An incubator is an equipment that is used to keep eggs at a particular temperature range as well as the correct humidity. It is incorporated with a turning machine to hatch the eggs.
Incubators are also called breeding machines, hatching machines, hatchers, egg incubators, setters, artificial machine equipment, egg breeding machine, etc.
It is is also used to regulate environmental conditions such as temperatures, humidity, and helps to promote successful hatching of fertile eggs.
It is so used for the purpose of growing bacterial culture, hatching eggs, providing a suitable environment for chemical and biological reactions.
The incubator allows the fetus inside the egg to grow without the presence of their mother and still provide the much-needed warmth.
The eggs usually hatch after 21 days, for chickens. The incubator is also used to raise birds. At this point, it acts as the mother and at the same time avert external threats that could harm the eggs.
There are two methods of incubation that is used industrially.
- Style-stage incubation
- Multi-stage incubation
The former contains eggs of the same embryonic age while the latter usually contain eggs of different embryonic age.
The advantage of the single-stage over the multi-stage is that climatic conditions can be adjusted to meet the needs of the growing embryo, whereas; the multi-stage can not be adjusted. Therefore, a compromise is usually needed to meet the needs of the different age groups in the setter.
The style of incubator includes setter incubator, catcher incubator, and combination incubator.
They are usually heated electrically and controlled by a thermostat. Some can also be used to power solar energy in order to fill the gal created by erratic power supply.
The equipment is used in the farmhouse and can also be found in classrooms where students are allowed to observe the eggs as it hatches.
However, some industrial incubator can hold a large amount of eggs while others can merely hold a few eggs at a time