How to Give an Egg Heat Without an Incubator

Updated November 21, 2016

The key to successful hatching is providing consistent heat to the egg. In case of an emergency, it might be necessary to give an egg heat without an incubator. There are five methods that can take orphaned eggs the 21 days from fertilisation to hatch. Caring for an orphaned egg can be tedious and time-consuming, but the beautiful chick that arrives is well worth all the hard work.

Place an egg underneath or slightly near a hen inside the nest.

The hen will instinctively roll eggs in her nest under her body.

Eggs will receive heat naturally and then the hens adopt the hatchling.

Place a medium-sized towel in a cardboard shoebox.

Set the egg in the middle of the towel. Fold the towel around the egg.

Place a desk lamp with a 40-watt bulb next to the box. Plug in and turn the lamp on. Leave lamp on 12 to 16 hours daily.

Place a heating pad on a heat-resistant surface.

Turn the heating pad to the lowest setting.

Place the egg in the centre of the heating pad.

Fill a tube sock with rice. Tie the end with a piece of string to hold rice in the sock.

Place rice-filled sock in the microwave. Heat the sock on a medium setting for one minute.

Set egg on a saucer. Wrap sock around egg. Repeat when sock cools to room temperature.

Open the disposable hand warmer package and activate the hand warmer. Set the hand warmer on a saucer.

Set the egg in the centre of the hand warmer.

Repeat with a second hand warmer set on top of the egg. Change hand warmers every 10 to 12 hours.


Mist the egg daily with a small amount of room temperature tap water. Rotate egg 7.22 degrees C every 12 hours.


Check any lamp used for providing heat to an egg on a regular basis to make certain the area is not too hot.

Things You'll Need

  • Brooding hen sitting on a nest of eggs
  • Medium-sized towel
  • Cardboard shoebox
  • Small desk lamp
  • 40-watt bulb
  • Heating pad
  • Heat-resistant surface
  • Tube sock
  • Rice
  • Piece of string
  • Microwave
  • Disposable hand warmers
  • Saucer
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