Incubation Hints and Tips - OEGB Int'l Society

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Incubation Hints and Tips

Hey guys/gals
I thought it would be a good idea to post "Incubation Hints and Tips" that you may want to share on here so that maybe we may learn a thing or two from different folks that are incubating their own eggs. Here are a few thoughts; temps, humidity, what incubator are you using. Well, I believe you get the idea.

I think sharing some of your ideas would benefit us all that are incubating eggs.



  • scratchscratch Mannsville, Oklahoma
    edited March 2015
    This is a great thread truword1. Here is some of my thoughts on this subject.
    First, start off with a good reliable incubator that will hold a consistent temp and humidity. With this and following the general directions should work great.
    Now on gathering eggs, I think it is best to set your eggs as soon as possible so I try to set mine every 7 days. I also like to place my eggs in the bottom of the refrigerator in what some call crispers? My reasoning is that this will slow the eggs down from loosing moisture. and for some reason I believe in turning the eggs everyday also> I was taught to do this as a young man and have continued this practice. It works fairly well for me.
  • Great advise Scratch,
    What incubator are you running and what temp and humidity settings work best for you?
  • I built a DYI incubator that cost me $20 to build. This is my second season using it. Last year I only put in 23 eggs and 22 hatched out. I have a computer fan installed in it to distribute the heat evening. I try to keep my setting at 99.5 degrees and 55% humidity. Turn eggs twice a day. Last 3 days I move the eggs to a hatcher and I stop turning and raise the humidity to 75%. same temps.

    I'm not sure what's going with my incubator this year because I'm having trouble keeping the humidity level steady!

    I recently bought 2 HavoBators 1602N on craigslist for $20 and installed a computer fan on both of them . So far I've been running them and they seem to be hold the setting pretty well.
  • One of the most important variables in hatching eggs is the placing of the incubator. It really needs to be in a constant temperature so it does not fluctuate in temps and humidity. It also needs to have good air circulation or exchange.
  • scratchscratch Mannsville, Oklahoma
    Bill you are absolutely right. The incubator has to be in a controlled environment to help with the temp and humidity to set stable.
    truword, I use two incubators I have the GQF sportsman that I hatch most of my eggs in. Mine is somewhere between 15-20 years old. I also have a Styrofoam GQF that I use occasionally.
  • Controlled environment is for sure, and I use a Rolex incubator and hatch in a GQF hatcher.
  • scratchscratch Mannsville, Oklahoma
    Shane there are a lot of people out there that swear by those Rolex Incubators. I wouldnt mind trying one but they can be kind a pricey.LOL
  • Yes, I bought mine used from Marvin Cagle and have had good results with it. I also set my eggs every 7 days and keep them in cabinet in my kitchen and I turn them once a day before incubating.
  • nboonnboon Princeton Texas
    I really like the idea of this thread I'm having a hard time with fertility and hatch rate I have been leaving the eggs in the coops and collecting eggs every Saturday to hatch the birds will turn them but they will poop on them I don't always have the time to collect them every day
    I set them and raise the humidity to 60% on day 18 and tips on collecting yet keeping them clean
  • scratchscratch Mannsville, Oklahoma
    Garett you will find that these days are going to start warming up and they will also be longer. You are going to see your fertility rise. The eggs are fine in the nest boxes as long as temps. doesn't plummet down around freezing. I like to collect my eggs everyday if I can.
  • I tried something a little different this year after last years almost failure with incubating in my old 1202 GQF ,This year I put the eggs in the hatching tray at day 20 and put the hatching tray in the lowest turner and turn off the turner motor in the level position and left it off thru the hatch (around 1 day), Last year I had always put the hatching tray on the floor of the Incubator. I don't think the air movement was good enough at the floor level, It makes me wish I had my other incubator working for a hatching bator
  • Ron, I have also seen this uneven temperatures in the 1202. Seems air flow isn't consistent throughout the incubator. Not only at different levels but have seen small temperature differences from front of tray to rear of tray on same level. However you can have success with them. I am seeing my best year of hatching I have ever had. How you say, I bought 2 small Genesis to incubate and use the 1202 just as a hatcher.
  • lotslesslotsless Albany Oregon
    I have a old Rolex...It bought it used 20 or more years ago..I don't have to be concerned about what the humidity is as i adjusted the water bottle for correct humidity years ago ...I have it in my den room where the temp stays fairly even and i have great success rate hatching eggs...I store my eggs in my garage and turn them every day i keep eggs up to 2 weeks....every year before i set any eggs in it i clean it and let it run about 24 hours to make sure the temp is even...I have the temp set right at 100 degrees.....
  • I collect and turn eggs every day and store in my garage until set.I use a GQF 1500 as an incubator in the house and transfer eggs on the 18th day to a Dickey hatcher in my garage. This works very well for me and my hatches are usually very good. The incubator is set at 100.5 degrees with humidity targeted at 50% for the 18 days. The hatcher is set at 98 degrees and 65-70% humidity for the hatch. One of the keys to good hatches is getting the birds in good fertile breeding condition. I use well built breeding pens that are draft free and warm during the early breeding season when its cold. I also use lights and feed the best feed that I can. My feed consists of Gamebird Breeder, Flock Raiser, and gamecock grain mix.
  • I found this to be interesting and helpful, you may too.
  • Great info Bill
  • edited April 2015
    Hey guys/gals
    Have any of you upgraded your thermostats on your incubators? I use a wafer thermostat (it sucks) and want to up grade to either a bi metal thermostat or one of these new digital temperature controller STC-1000. They cost about the same and I have heard great reviews about the STC-1000. Any suggestions or thoughts on this?

  • I use Philadelphia controls on mine. They stay real tight with 0.3 degree variation.
  • Cjarvis, what exactly are you use using? (Part number) looked them up online but they have lots of product to choose from... :)

  • I will look it up for you.
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