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What position for eggs in Incubator?

chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
I have a Suro King 20 and Im getting rubbish hatch rates. I was thinking about which position I should have the eggs in whilst Incubating.

I have them lying down in their side but should I have them pointy end down?? My Incubator doesn't roll the eggs it kind of moves them in a swinging kind of motion.

You can't tell on any Pics I have seen and It doesn't say in the Instructions.
Is this where Im going wrong??

Any help appreciated please.
Im throwing money down the drain here! Best hatch I have had so far is 2/6 :(


  • CelticMoonCelticMoon Member
    edited December 2009
    I always put mine in pointy end down and always get a good hatch rate. I have an octagon 20 w/automatic cradle (means it tilts the eggs from side to side). I'll have to check out yours though to see if it's the same type.

    Rubbish hatch rates can also be caused by mailing the eggs or b/c the roos aren't as active this time of year...

    Just checked and found a pic:
    It looks like they're point down in the pic, that is they will always lean a little to the side but primarily point down... Hope it helps!
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited December 2009
    Hi thanks for your reply. I am going to try some other eggs in again and give the pointed end down method ago.

    All eggs I have had have been about half way developed when I broke them open after they never hatched so I know it's not fertility thats the problem.

    Last batch I got, I collected from supplier myself but only 1/6 hatched and again all 6 had been fertile but 5 died half way along:(

    So here we go again! Another lesson learnt.

    Thanks again:)
  • CelticMoonCelticMoon Member
    edited December 2009
    Have you monitored humidity and temperature carefully? They are most often the issue. And be careful not to take the lid off too often (both humidity and temp drops). Except for filling water i never take the lid off to light the eggs more than 2-3 times during incubation.
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited December 2009
    Well, my Incubator is fully auto. I set the temp and Humidity and the Incubator regulates it all.
    I set it at 37.5 and 45% hum and then last 3 days I go to 37 and 65 % hum and stop turning.
    The few chicks that have hatched have all been good strong chicks with no problems.
    Well fingers crossed all will be good the next time. I will work it out Im sure.
    Just frustrating!!:rolleyes:
  • tigger49tigger49 Member
    edited December 2009
    I also have that incubator also with poor hatching. I put 8 eggs in got 4 to hatch 3 of them died and have 1 left. I was told by the shop after such a poor result that the eggs should be placed smallest part of the egg down as if they are on an egg stand. temp 37.5 throughout hum 49 untill the last 3 days which should go up to 65. The air hole should be opened fully at that time. I am going to give it another go 1st week of Jan.
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited December 2009
    Great thanks for that! Sounds like it's same problem as me.
    I have just put 18 eggs in pointed end down and fingers crossed I will get better results. Apart from that I don't know what else I can do!
    Good luck with your hatch and let me know how you get on:)
  • catcat Senior Member
    edited December 2009
    everyone seems to be favouring the pointy end down method, and ive set my eggs down for the first time in the same incubator and positioned them on their side a few days ago. It seems strange that upright produces higher hatch rate when naturally the eggs will be on their side and rolled by their mother. Is there something im missing, i dont have much experience.
  • kernowclickkernowclick Senior Member
    edited December 2009
    It's an interesting theory and one I've heard before although I have yet to find any research that indicates that this is the best position for eggs. I've hatched all sorts of poultry for over forty years now but have always positioned the eggs on their side. This seems the natural way and Mother Nature usually gets it right. However I may just try one setting with pointed end down and see what happens.

    I can only suggest to those who are experiencing hatching problems to keep persevering and keep an eye on the following;

    Temperature and humidity control (100 deg F for fan assisted incubator and 102 deg F for still-air incubator)

    Improper ventilation. Gas exchange occurs during incubation with oxygen entering through the pores in the shell and carbon dioxide escaping. As the chicks hatch they require more oxygen so any ventilation holes in incubator should be opened.

    Check your thermostat for accuracy and position it correctly in the incubator. An error as small as a degree over 21 days can interfer with the embryonic growth.

    Candle eggs at 7, 14, and 18 days to monitor size of air sac and make adjustments to humidity if necessary. Also discard non viable eggs.

    Use only clean, unwashed eggs and keep the equipment scrupulously clean.

    Handle gently especially during first week as tiny vessels can easily rupture.

    I have found that some incubators are fool-proof and others a pain, some breeds easier to hatch than others, fertility levels vary and if you are buying in eggs they are very often an unknown quantity anyway. So there are loads of variables and you will probably find what works for you by trial and error. For example, I wouldn't set anything at this time of year, it's cold and wet,chicks are under heat for too long and it's not natures way of doing it. It doesn't work for me but might for you. Good luck anyway.
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Thanks for all your replies.
    Your right it does seem odd to have them pointed end down. It just doesn't look right in the Incubator.

    When I stop the turning also I will take out the spacer bars so then they will be lying on their sides for the last 3 days.

    Less than a week to go till this lot hatch and so far I have thrown out 6 out of 18 because they were not fertile.

    I candled all the others and they seem to be doing well. Saw chicks moving around in 4 of them!:D

    I am also trying different breeds as well this time.

