How to hatch chicks in an incubator at home
The incubation period is a crucial time, you need to control the temperature and humidity on a daily basis, as well as air and turn the eggs in a timely manner. Beginners are intimidated by this responsibility, so we present a set of rules describing the hatching of chickens in an incubator at home. Please note that all recommendations are mandatory, otherwise some of the chicks will die in the bud.
Selection of eggs
Success in business depends not only on the efforts of the owner, but also on the quality of the eggs. Therefore, before hatching chicks correctly in the incubator, pay attention to their selection. Interestingly, the process of hatching chickens must be started with the chicken. Indeed, you need to make sure that she is not sick with anything and does not have any genetic diseases. Otherwise, the genetics of the chicks will also be disrupted. Next, we pay attention to the eggs, the quality indicators are as follows:
- odorless, possible deviations – moldy, pungent, grape, putrid and other odors;
- freshness – with a shelf life of no more than 5-7 days;
- correct storage – at a temperature not lower than 10-12 ° C, those who have been in the refrigerator must be disposed of;
- optimal shape – for chicken eggs it is an oval shape slightly narrowed on one side, without outgrowths, indentations. Spherical or overly elongated are also subject to marriage;
- no damage – carefully check the shell for cracks and dents, dirty dried spots are permissible only in small quantities;
- optimal weight (50-60 g) – weak chicks often appear from small ones, and large chicks turn out to be with two yolks.
The egg shell is porous so that air can penetrate through it, and also has its own microflora. It is strictly forbidden to wash or wipe the eggs.
When checking eggs, they must be scanned with a special device – an ovoscope. When translucent, pay attention to the differences in shades of the content. You need to find the yolk and air chamber. The yolk should be in the center or slightly close to the blunt end. You cannot take an egg in which the yolk is adjacent to the inside of the shell. The air chamber must be at the blunt end. The normal volume for her is about a teaspoon. An egg with a small air chamber is not suitable.
When selecting, as well as during the period of hatching chicks in an incubator at home, it is necessary to inspect the contents and dispose of eggs with developmental pathologies. Before hatching chicks in the incubator, remember the possible irregularities during embryo maturation..
Usually appear under the shell, caused by various bacteria. The spots can be of different shades and sizes..
A type of infection by putrefactive bacteria in which the protein liquefies and becomes greenish. At the same time, the egg is opaque..
With this pathology, the yolk floats and dries to the inside of the shell. At the same time, the egg may have a pungent smell..
At the same time, blood inclusions are present on the surface of the yolk or in the protein..
During ovoscopy, the contents look uniform with a reddish tint. Yolk and air chamber not visible.
Pathology develops after damage to the shell membrane when stored for more than one day.
With any of these pathologies, the egg must be disposed of; you cannot fry or cook them for eating..
From the moment the eggs are laid, their incubation begins. The incubation period ends after the last chick has bite. Breeding chickens in an incubator differs from breeding goslings by the timing of incubation, maintaining temperature and humidity.
Loading eggs into the incubator
Before leaving chicken eggs in the incubator at home, prepare them and the incubation chamber of the appliance. The inner chamber of the device is thoroughly disinfected and ventilated. While preparing the incubator for hatching at home, it is best to leave the eggs at room temperature for 8 hours to warm them up gradually and evenly. It is advisable to mark the blunt and sharp end with a pencil with a cross or zero. This will help in controlling the turning of the masonry..
Controlling incubation conditions
The temperature and humidity in the chicken egg incubator must be monitored every hour. Even a slight change (0.5-1 ° C) will lead to a slowdown in the growth or death of embryos. After loading the eggs, the temperature should rise to 37 ° C in 3-4 hours. During the entire incubation period, the temperature and humidity will change several times.
The maturation of embryos is divided into 4 stages, they are briefly given in the table of incubation of chicken eggs in an incubator.
Stage 1 – from 1 to 7 days. The heart, circulatory system and the rudiments of internal organs are being formed. During this period, ventilation is not required, but by the end the embryo already needs oxygen. The most optimal temperature is 37.8 ° C. Humidity is maintained around 55%. Eggs need to be turned every 6 hours, that is, 4 times a day. At the same time, it is highly discouraged to open the incubator..
It is better to equip the incubator with a tray with automatic egg turning.
Stage 2 – from 8 to 14 days. During this time, the skeleton and beak are formed in the embryo. The temperature is the same as in the previous period, but the humidity is reduced in stages over 3-4 days to 45%. You need to change the position of the eggs every 4 hours – 6 times a day. It is also required to air the eggs for oxygen supply, this must be done 2 times a day for 5 minutes.
Stage 3 – from 15 to 18 days. It is also necessary to turn the eggs 6 times a day, while the airing is increased to 15-20 minutes, also 2 times a day. The humidity is increased to 50%, the temperature is made the same. At the end of the period, with successful hatching, the chickens begin to make barely audible sounds and turn over in the egg.
Stage 4 – from 19 to 21 days. First of all, they stop turning the eggs, the chickens are strong enough and do it on their own. Reduce airing time to 5 minutes twice a day. The humidity is increased to 65%, the temperature is reduced to 37.3 ° C. At the end of this period, the chicks hatch in the incubator..
If you follow all the above rules and monitor the operation of the devices, then the brood will turn out to be numerous. From small eggs, chicks are selected first. After hatching, the chicks are allowed to dry out, gain strength, after which the chicks from the incubator move under the hen or heater. Conditions in it are not suitable for chicks. After hatching of all chicks, the incubator is cleaned and disinfected..
Control and probable complications
Even the highest quality incubators and responsible owners are not immune to emergencies. To protect yourself and your eggs from power outages, purchase incubators with a spare power source. If the offspring overheat, you need to open the incubator for a while and cool the eggs. In case of hypothermia, you can cover the camera for 2-3 hours with hot water pads. Slight fluctuations in temperature and humidity will not kill the young, but all these procedures must be carried out immediately.
Of course, the egg grooming schedule must be observed, and you also need to closely monitor how many days the chickens are hatched in the incubator. The noughts and crosses on the eggs should help you navigate when turning the eggs..
It is also necessary to monitor the development of the chicks with an ovoscopy. All defective eggs must be disposed of immediately. It is recommended to perform transillumination on the 6th and 11th day. On the sixth day, the blood vessels and heart should be visible. On the eleventh day, the egg on the sharp side should darken.