How To Incubate Hatch Eggs Using The Dry Incubation Method

I now incubate fewer eggs each year and have more chicks that I did when I was incubating several hundred each year for myself, though most of...
By BYC Support · Jan 10, 2012 · Updated May 1, 2012 · ·
  1. BYC Support
    Dry Incubation
    Used with permisson - By Bill Worrell

    As a student of poultry at age 14, I became fascinated with the breeding and hatching of eggs. Even when I only raised mixed breed chickens and ducks I was always trying to find ways to incubate eggs. I started my poultry hobby with a few Araucanas and a few White Jersey Giant hens. My challenge became to find a way to get them to become broody. I never did. So I started trying to figure out how to make an incubator. I tried everything you can think of and nothing seemed to work. A few months later an old friend of mine told me he had an old redwood incubator that hadn't been used for 15 years or longer. I asked what he wanted for it. He replied that he'd like to have my car stereo. So I went out to the car and took it out and swapped it even. Man what a deal I thought. This thing was huge to me. It was 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 3 feet tall. It had no egg turner and it had a water pan that had more holes in it than a sifter. I brought it home on my dad's old pick-up truck and cleaned it up. I plugged it in and decided it would probably need some work before I trusted it enough to leave it alone, much less hatch in it. Well, to make a long story short, I did fix it up and got it working. Then placed it in my bedroom, much to my parents' dismay. Man I was in the hatchery business.

    I hatched every egg I could find. Tried everything imaginable from ducks to geese, from chickens to guineas, from quail to wild turkeys. I had some success but mostly failure. I had no understanding of how a bird develops in the egg, knew nothing about humidity, heck I didn't even know about turning eggs in the incubator. I just knew it was fun to see baby chicks come out of the shell. Still today it is what I love most about the hobby.

    The next year I added my first foam Hova-Bator from GQF. Reading the directions I found out for the first time about how to add water and the importance of turning eggs. For the first time I had a thermometer and I learned what a thermostat wafer was. Boy was I excited.

    I started to incubate in conventional ways of adding water and turning the eggs, keeping the temperature at 99.5 degrees, and candling with a flashlight. I had good success but never hatched better than 60% and that was on rare occasions. Still I thought that was great. I had a few friends bring their eggs to me and ask me to hatch them. So I started a little enterprise at age 15 doing custom hatching for $1.00 per dozen. That first year with my new incubator and my old redwood incubator I incubated over 750 eggs. But all along I never realized how these hatcheries got 90-95% hatches. That was until a few years later.

    I met an older gentleman who asked me how I was hatching my eggs. I told him this story and explained that I could never get the hatch rate above 60%. He then replied, "Have you ever tried incubating dry?" I said I hadn't. Then he explained what I am about to tell you. He said, "Bill, you need to stop adding water to your incubator. Those foam incubators are real bad to drown the chicks inside the egg." I said to myself, yeah right. That doesn't sound like any way of incubating I ever heard of. But I listened. This man changed my incubation practices forever. I took the info he gave me and experimented with it. And soon my hatch rate went to 70%, then 80%, then 90% and has even been 100% on several occasions. I now use it exclusively in my foam incubators. I will add just a teaspoon of water on occasions when the humidity is real low here, especially in the winter time. In our new 1202's we will add 1/4 inch of water in the pan but we cover half of the pan with foil to cut back the water surface and we leave the vents open all the way, even the bottom one's. We have found that the humidity will stay around 40% inside the 1202's when we do this. Then about every 3-4 days we add another 1/4 inch of water. The water wont last for 4 days but we like to dry the bator down totally for about 12-18 hours before we add any more water. When the 1202 is out of water it will still register 25% humidity or there abouts. We have only had 1202's for a short time so we are still experimenting with them a bit.

