Chances of hatch with minimal turning involved.....


10 Years
Apr 8, 2009
Heart of Dixie
We have a GQF Sportsman bator my question is has anyone tried to incubate using the bottom level [hatcher level] to increase your setting numbers? In other words the eggs on the bottom tray would only be turned ever couple of days when I go in to add water. We have a seperate GQF hatcher and do not use the Sportsman except for incubation, it would be great to be able to set another 60 eggs minimum. Thanks..... Kelli and David:cool:
I have been doing that with mixed results. I have the turners, used them all last year, but this year I have more eggs and tried putting more on the floor. Here's the rub. It is better to write the date clearly on the big end of the egg, and MIX UP THE AGES OF THE EGGS, adding and removing maybe twice a week. The reason is this: As the chicks grow in the eggs and get bigger, they create more biomass and throw off more heat and the temps in the incubator can really spike with too many getting well developed in it at one time. Not only that, but they may also deplete the oxygen too much.

So.... I have found that it is bette to keep one hovabator as a hatcher, and one stuffed full, well, nearly full, like seventy or eighty eggs, and just pull and hatch twice a week, with just a day or so to pull the babies, quick sterilize the hatching incubator, let it get stabilized again, put in the next batch to hatch, and add a few new eggs to the main incubator again, Maybe ten or fifteen per batch. It just keeps the temps much more stable in the incubating unit, and gives the hatching chicks more spacious accomodations for their entry into the world. It also allows you to add eggs sooner after they are laid, for optimal viability.

Your main challenge is to keep the temperature in the "full" incubator from spiking from too many well developed chicks. Plus, they use too much oxygen I think and suffocate if there are too many. Also, instead of rarely turning, I would turn more often three or four times a day, as much for the oxygen exchange as anything else. The large number of eggs helps to keep themps stable, or return quickly to stable so it doesn't matter if you open the incubator more often, temp wise, just keep an eye on the humidity. You may also want to run two as hatchers for time to sterilize and stabilize between hatches. Even a home made one. Or a homemade one used also to just warm the eggs prior to adding them to the main incubator. Hope this helps.
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