Incubating and Hatching Chicken Eggs

Incubating and hatching chicken eggs
By Sally Sunshine · Sep 26, 2012 · Updated Oct 2, 2018 · ·
  1. Sally Sunshine
    UPDATE: I have pulled extremely helpful NOTES, LINKS & Informational Post Links from the incubation thread for EVERYONE'S convenience and will continue to put them HERE:

    Incubation Notes, Images, Videos & Links
    BYC Member VIP Interview - Sally Sunshine


    Expected Hatch Rate
    Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched, or even after for that matter!
    Shipped eggs have a MUCH lower hatch rate.
    The percent hatchability in the commercial poultry industry ranges from 78-88%.

    Shipped Eggs = Change Of Plans! post #53845
    HOW TO REQUEST AND SHIP EGGS Sally Sunshine Way...
    HOWTOREQUESTANDSHIPEGGSSallySunshineWay.docx 940k .docx file
    COLD? REQUESTING HEAT PACKS discussion post #32219
    Heat packs for shipping animals/etc

    Percent Fertility is the percentage of fertile eggs of all eggs set.
    % Fertility = # of fertile eggs
    # of total eggs set

    Percent Hatchability
    is the percentage of fertile eggs which actually hatched out as live young.
    % Hatchability = # of eggs which hatch out
    # of fertile eggs
    More info for above see this pdf......

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    Choosing an incubator

    Many different styles of incubators are available, most common are Styrofoam types found at most feed stores. These incubators hold more eggs and are usually less expensive, but they require more involvement in the hatching process. Egg turners are usually optional that can be added for convenience. There are also some great “hands free” incubators, commercial incubators as well as Simple Inexpensive Homemade Incubators. We make “Coolerbators” they work 100% better than our store bought incubator because it has less than .5 degree variance and we have very successful hatches in it!
    Coolerbator & DIY Instructions… CLICK HERE


    HELP How do I decide on an incubator?

    Still air or forced air incubator? There are 2 main types of incubator. Still air and forced air. The difference is simply a fan. In forced air incubators, a fan circulates the air around the incubator which keeps the temperature constant in all parts of the incubator. The temperature can be measured anywhere within the airflow. In a still air incubator, there is no fan, the heat stratifies (forms layers) inside the incubator so the temperature is different between the top and bottom of the incubator.
    IMPORTANCE OF FANS and HOW TO ADD ONE! post #58100
    Poultry Keeper Choosing the Right Incubator
    Incubator Egg Incubator Buyers Guide

    Incubator Accessories & PARTS click HERE or item below...
    Adding Fans and Thermostats

    IMPORTANCE OF FANS and HOW TO ADD ONE! post #58100
    6" 240 cfm DUCT FAN for cabinets all sizes click HERE
    THERMOSTATS/TEMP CONTROLLERS: *Also see Incubator Accessories and Parts Above
    • Temperature Controller Thermostat Control Switch Unit 1 Relay Output with Sensor CLICK HERE
    • STC-1000 Digital Temp.Controller w/Sensor AC110V Install/Wiring Diagrams post #63789
    • How a wafer Thermostat Works Click HERE & HERE
    • Hot water heater Thermostats, Must get drilled Watch Video HERE & See CoolerBATOR
    HEATING ELEMENTS: *Also see Incubator Accessories and Parts Above
    Homemade DIY Incubators

    BYC MEMBERS Homemade Incubators CLICK HERE
    Links to 'bator building! post #4423
    Cooler DIY Incubators & Box Bators:
    HOW Many VENT HOLES do I NEED? post #24735
    DIY WAFER thermostat with ASSEMBLY Click HERE
    Aquarium Cheap light to see in Bators post #68412
    DIY Turners & Egg Trays & Hatching Baskets Mics

    How to put a turner back together post #63577
    Bennys Awesome MANUAL horizontal EGG TURNER post #64262
    Easy manual egg carton pvs turners click HERE and another in HERE
    Homemade automatic or manual HORIZONTAL egg turner CLICK HERE
    Horizontal DIY Turner post #64675
    DIY Quail Turner post #64682
    Sallys manual cabinet turner with trays post #32186
    Manual PVC turner for incubator HERE
    Hatching baskets Egg Trays and sizes/depths post #64634
    DIY Egg Tray Hatching Baskets out of Hardware Cloth post #64620
    CHEAP EGG TRAYS click here and HERE
    Egg trays, also look at Cutler Supply and Hawkhead Hatchery Equipment
    GFQ Turner Supplemental Maintenance Manual with detailed images PDF CLICK HERE
    Rotisserie motor considered using with a timer chkncanoe CLICK HERE
    Rotisserie Motor - NEW MODEL 6RPM Click HERE
    Replacement Egg Turner Motor for Little Giant, HovaBator, and Farm Innovators Click HERE

    Metallic elements for Incubators
    Teflon coated LIGHT BULBS NONONO
    Teflon coated rough service give off hazardous fumes

    Locate your incubator in a room in which temperature is 70 degrees, free from drafts,

    away from windows and direct sunlight.
    Did you know that the Incubating practice originated more than 2,500 years ago in Egypt and China. Methods of incubation were kept secret for a long time. In Europe attempts to use incubation are known from the 14th century. Owing to the imperfection of incubation apparatus (casks submerged in rotted manure, bakers’ ovens, and so on) and inadequate study of the conditions of incubation, it did not become common. Only since the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, with the invention of better incubators, has incubation become widely used in Europe and the USA; since the middle of the 20th century it has been the principal method of propagating poultry.


    Collection, WASHING & Storage of Eggs
    Collection, Washing & Storage of Eggs

    Choose eggs that are of good size, not abnormally big or small. Do NOT set dirty, cracked, or porous eggs.
    Clinical studies at the University of Arkansas have shown that if your going to set a dirty egg, set the dirty egg, DO NOT SAND, WASH OR WIPE dirty eggs as hatchability decreases with these practices!

    Cuticula is the thin membrane that covers the whole eggshell that is made from the sticky fluid when laid which covers it and quickly dissolves due to carbondioxyde activity.
    This membrane can be penetrated by gasses but functions as a kind defensive mechanism to prevent the entry of bacteria.

    The washing and rubbing action also serves to force disease organisms through the pores of the shell. Place the eggs upright in an egg carton with the FAT, air cell end of the egg UP! Allow eggs to sit in a moderately cool, somewhat humid place for storage. Basements are great. Moderately cool means 55-65 degrees. Rotate your eggs a 3 times a day to keep the embryo from sticking. An easy way to turn all of the eggs at once is to place a thick book under one end of the carton, and later remove the book and put it under the other end of the carton, 3 times a day. Before adding eggs to the incubator always WARM eggs UP slowly to room temperature. IF THE EGGS ARE COLD Condensation can cause bacterial growth on the eggs! You can collect eggs up until 10 days or so, but after the 7th day lower hatch rates may result.

    Stored eggs take longer to hatch (about one hour per day of storage).

    It is important to ALWAYS wash your hands before handling your hatching eggs!