    I now incubate fewer eggs each year and have more chicks that I did when I was incubating several hundred each year for myself, though most of what I hatch today is for other people. At one time I was hatching over 1,000 eggs per month and sometimes 1,000 per week for other people. So this is not theory. I still use it today and will never go back. Here is how it works:

    First, you have to remember a few things. An egg must lose approximately 11% to 14% of its weight during the incubation cycle. That is, it has to have some evaporation of the contents of the egg itself in order for the chick to have room inside of the egg to develop and still have room to turn in the egg so it can spin around and pip the shell. Where most folks go wrong is they add water to often or they add too much to the incubator and cause the humidity to increase to levels that slow or stop the evaporation process. This causes the chick to grow too large inside the egg. The chick will pip the shell on day 21 and never go any farther. Or they wont pip at all because they puncture the internal membrane of the egg and there they are met with a gush of water, causing them to drown. Have you ever wondered why this happens? I sure did.

    Second, the closer you can get to the proper temperature and keep it there the better. That is, keep your incubator in a room that the temperature doesn't fluctuate drastically. My old redwood incubator will hold heat in a room where the temp doesn't fluctuate more than 20 degrees. My Hova-Bators aren't near that good. Even our new 1202's will not hold temperature real well if the room changes temperature often. They need to be in an area where the temp is close to the same within 10 degrees or so. I recommend that placement be in a room that doesn't get direct sunlight in any windows. If you have central air or heat, you can leave the doors open and the vents open. This will make the whole house one constant temp.

    Lastly, start with good eggs. I never set odd shaped eggs or eggs that are too large or too small. They must have good shell quality and be from healthy birds. I recommend you feed a well balanced diet to your birds including Kelp, and D.E. as a de-wormer. I also recommend that you supply dried garlic to help with overall health and to boost the immune system. I also would advise you to gather eggs often in extreme weather and store them in an environment that is around 40-50% humidity and also the temp is below 70 degrees.

    And finally, set your eggs each week or 10 days maximum. I usually set mine every week on Sunday's or Wednesday's. We think that if Sunday or Wednesday rolls around and we don't have to stop eggs from turning or eggs aren't hatching or being put into the incubator, we don't have anything to do. This is what works for us.

    Now that you have your room set up, I would plug in the incubator and add no water. Allow the incubator to stabilize for a minimum of 48 hours to be sure it is at 99.5 for forced air (fan installed) or 101 for still air (no fan). While it is stabilizing, get a room hygrometer (instrument that measures humidity) and place it in the room. Bring the humidity level in the room up to between 50%-75% preferably 50%. If you live in a humid environment, you may actually need to dehumidify your room. But nevertheless, if you keep the humidity at 50% or close to it, you will do great. By controlling the room humidity, you can be more precise with your moisture in the incubator especially the foam incubator's. Since your incubator gets its air from the room, it will have some humidity. You may on the 1202's, have to add a small amount of water as they tend to run a little drier than some incubators. If the humidity in the room drops to 40% don't get concerned. The eggs themselves will supply some of the humidity needed inside the foam incubator's. They will also supply some humidity in the 1202's but not near as much with 1 tray full of eggs as they will if the 1202 is completely full. Higher humidity is worse that lower humidity as higher humidity hinders evaporation.

    By the way, if you are using a foam incubator, make sure the red plugs are not in the vent holes. I have been trying it both ways for a long time and I have recently came to the conclusion that if you take the vent plugs out, the room humidity will work a little better inside the incubator. In the 1202's we leave all the vents open, including the top and bottom vents.

    After 48 hours of stable temps in the incubator and stable humidity in the room, you are ready to place eggs in the incubator. I use turners as they allow me to incubate the eggs without having to open it up 2 or 3 times a day. Place your eggs in a turner with the big end up. Close the incubator and forget about it for 7 days.

    For foam incubators: On day 7, open the incubator and candle your eggs with a good candler. Throw away all the clear eggs as they will soon rot and could explode inside the incubator causing loss of the healthy eggs. Be very gentle when handling these eggs, as the tiny embryos are very fragile at this stage in incubation. After the first candling, close the incubator and forget it for another 7 days. Also while you have the incubator opened, check the humidity inside the incubator. In foam incubators, add a teaspoon or two of water if the humidity is real low. Low being 25%.

