So you’ve decided to take the plunge and hatch your own eggs. Hoping that the chicks will hatch out, and increase your own flock numbers, be for the freezer, or be able to be sold on. In the start of these new series where we go from egg to the bird, we start of by choosing our hatching eggs, and setting them into the incubator.
There are a few things that we need to take into account when choosing our eggs, to ensure that we have the best possible start. As a whole, all of these taken together will give us the best chance of hatching chicks from these eggs.
Store hatching eggs in a cool place. Not cold, and not in direct sunlight. If eggs get to cold they won’t hatch, and if they get up to 38 degrees, the incubation process may start early. Always store the eggs with the pointy end down.
You’re aiming for eggs to be no later than 7 to 10 days to go into the incubator.
3. Shape and size
If you are just hatching from one breed of bird, all the eggs should be of roughly the same size and shape. You are looking for eggs that are oval shaped. Avoid eggs that are shaped like torpedoes, oblong or anything not ‘egg shaped’. The size of the eggs should also be uniform. Any eggs that are extra large, or small should be discarded.
Make sure your eggs are coming from a reputable source. If they are from your own birds, then you will know where they have come from. If buying on the internet, be aware that you will not know if the cockerel is fertile, or how long the eggs will take in the post.
Its always best, if possible, to collect eggs from local breeders.
5. Anything Else
This may sound like an odd one to put in, but look at the eggs, and if they just don’t feel right, then don’t put them in. Sometimes you have eggs and the shell feel weak, so avoid these.
Setting the eggs:
Setting the eggs is an easy process, but there are a few quirks depending on your incubator. Its always best to have a read of the incubator instructions, and see how they recommend that the eggs are set. Some incubators like the eggs to be pointy end down, some laid on their side, and others specify how to lay them down.
Before you set them into the incubator, turn it on, and leave it running for 24 hours. This ensures that it warms up, and that it is all working properly.
Place your eggs into the incubator, and close it up. Leave it in a warm location, but away from direct sunlight. We don’t need to open it until we candle at day 8.