Need help with incubation. Got some eggs but not all!!! I'm a newbie


8 Years
Dec 30, 2011
I bought a incubator a few weeks ago. Got it running just fine. Temp stays around 99.7. I ordered some eggs online and most arrived one to two days ago. Some seem to be very slow getting here. I don't want to risk loosing the eggs I have now waiting on the others. Would it be okay to go ahead and set the ones I have now and add the others after they arrive or should I wait a few more days for the others and set them all at once? I need all the advice I can get. I've done the research, but I second guess myself alot. Also, how long before setting the eggs should I add the water to the incubator? Thanks so much everyone.
Do you know how old the eggs that have arrived are? Shipped eggs are always risky, as they could have been sitting out in the cold with the shipping company for a while. However, most eggs can sit out for a decent amount of time and still hatch, so long as they are kept in a dry, decently warm room (around 70 F) and turned regularly (to keep the embryo from sticking to the shell). However, I would set the eggs before they get too old; all of mine that go in the 'bator are under a week and a half at most.

I have had the same thing happen before, however, where a shipment of eggs got there later than another. I have an automatic turner, and so I labeled each egg with the date that it went into the bator in pencil. Then, when lockdown day for the first batch of eggs arrived, I took out the automatic turner, filled up the extra water troughs, and set all the eggs out on the metal grate. However, I simply continued to turn the eggs that weren't due for another week or so. I had a few wet chicks (air pockets didn't get large enough so they drowned), so it is a risk.

I have, however, worked out a system that works very nice over the years. My first incubator was a still air styrafoam one, and for a while I thought it had broken, so I bought a brand new shiny one with an automatic turner included. Then I found out that the old incubator wasn't actually broken too badly, and my father fixed it up. Now, I run the bator with the fan and turner for the actual incubation period, and when each egg reaches lockdown day, I move them to the other bator which has higher humidity already and no auto turner. This system works out great, and means I can set eggs at different times and still get good hatches!

As for when you should add the water; there should be instructions pertaining to your specific incubator... my hovabators have two troughs of water in the base. You fill up only half of them initially, and the fill the other two when you go into lockdown. Eggs need some humidity throughout the hatch; I forget the exact number, but usually your bator has instructions on how to achieve that humidity. When the eggs are hatching, their need for humidity increases, and usually people add more water to the bator to increase that humidity. This lets the chicks turn freely in the egg, and keeps them from drying out until they have completely hatched.

Hope I helped, and good luck with your hatch!

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