Getting the correct temperature and humidity levels is pretty plain and simple - yet if you do not take the time to learn how to do this with your incubator you could be headed for a very disappointing hatch rate.

On a fully automatic it's simple. Read the instructions and go for it! Although, I would suggest testing thermometer to make sure of accuracy and take a 'web bulb reading' if possible to check humidity.

With the more hands on type incubators it is important to take the time to set them up properly, especially the first time they are used or if your experience is level is at the “I wonder what this is.” stage.

The temperature needs to be as spot on as possible. Small variances in temperature, either up or down, are bound to happen as you open the incubator to turn the eggs. More about that later, though.

Variances in temperature for sustained periods will change the developing embryos and causes early (too warm) or late (too cold) hatches. This is on the good side of incorrect settings. The worst could be no hatchlings at all. Take the time to set up your incubator and your chances of a disaster are cut down considerably.

Chicken eggs need to be incubated at 37.70C (1000F). Humidity needs to be at 50-60% for the first 18 days and 70%+ on the last three days.

Getting the humidity within these limits is not as crucial as the temperature, however it is important. Getting it exactly right is extremely difficult under the best of circumstances so don't be alarmed if it is just outside the norm. If you can manage within 10-15% things should be fine.Get it as close as you can.

To increase the humidity in your incubator is a matter of increasing the surface area of the water. Doesn't matter how deep it is, unless it's 0 of course. Decreasing is the opposite. Usually, the biggest challenge is to increase the Humidity (without increasing temperature). The easiest way I know is to use a sponge. It doesn't have to be very big. 50 x 100mm (2 x 4 inches) is usually sufficient. Place a corner or more in the water well and allow the water to wic up into the sponge. Keep your eye on the readings. Works like a charm!

Relative Humidity is just that – relative to the weather. So If it's wet outside – the RH will be higher than normal. No rain for a time could be just the opposite. Pay attention to whats going on outside. Listen to the news for 'Todays Relative Humidity'.If you incubate the same way every time through the year, you will get different results every time.

The following chart shows Incubation periods and other pertinent information regarding popular back yard poultry species.

Please note that these settings are for Fan Forced Incubators.

Those of you using still air incubators should add 1.2 to 1.8 Degrees C (2 to 3 Degrees F) and the last two rows are also for still air w/ vents

Incubation Periods & Temperature/Relative Humidity
(Celsius )

Item

Chicken

Turkey

Duck

Muscovy
Duck

Goose

Guinea

Peafowl

Inc Period
(days)

21

28

28

35-37

28-34

28

28-30

Temperature*
(
oC, dry-bulb)

37.7

37.2

37.7

37.7

37.2

37.7

37.2

Humidity
(
oC, wet-bulb)

29.4 to 30.5

28.8 to 30

29.4 to 30

29.4 to 30

30 to 31.1

29.4 to 30.5

28.8 to 30

No Egg
Turning After

18th day

25th day

25th day

31st day

25th day

25th day

25th day

Open Vents
Additional ¼

10th day

14th day

12th day

15th day

1st day

14th day

14th day

Open Vents
(if needed)

18th day

25th day

25th day

30th day

25th day

24th day

25th day

Incubation Periods & Temperature/Relative Humidity
(Fahrenheit)

Item

Chicken

Turkey

Duck

Muscovy
Duck

Goose

Guinea

Peafowl

Inc Period
(days)

21

28

28

35-37

28-34

28

28-30

Temperature*
(
oF, dry-bulb)

100

99

100

100

99

100

99

Humidity
(
oF, wet-bulb)

85-87

84-86

85-86

85-86

86-88

85-87

84-86

No Egg
Turning After

18th day

25th day

25th day

31st day

25th day

25th day

25th day

Open Vents
Additional ¼

10th day

14th day

12th day

15th day

1st day

14th day

14th day

Open Vents
(if needed)

18th day

25th day

25th day

30th day

25th day

24th day

25th day