1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Turning eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Amanda16, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. Amanda16

    Amanda16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    60
    24
    76
    Mar 1, 2017
    Dewey, AZ
    My dad and I have been reading and found some places say to turn the eggs about twice a day while others mention turning them about three to four times a day and I was wondering what would be the most ideal, any thoughts?
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    17,668
    2,947
    451
    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    The most ideal thing to do with turning is 3 or 5 times per day as the odd number of times means your eggs are not sat in the same position for 2 nights in a row when the least amount of turning takes place. I like to turn 5 times per day if I'm hand turning as more is better for the developing embryo. Turning helps the embryo develop all its limbs and parts in the right place and also keeps the nutrients moving around inside the egg so that the embryo can get the full use and value out of them.

    Here is a great article that's well worth the read with a great section on turning and the importance of it ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101
     
  3. Amanda16

    Amanda16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    60
    24
    76
    Mar 1, 2017
    Dewey, AZ
    we have a couple eggs in the incubator and have been only been turning them twice a day(since thats the number we found first). if we begin turning them more will us having turned them less in the beginning hurt them?
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    17,668
    2,947
    451
    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    No it won't hurt them they will be fine. How many days have they been incubating? Turning is most crucial up to day 14 when by that time all their limbs should be fully developed but continue turning until day 18 when you stop turning and bumb the humidity up to at least 65% for hatch. Stopping turning on day 18 gives the chicks time to get into position for hatch on day 21ish.
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,478
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    xs 2. I try to make sure I get 3 turns in. Sometimes (rarely) I get 5, but 3 is adequate.
     
  6. Amanda16

    Amanda16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    60
    24
    76
    Mar 1, 2017
    Dewey, AZ
    the oldest one is about 8 days old at this point =^-^= and the earliest is 1 day, the rest are in between
     
  7. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    17,668
    2,947
    451
    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop

    Mmm... so you have a staggered hatch. For me personally I don't do staggered hatches as this can cause problems.
    Do you have a seperate incubator for moving the eggs into when they get to day 18?
    If not the high humidity you will need for hatching may affect the eggs that need lower humidity so the air cell can grow adequately. If the air cell does not grow enough and the eggs don't lose enough moisture this can cause issues when the chicks try to hatch.
    Also hatch can be pretty messy and the incubator would need to be cleaned out after hatch so the bacteria from the hatch gunk could not affect the other eggs that are needing more days to hatch.
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,478
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Xs 2. That's extremely staggered.
     
  9. Amanda16

    Amanda16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    60
    24
    76
    Mar 1, 2017
    Dewey, AZ
    We don't have a separate incubator because the one we have is borrowed from one of my dads friends who used to have chickens. the eggs are so staggered because the hens we're getting them finally started laying and they are not very frequent about it yet but have been with the rooster since we got them and are the only ones with him, a couple of eggs we cracked open before we got the incubator and you could tell they were fertile when looking at the yolk, so my dad decided to see if we could incubate them and get them to hatch, because none of our other hens would go broody, and still haven't. Although, (this is probably gonna sound weird) even though the hatch is very staggered i'm not sure the hatch times will be. I l know its supposed to take about 21 days for the incubation process, but when i candle the oldest egg yesterday, it looked like it was at the same stage it would be on day 3, which was weird so i mentioned it to my dad today and he said that he'd heard a while ago something about how sometimes an egg wont really start developing until that hen had laid all the eggs she wanted to set on, so that they'd all hatch about the same time. I'm not sure if that's even possible or if there's more to it but we figured we'd leave it in just in case it continues to develop. Is it even possible for it to work like that?
     
  10. MerleMice

    MerleMice Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    11
    88
    Jul 12, 2014
    Central Wisconsin
    A hen will lay a clutch of eggs, and they will not develop because the temperature isn't right (this is why you can generally store your assorted eggs for about 10 days without a real decrease in hatchability). Once she feels like she has enough eggs, she will sit, and they will begin at once.

    In the case of an incubator, because the temperature is right, they will start developing right away, regardless of the staggering. I would suspect that either there was a mix up, or you're looking at a dead egg.

    When your batch hatches, too help cut down on mess because of the staggering, you can make pedigree baskets, or something else to divide the age groups. This way you at least don't have newly hatched chicks dragging bodily fluids over the newer eggs.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by