I wouldn't think paper plates would be a good idea as they are a bit slippery and can cause spraddle/splay leg.
Some use the egg cartons to contain the shells, some use the grippy shelf liner stuff, some don't use anything. I used the egg carton sections with the last attempt but this time I don't thing I am going to use anything and let them hatch on the wire insert that came with the incubator.
I think I'll just try setting them on the wire then. I guess no matter what it's gross and needs a thorough cleaning afterwards. The ones that are unlikely to hatch I'll put in cartons since it might contain the mess if one explodes. I had one yesterday that was developing nicely and then when I picked it up it had an oozing crack in it.
I have always just hand turned my eggs and just let them hatch on the wire that came with the incubator. I was thinking of trying the egg cartoon method but I don't know if there is a big advantage to that or not. It is not hard to clean up the incubator after a hatch unless you have an exploder (Yuck). I just removed an egg today that didn't have any movement and I opened it up to find that it was a rotten egg with no chick inside.
Mine (I hope will hatch,due the 8th) on just the wire thats in the bator. I thought about putting something in but heard about that splayed leg thing so decided not to. Hopefully,they will be fine on that!
I cut the bottom of a paper cup and put the egg in it. I got the idea from the sticky with the incubation photos. Thats what was in the pics. It catches the mess, keeps them from rolling everywhere, and isn't as steep as the egg cartons so its easier for the newly hatched chick to get out. They work well.
I was thinking of trying the egg cartoon method but I don't know if there is a big advantage to that or not. It is not hard to clean up the incubator after a hatch unless you have an exploder (Yuck)
Its not to keep it clean, or atleast thats not why I use them. I use them so the chicks dont scramble and roll the other eggs around. I have my eggs marked with the name of the dad and I dont want the chicks knocking them all around and mixing them up.