For a chick to hatch, the eggs must be placed in a warm environment-friendly place. Poultry farming has been improving in recent years due to the introduction of different mechanisms for raring poultry, and one of them is egg incubators. This article will teach how eggs are hatched using an incubator.
Egg incubators are simple to use and very advantageous in poultry farming. Incubators make it easy for chicks to hatch without depending on the chicken. The incubator can be a room or even an object that meets the specifications of proper egg incubation.
Types of incubators
1. Forced air incubator
The forced air incubator is the most commonly used incubator by most farmers. The incubator uses a fan to spread warm air throughout the incubator. The main reason warm air is distributed evenly is to let a more significant number of eggs hatch simultaneously.
2. Still air incubator
Unlike the forced air incubator, the still air incubator doesn’t have air holes. The still-air incubators are problematic since they require specific and accurate temperatures for egg incubation. Since the air will not circulate in this incubator, it is necessary to place the eggs correctly. The setting of this incubator is quite different, for it requires (103 degrees Fahrenheit)
3. Convectional incubator
This type of egg incubator makes use of convection for its functionality. The incubator depends on ventilation holes around the incubator. These holes’ primary role is to circulate warm air in the incubator properly. The warm air typically rises from the cold air from the holes at the bottom of the incubator providing the eggs with a warm area.
Factors to consider when purchasing or setting up an incubator
The airflow inside the incubator
For an embryo to develop, it needs oxygen. The chicks that hatch from the eggs are living organisms; therefore, they respirate. They produce carbon(iv) oxide in exchange for oxygen. An eggs incubator has to have good airflow for the proper condition of the chicks and to ensure maximum hatching of the eggs.
Easy cleaning of the incubator
An incubator should be easy to clean. When the chicks hatch, they are moved to a different environment to allow other eggs to be placed in the incubator.
Ability to monitor the incubator.
Some models of incubators have transparent and clear observation window covers. This enables the farmer to observe and keep track of the hatching process of the eggs without having to open the incubator. Opening the incubator may interrupt the conditions inside.
Temperature regulation of the incubator.
Temperature control is an essential condition in the hatching process. Due to the critical changes in weather, the temperature inside the incubator must be regulated and keenly observed. Usually, It’s recommended to run the incubator for 24 – 48 hours before placing the eggs to ensure proper conditions for hatching them.
Advantages of using an incubator
- A large number of chicks are hatched at the same time.
- Unlike using a hen, you can plan for the eggs and calculate the number of days they will take before they hatch.
- Artificial incubation prevents the spread of parasites inside the incubator, and there is no cost of feeding a hen for the incubator is used.
- The chances of spoilt eggs are minimized because the conditions in the incubator are carefully monitored.
- There are zero chances of eggs being damaged compared to using a hen. The hen may peck the eggs and damage the eggs.
Disadvantages of using an incubator.
- The egg incubator requires labour, such as egg turning.
- The incubator requires power to work. Most rural areas don’t have electricity, making it challenging to use the incubator without a power source.
- Lastly, there may be a high risk of damaging the embryo during egg turning.
Incubators have positively impacted and changed poultry farming. Poultry farmers are highly recommended to use incubators to maximize the hatching of chicks and boost their agriculture.