Incubation 101: How To Find The Right Environment

Incubation 101: How To Find The Right Environment

While chickens are great at hatching eggs naturally, there's no better option than an incubator machine.

It gives the user a sufficient amount of control over their eggs and their hatch rate. Because of this, it's important to utilize your incubator machine to receive the best results.

We've created this post with the intention of helping you incubate your eggs correctly. Incubation is a trial and error process that can lead to issues if you're not careful. You'll know how to professionally and securely incubate and store your eggs by the end of this article.

Preparing To Use An Incubator

Since your incubator is in charge of hatching your eggs, you'll want to take serious care of it. To prepare it for usage, thoroughly clean and disinfect the interior of the machine. You'll also want to keep your incubator out of areas of direct sunlight as it can ruin the final result of your eggs.

Different disinfectants.

Tip: Run your incubator machine for a week before placing eggs inside of them. This allows you to see what goes on inside your incubator and gives you the time needed to make adjustments.

Temperature Settings

The temperature for your chicken is another important factor of egg hatching. Temperature and humidity can make a huge difference between a failed hatch or a successful one. We suggest getting a thermometer and a hygrometer to help keep track of your temperature and humidity.

You'll want an incubator with a temperature setting of 37.2°C. Outside environmental factors can tamper with your incubator's temperature. So it's best to keep the incubator stored inside at a stable temperature setting to ensure that your eggs will hatch.

Humidity Control

One of the most important aspects of egg hatching is humidity. Low humidity levels pull moisture away from the egg, making it harder for them to hatch. This will lead to reduced hatch rates and fewer eggs for you to use throughout the season.

Most incubator machines have an additional water tray that provides a sufficient amount of humidity. We recommend searching for incubators with this added accessory; it will help your eggs hatch faster and make it easier to control low humidity levels.

Also, there are additional methods to use if your humidity levels are too low. For instance, you can add a clean sponge to a water tray. This allows more moisture to be absorbed and increases the surface area of the incubator. As long as your sponge can rise above the water, it can be used to reduce the humidity levels of your incubator.

What If My Humidity Setting Is Too High?

Areas with high humidity can be dangerous for your eggs. The chicks can drown inside of the eggshell; which leads to a reduction of successful hatches. That's why it's important to maintain the appropriate humidity settings during the hatching period.

Humidity option on incubator settings.

If you need a quick way to control the humidity, open up the incubator and take out the excess moisture. Then, use a container of rice to remove any additional moisture from the eggs. You'll start to see results within minutes and notice a change in the egg's color and their hatch rate.

Once you have the humidity at the desired level, add water only when it's needed. If your incubator water tray doesn't work, then use a small cup of water that you can replace and remove as desired. This ensures that you'll keep your humidity at an acceptable level and help the eggs hatch even faster.

Different Poultry Types

There are four different types of poultry. Each of them is either found by hunters, raised in farms or kept free in the wild.

Domestic Land Fowl

The category is used for domesticated birds that are used in various farm settings. The turkey is used for various Thanksgiving and dining purposes. Also, chickens are used in all commercial poultries and farms worldwide.

Domestic Water Fowl

Birds that fall under this category are known for their waterborne abilities. The most popular water fowl is the duck. Duck spend up to 60% of their entire lives swimming and are usually used as cuisines for restaurants.

Game Birds

Game birds are undomesticated birds that are often hunted for sport.

As its name suggests, they are usually hunted down because they are a nutrient source of food.

Wild duck, wild geese, and wild turkey are examples of birds in this category.

Wild duck hatching in an incubator.

One thing that differentiates them from other birds is their intense smell. Because game birds live in wildlife condition, they tend to have a bitter taste.

Other Poultry

Some birds don't fit any of the previous categories. They are known as squabs, mainly when they are used for eating purposes. Birds such as the ostrich, emu, and the dove all fall within this category.

Selecting The Right Eggs

When it comes to the right chicken eggs that you want to incubate, you should choose eggs from your healthiest and strongest birds. Choosing low-quality eggs that have been around for a week will dramatically reduce the chance of you hatching your eggs.

Choose eggs that are near-perfect in texture, shape, and size. Avoid eggs that are too large or too small because they are harder to hatch. Also, you need to remove eggs that have lumps, thin shells, and bumps on its surface.

Turning Your Eggs

Some incubating machines come with a feature that turns the eggs every two hours. If your incubator doesn't have this feature, then you should turn your eggs at least five times a day. This ensures that your eggs will remain clean and healthy by the end of the hatching process.

Turning your eggs in an incubator.

Closing Thoughts

Remember, you need to understand the importance of hatching eggs. While buying a good incubator is the first thing to do. You'll need to do more than just that. Incubating chicken eggs requires a great deal of maintenance, care, and trial-and-error for your eggs to hatch properly.

Do you have any experiencing hatching chicken eggs?

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