Incubating 101


10 Years
May 16, 2009
SW US Desert
Hello and Happy Holidays to all,

I was wondering if anyone could post a link to basic rules of incubating ? I have been reading as many posts as I can and feel that I have learned a lot but still questions if I have missed anything whcih would put my eggs at risk.

Mary in the hgih desert of southern ca:D


Quiet as a Church Mouse
11 Years
Dec 19, 2009
Southwest TN
Incubation and Hatching (including troubleshooting links): publications/b6092.pdf … Incubators … emperature

Humidity discussion:

ya go!


Aug 30, 2009
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
My Coop
I use a Hovabator 1602, and I've found that if I follow the directions to it specifically, instead of using info from other types of incubators, I get a better hatch. It's a basic model with basic instructions, but so far everything fertile has hatched.

When looking for incubating tips, make sure they're specific to your geographic area, know what the "weather" is like inside your home. In the winter the heat will be on, which affects air humidity, which will affect the humidity in the incubator. I had this going on bad... woodstove heat. I put the incubator upstairs... much colder, not the recommended temp for the room... BUT it didn't have the temp fluctuations that the downstairs has... when the fire goes out over night, the temp drops down to 62. So I would have had giant fluctuations if I had set the incubator downstairs instead of upstairs. All the info says on that subject is "Choose a non-drafty location".... Right, in this house? So I covered the back half of the incubator with a towel to offset heat loss and drafts. "Choose an area that is over 74 degrees"... again... not happening here this time of year, so I opted for colder and consistant instead of warmer and fluctuating.

So when you take your hatching notes, think about what is going to be specific to your location, what room in the home wyou'll hatch in, ect. Find all the info you can on what you think your issues, if any, will be. Do your research to find the best incubator for the job. I can't use any of the small "spaceship" 1-4-egg incubators... not any time of year. They're good if you have a climate controlled house with a/c and steady heat. Awful in no a/c or with woodstove heat and a furnace backup. They don't have a heating element that can be adjusted, it's a lightbulb. They also are made of thin plastic, highly affected by what's happening outside. I didn't want a "big" 60 egg styrofoam box... but I could never get the little one consistant enough to hatch. So I have to go overboard to hatch 4 little Bantam eggs in a much larger, more stable, incubator.

You can prevent information overload on your brain by only researching what's relevent to your specific conditions. Incubation and hatching is REALLY easy. Keep the eggs consistantly warm, keep some humidity on them... if they are fertile, they will hatch. BUT, how effective your incubator is will be determined on your location, diligence (or lack of... if I tinker too much I screw it up and get nothing
), and the reliability of your local power company... and barring any "acts of god" that ruin a hatch.

If you're wanting to hatch in a southern swamp when the air carries 80% humidity... you're going to want to know how to reduce that. If you live on a dried out mountain, you need to know how to keep humidity in and consistant. And what incubator is the best for these types of locations and suitable for your housing type.

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