How To Turn Eggs In An Incubator By Hand

Are you hatching chicken eggs in an incubator and wondering how to turn them properly? Egg turning is a crucial step in the incubation process that promotes proper embryo growth and raises the likelihood that the eggs will hatch successfully. However, knowing when and how to flip the eggs without breaking them or preventing them from hatching can be tricky. Turning your eggs by hand is a straightforward approach that may help you do it effortlessly.

This article will walk you through manually rotating eggs in an incubator. We’ll review the benefits of turning eggs, how frequently to do it, and how to do it properly. We’ll also review tracking techniques for which eggs have been rotated and when and how to preserve the ideal temperature and humidity levels during incubation.

Why is Turning Eggs Important?

Turning Eggs In An Incubator

For a healthy embryo to develop and for eggs to hatch successfully, turning the eggs is crucial throughout the incubation phase. One of the key advantages of flipping eggs is that it ensures that oxygen and nutrients are distributed evenly to the growing embryo. When eggs are kept still for a long time, the embryo bonds to the inner membrane, which makes it more challenging for the chick to hatch. Rotating eggs allows the embryo to stay suspended in the yolk and white, facilitating movement and healthy development.

Another advantage of flipping eggs is preventing anomalies and malformations in the growing embryo. The ever-increasing embryo may become caught inside the eggshell if eggs are not flipped, resulting in abnormalities, including twisted necks, deformed beaks, and misshapen feet. Moreover, turning eggs lowers the chance of infection and disease in the developing embryo by preventing the growth of germs and mold on the egg’s surface.

The probability of a failed hatching considerably rises if eggs are not flipped during incubation. If the growing embryo is not rotated, the chick risk getting caught inside the egg, becoming immobile, and eventually passing away. During the early stages of incubation, when the embryo is most fragile, turning eggs is very important. The growth of a healthy chick that is prepared to hatch when the time is right is ensured by regular rotation.

How Often Should You Turn Eggs?

The incubation process’s effectiveness greatly depends on how often the eggs are turned. Eggs should be turned at least three times daily; however, some experts advise turning them as much as six times daily for best results. Nevertheless, the suggested turning frequency may change depending on the kind of egg being incubated. For instance, quail eggs must be consistently rotated every two to three hours, but chicken eggs must always be flipped every three to four hours.

Egg-turning consistency is essential for the embryo’s optimal growth. Any interruption to the turning cycle might result in uneven heat distribution, resulting in malformations or even death. Long-term inactivity of eggs might cause the developing embryo to adhere to the inner membrane and perish, preventing successful hatching. Hence, a regular egg-flipping schedule is necessary during the incubation phase.

Also, the turning frequency should steadily decrease when the hatch date draws near. It is advised to completely stop flipping the eggs during incubation to allow the embryo to settle into the correct position for hatching. “Lockdown” is the term for this procedure.

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The Correct Technique for Turning Eggs by Hand

Egg turning by hand is a necessary step in the incubation process, but it must be done carefully to prevent breaking the eggs. The first step is ensuring your hands are clean and devoid of toxins or other things that might harm growing embryos. Before touching the eggs, it is advised to cleanse your hands with soap and water properly.

It’s crucial to hold eggs carefully and prevent dropping or jarring them when handling them. The tiny embryo may be harmed if too much pressure is used when grabbing the egg with your fingertips. Also, handling the eggs gently is critical to prevent the spread of dangerous germs that might disrupt the embryo’s growth.

Gently flip the eggs onto their side while maintaining the same orientation to turn them. The yolk sac and embryo may be harmed if you turn the egg around completely. Instead, rotate the egg 90 degrees in one direction, then 90 degrees in the opposite direction. Depending on the type of egg being incubated, repeat this procedure three to six more times daily.

In turning the eggs, avoiding shaking or jarring them is vital, as this might harm the developing embryo and lower hatch rates. To keep track of which way you have flipped the eggs, it is also advised to mark one side of each egg with an “X” and an “O.” V. Keeping track of turned eggs.

Read also: Can Chickens Eat Chocolate?

Maintaining Temperature and Humidity Levels

PoultryTemperature (°C)Humidity (%)
Local Chicken37.955-70

The proper temperature and humidity conditions must be maintained for eggs to hatch successfully. For the embryo to grow properly, eggs must be incubated at a steady temperature and humidity level. Any changes to these levels might cause abnormalities in the chicks that do hatch or low hatching success rates.

Spending money on a top-notch incubator is critical to guarantee stable temperatures and humidity levels. The incubator should feature simple-to-adjust devices for controlling humidity and temperature. Also, it’s crucial to keep the incubator in a space with a constant temperature and avoid drafty regions.

Regularly checking the temperature and humidity levels is also essential. Use an accurate thermometer and hygrometer to gauge the temperature and humidity within the incubator. Make modifications as necessary to keep the incubator operating in the appropriate settings. Monitoring changes in temperature and humidity can help you make the required adjustments.

It’s essential to keep the incubator closed and maintain constant humidity and temperature conditions. The temperature and humidity can change every time the incubator is opened, which could harm the eggs. While rotating eggs or adding water to the humidity tray, only occasionally open the incubator.


Can I manually turn eggs in an incubator?

In an incubator, eggs can be manually turned. Backyard breeders and small-scale chicken producers frequently flip eggs by hand.

How often do you manually turn eggs in an incubator?

Eggs should normally be turned three to five times each day. Nevertheless, this is subject to change according to the type of egg utilized and the incubator. For advice on the ideal turning frequency for your particular circumstance, refer to the instructions from your incubator or speak to a poultry specialist.

What is the best way to turn eggs in an incubator?

Turning eggs in an incubator is best done by hand, with a soft rolling motion. It’s crucial to handle the eggs gently and keep them from being shaken or jarred. Also, it is advised to properly wash your hands before touching the eggs to lower the possibility of bacterial infection.

How long can eggs go without turning?

During incubation, eggs should be flipped at least once every 24 hours. Nonetheless, if required, eggs can live for up to 7–10 days without turning, which may impair their capacity to hatch and raise their chance of developing abnormalities. For the embryos to experience as little harm as possible, it’s critical to maintain stable temperatures and humidity levels.


In conclusion, rotating eggs by hand is a simple and efficient approach to guarantee healthy embryo growth and successful hatching. Turning eggs is a vital phase in the incubation process. You may improve the likelihood of a good hatching experience by keeping constant temperature and humidity levels and employing the right method. Our readers are urged to attempt flipping eggs by hand, and we wish you success in your hatching efforts.

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