Easy, fool proof egg setup

A lot of issue people may experience are either egg drying out and collapsing or eggs being too wet and starting to mold, I found this method to be fool proof and I have been using it now for a little over 10 years with ZERO issue.

What will you need?

The supply list is pretty simple.

6 or 7 quarts tub similar to this http://www.sterilite.com/SelectProduct.html?id=937&ProductCategory=180&section=1 You will be able to hatch 10 to 12 egg clutches in those tubs for larger clutches or big eggs use a 12 or 15 quarts tub.

Light diffuser sheet https://www.lowes.com/pd/PLASKOLITE-Common-24-in-x-48-in-Actual-23-75-in-x-47-75-in-7-85-sq-ft-Louvered-Ceiling-Light-Panels/3280904

Perlite https://www.homedepot.com/p/Vigoro-2-cu-ft-Perlite-Soil-Amendment-100521091/205655210 or vermiculite (I prefer perlite)


Painter masking tape similar to this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Scotch-Masking-Tape-94-x-54-6-Yards/25517009


First get your tub and label it, I like to use painter masking tape to make my labels, it’s cheap and comes of easy without leaving residue. You can also write directly on the tub.

Once labeled add 4 cups of perlite (or vermiculite) in your tub followed by 1.5 cup of water.

Mix the perlite and water together.

Once done place the light diffuser (cut to the dimensions of your tub) on the top of the substrate.

Now all you need are some eggs.

Candle your eggs and discard lose slugs. If the eggs are stuck together which they usually are do not attempt to separate the eggs that have weak veins or are not fertile, this is not worth the risk (eggs that go bad and start to mold will not affect healthy eggs in the clutch)

Place your eggs on the top of the light diffuser.

Close the lid.

Place your eggs in the incubator (recommended incubation temperatures are 88/90, I personally incubate at 88) and forget about your eggs for the next 55 days at which time you can start opening your egg boxes every other day to air out your eggs.

See you in 60 days or so! :wink:

It’s now 59 days later, as you can see some condensation has now built up on the top but since it is not dripping it’s of no concern.

One hatchling has slit it’s egg so it is time to switch over to damp paper towel.

Remove the eggs and put them on the side, remove the egg crate and vermiculite, rinse your tub and place a damp piece of paper towel in the tub, this will prevent any issue in the event of an hatchling getting out of it’s egg with the yolk sac still attached.

If some eggs are on the top of others (which is the case here) now is also a good time to separate some of your eggs, at this time they are easier to separate but you still need to proceed with caution. Once separated place your eggs back in your egg box and back in the incubator.

It has now been 24 hours since switching to paper towel and separating the eggs and all but one hatchling have slit their egg.

At this point I chose to cut any egg that did not pip (remember cutting has it’s risk and if you chose to do this proceed carefully).

If you chose to cut simply cut a small triangle shape flap (do not cut a huge piece exposing the hatchling)

Put the egg tub back in the incubator…now it’s only a matter of a few days before all the hatchlings come out.

Within the next 48 hours all the hatchling are out and now setup in a communal tub on damp paper towel until they have their first shed.

Note: Here are 2 things I get ask about a lot and that I DO NOT DO: I do not use press and seal, and most importantly I do not check on my eggs and open my egg box on a daily basis, remember every time you check and open your egg box you let moisture out which is the most common problem reported by people who incubate their first clutch.

That’s it now all you need is patient to get you through the next 60 days.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have additional questions.


Great idea of step by step! I know both vermiculite and perilite work. We prefer vermiculite here. Is there a reason you prefer perilite?

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Thank you very much for sharing!


I have done it with both and it really depends on what I can find locally, I have also done this methods using sphagnum moss and coconut bedding as well.


I do pretty much the same thing but I skip the perlite. I just go with water.

Good post!


I too have often used this method, with many different species, and many substrates with success. Similar concept to some of the substrate-less comercial boxes out there. It gives the eggs high humidity, high oxygenation, and clean mold free surface. Last weeks clutch of Anthills cooked over spagnum…


That is a dream species of mine! I don’t see spagnum moss used much as a medium but that is neat!

Don’t want to hijack the thread, especially in the ball python section. PMed you.

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Thank you for that sir! Now we just need to know, are you incubating in a fridge? If so could you maybe provide a little insight to that? I’m setting up mine in the next few weeks for next year!

Not a Sir :wink: you can call me Deb or Frenchie

Yes I do incubate in a fridge which look like this dummy box in the middle of the incubator with the T-Stat probe and two thermometers, in on the top on on the bottom.

The dummy box is set like every other egg boxes except it never contains eggs.

Been using this setup for 9 years now before I was using a large cooler that I quickly outgrew.


My mistake Deb! Saw Stewart assumed male :sweat_smile: and thank you this is perfect because I was wondering if it’s ok to stack on top of each other! And heat tape runs down the center along the back of the fridge?

Yes I have the heat take running through the back.


Definitely gonna save this for when I breed next year! Thank you for this I have been trying to find detailed post like this regarding how to set up eggs


This is awesome. I have always been curious on how to go about this. You definitely made this fool proof and not so intimidating. Thanks so much!


@stewart_reptiles thanks for the detailed guide. Is purpose of the empty box in the middle to regulate/keep stable temperature? Does it serve the same purpose as water bottles that some use?

It works differently water bottles in an incubator helps in the event you lose power, this would allow you to maintain the temps in your incubator a little longer, I don’t use water bottles since in the event of power loss I have a generator.

The empty box in the middle is a dummy box it is set like all my other egg boxes however never contains eggs and this is where my thermostat probe is located. By doing this the probe is not affected by temperature variation that will occur in an egg box full of eggs. Keep in mind that during incubation especially during the last week the temps in an egg box full of eggs will rise.


@stewart_reptiles awesome! Very good and useful info indeed. Thanks again

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First off THANK YOU for the photo guide. It’s a lot more helpful to see photos along with the directions.
Now I know I cannot screw it up if I tried, ha-ha.

I did have one question;

When you air out your eggs are you wiping the water off the lid, or do you just take the lid off for a minute or two before putting it back on?

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What do you mean by air out the egg boxes?

When you leave your eggs stuck together, you dont worry about a snake puncturing a hole in another egg?