    For 1202's: Open the bator every 4 days or so and add 1/4 inch of water to the pan. I have found that small bantam eggs do much better with a little moisture so if we have bantam eggs in the incubator, we make sure the humidity stays at or about 40%. We always let our 1202's dry down for about 12-18 hours before adding more water. We think this is the best method according to our hatches. On large fowl eggs we have found that the lower humidity levels, say 25% are fine for them for 24-36 hours.

    For foam Incubators: On day 14, open the incubator and candle the eggs again with your candler. Look for a real dark mass inside the egg and a small clear cell at the big end of the egg. This is the air cell. This is where the chick pokes through first to get its first breath of air. If you were using the conventional means of incubation and had the humidity too high for these 14 days, your chick might encounter a good amount of water here. This could and often does drown your new chick before it even has a chance to pip the shell. We recommend that you watch the air cells real close. If too large or growing to fast, you need just a little humidity. If they are no bigger than when you started, then you need to decrease the humidity. If you see any eggs with large amounts of clear spots in them, compare them to the others and if they are very different, discard the eggs that have big clear patches.
    These embryos may have died for various reasons while developing. After you candle them, put the lid back on the incubator and forget about it until day 18.

    For 1202's: You should keep and eye on the humidity in these every 4 days or so and candle on the 7th, 14th and 18th days. Watch the air cells closely as they are the best indicator of too dry or too wet.

    For foam incubators: On day 18, open the incubator and add a very small amount of water to one of the water channels in the bottom of the incubator. If you notice the humidity in the incubator is above 65% add only a tablespoon of water or two. If your incubator humidity is below 65% add about ½ of the channel full of water. Remove the eggs from the turner and lay them flat on their sides. Try to allow a little room between them. Then close the incubator. Place the vent plug that doesn't have the metal inside it back into the bator. You know the one that opens directly into the inside of the bator? Leave the one that has the metal inside of it out of the hole for now. Now, follow the next direction very closely.


    Hate to shout at you but this last 5 days will make or break your hatch. I get a little aggravated when people will go through all the previous steps and then it gets down to the moment, and they can't resist opening the incubator. Every time you open the incubator, you release valuable moisture out of the incubator and allow dry air in. This is what causes chicks to stick to their shell membranes. All you will have to do is lose a few chicks to this and you will change your habits. This means don't open the incubator until day 23. I do recommend that on day 20, you place the last vent plug back into the bator. This will allow the moisture to stay inside the bator for the last day and while the chicks are hatching. When the first chick hatches, you will notice that the windows in the foam incubators will form a lot of condensation of them. If this condensation is covering nearly the entire window, remove the vent plug that covers the hole with the metal in it and turn it upside down and place it directly over the hole you just took it out of. This will allow a little bit of moisture to escape. In an hour or so, you will be able to see inside the window again. If it doesn't dry the window a little, then slide it away from the hole just a tiny bit. Then check it again in about 1 hour.

    On day 23 the chicks will be ready to take out of the incubator and placed in the brooder area. Make sure you have water ready and chick starter in low feeders ready for them in the brooder box. When you take a chick out of the incubator, dunk his beak in the water and make sure he gets a drink. Do this for all of them.

    Make sure they have a source of warmth, (i.e. a heat lamp, light bulb, brooder, etc).

    I recommend you have 2 incubators (one for an incubator and one for a hatcher). This will help if you have several different hatch dates in one incubator. On day 18 place the eggs over into the hatcher incubator. Then add water and you're good to go.

    We always have hatching incubators and incubating incubators. We fire up our old redwood incubator and then keep it at the proper humidity. Since we hatch weekly, we need the hatcher to be ready at all times. This also keeps the incubating incubators clean because no egg or chick mess is ever in there. We like to hatch at about 65-70% humidity in the redwood.

