Nowadays, raising chickens has become a popular hobby, as its meat is an ideal alternative for pork and beef. Not only this, but more and more people are also going into the poultry business. This is not very surprising considering that it only takes hard work and patience to succeed at this kind of venture. Well that, and three other things namely: a.) a viable batch of eggs for hatching; b.) a reliable incubator; and c.) a working knowledge of poultry incubation.
Selecting your very first batch of eggs for hatching is exciting, almost like picking out your first puppy or your first kitty. Remember that first trip to the pound or the farm? Well, thats where the similarities end. This time you will need to be more critical as well as observant. Is the breeder you are getting the eggs from reliable and trustworthy? Dont be shy and ask around. Take the time to observe the stock from where the eggs came from.
Are they healthy, mature and well fed? Were they left undisturbed during mating? Remember that in order to successfully accomplish poultry incubation, you need to have a healthy embryo. Looking at the parents mating history will at least ensure you of a well-fertilized egg. Next, dont let the bigger ones fool you. Large eggs are not ideal eggs for hatching as they develop poorly thus producing sickly chicks. Too small ones are also not good, as these may not have enough yolk to sustain growth.
Pick those of medium size and as much as possible, stain-free eggs for hatching. Look out for signs of cracks, holes and other abnormalities in the shell. Avoid those with irregular shapes and certainly stay away from those with suspicious marks. Bacterial infection is something that you should prevent right from the start and as it is not suggested that the eggs be washed before hatching, better be safe and pick those without any blemishes.
Additionally, keep away from eggs with bumps, rings, or those that are not balance or non-symmetrical. It has been known that eggs with these kinds of characteristics produce unhealthy embryos thus resulting to un-hatched eggs or if hatched, infected chicks.Knowing these things can greatly increase your profit as you wont be wasting your time with nonviable eggs or those with less chances of producing healthy chicks.
After you have determined which eggs for hatching you are going to use, store them in a cool, humid area well away from direct sunlight. Keep in mind that storage period should not be more than 7 days. Ideal temperature is at 55 degrees Fahrenheit while humidity is 75%. If you are planning to store the eggs for over three days, make sure you turn them at least once a day. To accurately do this, you might do well to mark one end of each egg, say with an X, and the other with an O. Turn them all so that in one day all have the Xs facing upwards and on the next, the Os. This is very important to ensure that there is even temperature on all surfaces of the egg.
Rick Condie has long been interested in poultry raising. He wants to help incubator enthusiast and professionals to learn more about eggs for hatching and their benefits. If you want more resources regarding egg incubators please come and visit us.