Turning eggs and hatch rate?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenandrice, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. chickenandrice

    chickenandrice Hatching

    Jan 17, 2013
    Hey all, I am wondering if using an automatic turner once an hour would produce more/healthier chicks then hand turning 3 times daily? Hand turned the first batch, thinking of upgrading if it would mean better success.

  2. StelleKitten

    StelleKitten Songster

    Jun 27, 2012
    Granbury, Tx
    I would also be interested in knowing this. I don't know if hand turning more often would produce more chicks or not.
  3. Quyen Le

    Quyen Le Songster

    Jul 9, 2012
    Turning more on day 15-18 will give your chicks some exercise to hatch easier. Automatic turning is more convenience than improving hatch rate.
  4. chickenandrice

    chickenandrice Hatching

    Jan 17, 2013
    That makes perfect sense. I was also thinking the automatic turner would cause less interruptions in temp and humidity. How worried should I be about having my incubator open while turning? Thanks for the help. Just getting into hatching.
  5. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Crowing

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    The hen gets off the nest and there eggs do just fine as long as your not keeping it open for more then say ten minutes then its ok. The hen also turns her eggs more then 3 times a day so the more turning is probly a good thing.
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I hear a hen turns her eggs more than 50 times a day. And as Gabrielle said, they get up every day, sometimes for up to 30 minutes or more, and the eggs are fine. They are designed to survive drops in temperature and changes in humidity for short periods like that.
  7. Quyen Le

    Quyen Le Songster

    Jul 9, 2012
    The chicks know how to survive after hatch too when temp drops very low. I put my brooder in a cold shed with 3 day old chicks and one very cold night, I went home and found out that the circuit breaker was stripped and I think it's been at least 5 hours. When the heat lamp was turned on, I saw all the chicks lay flat to the brooder's floor for a while. I think they know how to keep their nody heat, amazing.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

  8. Blakmage

    Blakmage In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2013
    Belfast, Ireland
    Hi from Ireland!

    I've just read that it is important to turn eggs in a different direction each time they are turned. Clockwise and then anticlockwise etc. I have been turning them in the same direction every time I turn them up to now and now I'm worried. Can this damage the chicks' development? Any light someone could shed on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Turning your eggs is to keep the embryo in motion so it does not stick to the membrane. I've had great hatches with eggs fat side up in egg cartons propped up on long side by a lego or block of wood and to turn the eggs twice a day I'd merely rotate the carton so the opposite long side was propped up. An auto turner would be handy for those weekends when we're away but not necessary for better hatching.

    You'll hear many things and be told with conviction when it comes to hatching. The bottom line is we all want to be successful so listen and believe almost everything we hear when it comes to animals or raising children. Then months later in a retelling to pass on the info common sense sets in and we laugh at our own gullibility in our times of need.

    One of these retold good practice to hatching factoids (if you will) that cracks me up every time I read it is to turn your eggs as often as you can but be sure to do it an odd number of times. Think about that for a moment...are even number of turns prone to bear cockerels? or was this much retold gem of hatching authority originally started by someone long ago with a severe obsessive compulsive disorder? Poor thing had to open and close the door three times just to go out and check the mail.
  10. starlingdaly

    starlingdaly Songster

    Apr 29, 2013
    Sanford, NC
    I personally turned my eggs 2-3 times a day (shot for 3+ times each day but long work days prevented me from accomplishing that).
    I incubated them on their sides and turned them all clockwise because I didn't know you were "supposed" to switch clockwise to counterclockwise, etc.
    Halfway through incubation, I added stryrofoam rings to keep them still when they hatch which also allowed me to finish incubating at an angle instead of on their sides.
    My eggs were from my own flock and 14/15 were viable. 13/14 hatched unassisted. The 14th would've died in shell but I helped it and it survived for about 10 days but had all sorts of problems that made me realize sometimes Mother Nature is actually being merciful.
    So basically I learned that there are many ways to hatch an egg. ;)

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