    Omphalitis, yolk sack infection is caused by a bacterium that enters through the porous egg shell and easily kills embryo's and newly hatched chicks. Unfortunately, incubation conditions are ideal for breeding bacteria as well as incubating eggs. For more information on storing eggs refer to Recommendations for hatching egg handling and storage

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If you MUST store longer please see this info HERE: ( pasted below from diary thread)
    When eggs were stored in the small-end-up position for 2 to 4 weeks, it was, not beneficial to turn them daily as had been previously demonstrated to be advantageous for eggs stored small-end-down.

    Temporary heating before incubation and enclosing eggs in plastic bags during storage improves hatchability, especially when storage is prolonged. A high humidity during storage also improves hatchability, probably due to a reduction in water loss. The changes in albumen pH during storage are discussed in so far as they provide a possible explanation for relationships between environmental conditions during storage and hatching results.

    Effects of inverting the position of layers eggs during storage on hatchery performance parameters
    Storing eggs with the small end up is an alternative method to improve hatchability and to reduce egg weight and hatchling weight losses in eggs derived from young and old breeders stored up to 14 days.
    ABSTRACT~ When eggs were held in storage, the small-end-up pack position without turning, their hatchability was equal to or better than that of eggs packed small-end-down. When eggs were stored in the small-end-up position for 2 to 4 weeks, it was, not beneficial to turn them daily as had been previously demonstrated to be advantageous for eggs stored small-end-down. Thus, the inconvenience and expense of daily turning can be avoided without loss.Evidence is also provided that hatchability was equally good whether eggs were stored on their sides and turned through 180° daily or stored small-end-up without positional change.

    Use your turners during storage!



    Most commercial hatcheries sanitize their eggs. There are differences of opinions about how to sanitize eggs, if you feel they need to be. Some experts advocate washing and even lightly scrubbing eggs with soft brushes. Others feel that the most that should be done is dipping for a few seconds. Because of the varying opinions on sanitizing eggs, the following is an opinion of Brower and not necessarily a hard and fast recommendation. Accomplish sanitizing by dipping eggs in solution containing disinfectant that is just strong enough to kill bacteria and viruses. However, the disinfectant should not be so strong as to damage the embryos.

    Mix the sanitizing solution according to the manufacturers' instruction. A recommended cleaning solution is Tex-Trol. TexTrol may be available at a local retail outlet. For the name of a retailer search for it online. If using Tex-Trol, mix one half ounce of concentrated disinfectant to one gallon of warm water. You can also use 1 ounce of Clorox to 2 gallons of water. The water should be 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37° to 44°C). If the egg is warmer than the solution, contamination can be pulled through the pores of the egg before the agent has a chance to neutralize any pathogens.. Submerge the eggs for one to three minutes with dirtier eggs left in solution longer than ones that essentially look clean. Allow the eggs to air dry at room temperature and store as described above--or set in your incubator. A soft paper tissue can be used to dry the eggs but don’t rub the egg with a tissue or any material. Eggs have a natural protective cuticle that helps retard contamination. Rubbing removes the cuticle and can actually drive pathogens through the shell.

    Source: Sheets/egg to chick guide.pdf
    eggtochickguide.pdf 186k .pdf file

    (1 Tablespoon = 3 Teaspoons per gal )

    Sanitizing solution of chlorine (bleach) 6% hypochlorite and water at a concentration of 100 ppm (parts per million) = To make a100 ppm chlorine solution, combine 2 ml. (1/2 tsp.) of bleach with one quart of water.

    The Cuticle removal
    n hatching eggs as a means to reduce weight loss: Has actually been found to increase embryo weight during incubation and has direct relationship between rate of egg water loss, embryonic metabolism, and growth during incubation. But that warning of contamination is there if you dont follow cleaning procedures correctly. Chlorine treated eggs were not altered either. So with all that it is found that cuticle removal can be an effective method for increasing growth and egg weight loss.

    'Sweating' of eggs refers to the phenomenon of condensed water sitting on the egg shell surface. This occurs when cold eggs are suddenly exposed to a higher environmental temperature. The warm air with a certain moisture content cools down rapidly directly around the colder eggs. Since cold air contains less water than warm air, relative humidity will increase until the air is saturated. And at that moment, condensation will take place on the cool egg surface.

    Prior to EGG placement in the incubator,
    place the eggs at a room temperature for several hours.

    Digital Egg Scale - Accurate Humidity Measurement and Egg Sizing HERE
    EGG Quality
    DOUBLE YOLKERS NOT suggested but they can hatch with assistance post #46649

    Is it Fertile or Infertile?

    To check the fertility, simply break an egg in a bowl.
    Find the white spot on the yolk. If you do not, use a spoon to gently flip the yolk over until you find it.
    Bulls eye look is fertile.
    BOTH of these below ARE FERTILE!!​


    • IS IT FERTILE? Many images see post #43324
    • Managing Fertility click HERE
    • Several Reasons Why Your Hens May Stop Laying Eggs click HERE
    • Winter Blues w/the Roos, why are my eggs infertile ugh starting post #1986
    • Reproductive Physiology of the Hen post #40628
    • HOW long does a ROO SPERM REMAIN IN HEN post #40628

    [​IMG]Example 57 out of 126 were declared fertile. [​IMG]
    Hatch Rates...
    Example 50 of the 57 fertile eggs hatched the % hatch=

    Is it Fertile or Infertile?

    Many images see post #43324

    To check the fertility, simply break an egg in a bowl. Find the white spot on the yolk. If you do not, use a spoon to gently flip the yolk over until you find it. Bulls eye look is fertile.

    A true fertile egg contains a well developed germinal disc (blastoderm), which indicates that the oöcyte, or zygote, was fertilized and an embryo developed during egg formation.


    Clears at CANDLE are not always infertile!

    HOWTOREQUESTANDSHIPEGGSSallySunshineWay.docx 940k .docx file
    Results Shipped SS Way post #63575 cree post #6321
    Kristins horribly shipped eggs and hatch post #57321
    DO you have to be NPIP certified to ship hatching eggs? States/Agencies Info see post #33884
    Great IDEAS to find eggs CHEAP! post #775
    Julian date on trader Joe eggs understanding it! post #5098
    BYC Links for EGGS........
    LOCAL BYC THREADS in the Where am I? Where are you Section! click HERE

    Risks associated with hatching eggs of chickens
    Record Keeping
    Accurate and detailed records are very important in incubation.
    In addition to records of individual eggs it is important to keep records of the temperature and the humidity, so that trends in temperature and humidity may be detected early and can be corrected for next hatch.​

    Here is a spreadsheet for the intense OCD hatcher there is a sample page and a workbook page

    ozexpatbychatchtemplate.xlsx 20k .xlsx file


    Egg Details 19k .xls file
    Incubating Chart 22k .xls file
    unprotectedfieldscanbeeditedwithCAUTIONforfunctions.xls 306k .xls file
    Hatch / Egg Turning Chart click HERE: Hatch Chart Schedule
    Setting Chicken Eggs by the Moon's Sign farmers Almanac see HERE
    Hatchabatch AP Keeping track of your hatch! see here
    Printable Month Calendar
    This app can be used to generate a planning calendar for a selected month and year. Click HERE


