How to Hatch an Egg Without an Incubator

Hatching chickens is a lot of fun. At the end of it, you will be rewarded with a cuddly chick. An incubator can be very expensive, which puts it out of many people’s price range. The good news is that you don’t need one to hatch an egg. Here are the steps that you will need to follow.

baby chicks

Getting Fertile Eggs

The first thing that you need to do is get some fertile eggs. If you have a rooster, they should be already fertilized. If not, you will need to buy some fertile eggs. You can try asking a pet store for suitable eggs.

Find a Brooding Chicken

One of the best ways to hatch your eggs is by using a brooding chicken. These will sit on the eggs until they hatch. Sometimes, the hens will exhibit this behavior naturally. If this is the case, all you need to do is leave the eggs with them.

But sometimes this behavior can be bred out of them. In this case, it might be easier for you to use a silkie chicken. This breed is known for its maternal instincts.

Stimulating Brooding Behavior

Sometimes, this brooding behavior won’t occur. If this is the case, you might need to change the environment to try and stimulate this brooding behavior. There are a few ways that you can do this. The best option is to create a nursing box. Then, leave some fake eggs in the nest. These are designed to get the hen used to the experience of sitting on the eggs. These fake eggs are made from materials like wood, so there is no risk that they can be damaged.

chickens in the yard

Moving to a Private Nesting Box

Often, it’s best to put your hens in a private nesting box. This ensures that she isn’t distracted by other members of the flock. It doesn’t need to be a big area, as it only needs to house one hen. But it should be away from wind and rain.

The next thing that you need to do is make sure that there is plenty of food and water nearby. Many hens won’t want to move far when they are brooding, so you should make sure that these essential supplies are close at hand. If you want a few more tips, check out this informative article.

Adding the Eggs

Once your hens are starting to exhibit brooding behavior, it’s time to add some eggs to the nest. This should be a fairly simple matter of swapping out the fake eggs for real ones. If she accepts the eggs, she will roll them under her body where she will be able to keep them warm.

How many eggs you should try to hatch at any one time will depend on who you ask. But it’s often best to limit the number of eggs she is looking after. The golden number tends to be between three and five, though you can do a little experimentation in this area.

girl by chicken coop

Wait for the Eggs to Hatch

Once everything has been set up, there’s just one thing left to do. You need to wait for the eggs to hatch. This will usually take about 21 days after you put them beneath the hen. After this point, the chicks should start to be seen hovering around the mother. Don’t be concerned if you see the hen eating some pieces of shell.

It should be noted that not every egg will hatch. If they don’t, you’ll need to remove the egg. It’s also a good idea to get rid of any shell. The hen will now switch to showing the chicks around the nest, helping them get food and water. You’ll need to wait until they are at least one month old before you add them to the flock.


If you are planning on hatching an egg without an incubator, you will need to rely on a brooding hen. This is the best way of making sure that it is getting the constant heat and humidity control you need. But this will take a lot of work. If you want an easier method, it might be a good idea to use an incubator. To do this, you will need to follow these steps. You will also need to buy a suitable device, but with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know the right one. This chicken egg incubator list will make finding the right one for you easy. So, now you have two methods of producing chicks.

Related Reading

Leave a Comment