Two days before incubation:
Prepare and adjust the incubator
2 days or 3 days before setting the eggs. Ensure
that the incubator is clean and sanitized. Make
proper adjustments to the temperature and humidity
at this time. Adjustments made while eggs are set
can either lengthen or shorten the time of hatch,
or kill or damage the embryos. If the incubator
has an automatic turner, make sure the turner functions
properly. The temperature in the room where the incubator
is located should also be controlled during this time.
Do not set the eggs until temperature and humidity
are correct and stable.
Cleaning and fumigation:
Microbial infection in an incubator
can significantly reduce hatchability of eggs.
Cleaning procedures and disinfecting equipment should
be part of standard operating procedures. Incubators,
hatchers and the racks should be disinfected with
quaternary ammonia or commercial disinfectant after each
Some larger businesses fumigate incubators
before setting eggs. Occasionally the incubators
are fumigated briefly with lower concentrations
of the fumigant while eggs are in the incubator.
Do not fumigate eggs after the first day of incubation.
Embryos are sensitive to fumigation between 2
days and 5 days of incubation. When eggs are
fumigated at set, exposure of the eggs should be limited.
Only trained individuals should use these techniques.
The day eggs are set
Remove eggs from storage
and allow them to warm to room temperature for 4 hours
to 8 hours before setting in the incubator. Cold
eggs placed into a warm, humid incubator will become
covered in condensation that will increase the possibility
of egg contamination. Ensure that proper records
are maintained so that eggs are turned a minimum
of three to five times in a 24-hour period.
Failure to turn eggs adequately results in embryo
death. Use of an automatic turner considerably
simplifies the work and decreases human error during the
Once eggs are in the incubator, do not adjust
the temperature or humidity for a few hours unless the
temperature exceeds 102 degrees F. After 4 hours, make
proper adjustments. The final temperature should vary
only degree above or below 99.5 degrees F. The temperature
of incubators without circulating fans fluctuates
more than incubators with circulating fans. If
the temperature does not exceed 102 degrees F, the hatch
should not be harmed.
The small end of the egg should be lower than the
large end of the egg when set in the incubator.
An embryo orients during incubation so that the head develops
toward the large end of the egg where the air cell
is located. A chick's head can orient away from
the air cell of the egg if the small end is higher than
the large end during incubation. An embryo oriented
in the wrong direction will not hatch.
Stages in chick embryo development
Chick embryos that have been incubated for approximately 48, 72 and 96 hours after fertilization will be available for you to examine. However, specimens of similar ages post-fertilization may show a wide variation of maturation stages. The incubation times provide only an estimation of how far development of the embryo will have progressed. The temperature of incubation (which may be different among eggs depending on their locations within the incubator), as well as the rate of growth of the individual embryo itself will affect the overall ..... More
Description about incubation periods, sizes, eggs in clutch
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