    FIVE Apps To Make You A Better Chicken Keeper ARTICLE CLICK HERE
    FREE Homesteading, Farm & Animal Recording Keeping Forms
    Monthly Poultry Record Sheet Form record daily feed rations, bedding, eggs, and other information for poultry
    Spreadsheets/online places

    Incubation Chart
    Here is a free app...
    The following table lists incubation requirements for various species of fowl. (Quail) (Muscovy) (Turkey)
    (yinepu's Turkey)HATCHING EMU click HERE

    Areas of MOST IMPORTANCE in Hatching EGGS

    Ventilation (Oxygen), Temperature, Humidity, Egg Turning/Positioning


    Ventilation is VERY important during the incubation process.
    While the embryo is developing, oxygen enters the egg through the shell and carbon dioxide escapes. Oxygen requirements will increases during development and during hatching. Unobstructed ventilation holes, both above and below the eggs, are essential for proper air exchange. REMOVE RED VENT PLUGS, TOO MANY PEOPLE FORGET TO REMOVE THEM AT DAY 10! NOTE: When Lockdown occurs, vent openings are frequently restricted in an attempt to boost incubator humidity. Instead of helping the chick hatch, the chick is suffocated from lack of oxygen. Never decrease ventilation openings at hatching in an attempt to increase humidity. Increase humidity by other methods. If any vent adjustments are made, they should be opened more. Try adding a dampened sponge or towel to help boost humidity during lockdown.​

    Hatching at High Altitudes post #37908
    O2 deprivation to day 10 of incubation followed by regular oxygen concentrations leads to stronger chicks post #33815
    NEVER USE VENT holes as a means to Control HUMIDITY especially during HATCH DAYS!

    Adjusting ventilation

    Start to ventilate at a low level after 3-4 days of incubation to avoid relative humidity being higher than set point for too long.

    Reducing ventilation at the start of incubation generally avoids the inlet of cold air. Because moisture is trapped in the closed incubator, the humidifier cold spot is also absent. Consequently closing the valves during the first days improves temperature homogeneity and heat transfer to the eggs, producing a good, uniform environment for continuing embryonic development – and an ideal start for achieving a narrow hatch window.
    However at the same time, hatchery managers are aware that total weight loss may be challenged if ventilation is closed for too many days, with the result that relative humidity levels become too high. This is especially true in climates typified by high humidity.

    Since eggshell is porous, the release of (water) vapour from the egg starts immediately after laying, continuing throughout egg handling, storage and the incubation of the eggs. Evaporation from the eggs - and thus weight loss - is mainly a physical process, driven by differences between internal and external vapour pressures. Internal vapour pressure is mainly represented by the saturation vapour pressure in the air cell, which increases as temperature increases - thereby facilitating increased evaporation (weight loss) at a certain relative humidity. In environments with high humidity, weight loss is limited. So for example if relative humidity in the setter reaches 75% , the daily weight loss of the eggs is only half of the weight lost from eggs placed in a setter with 50% relative humidity.
    We can conclude, that closing ventilation for the first three to four days of incubation is beneficial, supporting uniform embryonic development for each egg in the incubator to facilitate a narrow hatch window. Subsequently, ventilation should be opened gradually to support optimum daily weight loss, by the continuous removal of moisture from the eggs.


    Never trust the thermometer that comes with the incubator, always check it.
    The thermometer that came with my incubator was off by 5 degrees.

    That could mean life or death for your babies.
    ALWAYS run your bator a few days first for temp swings

    Uneven temps in bators rotate eggs at candles post #50418

    Did you know "The yolk is orange and on its surface is a visible germinal disc; radiating from this area is the more watery white
    yolk, which is less dense. During turning, the yolk’s structure makes the part containing the germinal disc stay most dorsal (closest to the incubating bird) for heating"

    With a Forced Air Incubator (fan model) you can get the best hatch rate by keeping the temperature at 99.5º F. throughout the entire incubation period NEVER LET IT GO BELOW 99.5!!! Watch for evening temp flux!

    HOWEVER, when using a Still Air incubator (no fan) at 102º F. The reason for different temperatures is that with a fan model the circulating air warms all around the egg while still air temperatures are warmer at the top of the egg than at the bottom.​

    READ TEMPS SECTION HERE: post #9068 Hatching Eggs 101
    Incubators with fans and without fans need to run at DIFFERENT TEMPS! post #9068
    ADD a LEGO to your dial of cheap styro bator to make minor adjustments! GENIUS post #38133
    What is the maximum and minimum range of temp I can go before killing the chicks? post #12473
    What to do when you find a HIGH TEMPS in Bator post #7061
    10/13 day old embryos begin to produce excess heat in the incubator post #27240


    The temperature is measured at the level where the embryos develop (at the top of the HORIZONTAL egg).
    NOTE:If the eggs are in vertical position, elevate the thermometer just below the top of the egg. The temperature is measured at the level where the embryos develop (at the top of the egg). Never allow the thermometer to touch the eggs or incubator because incorrect readings can result.

    A high temperature tends to produce early hatches. A consistently cooler temperature tends to increase incubation times and produce weakened chicks. In both cases the total chicks hatched will be reduced. Prepare your incubator and run it for several days before adding eggs, to be positive you are maintaining correct incubation temperature.

    NOTE: It is common that when adding eggs the temperature will drop but should come back up to correct temperature within an hour or two. Don’t rest the thermometer's bulb touching the eggs or the incubator. Incorrect readings will result.

    NOTE: Did you know that 10/13 day old embryos begin to produce excess heat in the incubator? Most large commercial incubators will spend more time cooling than heating!
    Probe thermometer & water weasel (Water Wiggler, Water Snake) found on Amazon or Ebay make for EXCELLENT internal temp guides! The perfect internal temperature of an embryo is 99.5 degrees. If you can't find a water wiggler you can make your own with ziplock filled with water folded in half and insert the probe in the center middle.


    Celsius to Fahrenheit (ºC to ºF) conversion calculator click HERE
    Thermo/hygro suggestions post #13998

    Brinsea Incubator Thermometers click HERE
    Strombergs Thermometers click HERE Hygrometers click HERE Digital Thermo/Hygros click Here
    Hova-Bator GQF Incubator Thermometer / Hygrometer (Wet Bulb) 3018 post #32892
    HEAT SINKS/ Stones/Pebbles ADD THEM TO STYRO! post #43903
    Calibration is a MUST: HOW TO CALIBRATE post #9068

    Researchers have found that lowering temperatures will prolong incubation, HOWEVER it is favorable to do so at the end of incubation.