    A final thought: We have used this method to hatch chickens for a long time here at Briarpatch. We have not tried it on water fowl, but we have used it on quail, turkeys, guineas and other type of dry land fowl with excellent success. We cannot guarantee that this method will work for you. Heck we don't even know how you operate your incubator's or what environment you use them in. Your climate will play an important role in how you modify this to meet your hatching needs. We recommend that you not be afraid to experiment a little with eggs that you can spare to learn how your incubator performs and how you perform. We get numerous emails during hatching season telling us they use this method with great success. We also get some that have no success. Before you incubate eggs that really mean something to you, try some eggs that don't mean so much to you and get them down pat before you jump in and start incubating eggs that you paid a lot of money for. We only want to help you succeed at incubation.

    You may want to visit our homemade incubators section or ask questions about incubating your eggs in our chicken forum section on Incubating & Hatching Eggs.

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  1. aliciaplus3
    I fully believe that most conventional instructions tell folks to run the humidity to high, but you did Not touch on the fact that if someone lives in a Very dry area they will need to add some water or the egg will loose to much moisture and the babies die from dehydration before they ever get out of the shell.
    I live In western Colorado and running Completely dry here is a death sentence to eggs. I have started advising folks to candle and trace the air cells and adjust humidity from there. Air cell growing too fast? Raise the humidy. To slow? Lower the humidity. Just saying the worst thing for some of the new hatchers is a one size fits all approach.
  2. Chicka_dee17
    It's nice to see this written down so many people ask what do I need to do for hatching eggs and it's always a long drawn out speech! But here you already have it done and I'm in total agreement with your article!! Big thumbs up THANKS!!
    I have been hearing from veteran Hatcher's that 40% during regular days is the perfect number! On my next round of eggs I plan on doing it. I have been doing 25-35% on regular days and hatch rates are horrible! 1st batch was 5/20 and the second batch was 3/18 never again will I use those numbers for hatching silkies. 40% will be my prime number then 65% for lockdown
      ScottyGill and 007Sean like this.
    1. aliciaplus3
      Watch the eggs.... candle and trace your air cells they need to grow but not To fast. There is No magical number for humidity even between different eggs or seasons the humidity will need adjusting. I found a air cell candling guide on line and it is my best friend. Small light colored eggs will loose moisture faster than bigger or darker eggs.
  3. 007Sean
    Good article, very informative.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  4. FlomatonsFlocks
    This method is much easier and has given us better hatch rates in our automatic incubator and our homemade ones! Best way to incubate! Thanks! :woot
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  5. temple1612
    I am trying a dry hatch with my next hatch, but even without adding any water my humidity level was around 55%. I added some rice and silica gel packs and it only got the humidity down to around 46%. Is this going to be okay or should I add more rice/silica or should I close add more ventilation? I recently calibrated my hygrometer using the salt method so I am pretty certain that it is accurate. I am using a DIY incubator made from a fridge, but it holds the humidity and temp levels very well.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
    1. AbbysSilkies
      should be fine. I hatched some chicks last fall and they had around 58% humidity the whole time and 17/18 hatched
      Hcchic and Chicka_dee17 like this.
  6. PoultreeKing
    I have a real 49 incubator, it's great and you can fill the water drawers from the outside so you don't have to open it, it's about the same size of the foam incubator and looks similar in form, but it's all made of plastic, i keep it on the balcony because i can't use it in the house ( not allowed ), so my question is what can i do for the best hatching results in these conditions? Should i add a bit of water every 3-4 days?
    P.S : i never got higher than a 60% hatching rate.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  7. AbbysSilkies
    Amazing!! I didn't ever put the second plug back but I followed this exactly besides that. I hand rolled the eggs as well. I had absolutely no problems, and of the 18 eggs, 9 have hatched, two are hatching and 3 more have pipped!
      Hcchic and FlomatonsFlocks like this.
  8. AbbysSilkies
    I'm on day 20 hatching with this method! This is my first time hatching. I'm so excited! Last time I candles, I determined one egg was no good and two were behind the rest, but the other 15 look great!! I'm so excited!!
      AshleyMarie17 likes this.
  9. susanp970
