Learn how to make the process of hatching eggs in an incubator simple. Here is a list of questions on how to hatch eggs in an incubator.
How to Hatch Eggs in a Chicken Egg Incubator
- What temperature and humidity should a chicken egg incubator be?
- Do I need to add water to an incubator?
- How to add water to an incubator?
- Do incubators require electricity?
- Do I need to turn eggs while incubating?
- How long to hatch a chicken egg in an incubator?
- Can I help a chick hatch?
- Can I open an incubator during hatching?
- How long can you leave a chick in the incubator?
- How long can a chick go without food after hatching?
What temperature and humidity should a chicken egg incubator be to hatch eggs?
The temperature inside an incubator should be between 37- 39 degrees Celcius or around 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity levels inside an incubator should be between 50-55% and ideally increased to 65% for the last three days before hatching
Don’t fear if keeping track of temperatures and humidity levels sounds too difficult to you. There are lots of incubators that have the settings already programed into them to make hatching chicken eggs easy.
You will simply have to add water into the incubator. Just pull out the instructions that came with your incubator to know how much water and where to add it. It will differ slightly depending on which incubator you are using
Do I need to add water to an incubator if I want to hatch eggs?
Yes, you will need to add water because the water will help create humidity inside the incubator.
Not sure how much water to add or into what panels? The instructions that came with your incubator will tell you exactly what panel to add the water into and on what days.
How to add water to an incubator?
Just fill a container with lukewarm tap water and pour about 1/2 cup of water into the reservoir of the incubator. You will need to top off the water to keep it around 1/2 cup consistently.
It is a good idea to look of the instructions that came along with your incubator to know which reservoir to add the water into on what day. You will slowly be filling more and more reservoirs as you get closer to the hatching day!
Do incubators require electricity?
Yes. You will need to locate a safe area in your house to keep your incubator that is near enough to an electrical outlet.
Do I need to turn eggs while incubating?
- Do you have an incubator that doesn’t turn eggs? Yes, you will need to turn your eggs. How often should eggs be turned in an incubator? You should turn eggs 4-6 times per day until day 18 which is 3 days before hatching
- Does your incubator have a turning eggs mechanism built in? Yes! The turning of the eggs is pre-programmed into the settings of the incubator to automatically turn the eggs every two hours.
How long does it take for an egg to hatch?
How long does it take to hatch eggs in an incubator?
It takes 21 days for an egg to incubate.
Has your chick started hatching? It can take up to 24 hours for the chick to break out of it’s shell once the first pip is seen but each chick is unique and might take less time
Can I help a chick hatch?
No! Resist the temptation to help the chick. I know it seems like they need help getting out of the shell but the whole lengthy hatching process is crucial for the chick to experience; it’s how God created them to hatch! Be patient and leave the chick be.
EXCEPTION: If it has been 24 hours since your chick started to pip you may want to very carefully try to help them. There is the risk that they may still bleed to death or die from having their membranes exposed too long without adequate moisture, so the choice is yours. Access your risks and do what you can. Homesteading isn’t for the faint of heart and the reality is that animals do die even when we have done everything we can for them.
Can I open an incubator during hatching?
It is best not to open the incubator once the first chick has started to pip. Once their is a crack in a shell, the membrane is exposed and the humidity levels must be high and stay consistent. If you are opening the incubator then you are causing a sudden change in temperature and humidity levels and may unintentionally be killing the chicks by lifting the lid.
So it’s best to keep the lid closed – resist the temptation.
The only time I would recommend that it might be a good idea to lift it would be if your reservoirs have no water and need a quick top up or you notice one of the hatched chicks to be in distress. (mouth open, panting)
The first time we hatched some eggs we definitely opened the incubator not realizing the danger. The chicks survived thankfully and since have been added to the rest of our flock on our homestead.
How long can you leave a chick in the incubator?
A chick can stay in an incubator anywhere from 24- 48 hours even after the last chick has hatched.
How long can a newly hatched chick live without food or water? God designed the chick to be sustained from the yolk inside the shell and it can live for up to 3 days before it needs regular food or water. It’s quite amazing really.