    Day 19 & 20 Temp Min 98.0 Max 98.5

    Day 21 Temp Min 97 Max 98.0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    The Air Bubble in the Egg
    DRY HATCH incubation DOES NOT MEAN RUN DRY! It is not only the final size of the air cell that matters, but also the time it takes to form. In the first ten days of incubation, the embryo is small and floats in the amniotic fluid. Weight loss during this phase is mainly the effect of water evaporating from albumen and internal liquids. After this stage, changes occur quickly: the growing embryo gradually fills the egg, excepting the air cell. Low RH set points at days 14-18 of incubation increase evaporation from the allantois – and once the allantois is emptied of fluid, moisture will be drawn from the embryo, causing its dehydration.
    The average chicken egg has thousands of pores running through the shell allowing the embryo to exchange oxygen, carbon dioxide. and water. Soon after an egg is laid, a small air bubble or “air cell” forms in the large end of the egg from this water loss. Humidity levels in the incubator determine moisture evaporation during the 21 days of incubation and hatching. The air cell is crucial for the chick to break out of the egg shell at the end of the incubation period. The chick can drown if the air cell is too small or the chick may be retarded in growth if the air cell is too large. This is why maintaining the proper humidity is crucial. Slightly lower humidity levels are more likely to be less disastrous than slightly higher humidity levels. There are quite a few opinions on Humidity, but it is no set number.
    Humidity is NOT A SET NUMBER, you need it YES!
    However, you use it as a tool to "adjust" egg weight loss during incubation. We candle on days 7,10,14,18 To WATCH WEIGHT LOSS IN EVERY EGG! An EGG MUST lose approximately 13-14% of its weight during the incubation process. THIS IS YOUR GOAL!! You can monitor this by marking Air cells and also by weighing. Please refer to CANDLING section of this Article for more Air Cell info.

    Size of air cell on day 7, 14, and 18 of incubation



    I choose the easier method, keeping a close eye on air cell growth during incubation. You begin by ONLY adding a small amount of water and keep Humidity between 20%-30% and adjusting as you weigh or candle depending on moisture loss. IN SOME AREAS OF THE COUNTRY YOU MAY NOT NEED TO ADD ANY WATER! USE IT AS A TOOL FOR THE CORRECT WEIGHT LOSS IN THE EGG! So if your air cells look too large at each candle period you must add some humidity, too small air cell lower it, and if your weighing you adjust as needed. UNTIL DAY 18 LOCKDOWN,
    then stop turning and raise humidity to 65-70%


    Views of Day 18 Candle.....

    How Does a Hygrometer Work?

    Shown here is a WET Bulb Hygrometer and wick
    Wet bulb is exactly what it states. It is the temperature relative of the humidity in degrees.
    A Hygrometer Wick is placed over the stem of the thermometer and the other end of the sleeve is placed in a jar or pan in the incubator.​


    NOTES: It’s a good idea to keep the incubator plugged into a surge protector. Use distilled water in your incubator to help prevent bacteria growth. Omphalitis, Mushy Chick Disease and Yolk Sack Infection may be caused by a bacterium that enters through the porous egg shell. Unfortunately, incubation conditions are ideal for breeding bacteria as well as incubating eggs. Brinsea sells a disinfectant, formulated to be used for cleaning eggs, incubators, safe and effective against yeasts, fungi, viruses and bacteria which can cause fatal damage to the growing embryo. Pennies can be added to water wells. Copper helps to destroy the cell walls of bacteria, thus keeping bacteria out of the incubator. Pennies before 1982 have more copper content and pure copper kills 99.9% of bacteria.

    A few TIPS & TRICKS!
    Below image is a Simple waterer/suctioner out of aquarium tubing placed through side of incubator and into water wells. Use a Kids medicine syringe to add/suck water without opening or disturbing eggs.

    In the image below are the different sized cups I use the first 18 days of incubation INSTEAD of using the wells in the bottom of the incubator. I had a hard time getting humidity correct, so I started using different size containers and caps for water holding, I could easily remove & replace as necessary. It WORKS WELL and I can keep them clean and sanitized better and not disturb my eggs! I will remove these cups on day 18 so the chicks don’t drown in them
    and use the lower wells at lockdown at day 18.

    2" funnel & we shoved it into a small piece of 1/4" tubing, a cleat on the inside of the unit (a wide-crown staple or cable staple would work also) to hold the tubing in place.
    This way you can add water to the middle of the bator without missing the water troughs and without opening the unit. see below
    (Thanks tlpounds)

    Surface area of water will increase
    humidity more so than depth!

    If you need a safe boost at lockdown
    ust add a dampened sponge or rag.

    A "ShamWoW" is great as a wick and can hang from the sides or across top of incubator.

    Setting Eggs & Turning
    It is important to ALWAYS wash your hands before handling your hatching eggs!
    It is likewise important to SANITIZE your incubator AND equipment before AND after use!

    Omphalitis, yolk sack infection is caused by a bacterium that enters through the porous egg shell and easily kills embryo's and newly hatched chicks. Unfortunately, incubation conditions are ideal for breeding bacteria as well as incubating eggs.


    REMINDER to see the Shipped eggs section of the article and to treat every shipped egg differently as its air cell is presented to you!

    Failure to turn eggs during incubation CLEARLY

    reduces hatchability in every scholarly study and every clinical trial.
    Also SEE HERE for DETAILED Scientific explanations of WHY TURNING IS IMPORTANT!
    HUBBARDS GUIDES: guide (english).pdf

    Frequency of Turning, Angle of Turning, Smoothness/Gentleness of Turning
    Increased Deaths
    Sticky Chicks due to unabsorbed Albumen

    The effects of turning during a critical period for turning, from 3 to 7 days of incubation, were also recorded. Generally, failure to turn eggs retarded growth of the area vasculosa. Turning during the critical period stimulated the extent of growth of the area vasculosa by day 7 of incubation and of subsequent embryonic growth by day 14. Incubation at low temperature resulted both in reduced expansion of the area vasculosa and retarded embryonic growth in a pattern similar to that observed for unturned eggs. It is suggested that turning stimulates development of blood vessels in the area vasculosa via localized increases in blood pressure.

    We were able to demonstrate that it is critical to turn eggs for at least the first three
    days of incubation and better for the first seven. READ MORE HERE and HERE

    Only add room temperature eggs to your incubator to prevent SWEATING. Sweating/Condensation weakens the egg's natural defense mechanisms, providing an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria and penetrated through the shell pores and kill the embryo. Eggs can be laid on their sides or placed in turning tray with pointed end down/big air cell end up. For shipped eggs, please refer to SHIPPED EGGS section of this article.

    Mark eggs, using a pencil, with an X on one side and an O on the other. Make sure to turn the eggs at least 3 times a day, or odd number of times. Turning by hand they should always be turned an odd amount of times and move them to a different part of the tray to protect them from temperature variation. You basically roll the eggs with your fingers/palm from X to O. It is important to NOT ROLL the eggs in the same direction every time. Improper rolling can cause the chalazae that holds the yolk in place to tear. Turning the egg prevents the embryo from touching and attaching to the membrane inside the egg. The most convenient way to turn eggs is to purchase an egg turner. Take extra precautions when turning eggs during the first week of incubation. The developing embryos have delicate blood vessels that rupture easily when severely jarred or shaken, thus killing the embryo.

