So you want to hatch chicks at home or at school, and you’re overwhelmed by the broad range of chicken egg incubators available? This is quite understandable. Backyard chicken keeping has become a big industry over the last few years, and there are a lot of options out there.
There’s only just one thing that you need to have when you’re hatching chicken eggs, and that’s a reliable chicken egg incubator. Yet there are a number of chicken egg incubators on the market, each with its own unique features. And decisions have to be made.
How big is your chicken egg incubators supposed to be?
Incubators come in all shapes and sizes, you’re unlikely to want to go down the big path, but you need to think carefully about how many eggs you’d like to hatch.
Hold these three things in mind when choosing the size of your chicken egg incubators.
- While hatching is fun and exciting, it’s going to leave you with chickens. Have you thought about what to do with them and, in particular, with any roosters that you might end up with?
- Note that not all the eggs you put in an incubator, no matter how good it is, and no matter how patient you are, will hatch. Even in the most optimal conditions, only about 80 percent is likely to be successful.
- Remember that you’re going to want to hatch more than you thought when you do it first. The hatching of chicken eggs is usually very addictive
So if you’re new to incubating, my recommendation might be to focus on a small chicken egg incubator and incorporate everything to your collection eventually, if you enjoy the thrill.
Where are you going to put your chicken egg incubators?
It’s all very well to have a big incubator-but do you have a place where you can keep it safe for the 21 or more days it takes to hatch without getting in the way of family life?
You could decide to be using a guest bedroom and a big plastic table in the backyard. What room do you have, and what type of incubator will be better suited to that room?
How much are you going to see your chicks hatch in the egg incubators?
This is especially important if you have children who want to see the chicks hatch. In reality, it’s important for everyone who wants to see the chicks hatch.
It is vital not to lift the lid of the chicken egg incubator in the last days of incubation and during the hatch, so it is important to be able to see clearly without disrupting it.
Most chicken egg incubators have a small window in the front so that you can see part of the egg. Some have a plastic lid, but it could be limited to the fan of the incubator and other functions.
How easy is it to clean the chicken egg incubators?
Another practical point, but one that is significant. It’s important that your egg incubator is kept clean. Bacteria has an unpleasant habit of penetrating through porous eggshells, which can lead to the death of chick embryos.
And believe me, the mess left behind after the hatching is significant. Dust, hollow shells, the first poops of the newly hatched chicks, the ones that shed down when they were drying out.
Make sure that whatever incubator you pick, it can at least be partially dismantled to allow deep cleaning of the non-electric parts and dry cleaning of the electrical pieces.
How do you want to calculate the temperature and humidity of the chicken egg incubator?
During incubation, there are two important issues: temperature and humidity. They need to be constant and any change, particularly high temperature and low humidity, can potentially cause embryos to perish.
So, how do you want to calculate it? Would you want to use a different thermometer and hygrometer to keep an eye on yourself? And do you want it to be digitally finished so you can put it down and forget about it?
When you can afford to get a chicken egg incubator that does this for you. Making sure the temperature and humidity levels are right is so important to a good hatch the purchasing an incubator without automatic calculation can be more costly in the long run and is definitely more stressful.
How are you going to regulate the humidity?
The humidity level should be kept at 45 percent during incubation, but it should be increased to around 65 percent or higher before hatching, depending on how high or low the humidity is in the room.
When that doesn’t happen to the membrane through which the chick needs to pip dry out, it goes hard, and before you know it, the chicken’s in deep trouble because it can’t hatch.
Would you take the risk? Will you want to know what to do? Would you want your incubator to have a manual control of the humidity, where you apply water by hand to the sponge, jar, or canal within it?
Or would you prefer an automated, digitally operated, state-of-the-art humidity pump that eliminates moisture stress, adds water to the incubator when it’s needed, and gives you a read-out so that you can test the levels as they should be?
What’s wrong with turning the eggs in the egg incubator?
If you ever have a chance to watch a hen sit on the eggs, you’ll notice that she rolls them from time to time. Instinctively, she knows that shifting them around prevents the embryo from sticking to the body, which may cause the hatch to fail.
Chicken eggs in the incubator must be rotated in the same direction, regularly, for the first eighteen days of incubation. Ideally, it has to be done 24 hours a day.
And it can’t stop just because it’s a weekend away! Are you ready to get up in the middle of the night and turn around? Would you remember to wake up and do that?
Could you figure out a method so that you know which one has been turned and which one still needs to do? Are you coordinated enough to keep track of the last time they were turned?
Are you going to know that you need to stop turning three days before the hatching is due? And would you prefer an incubator that does it all for you? If that’s what you want, buy an incubator with automatic turning!
Counting the days down to the hatching day of the chicks in the incubator.
It is necessary not to turn chicken eggs in the incubator after day 18-three days before the hatch is due. The chick has to be able to get to the right place for hatching so that it pips-breaks through-into the air cell at the fat end of the egg.
Pipping into another part means that there’s no way to breathe. And it’s important to remember the timing. Where are you going for numbers? Can you recall the day your eggs are due and when they should be stopped? If not, the alternative is that this can be achieved automatically by the incubator.
There are ways to remember when the primary days are coming. If you’re an organized person, you’re going to be able to do it with a workbook or a reminder on your phone. When you don’t, and would rather be reminded of that, look for an incubator that counts the days for you.
Automatic, automatic, or intermediate chicken egg incubator?
The conclusion on how monitored you want your chicken egg incubator to be will largely depend on your responses to all of the above questions.
The choices in front of you range from a simple, home-made incubator to, on the other hand, a wide cabinet system that holds up to 580 eggs and is fully automated.
Percentage of expenses for buying the chicken egg incubators.
It is the one that concerns all of us. There are incubators out there that cost thousands of dollars, and some cost less than a hundred dollars. What’s your estimate for that? Does it have an effect on your responses to the previous questions? Can you see yourself starting small and working your way to bigger, more automated, and more expensive? Basically, the larger and more advanced the incubator, the more costly it would be.
So be sure to pick a known brand, whatever price point you can afford. Do the due diligence. Make sure you know exactly what you’re buying.
Where to buy Chickens in Akwa Ibom State
Since chicken is the only meat that has no negative health conditions, you can always use it to prepare any local and continental dishes of your choice. In Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, you can buy chickens from sofreshchikens.com at the following locations;
Uyo, The Akwa Ibom State capital:
Number 215 Udo Umana Street opposite Akpan Andem Market, Uyo
Oron, Akwa Ibom State:
Number 27 Market Square by Aba Street, Oron, Akwa Ibom State
Eket, Akwa Ibom State:
3 park road, opposite Chinese market, Eket.