Choosing the right incubator can be a challenge. In this article, our experts at Nice hatch incubators simplify and take you through the key factors you should consider when choosing an ideal incubator that will work for you. It is important to note that just like in any other preference; each farmer’s ideal incubator needs may differ. Remember you can always contact us at any time for clarification or consultancy regarding your challenges in poultry needs.
Egg incubator factors to consider
- Airflow in the incubator
Embryo development in the eggs requires oxygen. The chicks hatching are living organisms that not only consume a fair amount of oxygen rapidly but also produce sizeable carbon dioxide. A good airflow inside the incubator will, therefore, ensure this need is constantly regulated for the best egg hatching conditions needed. A good incubator should have air vents that will keep fresh air circulated. Some incubators may contain inbuilt fans to accelerate airflow.
- Temperature Control of the incubator
Temperature regulation is an important condition in the egg hatching process. The right temperature must be maintained at all times during this hatching process. Temperature regulation is critical since there may be weather changes as well as the differences that may arise between day and night. The inside temperature of an incubator must be keenly observed, maintained and regulated to avoid fluctuation. Fluctuations in temperatures will bring about poor egg hatching rates and loses to the farmer. The common temperature control mechanisms in incubators include wafer thermostats and digital electronic control systems. Wafer-controlled incubators allow for more fluctuation in temperature and can contribute to irregular hatches than electronically- controlled incubators. Once the temperature in a wafer-controlled incubator is set up care must be observed to avoid accidental readjustment of the tuning knob or the adjusting screw. Temperatures for some electronically controlled incubators may have been preset for hatching chicken eggs by the manufacturer, you need to know what temperature is required for each type of poultry egg species and adjust accordingly.
It is recommended that you should run the incubator for 24-48 hours before placing the eggs into the incubator to ensure that the optimum temperature needed is ready. Whenever in doubt consult your manufacture or Nice Hatch Incubators technicians.
- Humidity Control in the incubator
Egg hatching demands the correct amount of humidity all through the incubation period. It is a requirement therefore that an incubator should have moisture devices that will enable this condition to be regulated to facilitate the development of egg embryos. These devices may be in the form of inbuilt troughs, external containers, removable trays, pans, or plastic liners either with automatic self-regulation system of the manual wet-bulb thermometer (hygrometer) that measure humidity levels. Read the incubator manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ability to Observe in the incubator
Some good models of incubators have transparent covers or observation windows that allow you to observe what is happening inside the incubator. This enables the farmer to keep track of the hatching development process without having t open and disrupt the optimum conditions inside. The easier it is to observe inside the better.
- Cleaning Ease of the incubator
Once the egg has hatched you will need to move them to a brooder and cleanup the incubator for the next hatching process. The easier to clean the better.
Every venture has some costs to be incurred, your budget may determine your preferred choice for an incubator.
Keeping Turkeys is one of the greatest poultry farming choice whether you are interested in small or large flocks. One key advantage with turkeys is that they can tolerate crowded conditions and still give you a maximum return on financial investment. Turkeys are increasingly becoming a dominant domestic bird in East Africa region by peasant farmers with commercial ambitions. Commercial turkeys are reared for breast meat for the growing hotel industry and the middle class affluent population. Turkeys provide inexpensive meat for a growing urban market eager to purchase it. Although they can be successfully raised in turkey “porches” and yards, they do best when they can have range or pasture on which to forage. Poults can be raised in a poultry house on on deep litter just like chicken. The key thing is to avoid contamination from droppings is essential. Wire mesh can effectively keep poults away from soiled litter in the case of an enclosed environment.
How to get turkeys for start up
If you are a starter in poultry farming www.nicehatchincubators.com recommends that you start in the least expensive way by buying day-old poults (chicks) from hatcheries or suppliers nearby. Alternatively, you can buy turkey hens and a gobbler (cock). Turkey eggs can be hatched naturally by turkey hens, by broody chickens, or in incubators. Turkey poults are fragile and need protection for the first two months. A mother will keep them warm and protect them, provided she herself has adequate feed, water, and shelter. The incubation period for eggs is 28 days. One turkey hen can brood up to 15 eggs. The more commercial and effective way is to brood artificially through the use of incubators.
Raising, feeding, watering turkeys
Turkey poults grow fast, therefore they need high-protein feed to keep up with this growth rate. Feed your poults on starter mash as they grow, their needs taper off after eight weeks to grower crumble or pellets with lesser percentage of protein. If turkeys are on pasture and not crowded, they will get some protein from the insects and worms as they forage through your farmland.
