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Egg Incubation Information


Chickens have fathers and mothers just as people do. The father chickens are called roosters. Mother chickens are called hens.

The egg starts with a germ spot. This is the small, rather tough white spot you find in our breakfast egg. Next comes the yolk, then four separate layers of white. All of these parts are kept in shape by membranes—very thin layers of transparent “skin.”

At the large end of the egg is an air pocket, filled with oxygen. The shell, that looks as though it were solid, is actually porous. That is, there are thousands of tiny holes in it, so small that it is impossible to see them. The egg breathes through these holes.


Before it can produce a baby chick, an egg must be fertile. A hen can lay eggs all her life without laying a fertile one, for in order to produce a fertile egg, a hen must have a husband. The germ spot in the fertile egg is the part that becomes the baby. Before the egg is hatched, the baby is called an “embryo.” The embryo must have food while it is growing. It gets its nourishment from the yolk of the egg.

That is why the germ spot is always attached to the side of the yolk. The egg white is a cradle for the growing embryo. If the egg gets bumped accidentally, or if it is moved too suddenly, the soft white around the embryo comes between it and the shell and cushions the shock.


A fertile egg is so delicate that it can be ruined by small mistakes. Sometimes a perfectly good egg won’t hatch because it has been turned wrong end up, or shaken. If an egg gets cold or too warm, the embryo won’t develop correctly. Experienced poultry men never expect to have every egg in the incubator hatch.


A mother hen reaches underneath her body and turns her eggs frequently with her beak. This is because the egg yolk tends to float toward the shell. When the egg lies too long in one position, the white separates and allows the yolk to float through, forcing the germ against the shell and killing it. The mother hen avoids this by changing the position of her eggs Remember, the Chick Hatcher takes the place of a mother hen. When a hen has babies, she sits on the eggs until they hatch. She keeps them warm by spreading her soft feathers over them. She is very careful with them and won’t let anyone else touch her eggs.

The creation of life is a complex and mysterious process. From the moment you place an egg in your Egg Incubator  you will be partly responsible for the creation of a life. If you make mistakes, your chick will die inside the egg. Statistics show that under ideal conditions, about 75% of fertile eggs hatch successfully. On some farms, only about 49% hatch. The Egg Incubator is scientifically designed to give as near ideal conditions as possible. Now it is up to you to follow instructions very carefully, so that the egg you put in your Egg Incubator will develop into a healthy, happy little chick.