Incubators are an essential tool for hatching eggs in a controlled environment. There are different types of incubators that cater to different needs and preferences of egg breeders.
The simplest type of incubator is the still-air incubator, which has no fan and relies on natural air currents to distribute heat and humidity. However, the lack of a fan makes the temperature uneven, and it requires frequent manual monitoring and adjustment.
For those who want a more precise incubation, forced-air incubators are a better option. These incubators have a fan that evenly distributes heat and humidity throughout the incubator, creating a more stable environment for egg hatching. They are also easier to use, with digital temperature and humidity controls and automatic egg turners.
Another type of incubator is the cabinet incubator, which can accommodate a larger number of eggs and is suitable for commercial breeding. Cabinet incubators can have different features, such as multiple temperature zones, automatic egg turning, and ventilation systems that filter out harmful bacteria and fungi.
Choosing the right type of incubator depends on the breeder's needs, budget, and preferences. Still-air incubators are simple and affordable, while forced-air and cabinet incubators offer more precise and automated incubation.
Temperature & Humidity
During incubation, it's important to maintain the right temperature and humidity levels for successful hatching. From day 1 to day 25, the recommended temperature is 37.6°C (99.7°F), with a humidity level of 50%. From day 26 to 28, the temperature should be lowered to 37.3°C (99.15°F), with a humidity level of 65%. It's essential to monitor the temperature accurately, and we recommend using an infrared thermometer to measure the shell temperature on the side of the egg. By maintaining the correct temperature and humidity levels, you can increase the chances of successful hatching and healthy chicks.
Egg turning is an essential part of the incubation process that is necessary for successful hatching. In nature, hens turn their eggs about 96 times a day, which ensures proper development and growth of the embryos. In an artificial incubation setup, it's important to mimic this process by frequently turning the eggs.
Low turning frequencies can lead to early embryo deaths and malformations, so it's crucial to use the highest available option in your incubator. Additionally, the turning angle is also essential, and it should be greater than 45 degrees. This ensures proper growth and development.
As the hatching day approaches, it's essential to stop turning the eggs two days before the poults hatch. This allows the poults to bring themselves into the perfect hatching position, which is crucial for a successful hatch. The hatching position enables the poults to break through the eggshell and emerge with minimal effort and energy expenditure.
Egg turning is a vital aspect of artificial incubation that helps ensure healthy and successful hatching. By mimicking the natural egg-turning process and stopping it at the right time, you can increase the chances of a successful hatch and healthy chicks.
Egg candling is a technique used to assess the fertility and development of eggs during incubation. Candling involves holding an egg up to a bright light source to observe the contents inside.
By candling eggs, you can detect the presence of cracks, blood rings, or other deformities, which can harm the developing embryo or prevent it from hatching. Candling also allows you to determine the fertility of the eggs by looking for the presence of a developing embryo.
During the candling process, it's important to handle the eggs with care and avoid exposing them to excessive light or heat, which can harm the developing embryo. Candling should be done in a dark room with a bright light source, such as a candling lamp or flashlight.
Candling is a crucial step in the incubation process that helps ensure healthy and successful hatching. By regularly checking the eggs' development, you can identify and address any issues that may arise, increasing the chances of a successful hatch and healthy chicks. It is recommended to candle the eggs on day 7 and 21 of incubation.