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Incubating Eggs with pictures

Page history last edited by Ann Vipond 4 years, 2 months ago

I thought I would share with you pictures of eggs in the incubation process using an incubator,  I have used this incubator for many different types of eggs over the years from Bantams and laying Hens, to Turkeys and Geese, here are some pictures of the fertile Bantam eggs to the hatching chick:


Hatching eggs using an incubator is an incredible and very enjoyable experience, but it's important to get it right and there are a few 'golden rules'

You will not get 100% hatch rate, but you can increase your chances by doing the following:


  • I use one Cockerel to four Hens any more than that and you run the risk of infertile eggs.
  • Use fresh eggs that are clean when you take them from the nest, if you are buying fertile eggs that are transported then the hatch rate will drop
  • You can store eggs for the incubator for up to 10 days, they should be kept in a dark cool room, with the big end of the egg uppermost, and turned once a day, If you have bought them leave them to settle for at least 24 hours before placing in an incubator.
  • Start  the incubator at least 24 hours before you put the eggs in, make sure the temperature is correct for the egg you are incubating.  The eggs will cope with a lesser temperature, but not a hotter temperature.
  • Humidity is very important especially after the first 7 days, again some eggs require more than others. i.e a Goose or Duck egg requires more humidity than a Turkey or Hen.
  • Make sure you switch the incubator off at least once a day, and remove the lid to allow air in, just as the hen would do when she goes off the nest to feed and drink.



These eggs are from the Dutch Bantam a breed which is very small and a true bantam, and by that I mean there is no Hen equivalent.



These bantam eggs are quite small which has enabled me to take this photo as the egg sits nicely in the candler, this had been in the incubator for five days.



Same egg but now further on in incubation, this is at the mid way point so in the case of Bantams about 10 days.

After this point I did not take any more photos for fear of killing the chick so the next photos are in the incubator hatching.



The inside of the incubator has slatted floor, this allows shell and any liquids to pass through to the bottom, but by far the most import thing is that it allows the chick to move without sliding.  The black felt tip marks on the egg is done when I start turning them, which is before they go in the incubator and I do this so that I can insure that the eggs are turning the 90 degrees necessary for incubation.  These two chicks are drying nicely, they will remain in the incubator until dry. But they can be left there for 12 hours without any problems.  This is the most stressful and exhausting time for the chick.


Out of the incubator and into a small pen with a heat lamp, food and water, although they will not eat for the first 24 hours.

I use old towels on the floor for the chicks to prevent them slipping at this young age, however, It never ceases to amaze me how quick they develop...



These are those same chicks 5 days later, the black line from the eye to the neck is common in this breed of  Bantam.



April 2019


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