Poultry Egg Incubators
Temperature and humidity are the MOST important part of hatching. If your temperature is not accurate you will have problems at hatch time.
You can get away with humidity numbers that are not very accurate, but the combination of poor humidity and temperature will cause problems.
- Still-air incubator (no fan): 101.5 degrees measured at the TOP of the eggs.
- Fan Forced incubator: 99.5 degrees measured anywhere in the incubator.
- Humidity: 60-65% for the first 18 days, 80-85% for the last 3 days.
Eggs need to settle for at least 24 hours if they came through the mail. This allows the air-cell inside the egg to return to it's normal size.
Eggs to be incubated must be clean. Avoid eggs which show signs of bad shell quality or are misshapen in any way.
After hatching - and being allowed 24 hours in the incubator to dry out and fluff up - the still vulnerable young chicks need to be moved into a brooder unit to continue their development. The chicks need food, water and heat in a controlled environment.
Climate-controlled incubators are utilised in industrial agricultural settings. Below are some pictures of early industrial incubators.