Posted 05-04-2004 at 07:51:11
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At only 5 days in, you shouldn't have harmed them. And since you have turned them at least once I'd say "no harm, no foul" just yet. The purpose of turning is so the chick doesn't stick to the side of the egg, but floats around in the middle with no significant shell contact until it gets too big.
My Mom used to hatch chickens all the time (before my time, because I just found out!) and said she would turn the eggs before starting breakfast, then again while the kids were washing the supper dishes - just twice per day. And that she had real good hatching percentages. She said the most critical was the temperature, then the humidity.
Best of luck. We want hatching pictures!
Posted 05-04-2004 at 07:49:34
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Turning is important to keep chicks from sticking to the shell and being unable to hatch. Although I've seen research from years ago about how much is enough I don't remember details anymore.
Hens I've seen setting seem like they poke them around every few hours. Our automatic turner moves them a little bit every few minutes, and I'm guessing they get turned completely over about once every two hours or so until the last few days of a hatch when you're supposed to stop turning.
I think the automatic turner is probably the best idea.