First timer - please share your experiance!


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009

In a week we hope to be picking up 12 fertile eggs for Black Copper Morans. We are borrowing an incubator.

Please share your experience and let us know what is best to do, or more importantly, what not to do!

The forum has been very helpful and interesting as we are learning about chickens.

Thank you



11 Years
Aug 28, 2008
Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome, is this your first ever hatching? It can be addictive, and you have jumped right in with the Marans eggs. I hope you didn't pay an arm AND a leg for them! I hatch 100's of Marans eggs each year and in my area they are quite hard compared to other eggs. The shells tend to be very tough and the membranes are tougher. There are even studies that say the Marans egg is more likely to resist bacteria than a regular egg. There are lots of hatching posts on here with some really great advice. I prefer the Dry Hatch method for the Marans, which are in my basement at a constant 60 deg. F. I have had to 'help' out many of the chicks, although lots of breeders won't do this. I feel that the fault is not that the chick is weak, but that my hatching methods are not good enough for them and if they need help, I give it. It is tricky though.

Just want to say good luck with your hatch. Depending on the Bator, you may want to set it up and make sure it stays at temp long before you get your eggs. If it is a plug and play bator like my Genesis 1588, then a day is plenty to turn it on. Let us know how it goes. HenZ


Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
There are "sticky" notes at the top of this forum that can get you started.

However, here are some of my not-original pearls of experience garnered wisdom:
Set up your incubator at least two days ahead of setting the eggs. That way you can monitor how well it maintains temperature and humidity - and that it actually works.

When you set the eggs, don't mess with temp or humidity for 24 hours. The eggs will come up to heat slowly and you don't want to adjust things before they need it. Then you can tweak temp and futz around with humidity levels.

Days 1 through 18, turn the eggs (or have an auto turner turn them) at least 3 times a day.

Days 19 through hatch, which MAY take 2, 3, or more days (21 days is the average incubation period, not the absolute), increase the humidity, stop turning the eggs, and do not open the incubator if any eggs have "pipped" or any are "zipping.". In other words, if there are crack or holes in the shells from chicks starting to hatch, don't open the 'bator.

Hatched chicks can stay in the incubator as much as 3 days without harming them, so don't imagine you need to remove them just because they have hatched IF there are pipped or zipped eggs.

Happy hatching!


8 Years
Feb 10, 2011
Could I also include one other "tiiiiiny" thing? Absolutly set the bator up 2-3 days before. Make SURE it holds. Mark the adjustment.
Now, My point, if for any reason you move the bator to even another room START OVER! Remember your going to be staring in the bator for days, you don't want to be watching your fuzzy butts die.


10 Years
Feb 23, 2011
Chair?? I put the incuabator on the floor and piled pillows and blankets down around it! I can sit or lay down! [and fall asleep]




8 Years
Feb 10, 2011
Not good enough! Food, you must have food. A microwave has always worked for me. But you may need someone to bring you

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