incubation tips


10 Years
Feb 22, 2009
ontario, canada
any tips on incubating chicken eggs all tips welcme !


11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
Don't over fill the water trays because the weight of the eggs or cartons will sink the mesh a little and cause them to get wet(lost 6 that way). Make sure the bator is the right temp before adding eggs and don't play with the temp after adding eggs (stayed up all one night readjusting the temp cause I touched the temp knob and then had a temp spike). Use more than one thermometer and start out by setting them next to each other outside the bator to see how close they are. Measure the temp on top of the eggs not near the top of the bator or on the mesh.

The biggest thing I would do for a first hatch is keep a journal. Get a notebook and record the temp and humidity every time you turn or 2-3 times a day if you have an auto turner. Also record any time you do anything such as adding water or touching the temp knob (don't do that unless you have to). Then when you have any eggs that you remove as bad or that fail to hatch break them open and compare them to the candling pics and then to your notebook. That way you can guess why they died and fix it. That really helped me. My first hatch I got 2 of 24 shipped eggs to hatch. My 2-4th shipped egg hatch I got near or slightly over 50%. Now on hatches of my own eggs I've been getting 90-98%. Still haven't gotten that 100% hatch but it was close. 100% pipped and only 1 failed to hatch.


10 Years
11 Years
Jan 24, 2009
Saint James/ Comfrey MN
I'm not trying to thread-jack but I have never hatched anything either.

What I plan to do before I add eggs is do a complete 21 day dry run. I want to go through the whole experience without the lose of life. (I'm a volunteer Fireman so we drill everything till we know it on our heads)

I hope by doing a "dry run" that I will be ready for the day to day issues that come up.


13 Years
Jan 15, 2007
Garden Valley, ca
Sorry CARS, but a dry run won't work. Even if you put eggs in the bator, each hatch is a little different. The reason a dry run won't work is because you won't have the mass that the eggs will give you. The eggs holds the heat better than air. So when you open an empty bator the temps dives, but with eggs in it, it won't drop as fast and will regain the loss quicker. Sounds cruel but you will lose chicks from time to time. Even those of us that have hatched thousands of eggs still lose our share. Do we like that, HECK no. But that is a fact of life.
Last fall we all was pulling for one of our young ones that was hatching some eggs. Made the bator and did everything right, just didn't work out. Since then a new bator has been made, don't know if it has been tested yet. But we will all know when horse777 hatches a batch of chicks.


10 Years
Mar 8, 2009
Dillingham, Alaska
if you ordered your eggs, let them sit for a while before putting the in the incubator. also, have the incubator on for at least 6 hours before you put the eggs in. be sure they are pointy-end down, but you can also have them lying on their side (i don't know which is better. feel free to correct me, people!)

since you don't have a turner you should turn them 3 times a day by hand. maybe mark and "X" on one side and an "O" on the other side of the eggs to be sure.

I always turn my eggs an odd-number of times per day because if you turn them twice a day, or any even number, the yolk will be on the same side every night, over-night. if you do it an odd number of times a day the yolk will settle on a different side over night, making it a little less one-sidey?

best luck!

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