    When adding Eggs the temperature will immediately drop. DO NOT ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT, or risk accidentally cooking them. Wait 2/4 hours and if the temperature is still low, make a small adjustment, as small as you can. (Note: Small adjustments on the manual Styrofoam incubators make BIG changes!)




    Shipped Eggs = Change Of Plans! post #53845

    Shipped eggs have a MUCH lower hatch rate, even with experienced hatchers!
    HOW TO REQUEST AND SHIP EGGS Sally Sunshine Way...
    HOWTOREQUESTANDSHIPEGGSSallySunshineWay.docx 940k .docx file
    COLD? REQUESTING HEAT PACKS discussion post #32219
    Heat packs for shipping animals/etc

    Never set in PAPER CARTONS!

    Do not incubate eggs on paper trays or in boxes. This guarantees heterogeneous egg/embryo temperatures, resulting in high levels of early mortality.



    HOWTOREQUESTANDSHIPEGGSSallySunshineWay.docx 940k .docx file
    Results Shipped SS Way post #63575 cree post #6321
    Kristins horribly shipped eggs and hatch post #57321
    DO you have to be NPIP certified to ship hatching eggs? States/Agencies Info see post #33884
    Great IDEAS to find eggs CHEAP! post #775
    Julian date on trader Joe eggs understanding it! post #5098
    BYC Links for EGGS........
    LOCAL BYC THREADS in the Where am I? Where are you Section! click HERE




    Sites to refer to for Candling Images and Videos

    Progression Though Incubation

    Great pics of CANDLING and good and bad eggs.......

    Metzer Candling :

    Development of a Chick:

    Candling Pics:

    Understanding the Air Cell

    The average chicken egg has thousands of pores running through the shell allowing the embryo to exchange oxygen, carbon dioxide and water. Soon after an egg is laid, a small air bubble or “air cell” forms in the large end of the egg from water loss. Humidity levels in the incubator determine moisture evaporation during the 21 days of incubation and hatching. The air cell is crucial for the chick to break out of the egg shell at the end of the incubation period. The chick can drown if the air cell is too small or the chick may be retarded in growth if the air cell is too large. This is why maintaining the proper humidity is crucial. Slightly lower humidity levels are more likely to be less disastrous than slightly higher humidity levels.

    MARKING and OBSERVING the size of the air cell is a way of checking for correct weight loss of the egg and is commonly used. However, this can be inaccurate due to the different, types, shapes, and ages of eggs. The protrusion of the embryo into the air cell also may effect observations. Again, it is the most common method for non-commercial hatchers. With experience you can adjust your humidity as needed by visual inspection of air cells. However, Weighing is the MOST accurate. If the incubation humidity is too low (very dry conditions), the air sac will be larger than normal and the humidity in the incubator should be increased to reduce the rate of water loss. If the air space is smaller than normal then the opposite applies.​
    Quote: Advice Do not candle between 11 and 14 days of incubation, as it interrupts the movement of the embryo to the length axis of the egg.
    Track the air sac with pencil tracings when you candle,
    On the 7, 14 & 18th days
    [​IMG] page 28


    Chicken eggs need to lose 13% moisture over 21 days, NOT day 18 lockdown. Weigh all the eggs on the first day, before you put them in the incubator and weigh again days 10, 14 & 18. Several formulas can be used to determine the rate of weight loss or overall per cent weight loss and to correct the humidity if the values are off. For accuracy, a digital scale should be used which can weigh in grams. Don't forget to subtract the weight of the container holding the eggs from the total weight when calculating the average egg weight. If you use a rack to incubate your eggs it is best to weigh the entire rack instead of each egg to get an average. If you are incubating upright in a carton you will also weigh the entire carton so that the eggs are not disturbed. SHIPPED eggs

    Some Explanations from cochins1088 on weighing Eggs!
    Eggs should lose approximately 11% - 12% of their mass at 18th day of incubation. To monitor mass loss, a person must keep track of an egg’s weight. Optimally eggs should be weighed right after they’re laid, but this isn’t always possible. When eggs are shipped, weigh them as you remove them from the package. Keep in mind that the eggs will lose some of their mass during storage. According to Aviagen, eggs lose about 0.5% of their masses per week in storage.

    How to Calculate Mass Loss

    First subtract the current weight of an egg from the original weight of the egg. This number will give you the weight loss. Then take the weight loss and divide it by the original weight of the egg. This will give you the fraction of weight that was loss. Lastly, multiply the fraction of weigh loss by 100. This will give you the percent of mass loss.

    For example:

    Original weight (50 g) - Current weight (45 g) = Weight lost (5 g)
    Weight lost (5 g) divided by Original weight (50 g) = Fraction of weight lost (0.1)
    Fraction of weight lost (0.1) multiplied by 100 = Percent of weight lost (10%)

    For those of you who incubate large numbers of eggs, you can weigh the trays to find the average mass of each egg.

    For example:

    If a tray weigh of eggs initially weighs 700 grams and the empty tray weighs 200 grams, than the eggs must initially weigh 500 grams. If there are 10 eggs in the tray, then each egg weighs approximately 50 grams.
    Let’s say that 2 eggs are removed because they were infertile.
    After 18 days, your tray weighs 560 grams. If you subtract the weight of the tray (200 grams), than the eggs must weigh 360 grams. There are 8 eggs in the tray, so each egg weighs approximately 45 grams.
    With this example, the eggs lost 10% of their mass by day 18.


    For formulas used to determine the weight loss please refer to
    Weight Loss Determinations:


    Note: Kitchen scales work great. The WeighMax Pocket Mini CD Digital Scale below works great if you weigh individual eggs. I pasted an egg carton cup firmly to hold the eggs. Be extremely careful not to tip your scale and crack your eggs!


    DAY 1

    Always wash hands before handling eggs.
    The shell of an egg is thin and opaque when held near a bright light. The easiest type of egg to candle is the white shelled egg and some of the hardest eggs to candle are dark brown eggs, like the Maran eggs pictured below.

    You could try two or more flashlights to see into them!


    Candle days are 1, 7, 14 & 18th day
    You will need a Candler, bright light, LED flashlight or build your own Candler. Find Instructions HERE.
    Turn on your Candler and shut off the lights in the room so it is dark, evenings are best. Hold the flashlight/Candler like the image below and set the egg air cell/fat end down on your hand. This will prevent any light leakage from the flashlight. Your hand protects the egg from the hard surface of the light and helps more of the light to go through the egg.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    CAUTION: Be very careful when you handle the egg
    so you don't accidentally crack it or DROP it!

    Slowly & gently rotate the egg until you can see inside the egg. On Day 1 candling you will mark air cells and check for cracked or porous eggs. Lightly mark the air cell with a pencil. Candle quickly if the light gets hot, you will kill the embryo. On Day 1 candle you will NOT see much inside the egg but you may have a glimpse of yolk moving as you gently rotate lightly colored eggs.

