The three most important factors in the incubation and hatching of healthy, viable chicken are temperature, humidity and plenty of fresh air flow. Depending on the climatic conditions where you live the range of most commonly used indicator is room temperature (65 – 80oF), Incubator temperature (96 – 98oF), Hatcher temperature (97 – 98oF), relative humidity (25 – 60%), wet bulb temperature (72 – 85oF) and incubation period (47 – 53 days).
Successful incubation of eggs is vertical and air cell up. Turn eggs four to six times / day. Egg weight loss is important and 15% in the ideal. A weekly system of egg weighing and good record keeping are essential. Eggs should be transferred to a hatchery when internal piping starts. After hatching, the chicks should be allowed to remain in the Hatcher only for the time sufficient to provide for drying without dehyotration. A chick that is up and moving about in ready to be moved from the machine. On the average, the holding time after hatch should be about 12 hours. For the next 24 hours, the chick should be kept in warm brooder box without food or water while it metabolizes the yolk – sac. Before shitting the chicks to shed, make sure that they have started eating and drinking.
Egg tapping is a common practice during the incubation period. The purpose is to determine when the chick has broken into the air sac so that assistance can be rendered if required. By tapping on the large end of the egg with a small blunt instrument the sound you get before the chicks breaks into the air sac will be of a higher frequency then the rather hollow sound after the breakthrough.