    This is the best article ever. I bought an incubator with auto turner( made in china), auto turner is very misleading mine just tipped them from side to side. It took 2 times for me to figure out to take that thing out. But my last hatch was successful. I just put the eggs in and hand rolled them around 3-5 times a day and a couple of times at night.
    I bought black copper maran eggs on e-bay, those shells are so dark candeling was impossible.
      ScottyGill and Chicka_dee17 like this.
    1. ScottyGill
      I have one from China that says it’s autorolls but is it maybe just turning from side to side. I think I should maybe hand turn them?
  10. DaniT
    I do not have an auto-turner ... and using homemade styrofoam incubator.... How many times do I turn them a day and can I still use this method?
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  11. BaileyMChicks
    I never really realized what I was doing was using the 'dry hatch' method. I just keep the humidity low enough for the eggs to lose the proper amount of fluid. My humidity stays at 35-45 the first 17 days then at day 18 I bump it up to 60-75. The first hatch I did I messed up the temp because of where I had the incubator, but the two chicks that made it hatched out fine. This time I've done the exact same thing, but it's been in a stable room, and I have 5 eggs on day 18(and one on day 16 but thats a different story) and their air cells all look good. I have at least one that is already internally pipped, and possibly another one, but the definite one is a bantam. I only leave mine in until they are fully dried off, but if there are some pipped or hatching, then I won't take the dried off ones out. I won't leave mine in for longer than three days though. So far this method is the only one I have tried and the one I prefer(I might be a little biased there lol). My incubator is a brinsea mini eco by the way.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  12. birdbrain79
    Hatching in a little giant incubator. I'm on day 18 today my humidity is at 64 degrees. I have two of the cells filled with water, should I ad more water? I'm afraid to open my incubator at this point.
  13. TheLukeMeister
    Great article, thanks! I'm just about to incubate some silkie eggs and I think I'll try this method.
  14. MonTXChickens
    I tried this method and had success but not with these instructions exactly. I killed nearly 3 dozen viable eggs following these instructions. I got some advice from others in a hatch along that corrected the fatal error. The problem came because of the plug instructions. The plugs should be removed near the hatch not put in. If you plug the holes near the hatch, you starve the chick's oxygen. Fully formed viable chicks will pip then die. Once I corrected this in my own hatch I had 100% of the fertilized eggs hatch.
  15. sunflower7
    Thanks for a great article. I am going to try a lower humidity. I think my chicks were too big from the higher humidity and couldn't get out of their egg. Thanks again!
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  16. Chick-a-dow-dee
    How can you turn eggs if you're not supposed to open it for five days? I don't have a turner. =(
    1. AbbysSilkies
      You don't turn them for the five days
    2. PoultreeKing
      After day 18 you should stop turning the eggs
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  17. Ironsights
    I have been perplexed as to how hens had good hatches without fooling with the humidity.
  18. CrzyChknLady81
    I found your thread almost 2 years ago when I was about 2 weeks into my firsr attempt at incubating. .I had a decent hatch that time, but have used the "dry" incubation on every hatch since and have had great results and almost all of my eggs have been shipped. I recommend a dry incubation to anyone that is having issues..there is only one thing i do differently and that is on day 18 and 19, I mist my eggs very lightly with very warm water.. I dont know if it helps, but it certainly hasnt hurt.. I also have my bators (2 incu 1 hatcher) set up in a tiny bathroom, and if I do open the bators, the electric heater gets turned all the way, the bathroom door gets locked and I turn the hot water on in the tub and let the mirrors get all steamy before I open any of the incubators, but especially the hatcher..this keeps me from loosing heat or humidity and so far **knock on wood** the system has worked for me..
    of course, in the last 2 years Ive hatched around 1000 eggs total, couldn't imagine that a week
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  19. MelissaBA
    Just wondering though, do you use this same method during all seasons?
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  20. MelissaBA
    I think I finally found what has been causing my chicks to die and not hatch....Very informative article and it all makes so much sense now. I feel so bad loosing 3 batches of eggs due to negligence of not reading this beforehand. Thanks so much
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  21. GuineaFowling
    Can someone please tell me how I can do this for Button Quail (aka King quail/ Chinese painted)eggs. I dont hatch chickens and I know this is for Chickens. Button quails hatch in 16 to 18 days.
