Incubated eggs take around 21 days to hatch. Whether you’re using an incubator or a broody hen to hatch the eggs, when the time is due, a feeling of joy, excitement, and nervousness usually take over as you await those cute fuzzy chicks to hatch. But, imagine the eggs taking longer than expected? In this case, you’re likely to think of alternative techniques such as using the warm water trick for hatching eggs.
Yes, you heard me! A warm water trick is an alternative method that has been used for ages to hatch eggs. There are two ways you can use warm water to hatch eggs. The first method is using warm water inside a bowl to test whether the chick inside the egg is dead or alive. This technique is considered dangerous as exposing the egg to extremely hot water can kill the chick inside.
The second technique, which we’ll be discussing here, is dipping a towel in warm water and then wrapping the eggs gently to keep them warm. So, in this short guide, we’ll discuss the warm water trick, alternative ways to hatch eggs, and how long it takes for eggs to hatch among other things.
Understanding Warm Water Trick for Hatching Eggs
Two things come to mind when you hear the phrase warm water trick for hatching eggs. First, the warm water method can be used to detect whether an egg has a live chick inside. This is mostly considered when an egg has been incubated for over 21 days and is yet to hatch.
The other meaning of the warm water trick for hatching eggs is dipping a towel inside a bowl containing warm water and then carefully wrapping the eggs and monitoring the temperature until the eggs near their hatching date. More of this will be discussed in our next sections to help you understand how exactly you’re supposed to do it.
How to Check Eggs in Water/ Float Test for Eggs
The float test method is one of the most accurate techniques used to test whether an egg has a live or dead chick. This method is highly considered regardless of whether you’re using an incubator, a broody, or if you decide to hatch chicken eggs with a heat lamp.
So, how do you test your eggs using this technique? The first step is to pick a bowl and fill it with warm water that’s around 37.7°C or 100°F. Pick your egg and gently submerge it inside the water. Make sure you don’t shake the egg to avoid disturbing the chick inside.
So, if the egg sinks at the bottom of the bowl, then it means it’s infertile and doesn’t have a chick. If the egg floats just below the surface of the water, then it means it has a live chick. If it floats right at the top, it means the embryo had developed but died due to a ruptured internal membrane.
Now, eggs that contain live chicks will usually float due to the presence of an air cell. Otherwise, if an egg doesn’t have an air cell, it means it’s infertile and will hence sink.
Just adding to what we’ve discussed, pairing this technique with the candling test is essential if you’re unsure. So, if you’re not fully convinced by the warm water technique, then you can consider shining light through the egg to see whether you’ll view a shadow of a developing chick inside the egg.
Risk Factors of Hatching Eggs in Warm Water
The warm water technique is one of the easiest tricks you can consider if you want to hatch your eggs. While this trick is considered accurate, it’s very delicate and dangerous if the eggs are not handled carefully. One of the risk factors of using this trick is failure to maintain the right temperature.
So, if the water seems to be too hot, then it can potentially kill the developing chick. Another risk factor with this technique is failing to handle the egg carefully. In case you shake the egg, you might disturb the chick inside causing complications.
How to Hatch Eggs Without Incubator
Are you wondering how to hatch eggs without an incubator? Well, let me start by admitting that it’s possible to hatch eggs without an incubator. Actually, what your eggs need is incubation, which can be anything that maintains an optimal temperature of 37.7°C or 100°F, maintains optimal moisture level and it rolls over the eggs frequently.
So, other than using an incubator, there are other ways you can hatch eggs. One is by using a natural incubator, which in this case is a broody hen. Besides the broody, you’ll need a proper nesting box and fertilized eggs.
The other method is what we’ve been talking about—using the warm water technique. So, how do eggs hatch in hot water? Well, let’s find out.
- Step One: Pick a ceramic bowl and pour some water inside. Place the bowl inside a microwave to warm the water.
- Step Two: Remove the bowl from the microwave and dip a towel inside the water.
- Step Three: Dampen the towel and then wrap your eggs gently.
- Step Four: Insert the towel inside another bowl. Place a desk lamp next to the bowl at a distance of 6-12 inches away. Make sure the bulb is at least 40 watts.
