What is The Best Room Temperature for an Incubator? (Must know!)

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What is The Best Room Temperature for an Incubator

When it comes to rearing chicks, setting up an incubator is an essential requirement because it ensures that the eggs’ embryo develops into healthy chicks. However, choosing the right temperature for your incubator can be a challenging task as it directly impacts chick development.

So, what is the best room temperature for an incubator? Generally, a room temperature for an incubator of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21.11 to 26.66 Celsius) is ideal, and fresh air without drafts is essential, according to the University of Illinois Extension. For optimal results, the location of the egg incubator is critical for a successful procedure. Generally, it is recommended to choose a well-ventilated basement room without direct sunlight striking the incubator. 

And remember that the wrong temperature setting can lead to unhealthy chicks or even failure to hatch at all. Read on to explore the temperature ranges that work best for different types of incubation, along with tips on how to ensure that your incubator stays at the right temperature throughout the incubation process. You might also enjoy reading: 19 Worst States for Off-Grid Living (And Why!)

Best Temperature For an Incubator

According to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the incubator temperature should be 100 to 102°Faherenheit (37.8 to 38.9 Celcius). Remember that a temperature of 103°F (39.44 Celcius) and over will generally kill embryos.

If you use a thermometer, it is recommended to put it in the middle of the incubator and close the eggs on the screen (do not place it under the screen or at the sides of the incubator). 

As discussed earlier, the incubator location is essential; I suggest you keep your incubator out of drafts and direct sunlight. 

The ideal room temperature is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21.11 to 26.66 Celsius). I suggest you experiment with different temperature ranges. Also, before trying to hatch large or expensive eggs, I recommend you test with a small number of inexpensive eggs to ensure your operating procedure and the performance of the incubator are optimal. 

You can try a couple of thermometers and take the average. Also, remember that the incubator temperature must remain stable, and more importantly, do not make adjustments during incubation.

Temperature Ranges That Work Best for Different Types of Incubation

It is crucial to understand that incubators create an environment that mimics the hen’s natural conditions. Generally, the ideal temperature range is between 37.5 ˚C to 38.5 ˚C (99.5 ˚F to 101.3 ˚F). However, the temperature may vary slightly depending on the type of bird you are hatching.

Turkeys and ducks require a slightly lower temperature range of between 37.2 ˚C to 38.3 ˚C (99 ˚F to 101 ˚F), while quails require a higher temperature range of between 37.8 ˚C to 39 ˚C (100 ˚F to 103 ˚F).

Temperature for Manually Turned Eggs Laying on Wire Floor: Do not use the temperature below if you are using an automatic turner.

Type Of EggsTemperature in Fahrenheit Temperature in Celcius
Chicken Eggs100.5 °F38.055 °C
Goose and Other Large Eggs100.5 °F38.055 °C
Quail Eggs100.5 °F38.055 °C
Bantam and Pheasant Size Eggs100 °F37.77 °C
The table contains temperature ranges for manually turned eggs laying on wire floor (Source: University of Illinois Extension)

Temperature for Eggs in Automatic Turner

Type of EggsRecommended Temperature Range in SummerRecommended Temperature Range in Winter
Chicken Eggs97 °F (36.11 °C)96 °F (35.55 °C)
Duck Eggs95 °F (35 °C)94 °F (34.44 °C)
Quail Eggs99 °F (37.22 °C)98 °F (36.66 °C)
Bantam and Pheasant Size Eggs98 °F (36.66 °C)97 °F (36.11 °C)
Other Large Eggs97 °F (36.11 °C)96 °F (35.55 °C)
The table shows temperature ranges for eggs in an automatic turner incubator (Source: the University of Illinois Extension)

In general, the best temperature for an incubator is the temperature that will enable the eggs you are incubating to grow and develop as quickly and efficiently as possible. One important thing to note is that temperatures that are too high or too low can have a detrimental effect on your incubation results.