    Chicken Embryo Development, views from the Inside AND Out. *Graphic Photos**



    Porous Egg

    TINY Sappy spots possibly due to Rough Shipment of EGGS


    Day 11 candle funky air cells from shipped eggs.
    BLOOD RINGS clearly visible on light polish eggs

    Saddle Shaped Air cell, where it dips on two sides
    BLOOD RINGS clearly visible on light polish eggs

    Note the pictures below on day 10
    The two on the right have “scrambled” contents from shipping

    DAY 7
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    When you Candle on day 7 there should be some light blood vessels surrounding it and you may see the embryo move. See above and below video. My favorite time to candle! Eggs that are clear should be re-candled at 10 days before tossing. If your not sure and it doesn’t smell leave it! If your egg is colored or a brown egg, it is harder to see through the shell, you may want to wait a few days and try again. Or find a better candler. You can see the large round yolk move inside the egg, this is NOT the embryo at day 7! Its just the yolk!


    DAY 14

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    Candle day 14 is to determine growth, weigh, pencil mark air cell size and dispose bad eggs.
    It will begin to look pretty dark in there! Look for movement.
    You should again see some good veining.


    DAY 18 & LOCKDOWN!


    Candle day 18 is to determine growth, weigh, pencil mark air cell size and dispose bad eggs. It will look pretty dark and FULL in there! You may or may not see movement on this candle. Its ok if not, don’t panic! The chick may easily be resting! See how that air cell is beginning to dip more to one side and if you lay the egg down it will roll into the hatching position. I set my eggs with lowest dip in the aircell up. This position for hatching is good so the chick is able to turn into position and I can easily see my pips too! Day 18 laying horizontal for actual hatching helps a chick hatch 1-2 hours earlier. I lay my eggs down LOWEST DIP of the AIRCELL UP! This is the normal and most likely hatching position and the chick will break through or Internally pip and externally pip in that probable area. See the image below with the x, x being lowest dip in air cell and probably pip area/s.


    Stop turning, Remove Turner and Raise Humidity to 65% - 70%
    depending on what your air cells may still need

    NOTE: It is now known that the different embryos communicate with each other by a series of clicking sounds,
    the rate of clicking being the important feature. Ensuring the eggs on the hatching trays are in contact with each other facilitates
    the synchronization of hatching where the eggs are incubated in a modern machine. This assists in reducing the time between when the first and last chicks hatch.

    After Day 18 candle you will “LOCK DOWN” your eggs. Lower the temperature see suggest temps below and increase the humidity the last three days. STOP turning and the incubator stays closed, for the next three days while the chicks hatch! If you’re having a hard time with humidity it is OK to open quickly to boost, add warm water or increase the size of the pan or add a wet sponge. NEVER ADJUST HUMIDITY BY cutting back airflow. VENTILATION is EXTREMELY important at this stage!

    Researchers have found that lowering temperatures will prolong incubation,
    HOWEVER it is favourable to do so at the end of incubation.

    Day 19 & 20 Temp Min 98.0 Max 98.5
    Day 21 Temp Min 97 Max 98.0

    for more information please refer here:
    PAGE 42

    on what that chick is doing in that egg at this time!

    Development of motor patterns in avian embryos:
    hatching behavior



    CHICKS can get broken legs in these large sized wire grates

    EXAMPLES Window SCREEN, or DOLLAR store rubber Shelf mat with the holes
    see below:
    Note: foam grip drawer mat on the wire bottom of incubator on day on day 18 lockdown. A cloth, crinoline, or paper towels could work as well. This ALSO protects the navel, the place where the abdomen closes after surrounding the remains of the yolk, from injury. It also makes cleaning the incubator easier. NO the wire on the incubator bottom should not injure or effect your chicks after they hatch. Dollar store baskets are great to keep hatching chicks separated by breed.



    Prepare everything you need for them once they have hatched.
    Now is the time to do final checks on brooder, heat lamp and feed.
    See bottom of article for links on chick care.
    Click on the link below for Brooder Ideas!

    Rocking Egg Video!
    Eggs can rock for several days before hatcing, but how exciting it is!


    Understanding The Hatching Process

    Between the 15th and 16th days, the chick orients itself so that its head is near the air cell at the large end of the egg. Not long before the chick is ready to attempt to make its way out of the shell its neck acquires a double bend so that its beak is under its right wing and pointed toward the air cell.

    21 DAYS is just a baseline for hatching eggs.
    Many chicks can take 23 - 25 days!
    Some pip internally and fully hatch in hours while others will be 24 hours or more.

    Egg movement! Eggs can “Rock n Roll” days before they are due to hatch!

    The initiation of hatch occurs partially from the increased carbon dioxide level in the egg. This process causes the embryo to begin twitching it's muscles allowing the inner shell membrane to be punctured by the egg tooth. The chick then begins breathing the air in the air cell. Using its egg tooth, it pecks at the shell thousands of times and after a few hours the chick pips a small hole through the shell and begins to breathe air directly from the outside. After the chick has made a hole in the shell, it stops pipping for 8+ hours sometimes up to 24 hours and rests. During this time, it is acclimating its lungs.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In regards to opening and closing the bator to remove already hatch chicks; It is important to remember that chicks can go 3 days without food/water. It is better to wait for the remaining chicks to hatch to insure reducing the impact to unhatched pipping eggs.

    But my new chick is running around in the bator knocking eggs around!

    TIMELINE of a silky HATCHING!

    MONDAY 5 PM noticed external pip


    hole slightly larger but chick is NOT zipping!


    missed the last quick zipping!
    Silky on the left, two CCL hatched at the same time!

    THIS CHICK TOOK WELL OVER 24 hours to hatch! and absolutely normal!



    Oh NO!


    It is common to lose about 1-2% of the chicks due to deformities and malpositions. Deformities occur during embryo development, while malpositions occur the last week of incubation. Malpositioned embryos are unable to pip the eggshell and escape due to improper positioning within the egg. The chicks can have difficulty positioning for pipping, absorbing the yolk sac, or changing from embryo to chick breathing air. The majority of malpositioned embryos that have died in the shell probably resulted from exhaustion and/or lack of oxygen. One GOOD thing to remember is that SOME malpositions are Lethal and some are not! Occasionally, malpositioned chicks will hatch unassisted but the hatch does need to be monitored closely to ensure that the chick is not becoming stressed, or stuck. Often as a result of the position in the shell they have been unable to absorb all of the yolk. Please refer to Navel SECTION BELOW.

    Common reasons of Malpositions are:

    Eggs are set with small end up.
    Advancing breeder hen age and shell quality problems.
    Egg turning frequency and angle are not adequate.
    Inadequate % humidity loss of eggs in the setter.
    Inadequate air cell development, improper temperature and humidity regulation, and insufficient ventilation in the incubator or hatcher.
    Imbalanced feeds, elevated levels of mycotoxins, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
    Lower than recommended temperatures in the last stage of incubation.

    Normal hatching position and the six recognised malpositions Images:

    CLICK here....

    When to assist?

    Assisting a chick should be your LAST RESORT
    PLEASE READ the following ARTICLE
    BEFORE you try to assist a chick!

