Articles about Hatching and Incubation

Candling a cracked egg

Incubating Chicken Eggs, Day 1

Selecting and Candling the Eggs We went through first and selected the eggs to use. We’ve already set aside any that are too dirty or too old, now we’re candling the “good” eggs to look for any that are cracked. Sometimes the cracks are so fine that they are nearly impossible to see until you…

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GQF Incubators

How Long Does it Take for a Chicken Egg to Hatch?

Once incubation starts, it takes about 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch. That’s true whether you incubate the eggs mechanically in an incubator or naturally under a broody hen. Both approaches take the same length of time. Using an Incubator When I’ve incubated eggs from our flocks in a styrofoam table-top incubator, some eggs…

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Choosing Which Chicken Eggs to Hatch

I recently incubated another batch of eggs from our Black Australorps. One of the first steps when incubating chicken eggs is choosing which eggs to hatch. Why does this matter? For several reasons. First, not all eggs are equally likely to hatch. Excessively large or small eggs tend to produce chicks that are less vigorous…

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Baby chick visible at day 19

Hatching Chicks in an Incubator

Once you’ve gained some experience raising chickens, I recommend starting to hatch eggs. This article gives an overview of how to hatch using an incubator. Why Hatch Eggs? You can perpetuate your chickens by hatching eggs from your own flock instead of needing to buy chicks every few years. It’s interesting and enjoyable, and you…

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A broody hen and her chicks

Hatching Under a Broody Hen

Certain times during the year, particularly during the spring, some of your hens may go broody. Some breeds of chickens (and certain strains) are more prone toward broodiness than others. What is broodiness? It’s when a hen decides to sit on eggs to hatch them. Her body goes through certain hormonal changes, and her behavior…

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black australorp chicks

What Are Straight-Run Chickens?

Straight-run simply means that you’re getting the chickens “as-hatched.” No attempt has been made to determine the gender of the chickens. Does “straight-run” mean that half will be males and half females? No, not necessarily, when you hatch chicks, they may come out 50-50. But you could also have more than 50% males. Or more…

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