Temperatures that are too high can cause the organism to overheat and die, while temperatures that are too low can cause developmental delays or even prevent growth altogether. It is important to be precise and consistent with temperature control in order to achieve the best results.

Maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the incubation process is important as well. Temperature fluctuations can be detrimental to your results, so be sure to select an incubator that has good insulation and accurate temperature control. I also encourage you to regularly check the temperature of your incubator to ensure that it is in the correct range.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the optimal temperature for an incubator may vary depending on other factors, such as humidity and oxygen levels. For example, some types of eggs may require higher humidity levels for optimal growth, which can affect the ideal temperature range. Be sure to take these factors into account when determining the best temperature for your incubator.

It’s also essential to understand that temperature fluctuations may occur even in the best incubators. Therefore, maintaining the right temperature and humidity is crucial for the best results. Check that your incubator is calibrated and functioning as per the manufacturer’s specifications. Consider purchasing a digital thermometer for a more accurate reading.

Humidity Level

Humidity should be around 43 to 44% during the 21-day cycle in the incubator. Also, remember to keep half the water troughs full at all times. When adding water, it is recommended to use warm water to help maintain the temperature steady inside the incubator.

Without proper humidity, the shell and shell membrane will generally dry out and become rigid for the chicks to break through when it is time to hatch.

Too much humidity (typically over 45%) may create developmental problems. Do not place anything in the incubator, including sponges, to help absorb humidity. Avoid pouring water directly on the eggs when adding warm water to the incubator. Eggs should not be placed in direct contact with water.

The optimal humidity range is between 43 to 44%, and it should increase as the incubation period extends. A higher humidity range helps prevent the chick’s shell from drying up and aids in hatching.

The incubation period lasts around 21 days, and it is essential to monitor the eggs’ progress during this time. Consistent temperature and humidity levels are vital to ensure that the eggs develop correctly.

Candling is a popular method to check whether the eggs are developing correctly. It involves directing a light source onto the egg to determine the embryo’s progress. If the embryo’s veins and air pocket are visible and viable, it’s an indication that the incubation process is proceeding well.

In other words, candling detects blood spots, bloody whites, or meat spots and allows observation of germ development. It is generally recommended to do dandling in a darkened room (Source: University of Illinois Extension)

Proven Tips For Incubating Eggs

  • Properly wash your hands before and after touching and handling the eggs.
  • Keep track of the room and incubator temperature twice daily: morning and evening.
    • On weekends, you can turn the eggs only once per day.
  • Mist the eggs: you can also add warm water to the dish to keep humidity levels within range daily.
  • On days 7, 14, and 18, it is suggested to candle the eggs to view the embryo’s development (Source: Virginia State University)
  • On day 18, you should stop turning the eggs.
  • From day 18 until the hatch, I recommend you keep the humidity between 65 and 70%.
  • On day 20, cover the water dish with cheesecloth to prevent the shell and down from falling into the water during the hatch.
  • On day 20, I encourage you to prepare the brooder for the chicks.
    • Add paper towels or shavings to the bottom to help protect the chicks’ weak legs.
    • Add a jar lid, a small dish, or even a tiny tuna can with marbles for water.
    • Have a dish for food ready for the chicks.
    • Add a thermometer with a brooder temperature of around 95°F (35°C)

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Wrapping Up

Setting up and maintaining an ideal temperature range for your incubator is crucial to ensure healthy chicks. I encourage you to monitor the temperature and humidity levels consistently and ensure that your incubator is in good working condition.

I believe that following the tips shared in this post will guarantee you a successful incubation process. And always remember that finding the perfect temperature for your incubator is crucial for achieving high-quality results.


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the person behind Off The Grid Planet. Off The Grid Planet is about off-grid living, homesteading, and self-sufficiency: learning self-reliance, sustainable homes, gardening, survival, preparedness, and renewable energy and inspire you to live a simple life. I do my best to bring you the most correct, up-to-date, and comprehensive information on these topics.

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