It has already been established that chickens and eggs which are raised at home are superior in just about every way in another one of our articles. In this one, we will be providing some advice for beginner chicken farmers. More specifically, we will be discussing how to raise your chicken eggs and hatch them.
While it may sound like a complicated process, you will find that hatching your eggs is not as difficult as it may appear to the uninitiated. More than anything, the hatching process consists of being patient and waiting, while ensuring that the eggs are in a healthy environment so the chicks can grow.
You will find that a critical decision in raising your chicken eggs is finding the right model of egg incubator. A poor quality incubator can result in the eggs never hatching at all, so it is important to invest in an incubator which is both reliable and sufficiently affordable.
Thankfully, we have a host of reviews related to chicken incubators on this very site. If you need an incubator, simply browse through our reviews or buying guides to find the best ones for your needs. Be sure to read the reviews thoroughly, as minor nuances can have a rather large effect when it comes to chicken egg incubators.
Much of the reproductive process of a chicken takes place outside of the body, which is quite unlike humans, where all of it takes place internally. The yolk of a chicken egg plays the same role as the ovum of a human female, being produced by the hen’s ovary.
Once the yolk is fertilized by a male chicken, it will continue through the hen’s reproductive system until the white of the egg develops around it. Once the egg’s white has been fully formed, the shell of the egg is the last part to be developed.
Once the egg shell has been formed, the chicken proceeds to lay the egg. This is where your incubator comes into play. While wild chickens incubate their eggs by sitting on them, you will find that an egg incubator drastically increases of the egg eventually hatching with no issue.
A standard chicken egg will incubate for 21 days before hatching. On the 21st day, the chick will peck its way out of the shell if it has grown properly and has all of the strength needed.
The incubation temperature should be about 99.5 to 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure optimal chicken egg hatching times and a healthy development cycle. If your chickens don't hatch by the 21st day, you should leave them at least two more days just to make sure that there aren't any late bloomers.
When hatch day comes along, it helps to know what to do, so that you can be prepared for most eventualities. The first thing to expect is for things to go wrong. Even given the perfect environment, some eggs may simply not end up hatching. While it can be sad, it is the way of things.
Pipping is when your chick starts to break through the shell of the egg. You will want to keep pipped eggs in the incubator and near other eggs. The sound of other chicks chirping will encourage their little brothers and sisters to start making their way out of their eggs.
Make sure that you keep the chicks in the incubator once they have hatched to give them a chance to dry off, as they can die of hypothermia if they are left out while wet. Be sure to handle your newborn chicks very delicately, as they will still be quite weak and you don’t want to inadvertently hurt them.
If there are any problems with some of the eggs, you will want to leave them for a couple of days, as mentioned before. Candling may help you determine whether or not the chicks inside of them are still alive. If they do not end up hatching, you may wish to open up the eggs to see the stage at which things went wrong.
We hope that this guide has answered any questions you may have had about the egg hatching process for chicken eggs. We have tried to cover everything we could in the shortest amount of space possible. If there are any questions, feel free to leave them down below.