The show Orpingtons have kicked up egg production this week. Time to pull out the incubator.
There are many sizes, variations, and price tags on incubators. We have used the white styrofoam ones in the past, but finally opted for quality over quantity.
Brinsea is the gold standard in small incubators. This one holds 7 eggs, and our hatching percentage is almost 90% every time.
You have to set it up a few hours before putting eggs into it. The temperature needs to come up to 99.6*F.
There is a water container in the center. While incubating, you want the humidity to be 40-50%.
1/2 of the center cup needs to be full of water. It will need to be refilled every few days.
You should NEVER wash eggs that will be hatched. It removes the protective “bloom” that acts as an antibacterial shield to prevent bacteria from entering the warm egg.
The round ends face inward, pointy ends out. In a traditional turner, you should always put pointy ends down, as the large round end contains the air cell and should be up.
I have set the timer for 21 days, the turner to rotate every 75 min, and given a 60 min cooling period each day. Naturally the hen will get up once a day to eat and drink. This mimics the natural heat pattern of the nest.
Always choose clean, large eggs to incubate, as this will give you the healthiest chicks in the end.