It is true that nowadays, hatching chicken eggs is becoming a noble experience to most of the people. Many beginners are purchasing incubators because of their affordability over some years.
Some of the standard manufacturers of these incubators include Brinsea and R-COM incubators. The incubators are capable of accommodating about 20-25 eggs of chicken, which is suitable for the beginners to start hatching their eggs.
Therefore in this article, I am going to discuss some of the necessary steps required for you to hatch your chicken eggs properly. Make sure you go through this article slowly by slowly getting clear information. Let us look below.
Steps on how to hatch eggs
1. Choosing the incubator
This is the first step for hatching your chicken eggs. Usually, there are two main types of incubators to choose from, i.e., forced air and still air. The main difference between the two incubators is that the forced air incubator has a fan, which is useful in circulating the air within. Its temperature has to remain the same when measured throughout.
The still air incubator, on the other hand, consists of a gradient temperature inside, which determines the extent through the air rises inside. For the beginner, the forced air incubator is the top pick for you if you want to increase the size of your flocks.
Once you select the type of incubator for use, you can use the tips below for the proper incubation of eggs.
- Make sure that you sterilize the eggs with a disinfectant before putting them into the incubator. You can also use warmed water and soap in the absence of the disinfectant. This is very vital since it helps in killing all the bacteria, which could otherwise multiply quickly in the warm temperature within the incubator.
- Always ensure to keep the reservoirs of water topped up so that to maintain adequate humidity every time.
- It is good to candle the eggs without placing them into the incubator first. After candling, it is good to remove all the damaged and cracked eggs since they cannot hatch completely.
- Last but not least, remember to plug your incubator while ensuring that the temperature is at a steady of 37.5 degrees Celsius.
2. Identify the eggs to incubate
Avoid incubating the eggs that are ten years older, but the seven years older eggs are the best in for incubating. In case you have many eggs that you are not sure of them, you can put them in water and carry an egg float test. Similarly, if you want to save them for a few days before incubation, make sure that you put them at room temperature.
Also, never refrigerate your eggs. Note that the sooner you collect the eggs, the better. In case they are too cold for some hours, no problem. You can bring them back to the room temperature before you begin the process of hatching them. You can also candle them before placing them into the incubator to ensure that no cracks on them.
3. Make sure you maintain the temperature between 990C-99.50C for forced air incubator and 1000C-1020C for still air incubator
It is good to ensure that you are maintaining the temperature inside the incubator is 99.5 degrees Celsius. Therefore, since it is not possible to take the temperature on the eggs, it is advisable to maintain a higher temperature from external. Remember to keep the temperature range between 100 to 102 degrees Celsius if possible.
4. Maintain the humidity in day 1-18 at 40-50% and then increase up to 50-60% between day 18 to 21
Humidity is an essential factor to consider, especially during the last days of incubation. When the humidity is very low, the chicks become at a high risk of getting shrink-wrapped, which makes it difficult to break the eggs. Therefore, you can place the thermometer in your incubator to measure the humidity and thermometer.
5. Keep on turning your eggs at least three times every day starting from day 1-18
For the proper development of the embryo, it is advisable to turn the eggs every day in an odd number. Naturally, the hen turns the eggs regularly. However, you should not turn the eggs, especially after day 18. That is the time your chick orient in preparation to break its shell for hatching. Furthermore, if you want to help your chick hatch well, do not open the incubator carelessly unless it is necessary.
6. Make sure that you candle your eggs from day 7
In case you have very dark eggs, it will be crucial to wait up to day ten which means that you will be required to candle them at a given point. But the question is, what is candling? In short, candling eggs means looking at the inner part of an egg by shinning some light through them. The expectation of candling is to check whether you can see a vein and the movement of the chick in the womb.
If, by chance in day 10, you observe yolk, then it merely indicates that the egg was not fertile enough or, at the same time, the embryo had not yet developed well. The eggs that do not develop properly can be eradicated.
7. Move your chicks to the brooder immediately they are born
Now that your chicks are born, you can allow them on the incubator for three days. Anytime you put them onto the brooder, you should ensure that the temperature of the brooder is 95 degrees Celsius. However, the weather should not be too hot, which might overheat the chicks. Sometimes, it may be hectic to regulate the temperature of the newborn chicks, but you can place the thermometer inside the brooder.
8. Provide the chick with a probiotic in their water
Many people think that probiotic is a useless trend of dealing with your chicks until you prove it. In case you experience regular deaths with your chicks, you can try giving them probiotic using a recommended dose by adding to their water.
Usually, this probiotic is very crucial because it helps in establishing good flora as well, enabling the chicks poop perfectly. Besides, it allows them to avoid butt pasty, which may kill all the newborn instantly. If in case you are off-grid, you don’t need to worry as long as you maintain the temperature of your incubator.
Additionally, you should ensure that the kind of incubator that you are using is capable of maintaining the required temperature. In case you want to improve on the quality of the entire chicken to hatch, you can provide the female chicks with the supplement of calcium, such as the shells of crushed eggs or even oyster shells. The addition of calcium is very crucial because it helps in strengthening of the shells.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I set the temperature in the incubator?
Good question, indeed. Usually, setting the perfect temperature in the incubator is one of the most crucial steps you can do for better hatching. However, the process of developing this temperature may be a bit complicated. Once you plug in the incubator and turn it on, waiting for the stabilization of the weather, it is good to have a proper understanding of the changes in temperature.
First, you should note that the more number of eggs in the incubator, the more time your incubator takes to stabilize its temperature. As the weather tends to be near to the set point, the rate at which the temperature changes starts to slow down. At this point, the entire incubator begins to heat up very quickly at the beginning for some time.
Therefore, it means that the incubator will take some time to stabilize the temperature, which requires some little bit of patience. Besides, it indicates that any adjustment you make takes some time before stabilizing. Notably, it is good to remember that the more number of eggs you have in your incubator, the longer time it takes to stabilize so that to reach the set point.
- Does one need a fan kit in the incubator?
Of course, it depends. Sometimes it is good to add a fan kit to the still incubator to increase the rate of hatching. In the still air incubator, the air rises naturally. It becomes warm as it gets near the heating element, thus causing some places cooler in the incubator, especially those of the corners. In these areas, the eggs tend to become cooler than those that surround them and may take some time to hatch.
Besides, a still air incubator is suitable, especially for those people who do not care about the rate of hatching or even incubating the eggs, which can do well with the still air incubator.
Are you now comfortable with how to hatch your chicken eggs? Of course, you are. I hope the article has provided enough information that will enable you to carry the hatching process effectively. However, it is good to put in mind the required temperature and humidity to avoid causing any harm to your chicks while in the incubator.