Q - Where can I get advice on hatching eggs, I've never tried it before?
A - All you need is in our Incubation Handbook, which is free to download.

Q - How do I prepare my incubator for hatching?
A - Please refer to Pre-season checks for your incubator, a comprehensive guide to preparing your incubator for hatching.

Q - How long can eggs be stored?

A - Most species may be safely stored for up to 10 days before serious reductions in hatch rates are likely but it is always best to set fertile eggs in an incubator within 24-48 hours of obtaining them. Daily turning of stored eggs also helps maintain hatchability. Store eggs in cool, damp conditions. Refer to our datasheet Storage and handling of eggs prior to incubation.

Q - I am confused about the correct temperature for my eggs. I have been told different temperatures by different people. How can I be sure which is correct?
A - Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions as different types of incubators may require different settings.
Refer to
User Manuals for copies of operating instructions for Brinsea® incubators.

Q - What is the correct humidity level for incubation.
A - Generally for poultry it is between 40-50% and for Parrots 35-45%

Refer to our datasheet Humidity in Incubation or the Brinsea® Incubation Handbook for more information.

Q - When I set the eggs which way up should they be?
A - It is essential that eggs are set so that the round end faces upwards or they are on their sides.

Q- How soon will I know if the eggs are developing?

A - You should start candling eggs from day 7 of incubation. You will then be able to see development (blood vessels and the embryo which appears as a dark spot). For more information of what you can expect to see and what you should be looking for refer to our datasheet What is candling and why you should.

Q - How often should eggs be turned?
A - It is recommended that poultry, game and waterfowl eggs are turned a minimum of twice a day – ideally more often. Automatic turning is often hourly. Some species (parrots and birds of prey) need tuning even more often (every 15 minutes or so).

Q - When should I stop the turning ?
A - Turning should be stopped and the machine set level 2-3 days before the eggs are due to hatch.

Q - The chicks in my machine are fully formed, some pipped, but did not hatch. (late death) What went wrong?
A - This common problem can be caused by many factors. The most frequent cause is incorrect humidity – usually too high.
Refer to our datasheet Humidity in Incubation or the Brinsea® Incubation Handbook for more information.

Q - The chicks in my machine are only part formed (very early death) What went wrong?
A - Again number of possible causes: turning failure, bacterial infection in incubator, temperature fluctuations, power failure or problems with parent stock (e.g. in-breeding, poor nutrition).

Q - The power has gone off. How long will the eggs be OK for?
A - Generally for a period of up to an hour. If the unit is well insulated and the temperature doesn’t drop too much this could be longer. For more details refer to our datasheet
What if the power goes off?

Q - Should I spray the eggs during incubation or when they are due to hatch ?
A - Spraying only increases humidity for a very short time and will not ‘soften’ the egg shell. Spraying eggs can also transmit or spread infection and is therefore not recommended. The main effect it has on the egg is to cool it as the water evaporates. There is some evidence that periodic cooling can improve hatch results but this should be achieved in other ways (e.g. leave the lid open for half an hour per day).

Q - Should I help chicks hatch?
A -
You should not help the chicks from the shell. There is usually a good reason if a chick doesn’t hatch. Also prematurely helping the chick hatch could cripple or infect it. Remember that after it has made a hole in the shell the chick stops piping for a few hours and rests while its lungs are getting used to the outside atmosphere. Humidity is critical at hatching time and you shouldn’t open the incubator until most chicks have hatched. Don’t allow your curiosity to damage your hatch.

Q - How long can I leave the chick in the incubator after they have hatched ?
A - Leave the chicks in the incubator until their down is dry – usually about 24 hours. They will not require food or drink in that time.