Classroom Newbies


5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
Good Morning Folks!

I am just looking for guidance - as we dont do this for a living or for a hobby. We are doing this as part of our unit of Chicks and Bunnies in my Pre K classroom. So we have a foam incubator that we use with an egg turner. Our experience is almost none. I have done this while in my student teaching classroom but the classroom teacher had everything set and ready to go and we only had a week left before they started to hatch. So pretty much none - but the heart to nuture these little eggs. The eggs came from a local farmer who assured us they were fertilized. We have 9 "white" eggs and 3 "brown" eggs. No clue as to what breeds.... We were told to keep water in the trays the entire time and make sure the temp was between 99.5 - 101 and we had it set up about 5 days before we put eggs in successfully.

We made sure we put the small end of the eggs in the turner. And keep the temperature accurate. We kept the water filled as we were told to do. We did not candle them at all. We did not weigh them at all. We kept track of temperature only not humidity.

So now we are on day 23 and there is no sign of anything.... any suggestions

The other centers that we have (we are a small locally owned child care center) each were given the same amount of eggs and the same set up. Other centers have eggs hatching as we all had the same hatch date.

Now my questions - as I have read several things on this amazing website....

No water til day 18? Yes or No?

Candling on Day 7 and 14?

Lockdown on day 18? And til when?

Weighing is it necessary?

And lastly, how long do we wait before we say we had a 0% hatch rate? How do we decide when the end is?

Thank you!!!!!!!


5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
Central North Carolina
I never weigh mine. I haven't in over 20 years of hatching eggs. To me it is just extra work that is not needed. No water until day 18??? That is new. I always have water in mine, always. from start to finish. you want between 40% and 50% right up until day 18, then I just fill all of mine, so that I know there is plenty of humidity in there. I candle ours at day 7, day 14, and then the last candling at day 17 anything that looks clear at day 17 is thrown out. Because by then the egg is no good you don't want it to explode on any chicks that hatch. If it has just a small black dot in there and no real chick, chuck it on day 17 it means the chick died early on.If nothing pips by the 25th day then I normally do a candling again. if it looks dead it gets chucked. If I see movement then it means my heat was to low and that the chick is late.


7 Years
May 28, 2012
Bolivar, Ohio
No water til day 18? Yes or No? Depends! lol No, it truly does. What it sounds like happened to you, is what happened to me on my first hatch. I had the humidity too high. The chicks got so big, they couldn't turn in the shell to pip and drown. My second batch, I added no water what so ever trying to avoid the same thing happening, and I turned them into chicken jerky in the shell.

Candling on Day 7 and 14? Yes!

Lockdown on day 18? And til when? They should all hatch by day 21, but can take up until day 23. After that, it is doubtful.

Weighing is it necessary? Nope, but it sure is helping me! By weighing, you know if your humidity is too high, or too low. Weigh eggs every 3 days. They should loose about 2% and 2.5% each 3 day period, for a total loss of between 12% and 15% by day 18. Then stop weighing, and stop turning them and lock them down with about 65% humidity.

And lastly, how long do we wait before we say we had a 0% hatch rate? How do we decide when the end is? You are probably done now, but before I did anything, I would candle them if you can.

Here is a link to a thread I started when I started weighing. It has turned into somewhat of a diary as I progress through the hatching process.

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