best flooring material for hatching???

The Lisser

9 Years
Mar 29, 2010
Foothills of North Carolina
I have 11 eggs going into lockdown tomorrow, in my homemade hatcher. I have hatched two batches of eggs so far - the first I used paper towels in the hatching area - and a chick that stayed in there for several hours got splay leg (which corrected as soon as I put her on shavings in the brooder). The second batch of eggs I used pine shavings, and I had a poor hatch (1 out of 5).

I know some people use hardware cloth, but I don't have any that would work. I've also read that some folks use cabinet liner?

What do you use? What has worked best for you?

I use that non-slip kitchen cabinet liner stuff. I can't recall what it's actually called, but it looks and feels like a thin rubber mesh. Excellent traction and cleans up easily. Just lay it down in the bottom of the hatching trays.
I also use hardware cloth, but since that won't work for you...I have used cabinet liner in the past (the foamy kind, not the "shelf paper" kind). It didn't affect my hatch results, but because the water reservoir for the type of incubator that I use is under the floor, I had to make sure there were adequate holes in the liner to allow the moisture to come through rather than condensing on the bottom of the liner.
Since the hardware cloth won't work in your situation, I've heard of people using cheesecloth type material. While I have never used it, I think it sounds good. Its porous enough to allow air movement. Its not slick, so I don't think it would promote spraddle leg. I think it would make clean up really easy. When everything has hatched and moved to the brooder, just pull it up by the corners and throw everything away in one fell swoop. I think I may try this method if I incubate again.
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