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Incubation Tips for Hatching Eggs

Updated: Apr 17

Incubating shipped hatching eggs properly is crucial to maximize the chances of a successful hatch.

Here are some key steps for proper incubation:

1. Receiving Shipped Eggs:

   - Upon receiving the shipped eggs, carefully inspect them for any visible damage or cracks. Discard any damaged or cracked eggs as they are unlikely to hatch.

3. Rest Period:

  - Allow the eggs to rest for 24 hours before starting anything! Place them with the large end up and the pointed end down (just like in a carton from the store). Do this in the room where your incubator is located. This will allow them to acclimate to a more nominal temperature than what they experienced in shipping and time for any air pockets that were dislodged to return to their normal position.

2. Placing the Eggs:

   - Place the unturned eggs in the incubator, ideally in an egg tray or a suitable container. Place them with the large side up and the pointed side down if possible, some incubators want them to be laid on their side and that is ok too. Keep them at the recommended incubation temperature and humidity levels.

3. Humidity Control:

   - Maintain proper humidity levels in the incubator, usually around 45-55% relative humidity. During the last 3 days of incubation also known as the lockdown period you will want to increase the humidity levels somewhere around 55% Shipped eggs may have lost some moisture during transport, so providing the right humidity is essential for successful hatching.

4. Temperature Control:

   - Ensure the incubator's temperature is set at the recommended level for the specific type of eggs you're incubating. Don't trust the display when it comes to the temp and humidity, there are several different second party ones out there you can use to verify your humidity and temperature. Personally I have a GoVee WiFi Thermometer / Hygrometer as it will update me wherever I am on my phone to a potential issue. Typically, this ranges from 99.5°F to 100.5°F (37.5°C to 38.1°C).

5. Turning Eggs:

   - Turning is essential to prevent the embryo from sticking to the shell membrane. Depending on the incubator type, eggs may be turned automatically or manually. Turning frequency can vary but is usually done at least three times a day.

6. Record Keeping:

   - Maintain a record of when and how often you turn the eggs. This helps ensure a consistent turning schedule and helps you identify any potential issues.

7. Monitoring:

   - Continuously monitor the temperature and humidity levels in the incubator. Minor adjustments may be necessary to maintain the optimal conditions throughout the incubation period.

8. Candling:

   - Around day 7 to 10, consider candling the eggs to check for signs of embryo development. This can help identify any non-viable eggs that should be removed.

9. Lockdown:

   - In the final 3 days before hatching, stop turning the eggs and increase the humidity level. Typically you will want to increase the humidity levels somewhere around 55%-60%. This stage is known as "lockdown" and is crucial for preparing the eggs for hatching. Once this happens it is imperative that you DO NOT OPEN the incubator! This is both crucial and important. You will hear peeps and chirps and want to get them out DON’T!

10. Patience:

   - Hatching can take time, and not all eggs will hatch successfully. Be patient and avoid opening the incubator unless necessary during the hatching process to maintain stable conditions. DO NOT OPEN IT during lockdown at all until all are hatched and the feathers are fluffy.

Remember that the specific requirements for hatching eggs may vary depending on the type of poultry you are incubating. Always refer to the specific guidelines provided by the breeder or consult reliable sources for detailed instructions tailored to your specific egg type. Proper care, attention, and a good incubation process are essential for a successful hatch.

This is what I am using currently I really like the Hatching Time incubator.

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