Incubation & Hatching

Thanks jim


Quick Start

101.5 degrees F. in a still-air incubator
99.5 degrees F. in a forced air incubator

Chickens: Relative humidity should be 50 to 55%. Some say to raise the humidity the last three days to 58%. Guineas are the same.
Waterfowl: Relative humidity for goose and duck eggs is 63%, raise the humidity the last three days to 70%.


I've been asked several times about homemade incubators. The only plans I've found so far in a book are in Raising Poultry the Modern Way, by Leonard Mercia, ISBN 0-88266-058-6.
Order this book now from

I was sent plans for a homemade incubator made completely from salvaged materials, courtesy of John Burgoon.

Build "Matilda" -- an Electric Hen for Less Than $10.

Here's the CyberQuail Guide to Home-Made Incubators

Would you like to make your own incubator, this may help.


Check out The Easy Chicken's page on incubating. And don't miss their chart on hatching times for various species.

Incubation and Care of Hatching Eggs from Crest Capital

Here's the Brigadoon Farm page of incubation & brooding tips.

The Virtual Hatchery on Incubation.

The Mississippi State Extension's incubation trouble shooting page.

And here's the Mississippi State Extension FAQ on incubation.

Regulating temperatures more precisely using the Water Weasel.

Or you might want to use a hen to do your hatching

Here's my page on broody hens.

An incubator full of Black Java chicks
Photo by Edith Sieg; courtesy of Marc Lyerly

Large and small incubators are available from many of the suppliers I have listed. They are also available from many of the hatcheries, but usually at higher cost.


You can just see this egg beginning to pip -- just a little above the center of the picture
Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

An African gosling in process
Photo courtesy of Justin Kalvoda

Note: If a chick is having trouble getting out of the egg and you want to help it, be aware that most in this condition are already weak and usually die, which can be more emotionally traumatic for you then if you didn't help.

How Long Does it Take to Hatch??? by The Easy Chicken.


Twin chickens hatch on you tube.

[Egg and Embryo links]

Hatching sequence of a Light Sussex chick
Photos courtesy of John Fox

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