To hatch chicken eggs from a homemade incubator, place the eggs inside the incubator with the larger side elevated, and turn the eggs to the other side two to three times a day until three days prior to hatching. Maintain a proper temperature and humidity level throughout the incubation.
- Store the eggs
Store the eggs outside of the incubator for no longer than seven days prior to incubation to allow the eggs to warm to room temperature.
- Humidify the incubator
Place shallow dishes of water and small sponges inside the incubator, and bring the humidity level between 25 and 60 percent. Ensure the humidity stays at this level throughout the incubation period.
- Set the temperature
Use your homemade heat source and heat distribution method to maintain the temperature at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mark the eggs
Write X on one side of each egg and O on the other side.
- Incubate and turn the eggs
Place each egg inside the incubator horizontally with the X side up and the wider end elevated. After a few hours, turn the eggs to the side marked O carefully. Do this two to three times a day.
- Test the eggs
Four to five days after you begin incubating the eggs, turn off the lights in the room. Place a candler light against the bottom of an egg, and turn it on. Look for veins and other signs of life to distinguish between fertile and infertile eggs.
- Prepare the eggs for hatching
Maintain the temperature and humidity, and turn the eggs regularly until the 19th incubation day. Add more dishes of water to raise the humidity to between 70 and 80 percent. Stop turning the eggs altogether, and wait for the chicks to move and hatch on their own.