How to Put Eggs in an Egg Incubator & Turner

By Zach Lazzari

Successfully incubating eggs requires their proper placement and turning. Improper placement often leads to disorientation and drowning of the embryo. The basic idea is to emulate the way an egg will sit in a natural setting. Proper egg placement requires a flat surface for the incubator and regular monitoring of the eggs. In addition to placement, you must turn the eggs daily while monitoring temperature and humidity.

Choose a Slight Angle

Incubators come with either a grate surface or an egg carton holder. For flat grates, set the egg with it tipped slightly towards the narrow end. The fat end of the egg naturally sits higher than the point on a flat surface. Check the incubator positioning with a level if the eggs are tilted in the opposite direction.

Choose a Hard Angle

Angle choice is really a matter of preference and fitting the eggs inside the incubator. The only hard requirement is elevating the large end higher than the narrow end. Set the eggs at a 45-degree angle in an egg crate for a middle of the road approach. Set them vertically with the narrow end down if desired. The exact placement is purely a matter of preference.

Turning the Eggs

Turn the eggs at least three times daily to mimic natural movements within a nest. This also jars the embryo and allows for natural movement and growth withing the egg. Some incubators have turners built into the system. They use an egg crate style housing and your egg placement does not change. Either use a 45-degree angle or a vertical placement with the narrow side down.

Avoid Overhandling

Turn the eggs daily but avoid handling and removing them from the incubator. Keep the eggs inside the incubator where they experience a consistent temperature. Stop turning three days before your estimated hatch date.

Monitor the Temperature

When you place and turn the eggs each day, double check the incubator temperature and make adjustments based on the ideal incubation temperature for the species. Temperature is a critical aspect of incubating. It must remain consistent.

The duration and temperature settings are dependent on the species you are hatching. Consult a professional or utilize literature to know the exact settings before attempting incubation.