Improving Hatching Rate

Bird Eggs: Improving Hatching Rate

The most important aspects to consider when incubating eggs:

Start with Fertilized Eggs: Unfertilized egg cannotbe hatched. Incubation should commense within one week of having been laid. After that, the viability of the egg decreases.

When acquiring eggs, select good eggs: Remember that deformed, dirty or broken eggs have a low hatching rate, as do rough or small eggs.  


Sanitation is Key:

Wash your hands before handling eggs. Bacteria on your hands will transfer to the eggs and cause the development of eggs to arrest..

Disinfect the incubator! The cleanliness of incubator is essential. Incubators should be completely sanitized before they start to incubate eggs.

Dirty Eggs: Eggs covered in waste / dirt need to be carefully cleaned before placing them into the incubator. Be very cautious. These eggs get very slippery when wet and can easily slip out of your hands and break.


Other Important Factors:

Cracked Eggs: Hatchability is low with cracked eggs as bacteria easily infects the embryo inside. However, the better quality incubators (i.e. the Octagon series) have successfully hatched cracked eggs. This website has tips for repairing cracked eggs.

Minimize Disturbing the Eggs: Even though eggs should be inspected, do keep in mind that frequent egg inspections may impact viability of the eggs. Keep them to a minimum.

Noise: Noise can also influence hatching result. Place the incubator into a quiet area, away from noisy appliances (phones, washing machines) or busy areas.  Properly prepare the incubator before adding the eggs, this includes: sanitizing and testing BEFORE adding new eggs. 

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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This is pretty common with HANDRAISED birds.  They have not had the benefit of learning from their natural parents how to perform natural tasks of raising families.  As birds get older, some will get the hang of it; others never will be good parents.  Even if they get through the incubation period, they may abuse or neglect their young.

The best chance that one has is to pair up inexperienced birds with proven breeders.   This way you considerably increase your chance of success.

This being said, if you only have two pet birds that are already bonded, you don't really want to split them up.  Some will learn from their mistakes and as they get older, many will turn into decent parents.  The most important time is the first two weeks of raising young.  If you can get them to take their young through that crucial time, you could pull the young for handraising - this will increase their chance of becoming better pets and at that time it is fun and not too difficult to raise them.  Mind you, if you do need to pull the young (if, for example, the parents start abusing them), I would recommend asking someone with experience to guide you initially.  You can also ask over this forum for assistance.    Handfeeding cockatiels can be a little tricky.

I hope this helps. Sibylle