about raising it. I did some research and was having a difficult time finding consistent information related to Seramas. I messaged a few people about it and someone got back to me after a couple of days. I was told to leave it at 45-48 as it has been from the beginning.
Then there was the question of what three days before hatch actually meant. This seemed simple to me when I first heard it. Stop turning the eggs three days before and don’t open the incubator. Simply subtracting 3 from 21 (the days it takes for chicken eggs to hatch) gave me day 18 but I was unclear if that meant to stop turning them on day 17 and stop opening up the incubator at that time. I thought about how that was technically four days of a closed incubator and no egg turning.
I spent a whole two days researching that and kept reading the same thing “lockdown three day before hatch” Seramas also tend to hatch before the normal 21 days so this made me have even more questions. While waiting for someone to get back to me about it, I kept reminding myself that my broody hen outside is not sitting in the nest box counting the days. She doesn’t know if it’s day 17 or day 18 or even day 19 for that matter. I figured if I couldn’t get the answer was going to lockdown at the end of day 17. Yesterday, I got some answers and I now think I have all the information that I need about the humidity level for Seramas as well as what three days before actually means. I was told that I should stop turning the eggs at the end of day 18 and keep the incubator closed until after they hatch. I was also told to candle them on day 18 and I should see a face in the air sac. I’m not sure what that means exactly but I’m assuming it will look different from how they have looked up until now. I’ll know soon. Tomorrow is day 18. I already feel close to the little chicks so I am hoping that all goes well when they hatch sometime between Friday and Monday. I can’t wait to meet them.