Hatching a chicken egg using a homemade incubator for chickens can be fun. If you are confused about how will you proceed with the process, we bring to you all the tips and steps that will help you succeed at hatching chicken eggs in your homemade chicken incubator with ease. Stick to these steps and you will never forget how joyful and fulfilling the whole incubation process was for you.
Step 1: Prepare Your Homemade Incubator
Before starting with the hatching process, you will need to prepare your homemade chicken incubator for ideal temperature and humidity. Make sure that you set the temperature to exact 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should be at 40-50% for the first 18 days and 65-75% for the last days. This is a crucial step in ensuring that the embryos do not get damaged.
You will need to watch your homemade incubator for 24 hours before starting the incubation process as the incubator will require at least that time to get temperature and humidity levels at the said levels.
Step 2: Choose Fertile Eggs
Choosing right eggs for incubation is extremely important for the success of hatching process. Make sure that the eggs are clean, well-shaped and of appropriate sizes. If possible, get eggs that have been laid on the same day. If this is not possible, you can search for fertile eggs and even check them before choosing to place in the incubator.
To check if an egg is fertile or not, light up a candle and hold it near to your egg, you will be able to see growth inside the egg easily. Choose the eggs that are fertile and if you are planning to store them before starting the incubation process, place them inside an egg carton with fat side pointed up. Make sure they are stored at a temperature of 50-60 degree F and never choose an egg that has been stored for more than 10 days.
Step 3: Place the Eggs in Homemade Incubator
Generally, incubation period is of 21 days. That means you will have to place your eggs inside your homemade egg incubator for a period of 21 days. But this doesn’t mean you will forget your eggs. You will have to keep a check on the humidity levels and temperature to ensure the right environment for embryo growth. Keep the water dish filled at all the times during the first 18 days to ensure right amount of humidity is present inside the incubator. Also, turn the eggs at regular intervals. You should at least turn the eggs for 3 times in a day for the first 18 days. After day 18, you will have to leave the eggs alone to hatch.
As the humidity has to be increased after 18 days, you will have to refill the water dish to raise humidity levels. Ensure that the conditions are ideal for hatching as ideal temperature and humidity conditions are essential for successful hatching of the eggs.
Step 4: Keep a close watch on the eggs
Once you are through the first 18 days, you will be able to see eggs moving on their own. As the chicks have been formed at this stage, you will have to keep a close watch on them.
Gradually, over a period of next few days, you will see chickens pecking a small hole in the egg shell and hatching out. Don’t rush to pick them up at this stage as they are extremely fragile.
Let them rest for about 6-12 hours and don’t panic seeing them staying at a single place for this period. They require time for their lungs to adjust to breathing in external environment. So, let them be and keep a close watch on them during the period. After 12 hours, let them get dry inside the incubator itself and once they are completely dry, you can take them out to a brooder box for further care.
With these simple steps you can succeed at hatching eggs using your homemade incubator for chickens. If you do not know how to build a homemade chicken egg incubator, you can check out our website for detailed instructions to build one for yourself and start your egg incubation journey with ease. Being a fun activity, incubation can teach you a lot of things. You have to stay punctual, disciplined and dedicated to ensuring that your chickens have the right environment for hatching. Don’t worry, if you are confused about any stage of incubation, you can always take reference from our insightful blogs and infographics that will simplify your incubation journey.