When does Day 1 start?


Mar 4, 2018
Red Bluff, California
I'm hatching my first batch of chicken eggs and I'm freaking out because they're not hatching and it's day 22, or is it? Do you start day 1 as the day you "set" them? Or is Day one 24 hours later? If that's the case, I still have time, right?
One day of incubating is 24 hours after you set them. As a rule of thumb if you set them on a Monday they should start hatching on a Monday, set on a Tuesday hatch on a Tuesday, and so on.
Well that's good news! I thought today was Day 22. It's Day 21 and no pips yet, but I think my temperature was a little low. So hopefully tomorrow. I guess I went into lockdown on Day 17 then. Oops!
What is your humidity & temp? Did you candle at lockdown? Whatever you do, don't jump the gun cause if your temp was low & humidity off, it will take longer.
My humidity and temperature are a little unknown. I got the bator at a yard sale and they said they hatched many eggs from it. I did hours of research and set my first batch. The temp said 102 and the humidity always said about 42%.

On lockdown day, I added a damp sponge but nothing it didn't help to increase the humidity, so I added baby jars with wicks...nothing. I added 2 damp sponges....and it finally went up to about 52%. I decided to go to pet store and buy 2 different temp and hygrometers. They all, including bator, say something different.

My guess is that the temp is around 100 and humidity is above 55%. Probably closer to 60%.
Humidity should be 70% - 75%
The thermometer & hygrometer need to be calibrated....

For thermometer
Method 1: Ice Water
  1. Fill a glass with crushed ice cubes, then top off with cold water. You want it to be liquidy but still thick. Since I start hatching season in winter I often set the calibration mixture outside until it skims over (about a few minutes) and then break it.
  2. Stir the water and let sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir again, then insert your thermometer into the glass, making sure not to touch the sides.
  4. The temperature should read 32°F (0°C). Record the difference and offset your thermometer as appropriate.
Method 2: Boiling Water
  1. Boil a pot of distilled water.
  2. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, insert your thermometer, making sure not to touch the sides or bottom of the pot.
  3. The temperature should read 212°F (100°C). Record the difference and offset your thermometer as appropriate. Your average aquarium thermometer is not going to go up to 100*C, so I suggest using the ice water.
    [Note: The boiling point of water will vary with altitude. Use this handy water boiling point calculator to find the right temperature for your elevation.]
For Hygrometers
  1. Place a teaspoon of salt in a bottle cap or small cup and dampen it with a few drops of water (without dissolving it).
  2. Carefully place the wet salt and the hygrometer inside a see-through container and close tightly. You can use a zip lock bag provided it seals well and you leave some air inside as well.
  3. Let it sit for at least 12 hours and note the reading on the hygrometer without opening the container. The hygrometer should should read 75%. The difference is how much your hygrometer is off. For example, if your hygrometer reads 70% during the salt method test this means that to obtain the real humidity level you should add 5 points.
  4. If you have an analog hygrometer, you can correct the reading. You will need to adjust the needle to the 75% mark by turning the screw on the back using a small screwdriver. Your hygrometer is now ready to be placed inside your incubator.
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