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How To Incubate Hatching Eggs

Mar 2, 2008
When attempting to begin hatching eggs using the incubation method, it is necessary to first be certain you have attained the highest quality eggs available. Some tips to consider when gathering the eggs desired for incubating are as follows:

- avoid eggs that are either extremely large or small
- misshappen eggs should not be used
- check for thin or cracked shells, as these should be avoided as well.
- try to keep the eggs varied and non-related (sister, brother, etc.)
- do not wipe or rub on the eggs before incubation, this causes germs to be forced into the shell through the pores.
- choose the cleanest eggs available

Once you have taken the advice listed above, you are ready to begin readying your eggs for the incubation period. Since the embryo is beginning to develop at an early stage, proper care is necessary and important. Gathering your eggs on a regular daily basis is advised, beginning with three times daily unless the outside temperatures rise above 85 degrees. If this occurs, gathering the eggs should be done at least five times daily.

Choosing the best incubator is an imperative step in caring for the eggs, and knowing the basic types will aid you in your choice. The two most common types of incubators are still air and forced air. The smaller of the two is the still air incubator and it has no fan for air circulation. An entry base allows for cool fresh air to come in once the natural rise and escape warmed air process is completed. The larger and more popular incubator is the forced air style that includes a fan to circulate the air inside. These can vary in size from large to industrial and the proper temperatures for the best hatching conditions vary between the two models.

When using the forced air incubator the recommended temperature is 100 degrees F . If this temperature is not followed or rises and lowers during the incubation period, chances are the eggs will be ruined and will not hatch. The improper temperature is the most common cause of poor hatching. The other common reasons are poor sanitation, lack of proper ventilation and neglectful egg turning.

The still air incubator requires an internal temperature of 102 degrees F for good hatching conditions. Because this temperature is higher, it necessitates frequent temperature checks, and the use of the best quality thermometers. The control of the humidity is important during the incubation process, and is an extremely important factor in the eggs development. Should the humidity be too high or too low, proper formation of the shell and thus the embryo is not possible and will also result in poor hatching.

Along with the temperature being an important factor, is the oxygen supply. Proper amounts of oxygen for the embryo's growth and development is necessary as well as turning of the eggs. A good oxygen flow should be made available, especially in still air incubators without it affecting the temperature. Following this is the turning habits. In the still air incubator, this is done manually and requires a steady and gentle hand and is necessary four to six times a day. In a forced air incubator, this is done automatically, but still requires monitoring.
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