Length to Leave Hatchlings in Incubator


In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 11, 2014
Should I leave the little newly hatched chickens in the incubator for a little while to let them dry, or pull them out asap and put them under a lamp?

I have been pulling them out, but I just thought maybe I shoudlnt'



Yorkshire Coop

BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Aug 16, 2014
My Coop
My Coop
I have a rule DO NOT OPEN THE INCUBATOR after lockdown untill the hatch is over. Chicks can survive for three days after hatching without food and water so they can stay in the incubator. Opening the incubator to remove just hatched chicks will mess with the humidity for any remaining unhatched chicks. Which could cause them to become shrink wrapped in the egg.
Hatched chicks also encourage others eggs to hatch as they peep at each other. I leave chicks in the incubator till hatch is over and even then don't remove them untill the last one is dry which is can be 48 hours after the first egg hatches :frow


7 Years
Nov 30, 2013
Pottstown, PA
X2 - leave them in there until the last one hatches, up to 3 days as mentioned. I did leave a chick in for 3 days once and he had was very vigorous when I took him out. I have only ever had one chick die in the incubator after hatching, and that one was malformed and would have likely died even faster in a brooder. I have lost many chicks from drying out while hatching, until I learned to leave the hatcher closed and really increase the humidity while hatching, to at least 80% if possible (it has hit 99% at times with a bunch of wet chicks in there, and no problems at all). My hatch rate got much better overall once I learned to leave the chicks in the incubator longer.

I also learned to not rush giving them water in the brooder after having a small chick drown. As long as some are unsteady on their feet, all they get are crumbles scattered in the brooder floor, once they are all running around, then adding a waterer is safe, since they can step out as easily as they step in.

Experience is a great teacher, though I feel bad about the chicks that gave their lives to teach me. Hopefully, their deaths help more than just me.

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