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How to Hatch Chicken Eggs at Home Without an Incubator

By Amy Yang | Updated August 11, 2017

Santy Gibson/Demand Media

Items you will need

  • Drill

  • Plastic storage bin with lid

  • Incandescent gooseneck lamp

  • Cloth towel

  • Thermometer

  • Spray bottle

Letting a hen hatch its own chicken eggs might seem to be the most reasonable course to take. However, most hens used for laying eggs have had this motherly instinct bred out of them. Many will walk away before the chicks hatch. Building a homemade incubator with some common household items to hatch eggs is, therefore, the ideal solution for those without an incubator. Patience, time and attention to details are required for success. Eggs generally take 21 days to hatch.


Drill 3/8-inch holes in the lid of the plastic bin to provide ventilation. Drill enough holes to provide even coverage. The plastic bin needs to be big enough to allow all the eggs to lay flat as well as to contain a gooseneck incandescent lamp. If you have more eggs than can fit comfortably underneath the lamp, you will need to fit an additional lamp inside the bin to warm the additional eggs.


Lay the cloth towel down in the plastic bin.


Place the incandescent gooseneck lamp inside the bin.


Determine the distance the eggs should be from the lamp by measuring the distance at which the surface temperature of the eggs remains a steady 100 degrees F. Check the eggs' surface temperature with a thermometer daily.


Mist the eggs daily with pure water using a spray bottle. The humidity should be around 60 percent inside the bin.


Turn the eggs five times daily. Space the turnings evenly throughout the day.

References (2)

  • "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens"; Gail Damerow; 1995
  • "ABC of Poultry Raising"; J. H. Florea; 1977

Photo Credits

  • Santy Gibson/Demand Media