  22. buckbye
    Can you do this with a Brinsea?
  23. gander007
    Good stuff
  24. Michelle82
    Thank you.
  25. chickenfarmer96
    Wait the 5 days or take your chances of taking them out on the 21st day and risk loosing your last chick which could still hatch. Other than that im not quite sure what you could do, but i had just read this article today, and all previous hatches were terrible, hoping that this method will help thank you, Great article.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  26. PrecioustoHim
    I live in a very humid are of Upper Michigan and i have to wonder if Miss Henny's natural hatch rate would be better if it wasn't so humid at night and first thing in the morning? Is there a natural way for a hen to control the humid conditions?
    I just purchased a 1588 Genesis but I still like to let Miss Henny hatch some of her own eggs so that I can graft the bator hatch in with hers and let her raise them all. Makes life easy for me! I sure hope this method gets me a better hatch rate with the 1588 then with the LG. Never again with the LG that's for sure. :(
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  27. teresa42299
    I cracked a few eggs today and some were still yolky, kinda developed and two were very well develop. after reading a few articles I realized that they drowned. im going to try this after the next 3 hatches.(had 0 chicks hatch lately.)
  28. Sphynxcrazy
    I had some bad luck hatching my last batch of eggs so going to try this. Humidity was to high and alot drowned. It all makes sense now.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  29. dirtbagchickens
    so i am trying to summarize this for my (old) styro-foam coolerbator. ihave 12 eggs on the tuner now, my temps are stable +/- about 2F. my RH though in the bator has stayed at 16%. is this okay for the first 7 days? i experimented with about 20ml H20, and it came up to 27-30%
    your directions above:
    room RH about 50
    0-7days: both vent open, (i have only the top open)
    no added water (what RH does this prescribe?)
    7-14 days: you mention keeping the RH above 25%?
    14-18 days: 25% RH
    18+ days: 65% RH
    is this correct
      Chicka_dee17 and Redneckdarrell like this.
  30. SarniaTricia
    Thank you
    I have a GQF hovabator 1588 ... used for the past year to hatch. I just got an old GQF1202 and humitiy seems very consistant with a small pan of water. I am letting the pan dry completely, (partly due to no window) I will be using my 1588 to hatch going forward.
    The reason behind the % seems to be the most important thing here.... every place in the country has different air humitity and evern different places in the house can effect your humitiy. If you understand the why behind the "rule" it makes it easier to understand what you need to do.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  31. craftydrae
    I have eggs in our foam incubator and it is day 9. I did not know to take the two red plugs out till day 20. On the instructions it says to leave them in until the very end?? Should I take the plugs out now? Is it safe to do so??
    We live on the west coast in Canada and it rains a lot here in the winter months. We heat our home with wood and I do not have an egg turner so I have been turning them three to four times a day. Is this going to be okay for the eggs?
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  32. vwgurl2
    So I am running into the same problem I had before with low humidity using my LG incubator. I have the fan running Eggs are not in the bator yet!! My RH is around 50-55% in my room, in the bator it is 25% or lower with no water added. I know that adding heat will always reduce your humidity without supplementing. So what should I do? How much water should I add? And what should I do to keep from opening the lid every couple days to add fluids?? I have added a wicking sponge in a baby jar with water... and it has brought the humidity level up to around 37-40%. Will this work, or any ideas??
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  33. rsleghornchicki
    it worked! i have never hatched eggs before and i got 2 out of 6
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  34. Twisted-Rooster
    I've started using this type of hatch and my hatch rates are way up....Good post
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  35. turkeybreeder
    we have a 1202 sportsman
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  36. turkeybreeder
    what about on duck eggs what humidity would it be for dry incubation
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  37. Basic home
    This has been a very helpful article, thank-you very much. I just have one question, .....on day 19 the egg turner was removed, within an hour I noticed the eggs 'move'. Then at 6:00am the next day they started to hatch, by 5:30pm all but one had hatched, how long do I wait to move them to a brooder? I know that the article said to wait 5 days after removing the egg turner, but that means we would have to wait for three more days. What do you suggest I do?
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  38. suzeeg
