Will you be chicken hatching this spring? Who doesn't love the excitement of hearing new chicks peeping and breaking free of their egg into the world. You're going to need our free chicken hatching printable handy for your next hatch to ensure a successful hatch!
I love free homesteading printables, that's why I made this handy calendar cheat sheet for when I hatch my chickens every spring. Go ahead and download a copy for yourself below.
Print it off, and stick it on your fridge or just above your incubator as an easy reference for checking temperature and humidity levels.
New to incubating chicken eggs? Then this cheat sheet will surely help you! Also go check out our complete fool proof guide to incubating !
Good luck on a successful hatch! Happy Spring 🙂
HOW TO USE THE CHICKEN HATCHING CALENDAR
Start by recording the date and time when the eggs are added to the incubator in the first box. Check off the humidity and temperature.
TURN EGGS DAILY
When I first incubated chicken eggs in my classroom, we used an old incubator from the science lab. We had to turn the eggs ourselves. Do you think I could remember to do this? Let alone come in on the weekends to do this? Since then I opted for an automatic egg turner to ensure my success. It was the best investment in this effort.
The other downfall to not having an automatic egg turner is that you have to open the incubator three times a day, which means the temperature and humidity are risked. It’s not worth it.
So lesson is…. buy an automatic egg turner!
DAY 14: CANDLE EGGS
After two weeks of incubating, it’s time to see if your efforts are starting to pay off. You can check the eggs to see if the embryo is developing by candling them.
I always candle the eggs to see which eggs have “taken” and remove the eggs that aren’t developed and throw them in the garbage. Make sure you do this before someone goes to eat them!
There are all sorts of tools you can use to candle eggs. I simply turn the lights off in the evening and turn my cellphone flashlight on. By placing the egg over the light I can start to see what’s happening. Take one egg out at a time and try to keep the others warm while you do so.
If the egg is are developing you will see visible veins in the shell and eventually just go dark (where the chick is!) Check out some images here.
Eggs that aren’t developed will glow as the light shines straight through the entire egg. Either the egg was not fertilized or something went wrong in the first two weeks. Oh well, time to nestle in your fertilized eggs, only another week or so until the hatch!
DAY 18: LOCKDOWN
On day 18 it’s crucial you prepare your eggs for hatching. Do this removing eggs from the egg turner, or stop turning eggs manually. Add a bit more water to increase the humidity to the 60-70 % mark .
Wish your chicks good luck. From now on in, you will not remove the eggs from the incubator until they are all hatched- around 24 days.
DAY 21: CHICKS HATCH
Eggs take 21 days to hatch. They will hatch earlier or later than day 21 depending on the conditions of the incubator. I’ve had chicks hatch on day 19 and as late as day 23. This is a good test of patience!
Listen for peeping as a first sign of the hatch. They usually hatch around the same time of day that they went into incubator. Remember that your eggs are on lock down, that includes the chicks as well. So don’t take the newly hatched chick out of the incubator right away.
I recommend waiting until the hatch is finished before removing the chicks.
Chicks will survive off their yolk sacs for up to 3 days. I always give my eggs this long to hatch. The late eggs to hatch usually have more of a struggle as the temp and humidity changes with the hatching process and the activity of the hatched chicks.
My advice is to resist the urge to help chicks hatch if they get stuck in the shell. Opening the incubator will cause the egg to almost seal them in making it harder . From my experience, any chick that I have had to help hasn’t survived or has had major problems like a broken neck or splayed legs.
Now is the time to make sure you have your brooder ready to go with adequate bedding, feed and water. Something similar to the set up below. Click on the image for more details regarding this specific brooder available on Amazon.
Download the Calendar Cheat Sheet
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