    Step By Step Guide

    to Assisted Hatching:

    She HATCHED! But what's with her butt?


    If there is slight bleeding at the navel use corn starch or a dab of cold water to stop the bleeding. You can also swab the umbilicus area with a 1% solution of Betadine and place the chick back in the bator to dry. If you do see this and the chick is already out of the shell dangling with this, use a clean sterile scissors to cut through them, DO NOT PULL as you can harm the chick’s navel!
    But only the cords!


    Please see HOW TO TREAT & PREVENT yolk sack infections!!

    click on in the link below
    Mushy Chick Disease aka yolk sack infection & omphalitis

    Below is a photo of a "Duck in a Cup" waiting for its yolk sack to finish up!


    3 Essential Chick Care Tips (pasting up and Cord info)

    YES this CHICK MADE IT through with proper Care!

    And this one MADE IT! Say Hello to "Yolk"

    Yolk, a WONDERFUL Story of a Chick that stopped pipping midway and ended up having a yolk sack rupture and a bunch of other issues! It is well worth a read and "Rock" has all the footage to boot!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Links for additional information


    What Went Wrong During Incubation

    Why break out and analyse hatch debris?
    Procedure for breaking out hatch debris
    Common MalPositions IMAGES
    HOW to Analyze
    Possible causes of Hatch Debris Embryo Mortality

    High Humidity ~ cause read page 36


    Trouble Shooting Failures with Egg Incubation

    Hatchability Problem Analysis

    Troubleshootting Incubation

    This is also a great pdf with pics: paste link in browser search: emrbyo death incubation&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved=0CDsQFjAD&url=

    Eggtopsy: What happened to my egg?

    How to Spot Problems of Newly Hatched Chicks

    GROW GEL / FEED Newly hatched chick!

    WHY I always add little soda caps full of grow gel when my first chick is fluffed in the incubator.
    Does it do anything? I thought they had the yolk!
    Read PAGE 6
    "The development of the gastrointestinal system is stunted under fasting conditions, and this may be related to the retarded utilization of the yolk (Dibner, 1999)"


    DIP THE BEAK OF THE CHICK IN THE WATER BEFORE YOU TURN IT LOOSE in the brooder. A taste of water right away helps them to find more water soon. If your chicks are at all stressed, add about 3 tablespoons of brown or table sugar to each quart of water for extra energy. Most baby bird loss is caused because the bird doesn't start to eat or drink. Never let your bird run out of water. Care Tips.html

    Homemade Electrolyte Recipe for weak/ill chicks
    2 C. Water
    2 TBL. Brown Sugar, honey or molasses
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
    Mix until all dry ingredients dissolve & Keep refrigerated
    You could also use electrolyte drinks Gatorade or Pedialyte, or
    3 drops of POLYVISOL (liquid childrens A-B-D vitamins)
    Slowly drip along inner edge of lower beak.
    How To Raise Baby Chicks

    Raising your chicks

    AND ITS CHEAP at TSC its Balanced electrolytes supplement for newly hatched and adult chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other domestic poultry. Fortified with vitamins A, D3, E, C, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12. Convenient, single-use packets each mix into one gallon of drinking water. Use during hot weather or other stress to support optimal hydration and bird health. JUST IN CASE you have a weak bird! OR You can add sugar to the water in the first couple of days.Dont forget to have Sav-A-Chick™ Electrolyte and Vitamin Supplement on hand!


    WRY NECK / Torticollis

    Wry neck is a condition in which the baby chicks head or hangs it sideways or tilts backwards, causing it to be off balance and fall over. Sometimes chicks can be weak and fall over but if its tilting of head back is causing toppling its typically wry/crooked neck.

    Torticollis is a symptom from different illnesses. Marek's disease, a possible vitamin deficiency in magnesium, vitamin E, thiamine, avian encephalomyelitis or listeriosis, food poisoning/botulism, heavy metal/lead toxicity, Fungal aspergillosis, ear infections, and head injuries with some vulted skull breeds.

    Vitamin Deficiency-Induced Neurological Diseases of Poultry
    AWESOME links here! :
    Vitamin E with Selenium, Water Soluble Multi Vitamins plyvisol NO IRON, Probiotics & Electrolytes, Prednisone,Bayer Brand Baby Aspirin
    MASSAGE, Vit B, Vit E, Selenium
    help them get out of their twist!

    Curled Toes

    Understanding Splayed Legs and incubation distress that easily leads to splayed legs

    This condition has been associated with high humidity during incubation, but the results of our research indicate that higher temperature conditions during the last phase of embryo development may have a bigger impact. Splayed legs are also observed when newly hatched chicks are placed on slippery floors.

    Culling ~

    Small Animal Euthanasia at Home
    How to cull chicks
    How to Dispatch a Chicken.

    Medicine Chart for Chickens & other Poultry

    Sexing Chicks

    Learn CPR: Save A Bird’s Life

    CPR can save a bird’s life in the correct circumstances, so learn how to perform CPR on your bird with these tips.


    SmallScale Poultry Flocks Resources

    a PDF Filled with Informative links to EVERYTHING POULTRY!




    A few Cool Videos!

    THIS is a video of a CANDLE at DAY 10!

    Day 13 Duck Candle below


    ps.... dont hesitate to pop on the thread and ask for help....

    CLICK HERE FOR THREAD! Educational Incubation & Hatching, w/ Sally Sunshine,
    learn everything from hatching to processing and so much more through questions and chatting!

    ALSO there is a 9 1 1 - HELP!

    stuff went wrong
    links from the thread HERE..
    Just pop in and say hello and what your plans are in the bator!
    Experienced Hatchers also needed to help out with the growing demand for help with incubating!
    Its not just for shipped eggs! Its awesome, most check daily and are there to help and support!

    Disclaimer: Please note this information is offered as friendly advice only and, whilst I have made every effort to ensure it is accurate, I can not be held responsible if it proves not to be useful in your case!

    Sally Sunshine

    Educational Incubation & Hatching, w/ Sally Sunshine Click HERE & NOTES section click HERE
    Hatching 101 Article click HERE & Assisted Hatching Guide Click HERE
    Cabinet Coolerbator ~ Coolerbators ~ Pallet Coops ~ Saloon Coop ~ Pallet Duck House & Duck Care
    Processing Support Group~ PINTEREST ALL POULTRY ~Our Serama House of Littles Click HERE ~Mushy Chick Disease ~ Nasty Chicken Butt ~ Easy no Strain Fermented Feed ~ Easy 5gal Waterer ~DIY Light Box for pics Click HERE

    A little fun compliments of my friend Oz!



    My new Avy Created by my friend cochins1088 from BYC,

    How cool is that!

    Share This Article

Recent User Reviews

  1. Clubber1234
    "Very good information and article"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Dec 4, 2018
    Very good information
  2. N F C
    "Excellent Hatching Info"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Sep 29, 2018
  3. MROO
    "EXCELLENT article on hatching eggs!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Sep 27, 2018
    There's is a LOT of information here, but it's worth sorting through. If your eyes start to glaze from info overload, don't give up! Take a break, digest what you've read, and come back to where you left off. It's well worth the time!


