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Incubating and hatching chicken eggs can be a fun and rewarding experience, whether you're a backyard chicken farmer or just a hobbyist. Incubators and hatchers are devices that provide the ideal conditions for eggs to hatch, including temperature, humidity, and turning. In this article, we will explore how to use an incubator and a hatcher to successfully hatch chicken eggs.
An incubator is a device that simulates the conditions that a broody hen would provide for eggs to hatch. It maintains the temperature and humidity levels required for eggs to develop and hatch. Incubators come in a variety of sizes and styles, and many are designed for home use. They can be used to hatch a wide variety of eggs, including chicken, duck, quail, and even reptile eggs.
When using an incubator, it's important to set the temperature and humidity levels correctly, as these are crucial for successful hatching. The ideal temperature for hatching chicken eggs is between 99-101°F (37-38°C), while the ideal humidity level is between 50-55%. The temperature and humidity levels should be checked regularly and adjusted as needed.
A hatcher is a device that is used after the eggs have been incubated. Once the eggs have reached the hatching stage, they are placed in the hatcher, which provides the ideal conditions for the chick to hatch. The hatcher typically has a higher humidity level than the incubator, usually around 65-70%, and also has a turning feature, to help the chick inside the egg to rotate and find the air cell.
When using a hatcher, it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and be sure to properly set the temperature and humidity levels. It's also important to be mindful of the timing, as eggs should be moved to the hatcher at the right time, usually around the 18th day of incubation.
It's worth noting that not all eggs will hatch successfully, and it's important to have a good understanding of the incubation and hatching process, including the factors that can affect it such as temperature.