Why do Artificially incubated eggs take longer?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by IwannaBEaMERMAID, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. IwannaBEaMERMAID

    IwannaBEaMERMAID Songster

    Oct 28, 2009
    Beverly Hills, CA
    In my mind i would think that incubator eggs should take less because they are heated 24/7 and at a constant tempature , but with a hen, the hen gets off the nest to eat, so the eggs would cool a little, and at night the temp would drop.

    Can someone explain, cuz my brain will not grasp the consept that hen incubated eggs take LESS time
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    My hens & incubator take the same amount of time to hatch eggs. If your incubator hatches faster, it may be set a degree or 2 too high. [​IMG]
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I think that the thermostats may not be quite so accurate on incubators at times. If not that, the way momma hen looks after them is different from the way an inanimate object does.

    I noticed my broody hen (in the dog's bed and visible from the kitchen window) with her head under her belly/breast carefully arranging and re-arranging the eggs until she had them in what she considered to be an optimal position. The last hen who I had broody (different hen) had her eggs arranged in a perfect keel shape under her breast all with the pointy end arranged inwards.

    The broody hen instinctively know the absolute best way to handle her eggs. An incubator only tries to mimic her actions.

    Maybe their is some physical explanation that a scientist can offer for the fact that eggs under a broody seem to hatch better and sooner, but I've outlined my theory,

  4. Surehatch

    Surehatch Songster

    Nov 16, 2009
    Chickens and incubators take the same time to hatch eggs
  5. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane 8 Years

    Jun 10, 2010
    Agree with Surehatch. They take the same time.

    If you think your hens take less time to hatch eggs, it's because you've not counted the days right- incubation may have begun before you started counting- or because your incubator's thermostat/thermometer are off... or because sometimes chicks hatch early or late for no real good reason other than they were ready or not ready to come out yet.
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka 8 Years

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Every time I have had hens hatch eggs, they have done it in 19 days (I marked the date when I set them). With my incubator, it takes 21 days, never less. All I can say is, Momma knows best!
  7. PortugalBreeder

    PortugalBreeder Songster

    Oct 9, 2010
    Quote:Well guess is your hen thermostat that is off. [​IMG]
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] Generally, 21 days is 21 days. Iknow, I know--temp. differences and fluctuations. Meant to be tongue in cheek.[​IMG]
  9. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:No, i'm with the OP. I have had more broody hatches than incubator hatches, and i have only had one of those broody hatches ever go to 21 days. When that happened, i thought something was wrong. [​IMG]

    This last time, i set eggs under my broody and in my incubator at the same time. And as always, hers all hatched before mine. In fact, All of hers were out a full day before my first one hatched.

    I will say that i have always attributed this to my inability to keep the incubator at the same warm temperature. It tends to be a little cool, and i'm fine with that. I have good healthy hatches, so a couple of extra days is great. They usually start pipping on day 21, sometimes day 20, so they're not really taking extra days; i just have a difficulty not thinking they're late on day 21. [​IMG]

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