Hatching chicken eggs is a very common science experiment, often undertaken in school laboratories. It is mainly performed to make children understand the natural growth phenomenon of chicken. In case you are interested in doing this experiment at home, we have listed an easy procedure for you. However, before heading for this experiment, keep certain factors in concern. Divide your entire process in to three steps - picking the right eggs, selecting an incubator and maintenance of proper incubator conditions. Only when you are completely done with one process should you head for the next one. It is a moderately challenging task and requires some care and concern on your part. Read on to explore the steps of hatching chicken eggs.
How to Hatch Chicken Eggs
Things You Require
- Fertilized eggs
Selecting Right Eggs
Order some fertilized eggs from a poultry farm. Select medium-size eggs, which do not have holes or cracks in them. For those who breed chickens, the best method for hatching eggs is to allow hens to sit on them. This phenomenon is called setting. However, since you are hatching the eggs as an experiment, in the incubator, the next vital step for you would be to select an incubator.
Choosing An Incubator
There are two types of incubators - a forced-air incubator that has a large size and comprises of a fan as well and a still-air incubator, which is smaller in size and does not have a fan. You can take an expert’s advice while deciding which one of them would be better for you. Once you have selected the incubator, check it for 24 hours, to make sure that the temperature and humidity in the incubator remains consistent. Also place the incubator at a place where there is ventilation and enough moving air.
Hatching The Eggs
- First of all, properly place the eggs into the incubator. In the first few hours, the temperature will naturally go down. Do not adjust it for the initial 48 hours, after setting the eggs. The incubation period will be of approximately 21 days.
- In a forced-air incubator, you need to keep the temperature at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In a still-air incubator; the temperature has to be around 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the temperature is constant.
- The humidity, initially, should be at 58 to 60% and gradually increased to 65%, when the eggs begin hatching.
- Turn the eggs approximately half a turn, six times a day, but keep in concern that you should not do in the first three days of hatching.
- Do not set eggs with the small ends pointing up. Also, keep in mind that all the eggs should hatch within 24 hours.
- Do not get impatient and pull chicks out of the shells once you see them coming. They will take their own time to come out, once they reach the proper level of maturity.
- Clean the incubator after use and make sure you clean it again, before you take it for reuse.