Do Chickens Have To Stay In The Incubator After Hatching?

Many people, mainly those who are considering starting a chicken farm, find the hatching process to be a fascinating and rewarding experience. When going through this process, one of the most common concerns is whether or not the chickens need to remain in the incubator once they have hatched.

There is no simple solution to this issue; rather, it is contingent on a number of different variables. In this essay, I’ll break down all the angles of this subject & provide you with a comprehensive, simple explanation. 

Factors that Determine Whether Chickens Should Stay in the Incubator

  • Temperature 

Temperature is a major consideration when deciding how long to keep hens in the incubator. In order to ensure the survival of newly hatched chickens, it is necessary to keep the incubator warm for several hours. Chilling the hens to death is possible if the air temperature is too low outside the incubator. Overheating is another risk the chickens face if the temperature rises too high. 

  • Humidity 

The incubator’s humidity is also a major factor in deciding whether or not to keep the hens there. Humidity levels in the incubator should be adjusted so that newly hatched chicks have a comfortable environment in which to dry off & fluff up. The poultry could get sick from being drenched if the humidity is too high. The birds may get too dry and unable to properly puff up if the humidity is too low. 

  • Light 

Determining whether or not hens should remain in the incubators after hatching is also dependent on the amount of light available to them. Light is essential for the development and growth of chickens. Chickens will not develop normally if the incubator’s lighting is inadequate. 

  • Ventilation 

When deciding whether or not to keep newly hatched chickens in the incubator, ventilation is also an important consideration. In order for chickens to thrive in the incubator, there should be adequate ventilation for them to get enough oxygen. The chicks may die from a lack of oxygen if the incubator does not have adequate ventilation.

Do Chickens Have To Stay In The Incubator After Hatching

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The Benefits of Keeping Chickens in the Incubator After Hatching

  • Protection from the predators

Keeping hens in the incubator after they hatch is beneficial for a number of reasons, but perhaps most importantly because it provides protection from predators. Predators like snakes, hawks, and foxes can easily get to the chicks if they are left outside the incubator. The chicks are safest and most secure inside the incubator, out of the reach of these predators. 

  • Habitable Controlled Conditions 

The ability to regulate the temperature and humidity in the incubator is just another perk of letting chicks spend their early days there. Chickens can be kept in optimal conditions by managing environmental factors like temperature, moisture, light, & ventilation. This can ensure the hens develop normally and decrease the likelihood of illness and premature death. 

  • Monitoring 

Keeping chicks in the incubator after they’ve hatched is a great way to keep tabs on their development. Keeping a close eye on the hens is the best way to detect any problems early & make sure they are strong and thriving normally. This can aid in ensuring the health and well-being of the hens and lessen the chances of illness and premature death. 

The Drawbacks of Keeping Chickens in the Incubator After Hatching

  • Space Constraints 

The restricted space in the incubator is a major barrier to keeping chickens there once they hatch. The incubator’s purpose is to maintain a constant temperature and humidity for the eggs, however, it can be too small to house the hatchlings as they grow. Chickens’ stress levels, already compromised by overcrowding, can drop even further, and the spread of disease can be accelerated. 

  • Incubator-Related Dependency 

Keeping chickens in the incubator after they hatch has the potential to make them dependent on the incubator, which is another disadvantage. Keep in mind that the hens can become too accustomed to the incubator’s controlled environment, making it more difficult for them to adjust to the outside world’s humidity and temperature levels. 

  • Increases Diseases

The risk of sickness is also increased if chicks are kept in the incubator after they have hatched. Due to the confined conditions and lack of ventilation, infections can easily spread, and the chickens’ already compromised immune systems may be further compromised by the added stress. 


A number of elements, including temperature, moisture, light, & ventilation, determine how long hens must remain in the incubator after hatching. Keeping hens in an incubator allows for better control of the environment, greater safety from predators, and closer monitoring of their development.

There are, however, downsides, such as a lack of room to grow, an overreliance on the incubator, as well as an elevated risk of disease. Whether or not to keep hens in the incubator after they have hatched is a decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis.

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