    I had a large commercial incubator 7' X 4' and believe me when I tell you it was big. Anyway I adjusted the rollers on one of the racks for chicken eggs (I only had five hens) and collected eggs for a couple of days and decided to try the Mother Ship out. I placed a large roasting pan (turkey size) in there with a sponge on the bottom of it, placed it on the rack above the eggs . I had to wire a thermostat (wafer) to the heater and it was ready to go. It had some really awesome fans circulating the air all about in there. Anyway my thermometer/hygrometer never registered above 30% humidity so I was a little worried. But come day 21 all but two out of 18 eggs hatched out and I mean like popcorn. The chicks were strong and healthy and with the help of the fans dried off in no time flat. They are some of the prettiest chickens I have seen. One thing I think really helped along with the low humidity was the roller system. I had it set to turn the eggs for 15 seconds every two hours. Best hatches ever.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  39. madisonmama
    I tried this on my last batch that hatched over the weekend. I was into the batch a week, prior to reading this article. I followed through with that batch using this method. I went from a 37% hatch rate to a 82% hatch rate. I have another batch set and hope to increase my hatch rate. I am sold on this method and will continue to use it.
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  40. CorinneP
    Very Informative Thank you
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  41. Haruna
    Wow! This is great. What i need to know was that, here at Nigeria we have a lack of power supply. Can somebody advised me on how to get an incubator without a power supply?
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.
  42. just1morechick
    I seem to be drowning my chicks :( I do not have a turner, I turn by hand. What suggestions/modifications do you have for a "manual turner" other than buying a turner? Our first hatch was by far our best. We had about a 90% hatch. Since then, hatch rates have declined drastically. We now have 2 Little Giant bators, one for incubation and one for hatching. We have chicks hatching now and they will not dry. We removed them from the bator after 12-14 hours and placed them in a brooder because they were still soaking wet. Condensation has collected on the windows with both vents open, and I can see at least 3 pipped chicks that are dead in the shell. Please Help!
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  43. madisonmama
    I'll have to try this with my next batch. Thanks.
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  44. flynn10
    This is a fantastic article. Thankyou. i am excited again after a bad week of dead ducklings that after reading that i think they drowned !!! Getting ready to try again.
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  45. MobyQuail
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  46. chiknaddiction
    great read. I'm storing silkie and bantam eggs right now and will be attempting my first incubation at the end of this week. You've convinced me, I'll try this method. I don't have a forced air system, is it very important? I could order the fan, but if it's not necessary I'd rather save the $26 and get one later.
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  47. griffinkid02
    Cool, well I'm a long ways from incubating or hatching my own eggs, I haven't even convinced my hen to lay her first one yet. Might be the fact that she has TWO roosters giving her the "Hey you wanna..." look because my other hen was birdnapped due to a flaw in my pen design (which I immediatly fixed of course) and the other rooster was SUPPOSED to be a hen, instead he was just a runt. I was actually just commenting on the fact that the commercial incubators seemed to require more work than just sitting on the eggs myself would, lol.
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  48. ChickensInMyYard
    Come on over to Operation Dry Hatch everyone one who wants to try this method, and share your stories. The new thread is under Incubation and Hatching. See you there!
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  49. ChickensInMyYard
    And to the above post from griffinkid02.....home made incubators are great as well as the modern incs. But if you want to hatch a lot of eggs, incubators that can handle a large load can cost you thousands of dollars. The above article was explaining the Dry Hatch Method. It doesnt matter what size incubator you use, size of the incubator wasnt the point. But as a newbie you'll learn more as you go along as we all did. Dont count your chickens before they hatch as they say. And yes ask questions! I'm using this method and it's fantastic! My hatch rate is way up!!!!
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  50. ChickensInMyYard
    I did try this dry hatch method and its going fantastic! My best hatch ever. I've started a new thread under Incubation and Hatching. Operation Dry Hatch,.......come on over!
      Chicka_dee17 likes this.

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