Monday, July 4News That Matters

Beginner’s Guide to Egg Incubation

Modern chickens especially those that are genetically developed hybrids are not good at mothering. Some modern breeds are not even broody (not sitting to incubate), therefore human intervention is required to continue the cycle and to maintain the flock.

Hatching eggs using either commercial or homemade incubators is sometimes challenging for those who want to incubate eggs for the first time. This guide is created to give you the best result possible when incubating your own chicken eggs.

Having Your First Incubator

If you have a budget and prefer to buy an incubator, we suggest you buy an incubator from reliable sources like Shopee and Lazada as they have a return warranty when everything goes out of hand. But if you know someone who manufactures an incubator then you can order one.

If, however, you prefer to make your own incubator, these YouTube videos are highly recommended.

Temperature

The incubator’s inside temperature is the most delicate part and should be accurate. Although the standard parameters based on many sources say that it should be 37 to 39 degrees celsius, our personal recommendation is 37 to 38 degrees celsius. This is to make sure overheating can be avoided. One of the main reasons why eggs fail to hatch is due to overheating especially during hot weather.

Candling

Candling is the process of checking whether the egg is fertile or not. It is recommended to candle the eggs on the 7th day to make sure live embryos are already developed. If you are excited enough you may also candle eggs until the 21st day or the hatch day.

On the 20th day, transfer all eggs into a hatcher or a carton box. This is to make sure chicks will be taken care of properly after they hatch. If left alone inside the incubator, they may fall.

Taking care of the chicks

It is recommended to put the chicks into the brooder until 2 months. Many people are removing the chicks from the brooder after a month. This is not recommended especially if the chicks are not vaccinated. Transferring them directly to a pen with ground flooring can be dangerous as they may get infected by many bacteria present on the ground. Therefore, it is really recommended to vaccinate the chicks from day one. Here is the vaccination guide.

Feeding

Chicks should be given chick booster mash on the first day until the 5th day but if chick booster mash is not available, starter feeds can be given. Here is the feeding guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperature inside the incubator should be?
We recommend 37 to 38 degrees celsius.

What is the humidity should be?
The ideal humidity level for hatching eggs is still being debated among experts, but many agree that it should not fall below 25% or above 60% between setting and three days prior to hatching. During the last three days (the “lock-down” period), the humidity level should be increased to between 70-80%.

Some eggs are wet due to chicken poop. Will they hatch?
Eggs that have been exposed to water or chicken poop can be hatched provided the exposure is not long. If the eggs are wet, clean, and wipe them thoroughly using a dry cloth.

Should I put water inside the incubator? What is its purpose?
Yes. Water is important to maintain humidity. Without water, the shell will be hard to break during hatch day and could result in fatality or chicks’ failure to come out from the shell.

What if there is no development after 7 days?
If there is no development inside the egg after 7 days it means the egg is not fertile.

What is the typical hatch rate among eggs?
Study says human success rates for incubating eggs using incubators is about 80% while hens are at 90%

The chick is having difficulty coming out of its shell. Should I help it and break the shell?
You should never help a chick to come out of its shell. The inside portion of the shell is a web of live arteries connected to its umbilical cord. If you touch any of these arteries, it could result in hemorrhage that could kill the chick. You should give the chick time to come out on its own. There are many possible results if you intervene and most of these are disabilities.

Why there are so many infertile eggs?
With or without a rooster, hens develop eggs. Those infertile eggs mean a rooster. The study says hens lay infertile eggs at the rate of 15% to 30% even with the rooster all the time.

See Also:

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.