Batch Incubation vs Continuous Incubation

Chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch from the time you place them in your incubator.

From Day 1 to Day 18 eggs are placed in the setter. After day 18 the eggs are transferred to the Hatcher where they remain until day 21 when they hatch.  By transferring the eggs to the hatcher you make space in the setter which can then be used to load more eggs.

There are two ways of using your incubator:

1) Batch Incubation — this is where you load a certain number of eggs and wait 21 days for them to hatch. With this method the maximum number of eggs you can load at a time is determined by your hatching space.

2) Continuous Incubation - this is where you load eggs every week in order to get chicks hatching on a weekly basis. After the first 21 days you will be getting weekly bathes of eggs hatching. Although you load less at a time you can get much higher
production because you will be using your space optimally in the incubator.

When you load eggs once a week you will get 4 hatches every month. This means that you can hatch and sell chicks on a weekly basis, making it ideal if you are planning on running a hatchery business.

Here is how it works: 
Choose what day you want to sell your chicks to customers. This will then be the day at which you must load eggs. In the example below we will assume that you want to sell your chicks on a Friday.
Load every Friday afternoon to hatch every Friday morning. 
You load up to 1/3 (One third) of your SETTING (Incubation Egg Trays) capacity per week.
You will therefore get a weekly hatch of 1/3 of your setting capacity (at 100% hatch rate).
There are 54 Fridays in a year. Some months have 4 Fridays and some months has 5 Fridays. The main thing is that you will get a hatch every Friday.
This is the easiest and simplest way to run a hatchery. You can inform your customers to collect their chicks on the same day every week.
With the above weekly hatching schedule you can also maximize the return on investment on your incubator. All our combo incubators have enough hatching space to accomodate 1/3 of the setter.
Finally - from a productivity point of the there is one last very important concept to understand...
Although eggs take 21 days to hatch, the beauty of the weekly loading cycle is that after the first 3 weeks you have essentially placed your hatchery in a cycle where eggs take only 7 days to hatch...this is the magic of continuous incubation! Simply load 1/3 of your setting capacity and the let mother nature work in your favor!

Below is a table showing the monthly production of each of our incubators when eggs are  loaded on a weekly basis.


Loading and hatching eggs
7 days (Weekly)
(You will get 4 hatches per month)
Eggs loaded per week
Monthly Production of Chicks
(100% Hatch Rate)
Incubator Model
60 Eggs
240 Chicks per month
60 Eggs
240 Chicks per month
90 Eggs
360 Chicks per month
120 Eggs
480 Chicks per month
160 Eggs
640 Chicks per month
240 Eggs
960 Chicks per month
360 Eggs
1440 Chicks per month