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Hatching Eggs

Updated on June 4, 2013

If you want an omelet, you’ve got to break a few eggs. And if you want chickens, you have to hatch a few too. That’s nature’s way, and it’s a beautiful process. Anyone who has seen an egg hatch can’t help but be interested and probably moved as well. After all, it’s the miracle of birth, right there in front of your eyes.

But if you going to be hatching eggs, there are a few things you will need, things like an incubator of some kind and something to regulate the temperature and to regulate humidity, if those things aren’t included in the incubator design. There are some things you will need to know as well, information on how you should care for the eggs you are hatching. Below you will find the answers to all your questions about hatching eggs. Have fun!

Maintaining temperature and humidity is the important thing in Hatching Eggs
Maintaining temperature and humidity is the important thing in Hatching Eggs

What You Will Need for Hatching Eggs

If you are hatching eggs, the first thing you will obviously need are eggs that can be hatched. That is, you will need eggs that have been fertilized. As most people know, you can’t use eggs that have come from the supermarket because those eggs are not fertilized, and even if they were, the growing embryo could not survive the cold of the refrigeration. So, where do you go to get fertilized eggs?

Of course, if there are farms nearby that raise birds, you could go to one of these to buy fertile eggs. This source of eggs for hatching will probably give you the best hatch rates, which is the percentage of eggs that will actually hatch. You might expect this to be true given that the eggs from farms will be fresh and that the travel time the egg takes from the farm to you will be minimal. If you don’t have a farm nearby though, or one that raises the kind of bird you wish to hatch, you can also opt to buy fertile eggs online.

A good website to go to for all sorts of hatching eggs is that at HatchingEggs.net. This site provide links to hatching eggs for all sorts if different birds, including chickens, ducks, geese, quail, and turkeys. The eggs are sold at good prices and the hatching rates are reported to be high.

Next, for hatching eggs you will need an incubator of some sort. You can find various plans for building your own incubator at home by looking on the internet or by traveling to your local library. One website that provides quite a few links to homemade incubator plans is found at FowlVisions.com. The other option is to buy an egg incubator. There are many choices of egg incubators on the market, including those with temperature and humidity controls built in and those that are more basic.

If you make your own egg incubator or buy a basic model, then you will need to purchase an accurate thermometer and hygrometer. Hygrometers can often be found at electronics stores such as Radio Shack.



Information on Hatching Eggs

Once you have your eggs and your incubator, you are all set to start hatching eggs. The first thing you should know is the incubation time for the kind of bird you are hatching. Chickens incubate for approximately 21 days, and your egg seller can provide you with that information for other types of birds.

One of the most important things to know about hatching eggs, other than to maintain temperature and humidity, is to turn the hatching eggs regularly. This is essential to your hatching rate, and eggs should be turned at least three times a day. With a marker, mark one side of your egg with a numeral 1 and the other with a numeral 2 so you can keep track of which eggs have been turned. Some incubators automatically turn the eggs.

You must keep your eggs at a constant temperature of 99.5 degrees. The humidity will change through the egg hatching period, starting at a humidity of 50 percent for the first 18 days and 70 to 80 percent for the last few days. This increase in humidity is important so that the chick does not stick to the eggshell as it is trying to break free.

If you purchase or make this simple equipment and follow these basic rules, you should be well on your way to hatching eggs. Have fun, and make sure to include the kids too!

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