- Step Five: Now monitor the eggs by maintaining a constant temperature of 37.7°C or 100° You can also rotate the towel at least after every 6-8 hours to ensure the embryo doesn’t stick to the side of the shell.
Rotating the egg also ensures that the egg gets enough heat uniformly. Also, make sure that you moisten the towel in warm water every time you rotate it.
How to Hatch Eggs Faster
Now, hatching eggs, whether by using a broody hen or an incubator is an easy task that comes with a rewarding experience and a good feeling of accomplishment. But, for you to hatch the eggs faster and successfully, you need to have some experience. By experience, we mean carefully monitoring the entire process from start to finish. So, here are some tips you must follow if you really need to hatch eggs faster.
- Make sure you get your eggs from hatcheries or poultry farms rather than grocery stores. Also, avoid buying shipped eggs.
- Get hatching eggs from well-developed, healthy, and mature hens.
- Understand the pros and cons of using incubators and broody hens.
- If you’re using an incubator, familiarize yourself with how to use this machine.
- Keep track of the date to estimate the hatching date of your eggs.
- In the case of a broody hen, you need to provide good brooding space and don’t forget to feed her with food and water.
For How Long Do Eggs Take to Hatch?
Now, there’s no definitive answer as to how long eggs take to hatch. In most cases, the time taken depends on various variables such as the method you’re using, the breed of chicken, and where you bought the eggs from. So, if you decide to hatch chicken eggs with a heat lamp, then it won’t take the same amount of time as using an incubator or a broody hen.
However, the average time taken to hatch eggs is normally 21 days. Sometimes, it can be exactly 21 days, and other times, the process can lag up to 28 days.
Depending on the chicken breed, some backyard chicken breeds can take longer to hatch eggs than others. If you’re using an incubator, failure to set the temperature/humidity accurately can cause the hatching process to delay by a day or two.
Lastly, eggs from hatcheries are likely to hatch much earlier than eggs collected from your backyard. That’s because most hatcheries use selective breeding where they select eggs from breeds that have a narrow hatch window.
Since most of their chicks are for shipment and commercial purposes, they pick eggs that hatch closely to the 21-day timeframe to meet customer demand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How Do You Know an Egg is About to Hatch?
Now, the first obvious sign that an egg is about to hatch is checking the number of days an egg has been incubated for. Another sign is the color of the egg, which is likely to get increasingly opaque as the chick develops. The last and final sign is a crack appearing on the shell that indicates the chick is trying to pip through the shell to hatch.
Q2. How Do You Tell an Egg is Dead?
Well, there are two methods you can use to test whether an egg is dead or alive. The first method is the candling test where you shine light through the egg in a dark room. If you see an embryo and red spider web type veins, then it means the egg has a live chick. If you don’t see anything of the sort, then it means the egg is unfertilized and should be removed from the incubator.
Another test is by using warm water where you submerge an egg in a bowl of water. If the egg floats and moves, then it means it has a live chick. If it sinks lifelessly, then it means it’s not fertile.
Q3. How Do I Add Water to the Incubator?
Now, incubators have water reservoirs that should be filled with water periodically throughout the incubation process. In case you don’t know how to add water to your incubator, you should confirm with the machine’s instructions manual to learn how and when to add water.
So how do eggs hatch in hot water? Well, we believe this guide has offered you enough inspiration on this topic. As you can see, warm water is essential in testing whether your eggs will hatch or not. Pairing this method with the candling test gives you a clearer and more accurate answer as to whether your eggs will hatch.
But, other than testing the eggs, warm water is essential in incubating eggs manually. So, if you’re using the towel method, using hot water with temperatures of around 37.7°C or 100°F will ensure that the eggs are warm and have the right humidity.
- Chicken Eggs Not Hatching After 24 Days (Things to Do)
- How Long Do Chickens Sit on Eggs?
- What Color Eggs Do Sapphire Gem Chickens Lay?
- How to Increase Humidity in the Chicken Incubator
- How to Make an Egg Incubator at Home
Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!