Egg turning is one of the most important parts of incubation. It must be done to ensure the embryo develops properly and does not stick to one side of the egg. Egg turning can either be done by hand or by using a machine.
Which method is better generally comes down to how involved you want to be in the incubation process. To make you understand what egg turning really involves, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of manual and machine turning.
Egg turning involves picking an egg up, flipping it over so the other side faces up and then putting it back in the incubator. Egg turning prevents the embryo from sticking to the side of the egg and should be done a minimum of twice a day.
The main benefit of turning eggs by hand is the satisfaction that comes from doing it yourself. Some people really enjoy being heavily involved with the incubation and raising of baby chicks. For these turning the eggs yourself gives you that responsibility and involvement.
Egg turning is time-consuming so if you have another full-time job, it is probably not for you. Eggs need to be turned at least twice a day, but more times per day is preferable. A great trick some people use is to mark opposite sides of the eggs with an X and O. Doing this ensures that you don’t miss turning an egg or forget to turn them during the day.
Automatic egg turning
It is quite common for incubators to come with a built-in egg turner. The egg turner will turn the eggs for you multiple times a day so you don’t have to worry or even touch the eggs yourself. Automatic egg turners are perfect for those who don’t have the time to be completely involved with the incubation process or just don’t feel like having that responsibility.
Automatic egg turners also have the benefit that the eggs are always flipped accurately and consistently leaving no room for human error. Developing embryos is a delicate process but that shouldn’t scare you if you are committed to the process for 18 days. After day 18 you can stop turning the eggs to allow the fetus to prepare for birth.
There is absolutely nothing wrong if you turn the eggs by hand or rather choose to use the built-in egg turner. It all comes down to how much time you have and your preference. If you would like to be involved, by all means, turn the eggs by hand but know that you must commit to it fully for 18 days to be successful. If you would prefer not to worry, then use the machine. Just set a reminder to turn it off on day 18 the fetus will need time to settle to prepare for hatching.