Q:

How do you hatch chicken eggs in an incubator?

A:

Quick Answer

Chicken eggs can be hatched in an incubator by following a few simple steps. Eggs that are selected for incubating should be clean but not washed, undamaged and evenly shaped. They should be placed in an incubator within a week of being laid.

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Full Answer

If the eggs have been shipped, place them in an egg carton upright with the fat end up, and allow them to rest for 24 hours so the contents can settle.

Make sure that the temperature in the incubator is steady before placing the eggs. If the incubator is a forced air model with a fan, the temperature should be around 99 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If it has still air, the temperature should be about 100 to 102 degrees.

Mark each egg with an X on one side and an O on the other using a non-toxic marker. This ensures that they are turned correctly. Each day, turn the eggs three times and check the humidity tray, adding warm water as needed. Check the temperature several times a day to make sure the eggs are not too hot or cold.

Approximately half way through the hatch period, the embryos begin to generate their own heat, and the temperature should be kept at a steady 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Eggs usually hatch in about 21 days. Three days before, stop turning them, and allow the chicks to peck their way out. Keep the chicks in a brooder until they are dry.

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