DO NOT REFRIGERATE YOUR FERTILE EGGS. Mid-60’s is ideal for storing hatching eggs until you’re ready to incubate them, but in most cases room temperature works fine. See our post on How to Tell if Your Eggs are Fertilized for help determining whether or not your chickens’ eggs are hatch-able.
DO NOT WASH YOUR FERTILIZED HATCHING EGGS. Eggs have a protective coating on them. Washing or scraping off dirt can disturb the coating, allowing bacteria to enter the egg. This can kill the chick. They may not look pretty with dirt on them, but leave them alone : )
The best hatch rate is achieved when fertile eggs are incubated within one week of the day they’re laid. Eggs can still hatch after being stored dormant for up to two weeks, but you may see a reduced hatch rate. If you’re storing your eggs, don’t leave them sitting in the same position for more than 12 hours. Turn/rotate them at least twice a day.
After your chicks hatch, leave them in the incubator until they are completely dry. See our chick care sheet for more information on caring for your newly hatched chicks.