Guide to Egg Incubation

The Farm Fowl Guide to Egg Incubation

Incubating eggs is a fun and rewarding experience. In just 21 days, an egg can be turned into a perfectly formed baby chick using an Egg Incubator.

Egg incubators create the perfect environment for an egg to develop into a chick, with just the minimal of effort from you. So what does it take to incubate eggs?

It’s actually surprisingly easy! There are three components, namely The Egg, The Incubator and You!

The Egg

The Egg needs to be fertilised, a typical shop bought egg will not do the job. By fertilised I mean a cockerel needs to be present in the flock. Nature will do its work and eggs are fertilised and usually perfect for incubating.

The Incubator

The fertilised eggs are then placed in the egg incubator and incubation begins. In the case of chickens the process takes 3 weeks or 21 days for the egg to hatch.

…and You

You have the easy job! Your job is to check on the incubator from time to time. Depending on the incubator, eggs may need to be turned and a water reservoir (for humidity) may need to be topped up. On a good incubator this can take less than a minute to do. I told you it was easy!


What is an Egg Incubator?

In brief, an egg incubator artificially performs the role that a broody hen does in nature.

Breeding Flock

The Breeding Flock

Successful hatching of chicken eggs starts well before the incubator is switched on, or even before the first egg is laid.

Egg Collection and Storage

Egg Collection and Storage

Proper collection, handling & storage of eggs can help to maximise the hatchability of your eggs.

Selcecting Hatching Eggs

Selecting Good Quality Hatching Eggs

Knowing what to look for in a good quality hatching egg is important

Incuabtor Startup

Incubator Start-up

Advice on how to get started with your incubator!

How to position eggs in an Incubator

Once the incubator is running correctly and has reached stable conditions the eggs can then be added.

Egg Candling

How to Candle Eggs during Incubation?

Egg candling is an important way of checking on the progress of the incubation process.


The Hatching Stage

The hatching stage is the last three days of incubation.

Chick Brooder

Moving Chicks to a Chick Brooder

A brooder is a heated area where the chicks spend the first few weeks of their life.

Feeding Chicks

Feeding Baby Chicks

Once the chicks are moved from the incubator to the brooder food and water should be available.

Incubation in school

Egg Incubation in the Classroom

A rising trend now is egg incubation within the school and playschool environment

different egg sizes

Egg Sizes by Bird Type

A guide to the different egg sizes