It’s day 18 and the eggs in the incubator are now in “lockdown”. They’ve been taken off the autoturner and the humidity has been raised in preparation for hatching. It’s critical to keep the humidity high (65%+) until they hatch, so the incubator won’t be opened again until the chicks have hatched.
We candled a few, but at this stage, there’s not much to be seen – the egg is mostly dark, full of nearly developed chick and air sac. No funky smells emanating from them, either, so none were pulled. Fingers crossed for a successful hatch!
One sour note: after collecting the chicken eggs from the coop today, I put the four I found in my jacket pocket and later bent down to pick something up. The distinctive “crack” reported what had happened, and the egg on my fingers when I put them in my pocket confirmed it: I crushed an egg. I have an egg basket, but skipped it since I was in a hurry. Lesson learned. I’ll use the egg basket for its intended purpose going forward.