Successful hatching relies on careful attention to detail before and during incubation. Something as simple as loading the eggs into the incubator affects the percentage of successful hatches.
Prepare the incubator two to three days prior to placing the eggs inside. Regulate the incubator to the desired starting temperature, and ensure it can maintain this temperature without extreme drops or raises. Most domestic fowl eggs require temperatures between 98.5 and 99 F for at least the first half of incubation. Place the thermometer at the same level as the eggs for the most accurate readings.2
Set the humidity inside the incubator before placing the eggs inside. A wet-bulb thermometer measures the humidity in the incubator in terms of degrees; a shallow, wide pan of water creates humidity. Humidity suggestions range between 83 and 88 F for domestic fowl species.3
Set eggs in place inside the incubator. Pick up only one egg at a time to avoid dropping and breaking it. Face the pointed end downward if the incubator has crates. Lay the eggs on one side in flat-bottom incubators. Mark the top side of the eggs with a pencil. The marks help you remember which eggs need to be turned.