Will it affect the hatch if I miss one day of turning the eggs?

Flock Leader

Songster
7 Years
May 3, 2012
322
42
146
Israel
Hi there!

I have a batch of eggs in the 'bator, currently going on day 7. We candled them last night and they are looking good. I hand-turn 5-6 times a day usually.

Next week, I might have to be away from home for an entire day, from morning 'till night. How critical will it be if I leave the incubator at home and don't turn the eggs that day (obviously I will turn in the morning, and once again at night when I return)? Will it harm them?

If it's very important, I will figure out a way to either take the 'bator with me, or shorten my day trip, but it will be inconvenient.
 

Buffalo Chopper

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 20, 2012
33
4
24
i only turn the twice a day and have had 100% hatch rate for my last 2 hatches of 20 eggs each. steady temperature more important than turning eggs. i believe hens roll eggs around in nests to move outer eggs in and the inner eggs out to keep inner ones from getting to warm/outer ones too cool. not to keep developing chick from "sticking" to bottom of egg. Turning eggs 5-6 times a day means opening incubator and letting heat and humidity out that many more times.
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
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If you turn the eggs just before you leave for your trip and immediately when you return they'll be fine. It's during the first half of the incubation that turning the eggs regularly is essential, during the later stages you should still continue turning them, but if something comes up, like your trip, it won't cause problems.
 

Jchantecler

Songster
8 Years
Apr 19, 2011
105
7
103
i only turn the twice a day and have had 100% hatch rate for my last 2 hatches of 20 eggs each. steady temperature more important than turning eggs. i believe hens roll eggs around in nests to move outer eggs in and the inner eggs out to keep inner ones from getting to warm/outer ones too cool. not to keep developing chick from "sticking" to bottom of egg. Turning eggs 5-6 times a day means opening incubator and letting heat and humidity out that many more times.
Actually, chicken eggs with the highest hatch rates are turned 50-90 times a day. This is if you're working with a lot of eggs, and in addition to automatic turners. It actually correlates to the yolk to egg size ratio, which is smaller in chickens than in birds such as waterfowl. There have been a few interesting studies about it. I do agree with what you're saying about letting heat out, but 5-6 times should have good hatch rates as well.
 

Flock Leader

Songster
7 Years
May 3, 2012
322
42
146
Israel
We've had 100% success with turning the eggs 5-6 times a day, so we're sticking with this practice. Perhaps it depends on the chicken breed as well; some might be sturdier, and adapt to a greater versatility of condition.

In general I can tell we've always had better success with eggs from our chickens than eggs we purchased from other sources. We turn the eggs even before they go into the incubator.
 

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