Modern poultry farmers are using incubators to hatch chicks. It is more convenient than the natural hatching method because you can hatch up to 200 eggs in one cycle.
The article details the pros and cons of using incubators and explains how to use an incubator.
Many farmers, especially large-scale poultry farmers, would prefer hatching the eggs themselves rather than putting them in the house where they are at risk.
Despite encouraging them to buy hatching machines, some need to learn how to use incubators. This is an explanation of how to use an incubator.
The Incubator has essential features that help it in its performance. They include:
Inspection windows: Two inspection windows help the user follow all the stages of incubation from the outside.
Tilting tray: A tray where the eggs to be incubated are placed. The oscillation of this tray is adjusted by the egg turning the key.
Alveolus system: This system helps to hold all sizes of eggs.
Hatching grid: It is an important accessory in the incubator that helps the eggs to hatch in the last incubation phase.
Vents: The external outlets that help to fill the water tray without necessarily opening it.
Digital display- An easy-to-use digital display installed to enable the user to adjust the temperature ranges.
Steps to Follow When Using an Incubator for Hatching
The ease of use of the hatching machine is a factor that affects the incubator price. Most incubators are easy to use, but there are steps followed. They include:
Clean the Incubator
One has to carefully clean the Incubator to prevent diseases from affecting the chicks. One cleans the Incubator by wiping off debris on all parts of the machine.
Place the Machine in an Ideal Environment
An environment with little to no temperature is ideal for the hatching machine to perform properly. The room should have 70 to 75 Fahrenheit. The machine should be placed near a window or a ventilation hole.
Plug the Incubator into an electric outlet
Connect the incubator cord to an electric outlet and ensure it works and receives electric currents efficiently.
Adjust the Machines temperature
Calibrate the temperature of the hatching machine to an appropriate temperature. Temperature is an essential factor to consider when incubating eggs.
Place Eggs in the Incubator
Carefully arrange the eggs in the Incubator and ensure that the embryo can break through the shell when hatching. Also, keep the eggs from the edges or near the heat source.
Keep a record of the day you have placed the eggs in the Incubator.
Adjust the Humidity of the Incubator
Before the last three days of incubation, the humidity should be 45 to 50% and rise to 65% in the last three days.
To maintain this humidity add warm water.
Ensure Enough Ventilation
Make sure there’s enough airflow in the Incubator. This is important for the growth and development of the chicks. This includes ensuring the eggs are evenly spaced and changing the eggs’ position during the incubation period.
After hatching the eggs clean the Incubator to prevent germs and bacteria from hosting.
Advantages of Using Incubators
- There is limited breakage of eggs.
- Constant temperature and humidity are maintained throughout the incubation period.
- The hatching rate is higher than the natural hatching method.
- There is no damage to eggs by the parent hen.
- One can incubate up to 200 eggs within a short while.
- Parasites and diseases are highly controlled in the artificial incubation process.
- No special season for hatching; it can be done any time.
Disadvantages of Using Incubators
- A lot of labor is needed since there is a lot of egg turning.
- Buying an egg incubator is expensive.
- Only skilled personnel can use the Incubator.
Instead of relying on the natural process to hatch eggs, artificial hatching has many advantages, and farmers should consider using this method.