Incubation

 

Water fowl and poultry can be great birds to keep for numerous reasons but it  all starts with the egg. (No chicken and egg questions please!!)  Incubation is an important part of the process so making sure you get  this right is paramount. 


First  thing is the amount of eggs you intend to hatch at any one time. Not  all eggs will hatch so maybe slightly over estimate and ensure your  incubator is large enough for the amount of eggs you intend to hatch.


Still or circulated air incubators? 


Circulated  air incubators basically mean that a fan is installed in order to  distribute the air and temperature evenly within the incubator. In a  still air incubator the temperature is stratified, meaning warmer near  the top of the incubator and cooler towards the bottom. Remember, the  temperature in the instructions of a still air incubator will often be  around 1.5°C higher than a circulated air because the temperature is  measured level with the top of the eggs rather than the middle of the  eggs as with a circulated incubator.


Manual or Automatic turn?


If  the eggs are not turned the simply won’t hatch! Eggs must be turned at  least 3 times daily with the exception of the last 2 days before they  hatch when then turning is not required. If you’re not able to turn  manually then an automatic turner is a must.


Humidity?


All  incubators have options of adding water either manually or by an  automatic means if supplied. However more chicks die inside the shell  from high humidity than low humidity. At time of hatching the internal  membrane should be crisp and dry by the time the chick tried to peck its  way out.