Aaagghh!! My head is spinning!!


10 Years
Nov 6, 2009
outside, except when I'm inside
I know there has been a million threads about incubating eggs, and incubators themselves; what's the best incubator, what's the best method, and so on. Well, I've been playing with the idea of hatching eggs off and on for a long time now. Every time I decide to get serious about it, I start researching. That's when I get flustered. All the talk about humidity, plugging holes to adjust heat, piping water in for more humidity, dry incubation, and so on. Then, I try to find out what the best incubator is for beginners, and although I've seen a consistency with the recommendations of a few brands, the sticker shock of those incubators is enough to make me cry.I know it won't be all that scary and confusing, once I've learned it a bit. But is there some sort of "How to incubate eggs for dummies, on a budget", type page anywhere? I just want to be able to have something that just spells it out, easy peasy, step by step, what to do. I know there are some incubators that seem like you can just plug it in and walk a way, but I can't really afford those. FYI, I did see the "learning center" pages at the top about incubating and hatching eggs. Though they were helpful, still kind of seemed confusing. I know I sound like a real dingbat, and I promise, I'm normally pretty smart about things, lol! I think it might just be something where I need to get an incubator, then follow the steps, one by one.(whatever those might be) I guess my question is, how did you learn how to incubate eggs?
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The way I learned is I bought an incubator, three dozen quail eggs and had at it. I over adjusted, over analyzed, and over thought everything. Let's take it down to very simple terms, you start out with a bunch of eggs, if you do everything somewhat right you will end up with at least some chicks. If you do everything completely wrong, you will end up with what you started with, eggs, except they are old, so you just toss them like old eggs. So don't worry its an egg.

To take it down to the very basics, you need something to put the eggs in that you can somewhat maintain a temp. If you keep it between 98 and 101 you will be o.k. Just about any incubator on the market can do that. An egg will act as a heat sink, the temps can go up and down but the egg will stay somewhere around the average of the temps with-out much change in temp to the egg.

For moisture you want to keep it low so the egg dries out a bit. If you keep your house humidified in the winter you may not need to add any moisture. If not, you just need a bit of water. For lock down you want a lot of moisture, this is to keep the chicks from sticking to the eggs when they hatch. If you were on the dry side up to this point it is almost impossible to over humidify at the end.

Basically just get an incubator and give it a try. The biggest decision is how many eggs you want to hatch at once so you buy the right size incubator. It is always better to run on the full side so size accordingly, or just start with a small one and get a bigger one when you need it.

Good luck and welcome to the mad science of hatching.
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I have a pretty simple page if you want to dry incubation in an LG styrofoam $50 incubator. Another $50 will get you a turner, but you can do without if you put the eggs in cartons with the bottoms cut out- alternate a 2"x4" back and forth from under one side of the incubator base and then the other 3X daily.

Take a look at the cheat sheet in my siggy and let me know if you have questions. Good luck!
I read a little on incubating eggs, and then dove in. Figured if I thought about it too much, then I would end up convincing myself not to try incubating. Everything that I had read was a little confusing at the time, but once I actually started my first hatch it all started making sense. I learn better by doing than reading anyways. Good luck.

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