new to hatching... need some input please


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 12, 2012
I homeschool our daughter and in our homeschool library we can check out an incubator. Quite a few of the families have chickens so we get eggs from them. I have 12 eggs now. I set up the incubator which is a Hova-bator circulated air incubator. I have it set up in the dining room, heat on (no drafts and no direct sunlight) . It does have an automatic turner in it so I put a regular rectal thermometer on that to get a temp but so far it isnt reading but it does feel warm in there. I am horrible at reading those things which is why I only own digital LOL
I wont put the eggs in till I know it is reading and holding at 100.
do you have any tips? I followed the instructions as to how much water to put in the bottom.

I am nervous that it wont work.....

Thank you in advance
also I noticed othere dont check for humidity they candle..... can someone explain how to do this and when? Thank you so much
Im new here....but just hatched out 8 babies...
I had the temperature set at 99.5 instead of 100 degrees...
We actually just bought a few cheap thermometers ($2.) at the drug
The incubator came with an inside thermometer also....we just bought extra...
I kept the humidity at between 55 and 60 .... then 65 to 68 last 3 days of hatching...
Once you stabilize the pretty much will stay at that temperature
except when you open the incubator, naturally it will get cooler quickly....! but
as long as you don't keep it open to long, it should go right back to the correct
temperature you had it on... Now the humidity has been tricky for us, because
if you open the incubator it escapes quickly...and we had to keep adding water little
by little to get the humidity back to we needed it to be.....and we stayed with it until
it was correct... and if it went higher than we wanted it to...we just quickly would
open the incubator a little bit to allow some to escape... need room very dark...and have a candling light (one came with ours)
and the 5th full day we candled the eggs to see if we could see red veins...
There are ways to candle with flashlights also, and something about cutting a hole
in a piece of cardboard... but I don't exactly know...except internet has places you
can read up on it...
I hope this was somewhat Good luck...!
Is the therm a didgital therm or an old school one? If you can Id run down and grab therm they use for like reptiles I use to have one that had a sensor I put next to the eggs but the read out was out side , but there are all sorts of ones. People do worry about humidity, You can also candle at as early as 4 days but stuff shows up much better later but as its a school project you might want to mark one or two eggs to be candled every day or every few days just to see the growth.
thank you.... now on to another question.. please pardon my ignorance. How long can the eggs be away from the hen before you put them in the incubator? Mine have been away not quite 24 hours yet. My incubator is at 100 and holding but I dont want to put them in too soon.. kinda want to make sure it is going to stay at 99 -100
thank you again for your advice. :)
If she wasnt setting on them and they havnt already started to grow in there a fertle egg can sit for up to 7 days in a cool place though three are people that say you can use them for up to 14 or so days . I would want to collect for about 7 days then set them but if I happend to have oldler eggs in the fridge or on the counter I handnt gotten around to that were fertle Id be tempted to put them in anyways just for fun , also I have heard of sevral people that have done home school projects invovleing Whole foods or Trader Joes fertel eating eggs from there stores so as far as I can tell the only deal breaker for shure with these guys is letting them sit a long time over 2 week or more or letting them get warm enough to start then sit them cool some where for awhile then trying to incubate them . Im shure others know much more then I though .
ohh wow thank you for the input.... hmmm when I got them home I didnt put them in the fridge. I didnt know I was supposed to... they have been sitting on the table out of the sun... it did get warm today but not super hot.. ohh well I will give them a whirl anyway. :)

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