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Egg Incubators & Egg Turners – Frequently Asked Questions

Nov 17, 2008

The customer service staff at Fleming Outdoors receives many questions regarding our incubators and the incubation process. We have decided to post some of these questions and the answers on our blog, so it might help someone in the future with their incubator. Always remember there is never a silly question please always feel free to call us for any questions you might have with your incubators and chicks.

I need to hatch my chicks sooner than the 21 days it takes, what can I do to speed it up? We get this question very often and I am sorry but we cannot do anything to speed up mother nature. For a chicken it takes 21 days to hatch no matter what you do. I will also list the incubation period of various species below.

Egg Incubator Baby Chicks

Chicken………………………….21 Days
Duck……………………………..28 Days
Muscovy Duck…………………33-37 Days
Turkey…………………………..28 Days
Goose…………………………..30-32 Days
Canada Geese………………..35 Days
Guinea Fowl…………………..26-28 Days
Pheasant (Ring-Necked)……23-24 Days
Mongolian Pheasant…………24-25 Days
Ostrich…………………………..42 Days
Pigeon…………………………..16-20 Days
Japanese Quail……………….17 Days
Bobwhite Quail……………….23 Days
Cortunix Quail………………..17-18 Days
Peafowl…………………………28 Days
Chukar………………………….23-24 Days

How often do I need to turn the eggs and do I have to buy an egg turner with my incubator? Eggs generally need to be turned at least 3 times a day to prevent the embryo from sticking to the cell membrane. No you do not have to buy an egg turner with your incubator. Egg turners provide a convient way to turn eggs so if you are out of town for the weekend you dont have to worry about getting someone to turn your eggs. Eggs can be turned manually in an incubator. We recommned marking each side with an x and o. If egg are lying flat on the tray then they should be turned from one side to the other (180 degrees) Discontinue turning eggs 3 days prior to the egg hatching.

What is the best way to collect and store eggs prior to incubating and what temperature should they be stored at?Eggs that are less than 5 days old should be stored at 60-63 degrees F. Eggs that are held longer than 5 days should be stored at 51 degrees F for optimum hatchability. Keep relative humidity around 75%. Optimum hatchability of eggs has been found after 2-3 days prior to incubation. Eggs should not be keep more than 10 days to 2 weeks after they have been set. Eggs that are to held several days before incubation should be held at a slanted position (35 degrees) You can do this by using a egg carton and proping it up with an object at 35 degrees. You can then turn them twice a day by shifting the end of the carton.

I have heard you can candle an egg to see if it is fertile, how is that done and when should I do it ? Yes you can candle and egg to see if it is fertile. Candlling egg is very easy, all you need to do is get an egg candler. Here are some links to egg candlers Cool Lite Egg Candler and Kuhl Egg Candler. Once you have your egg candler you will need to take your egg in a dark room and place the candler under the egg. Once the light shines through you will be able to tell if your egg is fertile. After 72 hours in the incubator you can take the egg out and check. If the egg has a dark spot in it it is fertile. The dark spot is a typical blood vessel formation that looks like a spider. If the egg is completely clear then the egg is infertile. You can candle eggs all through the incubation process to see the development of the embryo. We recommend that you discard all eggs that are infertile. If you have trouble determining if the egg is infertile, keep it in the incubator for a few more days and it will be much easier.

My chicks are starting to hatch !! What should I do ? Once your chicks start to hatch we recommend you leaving the chicks in the incubator for about 12 hours until they have dried off and are fluffy. After they have dried off you can remove them. Remember chicks can survive without food and water for 72 hours, but sooner you feed and water them the better they will be.

I will will follow up with information on a brooder for your new born chicks in the next few days.

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