Can I keep adding eggs to the incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wpcc, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. wpcc

    wpcc Hatching

    Aug 24, 2012
    Morganton, NC
    We have a digital cabinet incubator and a separate digital cabinet hatcher, both of which are set to the respective appropriate temp and humidity. The incubator holds ~300 eggs.

    My question is, rather than saving eggs for a week and holding them at what may potentially be an unsuitable temperature (we are off the grid and have unstable ambient heating/cooling), can I just add my eggs to the incubator each day and then remove them to the hatcher one day apart in sequence as they approach day 18?

    I checked to see the fluctuation of temp/ humidity when I open the door (humidity drops by ~4% and temp by ~5 degrees F). I can't imagine that this is much different from a broody hen getting up for 5 mins to go get a drink of water and a snack. Plus, the recovery to the set temp/humidity takes less than 5 mins.

    Depending on your wisdom and response to my question, I would only add eggs daily for 7-10 days and then let them set. Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Many people do a staggered hatch, but the humidity fluctuation is far more dangerous than the temp. I haven't had a whole lot of success with the staggered hatch, but many have. Does your hatcher have a different humidity level than your eggs above?
  3. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    You could do that but the problem that I see is that the hatcher would be in a constant state of "pip". There would really be no good time to remove the hatched chicks or add the next eggs without the danger of shrink wrapping the pipped eggs. I'd recommend collecting the eggs for 7 days and setting them in batches. I'm not sure what your concern is about holding the eggs. Too hot or to cold, or just fluctuating? I think in the long run it will work better if you set weekly batches.That's how I run mine and it works out well for me. I use the older Sportsman 1202 incubators and 1250 hatcher and just accumulate the eggs on the kitchen counter till I set them each Thursday evening.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by