Hatching Egg Guide

The following tips are to serve as a helpful guide based on techniques that we use successfully. This is not an exhaustive instruction guide. You are encouraged to read and follow the instruction manual for your incubator and to conduct your own research. Failure to properly incubate your eggs will result in embryo death and an unsuccessful hatch.

As a reminder, we do NOT guarantee hatch rate.

  • Have your incubator running at consistent levels for at least 24 hours before you set your eggs.
  • Allow shipped eggs to rest, with the pointed side down, for 12-24 hours after they arrives
  • It is a good idea to use two thermometers and hygrometers just in case one malfunctions.

Day 1 - 17

  • Keep your incubator at 99.5°F if it has a fan (highly recommended). The acceptable range is between 99-100°F. If you are using a still-air incubator (no fan), your range can be 100-101°F
  • Humidity should be kept at 45-55%
  • Eggs need to be turned throughout the incubation process. We highly recommend using an automatic egg turner. Be sure to monitor that your egg turner is functioning properly.  Eggs should be set according to your incubator’s instructions. Normally for cabinet-style machines, you’ll load the eggs pointed side down. If turning by hand, eggs should be turned every 4-6 hours, and no longer than every 8 hours.
  • You can begin candling your eggs after day 7. Around day 7, you’re looking for blood vessels and the embryo (which will look like a small dark spot).  As the embryo develops and takes up more space in the egg, less light can shine through and most of the egg will appear dark. You should still be able to see the air cell. Discard any eggs that did not develop or that stopped developing. Please note that colored eggs (especially dark brown) can be more difficult to observe.

Day 18 - 20

  • Stop turning the eggs and remove the egg turner if using one.
  • Candle your eggs and discard any that did not develop or that died during incubation.
  • Increase the humidity to 65-70%.
  • Leave the eggs alone! Do not open your incubator until after your chicks have hatched and completely dried off. 

Day 21 (Hatch day!)

  • Leave the hatched chicks and unhatched eggs alone!
  • Allow time for all chicks to hatch before opening the incubator.
  • The chicks will not all hatch at the same time. The early hatches will be okay while the rest of the eggs hatch. Chicks hatch with enough nutrients to sustain them for the first few days of life. You are only harming the unhatched eggs by opening the incubator too early.
  • Once all the hatched chicks are completely dry and fluffy, they can be moved into their brooder!
  • We recommend vaccinating your chicks for Marek’s Disease on the day of hatch.


Happy Hatching!