Hanging feeders and waterers, adjusted to the height of the birds’ eyes as they grow, will reduce
the amount of feed and water wasted as the birds dig around in it with their beaks. Sloppy waterers leave wet litter to ferment and foster disease-causing organisms. Feeders on the ground should not be filled more than half-full, to keep feed contained. Turkeys are perching birds that naturally roost in trees. Poults as young as two weeks old will look for a roost. They can be accommodated with2-inch-diameter poles or branches several inches above the ground. Make an allowance of per bird depending on the population you have intend to have on your farm. Mature turkeys need stronger roosts to handle their weight and size that will support them. For mature turkeys you can use up to 2-inch diameter poles and make an allowance at least 2 feet between each pole to allow ample room for them.
Turkeys do not require routine vaccinations; However, vaccines are available for several common diseases, including fowl cholera, turkey pox, and Newcastle disease. Check with local veterinarians to determine whether such protection is necessary in your area.
BEST EGG INCUBATOR COMPANY IN NAIROBI, KENYA
When incubating any bird egg it is important to control the same factors of temperature, humidity, ventilation, and egg turning.
Temperature is the most critical environmental concern during incubation because the developing embryo can only withstand small fluctuations during the period. Embryo starts developing when the temperature exceeds the Physiological Zero. Physiological zero is the temperature below which embryonic growth is arrested and above which it is reinitiated. The physiological zero for chicken eggs is about 75oF (24oC).
The optimum temperature for chicken egg in the setter (for first 18 days) ranges from 99.50 to 99.75 o Fand in the hatcher (last 3 days) is 98.50 F.
Incubation humidity determines the rate of moisture loss from eggs during incubation. In general, the humidity is recorded as relative humidity by comparing the temperatures recorded by wet-bulb and dry-bulb thermometers. Recommended incubation relative humidity for the first 18 days ranging between 55 and 60% (in setter) and for the last 3 days ranging between 65 and 75%. Frequently there is confusion as to how the measurement of humidity is expressed. Most persons in the incubator industry refer to the level of humidity in terms of degrees F., (wet-bulb) rather than percent relative humidity. The two terms are inter convertible and actual humidity depends upon the temperature (F.) as measured with a dry-bulb thermometer. Conversion between the two humidity measurements can be made using a psychometric table.Rarely is the humidity too high in properly ventilated still-air incubators. The water pan area should be equivalent to one-half the floor surface area or more. Increased ventilation during the last few days of incubation and hatching may necessitate the addition of another pan of water or a wet sponge. Humidity is maintained by increasing the exposed water surface area.
Ventilation is very important during the incubation process. While the embryo is developing, oxygen enters the egg through the shell and carbon dioxide escapes in the same manner. As the chicks hatch, they require an increased supply of fresh oxygen. As embryos grow, the air vent openings are gradually opened to satisfy increased embryonic oxygen demand. Care must be taken to maintain humidity during the hatching period. Unobstructed ventilation holes, both above and below the eggs, are essential for proper air exchange.
4. Turning of eggs
Eggs must be turned at least 4-6 times daily during the incubation period. Do not turn eggs during the last 3 days before hatching. The embryos are moving into hatching position and need no turning. Keep the incubator closed during hatching to maintain proper temperature and humidity. The air vents should be almost fully open during the latter stages of hatching.In a still-air incubator, where the eggs are turned by hand, it may be helpful to place an “X” on one side of each egg and an “O” on the other side, using a pencil. This serves as an aide to determine whether all eggs are turned. When turning, be sure your hands are free of all greasy or dusty substances. Eggs soiled with oils suffer from reduced hatch ability. Take extra precautions when turning eggs during the first week of incubation. The developing embryos have delicate blood vessels that rupture easily when severely jarred or shaken, thus killing the embryo.
5. Position of eggs
The eggs are initially set in the incubator with the large end up or horizontally with the large end slightly elevated. This enables the embryo to remain oriented in a proper position for hatching. Never set eggs with the small end upward.
In most African countries, poultry farmers practice this for
- Home consumption
- Cultural reasons
- Income generation
Poultry farming is an income generating project which provides quality food, energy, fertilizers and is also a source of renewable asset. Income from poultry farming is used for food, school fees, buying clothing, constructing house and unexpected expenses like sickness, buying medicine.
Small scales famers in Africa are faced with some difficulties to such as poor access markets, goods and services. Some lack knowledge and skills on handling the birds, weak institutions and inappropriate technology. They also have poor poultry breeds and feeds. Poor structures for the birds. These factors affect the productivity of poultry farming and quality of the breeds produced.