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. cjpeeps
    Fantastic resource, thank you!
    What is a safe non toxic marker I can use for marking the eggs of a brooding hen ? The other girls are moving in on her territory and laying additional eggs ???
  3. BantyChooks
    Great article!
  4. fishnet1971
    Sally thank you SOOOO MUCH For this!!!!!! let my chicken math begin!!!! oh wait, it already did......LOL!!!!!
  5. Sassyhens1
    Amazing information....many thanks!
  6. Sally Sunshine
    I use bleach solution to clean our bators.... I think the info is in the bator section at the beginning, I may have a link or something!
  7. Rays Chickens
    I have read many articles about hatching/incubating eggs. This is by far the absolute best I have ever ever read. I am just starting to raise chickens and this is a tool I will use for a long time to come. Everyone, this is a must read. Thanks so much.
    Ray ( Ray's Chickens)
  8. lamont0113
    I plan to read this more thoroughly before I start, but at first glance I did not find the answer to my first question. What do I clean my incubator with before use? I need to know that before I get eggs in case I can't find it locally.
  9. antyler
    This is the best info! thank you so much for all the work that was put into this.
  10. 5fowl
    Amazing post!! No wonder another member called it the hatching "bible" wonderful info, charts, links, everything!! Can't wait to dive into hatching feeling prepared!!! Thank you from me and our future chicks[​IMG]
  11. Bean789
    Started my first hatch today following these steps and guidance. Hope all goes well. 12 Cream Brabanters and 8 Silkie eggs in the bator.
  12. Tatianna
    I cant thank you enough for leading me to your link. It is amazing and as a nurse, I can see you have done justice to all of your research! Kuddo's to you for sharing your information and doing your homework. Great videos and your information is easy to follow.
  13. Tyaloria
    excellent, really helpful as im on day 18 of silkie hatch and I already lost one as he pipped out and died. I tried to keep him warm and hope that he would show signs of life and just lay next to the bator watching him. Husband eventually took him away. thanks for the great article :)
  14. Sally Sunshine
    @fisherlady good luck! still airs are tough but if you have thermos calibrated and move eggs around dif spots in the bator periodically you should do fine! Are they shipped? I will jump on the pa thread tomorrow I am sure to loose sat signal in this mess of a day!
  15. fisherlady
    Sally, a simple thanks just doesn't seem enough when a person thinks of the hours, and hours and hours you spent gathering all of this information into one place to help all of us.... but THANK YOU!! We are currently warming up a borrowed still air for our first venture into artificial incubation... (breeder gave us more eggs than our 2 broodies can cover, so we are giving it a try) I am sure I will be referring back to your article and links many times over the next 3 weeks!
  16. CheshieChick
    What an amazing thread!
    Thank You for all this information :D
  17. Math
    Thanks for the concise information. This is a very good reference for beginners and enthusiasts. Thanks.
  18. Ellaluvsbirds
    This was awesome. I am still fairly new to hatching birds. I have had birds all of my life and I started hatching eggs 2 years ago but I only really got serious about hatching last spring.
  19. DaveOmak
    Amazing tutorial on EVERYTHING I need to learn... Excellent dialog.... I feel I will be totally prepared to delve into this ambitious hobby after rereading it about 6 more times..... and keeping it handy.... Great job..... and thanks much....

  20. highaltitudehen
    This is so useful for us! We are just getting started. Thank you!!
  21. Wishapup
    So informative! I've hatched chicks many times, but this coming spring will be my first time hatching two new scenarios...a) 12 Buff Orp *shipped eggs* and b) a couple experimental mixed bantams *using a broody hen*. Thanks for the tips!
  22. JesNflock
    Great article Nicely detailed!
  23. Sally Sunshine
    I would suggest reading the humidity section, its not a set number its a tool so you can achieve the proper weight loss/water loss of the egg, it explains it fairly simple in the article above. If you run at 60 you run the risk of drowning your chicks in the end as they will not achieve proper water loss.
  24. LoveNewChicks
    well the book I have says 60, I am just wondering if that is right.
  25. LoveNewChicks
    great article!
    what should the humidity be?
  26. CowgirlHC
    Great info!
  27. Mavrik
    Hydrometer Calibration
    Place the salt in the bottle cap (or other small container).Dampen the salt with water. Do not put so much in that the salt gets "sloppy". You want a damp pile of salt in the bottle cap.Place both the hygrometer and the bottle cap full of damp salt in the ziploc bag and seal it well. (It is important not to let air on or out while the test is going on.)Keep it like this for over 8 hours.After 8 hours in the damp salt environment, the actual humidity inside the bag will be 75%. Compare it to your hygrometer, your hygrometer should also read 75%. If not, you will then know exactly how far off your hygrometer is. If it's off, note the amount and direction that it actually reads and be sure to add or subtract that amount when reading the hygrometer. If the hygrometer has a control to adjust it (either the needle or the display), you can set the hygrometer to 75% immediately after the test.
  28. suebee
    Amazing thread! On behalf of newbies and experienced hatching peeps, I say Thank You Sally Sunshine. Wonderful Post!!!
  29. BuffBeck
    I'm a beginner, and this is chock full of good stuff!! Thank you sooo much!
  30. JimH99
    Superb information, you did a LOT of research putting this stuff together....the best I have ever seen. Good JOB!! If anyone has any question imaginable it can be answered in the links, etc awesome, love internet!
  31. MorgansManor
    Wow great article and thanks for all your hard work with so much information.
  32. GasMenagerie
    Great resource. Thank you!
  33. Candyman
    Thumbs up.... Thankyou for publishing such great information for those who are new to the incubation/hatching.
  34. kakhan
    Thank you Sally.You have always been helpful and have saved thousand of chicks :)
    Keep it up we want more from you.
  35. what's kickin' chicken
    This is great !!!....thank you so much
  36. roostersandhens
    sooo interesting!
  37. roostersandhens
    thanks for the info!
  38. willowbranchfarm
    Great info again.
  39. PrnzsButtrcluck
    YES! Thank you so much! Awesome thread!
  40. FeatheredFreind
    Way to go!!! Best reference material that I have seen on hatching and incubating. Great job and thanks for putting it all together and sharing.
  41. tadpole98
  42. Shayna
    Oh my, you are so smart for putting all of this together! I wish I had done something similar when I did so much research. Thank you for taking the time to do this and sharing! It should help so many on there. :)
  43. Sally Sunshine
    Thanks SUMI for the thumbs up on the Article/Notes! Glad my notes can help others too!
  44. coffeekittie
    Hey SS, I especially like the section on helping (or not helping) a chick to hatch. Very good reference!
  45. Tammy N
    Beautiful chickens and Thanks for all the info Its fun and sad but it does help all of us .
  46. houckfam5
    thanks for all the info hope we end up getting to meet up one day can't wait to see if any of my silkies or frizzles make it

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