Hatching Eggs A Brief Summary

Machine Use & Commonly Used Incubation


Incubators can be used for any number of species of birds and  reptiles, they are also sold in many counties all over the world. It is impossible to give precise instructions on the species of bird or reptile you may be using an incubator for as it may be used for over a 1000 different species worldwide.

It always pays to do some homework on incubating any particular eggs, either your local library or a quick internet search can give you all the information you require as well as valuable tips. You may also notice that everybody has a slightly different way of doing things and something that may work for you may not work for someone else.

You will need to know temperature setting (although most birds are 37.5c/99.5f), humidity level and also incubation time as these can vary greatly.

When incubating eggs they must be turned at least 3 times a day, until three days before they are due to hatch then you should stop turning them e.g (chickens 21 days incubation stop turning day 18).

Depending on the way the eggs sit in your incubator they should be placed on their side or pointy end down in the egg racks. 

Once the eggs have hatched wait for the chicks to dry out and go fluffy, then remove from the incubator and place under a heat lamp or in a suitable brooder. They will need to stay under the heat for around 4 weeks depending on which part of the country you are in and the time of year. 

Common Incubation times

Bird

Incubation Period (days)

Chicken

21

Most Ducks

28

Finch

11–14

Goose

25–28

Muscovy Duck

35

Parrot

17–31

Pheasant

24

Pigeon

10–18

Most Quail

21–23

Swan

33–36

Turkey

                                      28

 Always use the freshest eggs, for chickens up to 10 days old is the best, older than that and it can affect your hatch rate.

Take into account the way you are storing the eggs prior to setting, are they stored at the correct temperature are you turning them?

Are you getting a good fertility rate from your birds? The time of year, weather conditions and feed can affect this.