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Setting Chicken Eggs 2023, Best Days to Set Eggs | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Setting Chicken Eggs by the Moon's Sign 2023

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2023 Best Days to Set Eggs

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Here are the best days to set eggs for 2023. Setting the eggs by the Moon is an age-old practice that will produce chickens that are healthier and that mature faster. Learn more about this tradition and see how we calculate the best days to set chicken hatching eggs.

What is Setting the Eggs?

Setting the eggs is the process by which you place chicken eggs inside an incubator or under a hen. An incubator is an enclosed structure which is set to 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit with 50 to 55% humidity. It keeps eggs warm during the 21-day incubation period. When using an incubator, you set a minimum of six eggs at one time in the egg tray of the incubator.

Why Are There Best Days to Set Eggs?

According to tradition, farmers swear that there are more “fruitful” times of the month to set eggs. Chickens hatched just before a full moon (during the waxing moon phase) would be stronger and have a better chance of survival. Conversely, chicks that hatched during a waning moon would be weaker.

Rather than picking any random date to set your eggs, try setting the dates by the Moon!

2023 Best Days to Set Eggs

  • January:  3, 4, 12, 13, 30, 31
  • February: 8, 9
  • March: 7, 8, 9
  • April: 4, 5, 13, 14
  • May: 1, 2, 11, 12, 28, 29, 30
  • June:  7, 8, 26
  • July: 4, 5, 6
  • August: 1, 2, 9, 28, 29
  • September: 6, 7, 24, 25, 26
  • October: 3, 4, 23, 30.31
  • November: 1, 27, 28
  • December: 5, 24, 25

How to Calculate Dates to Set Eggs

We’ve figured out the best dates to lay eggs for this calendar year above. But if you want to know how it’s done, here’s the process: 

  • Chicks take about 21 days to hatch. 
  • Those born under a waxing Moon are healthier and mature faster. Further, those born in the fruitful signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are healthier.
  • To ensure that chicks are born during these times, “set eggs” (place eggs in an incubator or under a hen) 21 days before the desired hatching time.

EXAMPLE:

  1. The Moon is new on March 21 and full on April 6 (EDT). (See Moon phases for your area.)
  2. Between these dates, the Moon is in the sign of Cancer on March 28 through 30. (Reference The Moon’s Astrological Place calendar in The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
  3. To have chicks born on March 28, count back 21 days.
  4. Set eggs on March 7!

Read more about Raising Chickens our six-part beginner series.

2023 Almanac Club