Need more info on eggs, hatching, incubators and more....


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 22, 2011
We are very new to the world of chickens. What started out as a 4-H project has turned into a new passion for my daughter and I. We don't have any eggs yet but we are hoping and keeping our fingers crossed that we soon will. We are more interested in raising more chicks right now than having eggs to eat, although trying an egg that came from a chicken that we raised is something that we are anxious to do as well. We have been reading a lot and researching but would like to hear from people what worked for them and what didn't work, and what was difficult and what made things easier.


What advice can everyone give us to help us be prepared when they do start laying?
Hi ! We raised our own first chickies this past Spring.

We tried it the natural way first, letting the mothers sit on the eggs, or putting eggs under another broody mom if that breed is known to not be broody.

It seemed OK until the chickies started to hatch. The ants apparently will just crawl up into the nest and kill the baby chickies.
After 7 of them dying and my 12 yr. old son so heart-broken, we went out and bought an incubator.

So, after 111 chickies later, we only lost 6 more (chickie deaths, I think only 2 or 3 died inside the egg).
They say you only get about a 75% hatch rate anyways. Some eggs that go past their due date, just pitch them.

When you get your first egg, it's sometimes not a real egg (smaller, no yolk). I think you are supposed to wait for a few eggs.

Then you get your incubator ready (we kept our temp at 102 degrees Fahrenheit, putting the thermometer at the top of the eggs)

determine the pointy side of the egg, pointing down, write the date of expected hatch (count 21 days from the day you get the egg) on the fat part top, put an X on one side (like on the equator line -if fat end up, pointy end down) and an O on the other side of the "world" at the equator line

Turn eggs 3X a day (once after every meal).

So, when first starting, lay the egg down sideways with the X or O pointing up (showing on the top side - the egg is now laying sideways)
When turning, just turn the egg so the other symbol shows.

21 days later, the egg will get a little crack, pushing from the inside. sometimes it takes a whole day for them to hatch......they peck and peck until they create a line about halfway around, then the little chickie pushes the two halves apart and then unfolds and pops out.

They are wet and fragile and tired. I usually leave them in there until the next turning to give time to dry off.

sometimes they move around and rearrange all the nicely lined up eggs ordered by date.

I use a one day old bin for those newly hatched chickies to rest and be away from other chickies.

After a day, I move them to the week old bin. sometimes smaller newly hatched chickies get run over by the larger older chickies.

So, after a week, when they have most of the wing tip feathers grown in and some tail feathers, i move them to a cage. Then after they grow their shoulder feathers, we move them to a cage in our pole barn (outside, but enclosed - no heat lamp)

Then they grow up there until they are big enough that they can't fit through the fence of the chicken coops outside.

That's about it for the chickie rearing process.

You can follow us on our website.

We have 4 marans eggs in the incubator now. They will be hatching mid-Sept. And i update pics every week usually for chick rearing.

Check it out !
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with raising chicks. Some old and some new but all useful, helpful advice!

Wow! You really have raised some chicks! Did you keep them all or sell them? What are you raising them for?

What kind of incubator do you use?
i am raising mine for meat and using a little giant still air incubator.(don't buy)
I saw someone else on another thread that said not to buy it, why?

We have one that was donated to our 4-H club and I am getting that one from the woman that has it but I don't know what kind it is yet.

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