We cover chickens, ducks, and geese in this episode
Touching on turkeys and quail, the more common poultry species on most
From how to pick your incubator, pick the right eggs to hatch, where to put your
incubator, and how long. There is a lot to know!
While we all can read as much information as we can digest, you do gain a lot of
information once you have a few hatches under your belt.
The difference isn’t too vast when it comes to each species we will talk about, but
there are a few.
Set up and choosing an incubator:
There are SO many.
Incubators that have auto turners
How do you choose? Most of us are going to go middle of the road and invest in an
incubator with an auto turner. This allows us to set the eggs and NOT have to turn
then 3-5 times a day.
The incubator is mimicking what would be happening if a broody would elect to
hatch a clutch, so we cant just set the eggs and walk away for 21-28 days.
And then we have to talk about the “air types” inside the incubator.
There are basically two types of incubators available, forced-air and still-air
incubators. Forced-air incubators have fans that provide internal air circulation. The
capacity of these units may be very large. The still-air incubators are usually small
without fans for air circulation. It is just kind of like a hot box and not as common.
Still-air incubators are trickier to use, and it requires precision to set this kind of
incubator. The radiant heat warms up the air, and since the air will not be able to
circulate, it is very crucial to identify the correct placement of the eggs. The warm
air tends to not be equal, thus making it harder to achieve a successful hatch.
In addition, the setting of still air incubators has to be exact otherwise, temperature
and humidity anomalies might occur inside.
Backing up, in order to have a successful hatch you have to focus on two things.
Temperature and humidity. Remember we are replicating what it would be like if
the hen or goose went broody and hatched these eggs on their own.
We have talked about it before, how we as humans seem to interfere too much when
it comes to many aspects of homesteading, this is no exception.
Chickens 21-days/Lockdown day 18- Temperature 99.5 incubator temp/Humidity
around 45% for first 18 days and then bump up to about 60-65% at lockdown.
Ducks 28 days/Lockdown day 25-26 (besides Muscovys)- Temperature
99.5/Humidity about 50-55% for the first 25 days and then bump up to about 65-
68% at lockdown
Geese 28-35 days-/Lockdown 3 day before hatch day- Temperature 99.5 (if not a
hair lower- 99.4)/Humidity 50-55% for the first 25 days and then bump up to about
65-68% at lockdown.
For waterfowl- a cooling period is even more beneficial/crucial than with chicken
eggs. Again, this is mimicking the mother bird.
Some folks with mist the eggs every day or so, again replicating the mother bird
bathing or swimming.
Place your incubator in a draft free location.
Everyone will have slight variations, we all live in different home environments.
This is why we talk about trialing with a couple of eggs, especially if you are
hatching eggs that are very special or hard to find.
Assisting the hatch?
While you are waiting for the poultry to hat