Hatching eggs cheat sheet

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RoyalLegend, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. RoyalLegend

    RoyalLegend Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 13, 2012
    I am trying to make a "cheat-sheet list" of do's and don't for hatching. Please add to this! So far:
    1.make sure the incubator stays at 99.5 (no less than 99, and no more than 102 without dire consequences)
    2.keep the humidity above 35% always, and normally 40-50%. and the last four days keep it at least 65%. Marans eggs need about 80-85% at the end to hatch.
    3. Don't candle before day 7 (although i am not sure why this hurts). I candle day 8, 9 or 10, to make sure I can tell through dark shells. Use a little LED flashlight! I find it works best. They are really bright, and don't heat up the eggs at all. And because I use a small one, if fits tight against the egg without having to add any cardboard or anything. A nice LED candling light would be great, with a soft rubber egg holder, but costs more I'm sure.
    4. Candle again at least once in the middle of the hatch, to look for bad eggs and get them out.
    5. Don't forget to take out your turner at day 18, increase the humidity, and don't candle them again (although, I don't know why, I've just been told not to).
    6. RESIST THE URGE to open the incubator once they have started to hatch, unless you have to add water. Only add HOT water, so you don't chill them too.
    7. If you have to open it: first get your bathroom hot and very steamy. Keep hot water running to keep up the humidity in the room. Take the incubator in that room, take out the hatched chicks, take out most of the broke shells, help open any that have spent more than 6 hours with only a peck hole to get a bit more going, and add water to the incubator. Close it back up, and don't open it again till everything is finished.

    Chicks can last 48 hours in the incubator just fine after hatching, but sometimes it does get really crowded and taking out the first half of them is useful, especially when you have 38 out of 40 hatch. Their interest in pecking everything that moves is not helpful for poor little chicks that hatch late, and have 6 brothers trying to peck his face, as he's just trying to get out of his shell.

    Okay: so is there anything I have forgotten? PLEASE add to this if you think of something.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  2. Herducks

    Herducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2012
    Sebastopol, CA
    You don't candle after day 18 because chicks are getting into hatching position and you could disorient them and they will not pip into the aircell like they need to.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Your list looks good. Apart from DO turn them at least 3 times a day, more is better, I can't think of anything to add at the moment. The reason most people don't candle before day 7 is because you can't see much before then. So day 7 is usually the first candle, followed by another one 2-3 days later to double check the ones that looked clear on day 7. (Sometimes eggs take awhile to show development properly)
  4. RoyalLegend

    RoyalLegend Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 13, 2012
    I received the most awesome information from Sally Sunshine. If I had this first, I wouldn't have tried to make my own cheat sheet.

    Sally Sunshine

    Jan 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm


    she said I could post the link for her page of great info, so for those of you who haven't seen it yet, or those that could use a few reminders: here it is.
    1 person likes this.
  5. TNSS11

    TNSS11 Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2014
    Drasco, Arkansas
  6. chickster5003

    chickster5003 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2013
    Will it hurt that my inubcator get down to 98.6-8 at times
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Is it still air or forced? Still needs to be 102, forced, 99.5. A lot depends on how accurate your thermometer is. Short drops ok. It's the day in/day out temps that will make or break your hatch.
  8. chickster5003

    chickster5003 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2013
    It only last for many be an hour and forced air

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