Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hatching your own chicken eggs

There is something about hatching your own chickens that keeps me doing it year after year. My husband is the best at it. We have a small styrofoam incubator that we bought many years ago for about $40. (I believe they are $60 now.) I have never been very diligent in keeping track of the temperature and humidity, but have still managed to hatch out a few chicks.
 This year, Jim and I decided to go for it. He took over the task of watching the temperature and humidity. We put a total of 36 eggs in and hatched out 28. Here is a picture of the same one we have that Stromberg's is selling:

We also bought a small thermometer/hygrometer that sits inside with the eggs. It takes about 28 days for the eggs to hatch.
The temperature to hatch out chicks needs to be about 99.5* from day 1 - 18. And the humidity should be 50%. The eggs need to be turned, as if the mother hen was adjusting herself on the nest. Jim would simply roll his hands over the top of the eggs and move them slightly.
From day 19 - 21 you no longer have to roll the eggs around. The temperature should be 99.5* but the humidity should be at 70 - 80%. Sometimes a spray bottle with warm water works. This helps keep the chick moist and not dry out as it is hatching.

It was so much fun watching the first egg start to crack open.

After they hatched out, we placed them in a bin with food and a heat lamp. You can find out what the next step is by checking out my blog on it

Before you start with the next batch of eggs, thoroughly wash and sanitize the incubator. 

We had so much fun with this, that we now have turkey and chick eggs in the small incubator. We also own 2 large cabinet style GQF incubators/hatchers ( and have duck and quail eggs in one, and emu eggs in the other! 

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