    Watch this space chicken friends! :D
  • ms lottiems lottie Junior Member
    edited January 2010
    I have an RCOM Suro 20 incubator also, used it once. My hatch rate was good, except that they started hatching a little early so my temperature must be running a little high. Next run I am going to spot check with an external thermometer. I also ran my humidity a lot higher. 60% for the first 7 days then changed it to 58% as one air sac looked a little small on candling, then changed to 70% day 19 (70% is highest it goes) - so maybe humidity is your issue?

    I don't know how easy it would be to place them small end down and have them stay that way in this incubator?

    Good luck!!
  • speckled sussexspeckled sussex Junior Member
    edited January 2010
    'I have found that some incubators are fool-proof and others a pain, some breeds easier to hatch than others'

    Out of curiousity, which incubators do you find easier to use that others?
    I am new to hatching eggs, I have only tried a few batches, and only with sussex chickens - have you tried this breed, and if you have, how do they compare? Are they easy or hard, in your opinion?
  • kernowclickkernowclick Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Hi Speckled Sussex,

    As breeds go the Sussex are pretty easy to hatch. My broody hens always seem to produce loads of healthy Sussex chicks although I have many different breeds and not predominately Sussex.

    You ask about incubators and probably everyone has an incubator story. I have used all sorts from huge commercial parrafin and electric incubators to small hands-on ones. As I've said in a previous posting I would recommend a Covatutto for small hatches. I have a Covatutto 24 fan assisted and it's a little gem. All my special eggs go in there and it never lets me down. I would certainly go for a fan assisted one as they are more constant. I believe you can get self-turning ones but I think they're a waste of money for that size. It's a very forgiving incubator as I tend to break all the rules and still get good hatches. Good luck with whatever you use.
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Quick update,

    Day 19 now! Eggs should hatch on friday. Candled for the last time yesterday.
    Eggs have been kept pointed end down the whole time.

    I must admit that the air sacks look much much larger this time than in any other hatches.

    I started out with 18 eggs. 7 disgarded as they were clear when I candled them. I have now also taken out the seperation bars which were holding them all up and they are now on their sides.

    I have 11 left which I will base my hatch rate on. From when I candled them yesterday I think all are good apart from 2 which I think may have died a while ago but I will keep them in just incase because Im not 100%. Some are Maran eggs and VERY dark!

    So hopefully I will end up with 9 fluffy chicks but as they say......., Don't count your chickens!:D I can hear pipping noises and a few eggs wobbling about at bit:D

    Will post more news when they hatch. Very exciting!!!
  • CelticMoonCelticMoon Member
    edited January 2010
    Don't count your chickens!:D

    Oh, but you must count your chickens before they hatch, because after they hatch they run around so much there's no counting them ;)

    Seriously though, fingers crossed for your hatch! We're all waiting for the update later!
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Here we go! 2 Light sussex have chipped their shells so far! :D
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Well I have had some success but not as good as I hoped again:(

    I have hatched 3 light sussex and 3 Maran chicks (1x copper blue, 2x copper black) 2 hatched on day 21, 4 hatched on day 22.:confused:

    There are still 5 eggs in the Incubator not looking like they will be doing anything but Im leaving them another day or 2 just to make sure.

    All hatched chicks are lovely strong healthy chicks and doing very well:D

    All in all, although not as good as I hoped, it has actully been my best hatch yet. I will be using the pointed end down method again without a doubt.11 fertile eggs= 6 chicks. I think thats not too bad considering the eggs came via royal mail xmas post and the general time of year.

    So what does everybody else think?? Do you think it was a decent hatch result all things considered?
  • CelticMoonCelticMoon Member
    edited January 2010
    I think you've had a good hatch. People usually estimate a hatching rate of 50% with shipped eggs, since they can become scrambled in handling (dislodged air sack and so on). Also the time from the egg is gathered until it's put in the 'bator affects success rate, as well as temperature while shipping.

    Hatching can take from 1 to 3 days, so having some chicks hatch on different days is not uncommon.

    Congrats on the lovely strong chickens! :D
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Thanks for that!


    You can see 5 of the lovely things in this pic! :D The other one is hiding.
  • CelticMoonCelticMoon Member
    edited January 2010
    They're CUTE! I think I see a little'un ducking behind the Marans :P Can't wait for my April hatch!!!
  • catcat Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    my bantams were 4/6 fertile and although the shells are completely full of chick only one managed to hatch and that one struggled and has a nerve problem with its leg and came out at day 22. I spoke to the seller who sent them in the mail and he said that the post can damage them significantly and actually, to my surprise, said that less is more with humidity and the membranes get sticky when hatching if its too high. He recommended about 55 to 60 humidity so im also going to try that with my next batch. i will try and hatch them pointed end down although the experienced egg seller on the phone said that he doesnt think it matters. cream legbars in 21 days!
  • chicken chickchicken chick Senior Member
    edited January 2010
    Hi Cat,

    Sorry your hatch wasn't so good. It's seems it's not as easy as it's made out to be!

    I have had Cream Legbars in all other previous hatched but not had great success as you will know.

    I have decided that untill I get the hatching right Im going to stick to buying the cheapest eggs I can get. Just so Im not throwing money down the drain.

    The last hatch was the cheapest and best hatch I have had! I only paid 2 pounds for the 6 Sussex eggs. Bargain!:D

    Good Luck again Cat! Keep trying and between us all we might get somewhrere:D
  • Have you ever used easy-bator Incubators? 

  • Nice! Thanks for the tips, fellas!
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