A hatchery machine is a device that simulates the incubation of avian eggs by creating conditions that are ideal for successful hatching. Like broody hens, it regulates the humidity and temperature required for the development and survival of embryos in eggs until they hatch.
This article explores the features to look out for when choosing a machine for hatching eggs and the benefits.
Poultry farming significantly contributes to the economy and has evolved from traditional hatching chicks by a brooding mother hen. Eggs are found on many breakfast tables, and the demand in homes and hotels is relatively high. Temperature and humidity are the critical elements during the incubation period, which takes 21 days, and the features that an ideal hatchery should have are explained below:
Humidity, Turning Frequency, and Temperature Display
A good hatchery machine should display the temperature on a screen for easy monitoring and maintain the temperature at 37 to 39 Celsius. A higher temperature speeds up embryo development and can result in the malformation of chicks. A low temperature for a long time leads to the death of the embryos. Turning should be every four hours making it approximately six times a day.
Automatic Controlling of Temperature
You can achieve up to 98% hatching with a good incubator with a temperature controller. You should store fertile eggs at 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Most domestic birds are incubated within the same temperature range so that one can use one incubator for more than one bird. Small-capacity hatcheries may have restricted temperature control.
Automatic Controlling of Humidity
Humidity is among the factors to keep track of during incubation. It can be challenging to control. When humidity is held at the required level, embryos will use air space within the shell to move around and breathe. Eggs lose weight naturally when incubating. Low humidity will result in more petite chicks than average. They may die after hatching or before. The ideal humidity level is at 50 to 55%.
Automated Egg Turning
A good incubator should be able to turn eggs at regular intervals. The hatching rate is affected by the rate of turning of eggs. It prevents sticky chicks’ problems and helps embryos to develop better. Manually turning the eggs is tedious as you have to put a mark on the eggs you have shifted and keep track of the time before the next turn. Although, you have to monitor egg turning a day thrice with automated ones.
An alarm notifies of a rapid change in the hatchery system. The notice eliminates the need for staff to monitor the system at all times. An alarm system with monitoring and control capabilities is an added advantage. Historical records of critical elements are available.
Automated Cooling and Ventilation Systems
Air conditioning, ventilation, and heating are critical elements of an incubator. When incorporated and automated, they result in a single-step hatching process. It ensures adequate air supply at the end of the process. It also enables hatching at any location, irrespective of the weather conditions.
Emergency Backup System
Backup is critical to run and monitor equipment during emergencies. Choose one with temperature sensors that can independently control vital stages in case of failure in the primary system. It will save you from losses resulting from unforeseen power outages.
In conclusion, hatcheries have revolutions commercial poultry farming to meet the demand for chicken and its products. They save money and time and are a good investment for people doing poultry farming or considering starting. Get one with the right features, and your business will grow. They come in different sizes depending on the capacity and features.