Do you HAVE to turn eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by blaundee, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. blaundee

    blaundee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2009
    Has anyone tried NOT turning eggs? What happens if you do not turn them?
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    If you don't turn them your chances of getting a good hatch rate drops significantly. Turning the eggs frequently helps keep the embryo positioned properly in the egg and some people say it stops them getting stuck to the membrane. Broody hens turn their eggs up to 52 times a day.
  3. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 25, 2012
    Baltic, Ohio
    Turning keeps the embryo from sticking to the membrane & moves it to different areas of the yolk to permit it to absorb the nutrition it needs from the yolk. That being said, I am 1 of the worst at remembering to turn my eggs. I leave for days at a time & the poor things just sit there. I still have good hatches & bad hatches. Often other factors (like temperature) play a bigger role than turning. My suggestion: try to turn at least once per day. 3 times is better.
  4. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
    Here are my links and info~ I always like to fully understand why .... I am forever researching and asking why!!! LOL is the article and here is a paste from the article A Critical Period for the Turning of Hens' Eggs
    4. The mechanism by which turning effects development is discussed.
    ALSO the FOLLOWING SITE: interesting article .... this is just the beginning

    Effect of Egg Turning Angle and Frequency During Incubation on Hatchability and Incidence of Unhatched Broiler Embryos with Head in the Small End of the Egg1 O. Elibol* and J. Brake,2 Abstract

    The effect of turning angle (from vertical) and the interaction with turning frequency during incubation on fertile hatchability, embryonic mortality, and the incidence of embryos with head in the small end of the egg (malpositioned) was studied in 2 experiments comprising 2 trials each to determine if a turning angle of less than 45° could be successful. Hatching eggs from commercial broiler breeder flocks from 55 to 61 wk of age were utilized, and turning was for 18 d. Eggs were subjected to turning angles of 35, 40, or 45°, with a turning frequency of 24 times daily (24×) in Experiment 1. Turning angle had no effect on fertile hatchability. However, the incidence of separately enumerated, malpositioned embryos was increased by the 35° angle, compared with both the 40 and 45° angles in Experiment 1. Eggs were subjected to turning angles (from vertical) of 35°, with a turning frequency of either 24× or 96× daily, or 45°, with 24× turning in the 2 trials of Experiment 2. Turning angle and frequency had no effect on fertile hatchability or embryonic mortality, but the incidence of separately enumerated, malpositioned embryos was increased by the 35° angle with 24× turning, compared with the 35° angle with 96× turning, and the 45° angle, with 24× turning, in Experiment 2. These data demonstrated that the incidence of malpositioned embryos was increased by a reduced turning angle, but that this effect was ameliorated by a concomitant increase in turning frequency.

    Relevance of turning Written by Gerd de Lange see page for full info.....I FOUND the one that I actually understood here:
    Broody hens provide optimum conditions for embryos developing in the eggs they are sitting on. The brood patch provides heat from one direction only, and the eggs at the side of the patch are cooler than those in the middle of the nest. However, because the broody hen regularly turns and moves the eggs in the nest, uniform egg temperature is achieved.
    In commercial incubation, we try to mimic the natural conditions in the nest. From the point of view of uniform egg temperature turning of eggs seems to be of less importance in modern incubators. Are there other reasons for turning eggs?
    As summarized by Deeming (2002), egg turning is essential to normal development for several reasons.

    Egg turning


  5. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    I second Sally. Try turning them for the first week and then you don't have to worry about it too much.
  6. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2012
    I've "experimented" and not turned at all. Needless to say my hatch was not good at all.

    I usually turn my eggs 5-6 times a day. The more the better, after all a hen turns her eggs 70+ times a day. I believe someone did study that showed a hen turned her eggs up to 96 times a day. My view: If the hen does it, it's probably important!
  7. hickensc

    hickensc Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 11, 2013
    Thanks for this great information! I just realized my auto turner was off between days 2 to 5,,, Still hoping for a decent hatch,, of course these were important eggs for me.
  8. hickensc

    hickensc Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 11, 2013
    An update
    I set many eggs from many sources for this hatch.
    Some eggs from some sources made it to hatch at a 90%,, same source had 90% of those survived hatch and are strong vigorous chicks.
    Others did not fair nearly so well,, another breed, I ended up with 30% another 50% and one mostly clear at 7 days,, however,, those that went to hatch time survived.
    I ended up assisting the chicks to hatch,, A couple hatched on their own,, and many I did not wait for (I was not going to wait around for them them to die) so possibly they would have been fine on their own, but they survived just fine with my assistance. A few were mal-positioned and did not pip and some pipped in the middle half of the egg.
    I hate helping,, but feel I saved a few. So,,, never give up!

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