Over the past few years, there has been a rise in the use and purchase of chicken egg incubator. Farmers, these days are now becoming more aware of brooding techniques and are able to brood chicks on their own with the help from blogs and articles like this. After several measure of progress brooding chicks, it is common to want to experiment with some fertile eggs from your stock.
Let’s say you have some Noilers, Broilers, Turkey, Layers, and more on your farm like I do. I believe you might want to experiment with the fertile eggs that you get. You will most likely fall in love with the idea of hatching some eggs artificially. In my own case, I have some choice chickens with great traits that I just want to preserve. So, the thought of hatching their eggs into chicks is inevitable. Remember that I won’t have to pay for the chicks.
But let’s stick to what the post is all about – selecting the best chicken egg incubator. I will be showing you key factors you must consider before you buy your first chicken egg incubator. Let’s run through the list right away.
Source of Power
For the records, source of power is the first constraint that would come to mind when you start to consider using an incubator. I dwelt upon this for a few months until I discovered a solution. In Nigeria, the poor electricity distribution puts a strain on many businesses and your mini hatchery is going to face the same challenge. So, how do you get constant supply of electricity? To use a chicken egg incubator, you must be able to power the machine 24/7 throughout the period of setting and hatching the eggs. What I have discovered is that there are mini incubators that come with an inbuilt inverter system. I don’t think anyone can go far without this option. All you need to get after purchasing the incubator is a small battery which will cost you N12,000 – N24,000.
If all you hear is the price of the medium to big size incubators, you may never consider buying one for your small setting. This is because incubators come with a high price tag. Until recently when small incubators are starting to gain popularity, most incubators are expensive. But things have changed. You can get an incubator between N40,000 and N100,000. Incubators within this range will hatch between 48 eggs and 192 eggs. However, large cupboard type incubators still run into millions.
Size of the Chicken Egg Incubator
Getting the right size of incubator for your unique needs is also important. Incubator sizes vary from around 3 eggs capacity to thousands of eggs. So, you need to know what suits your need. One of the things to consider when thinking of the perfect size is the available space to keep the incubator. The quantity of eggs you wish to hatch per time is equally important. But again, there are various sizes to choose from and you will always have your preferred size.
Egg turning is an important aspect of chicken egg hatching. If eggs are not turned occasionally, the embryonic development will have issues. There are incubators built with automatic egg turners that turn the eggs at intervals. Mine turns every 2 hours. Without these turners, you will have to manually turn the eggs at intervals which can be stressful. Choose your incubator design wisely.
READ ALSO: How to Make Broilers Grow Faster (3.5KG, 8 Wks)
Incubator Temperature Control
Even though the components differ, the mechanism of temperature control is usually the same or very similar in all incubator types. To maintain steady temperature, incubators are equipped with thermostat. With the help of a thermometer and a digital reader, you are able to monitor the output of the incubator. If you are getting your first incubator, you want to make sure that the one you get has reliable temperature control.
Net to temperature in importance is humidity. These two parameters determine the success or failure of your incubations/hatching process. From the digital display, you can also tell what the humidity within the unit is reading. You need to go for a chicken egg incubator that makes humidity control easy. The HHD incubator I got has a small hole where you can add water to raise the humidity when it is low.
The truth is, things get out of the preset figures. Sometimes, extreme environmental temperature affects the incubator temperature or humidity and your numbers go up or down, exceeding the set limit. At such times, you need an alarm system to alert you. Some incubators come with such alarm system that tells you when things are not the way you set them to be. This alarm system comes handy at periods of high variation in atmospheric temperature.
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Window View to Observe the Eggs
Hatching eggs is a business with loads of curiosity. You will definitely want to know what is going on inside the chicken egg incubator. When things get to this stage, then you begin to value the innovation behind incubators that allow you to see inside the unit. Some manufacturers us clear plastic to build 60 percent of the incubator body. Others use clear plastic as the material for the top of the unit. Anything that grants you a peep without having to open the machine is good
Ease of Cleaning the Incubator
After the whole process, when the chicks and poults are out of their shell and moved to the brooder house, the incubator is often left in a mess. Things even get messier if an egg explodes inside the incubator. In cases like this, thorough cleaning is the next step. And your incubator must be easy to clean. For years, this has been a standard for manufacturers, so most incubators come easy to clean. However, you should take your time to select the one that is easiest to clean.
I am confident that if you use this guide, your journey to owning a chicken egg incubator will be enjoyable. Don’t forget that every point counts. For those looking to buy an affordable mini chicken egg incubator with inbuilt inverter, feel free to contact me for the best deal you can get.