Hatching poultry eggs is an interesting experiment especially for kids, and it can also be a source of livelihood. Whichever category you are in, here are some ideas you may consider when hatching poultry eggs.
- Choose your incubator. If you are going to hatch poultry eggs for business, then you need to invest in good incubators. There are two major types of incubators: still air and forced air incubators. Still air incubators have no fan, and the air inside them does not move about, but creates “layers” of air at different temperatures. The top layer has a higher temperature than the bottom layer. For forced air incubators, a fan keeps the temperature inside even at a set value.
- Decide whether you want an incubator that is manual or automatic. The eggs need to be turned from time to time so that the chick will not stick on the eggshell. For a manual incubator, do the egg turning three times a day. This means you have to be reminded to come and turn the eggs during the day, every day for 18 days. An automatic incubator turns the eggs by itself for a set time interval. This is practical if you have lots of eggs to hatch and you do not have enough time to go through each of them to turn every so often. You are also minimizing the probability of dropping or damaging the eggs.
- Choose fertile eggs from good sources. Do not buy from the grocery or the market since those eggs are unfertilized. Buy fertilized eggs from a hatchery or a farm. If you are into organics, then visit an organic chicken farm, although it may be a bit more expensive.
- Set the right incubator temperature. Do not set it too hot that it will cook the eggs, and not too cool that it will just spoil the eggs and not incubate them. For a still air incubator, the temperature should be at around 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and for a forced air incubator, it should be at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Set the right humidity level. This is also important because if the air is too dry, it will also lead to unsuccessful hatching. The humidity should be at around 58% to 60% while incubating, and once it has started to hatch, adjust the humidity to 65%. For a manual incubator, place a cup of water inside to add humidity.
- Place the eggs properly in the incubator. The eggs should be positioned such that the pointed portion is at the bottom. This will give the chicks more space to grow and move.
- Once the eggs hatch, do not force the egg shell open. Leave the chicks to move and kick out the shell until they are ready to move out. Forcing the shell off might harm the chick and damage its bones and feathers. Once they have moved out completely, clean off the egg shells. You may also move the chicks to a different box.
Take care of the chicks so you can have a full grown chicken in a few months, and let them lay eggs that you will hatch later on.