Factors Affecting Hatchability of Eggs
The success of the poultry industry depends on how an entrepreneur or famer is determined and focuses on excelling in the field. Moreover, it all depends on a regular supply of day-old chicks a process that is impacted by the fertility and hatchability of the eggs. All is not well in egg production and when it comes to hatchability of eggs. There are both genetic and environmental factors that influence this process. Understanding these factors will make it easy to succeed in all scales of egg production.
Hatching of eggs is the production of baby chicks. Different methods have been embraced on how to hatch eggs. Decades ago, eggs were hatched by placing them under broody hens. About ten to twelve eggs were placed under one hen to hatch. This method of hatching eggs has not been effective for vast baby chick production. Today, for better and increased hatching of eggs, Incubators are the best method to go for.
Incubators are the vital equipment that makes the hatchery process easy and successful. Many types of incubators are available in the market, but you should always go for the best, although the principle of all modern machines for commercial egg hatching is the same. Incubators can occupy a capacity of approximately 14,000 to 100, 000 eggs. Nevertheless, the egg hatching process cannot be successful if a number of factors impacting the hatchability of eggs are not put into consideration. They include;
- Temperature- The hatching eggs must be kept at temperatures of 25 to 30BC before setting. Normal development of the embryo depends on the heat being held within the incubator. A still-air incubator should be operated at a higher heat than the forced-draft incubator. A temperature of 39BC should be considered to produce good hatching results. In essence, high temperatures at any time of incubation period will led to more harm than lower temperatures.
- Humidity- It is the amount of moisture in the incubator at any given temperature. The amount of humidity in the incubator will control the rate of evaporation from the set eggs that depends on air speed, heat, shell thickness and the size of the eggs. Too much moisture loss from the incubated egg will lead to death of the embryo. For correct amount of humidity in the incubator, it is wise to enlarge the air cells or consider the weight loss of the eggs.
- Ventilation- Free movement of air, water vapor, oxygen and carbon dioxide through the pore of the egg shells is vital for incubation. The developing embryo should be able to breathe well.
- Turning and position of the incubated eggs- In small incubators ,the eggs should be maintained in a horizontal position during the process while in large incubators, eggs should be placed in a vertical position. In addition, in small incubators, eggs are moved when turned while in large incubators, eggs remain in a stationary position and turned via an angle not less than 90 in opposite direction. The positioning and turning process of hatching eggs helps prevent the embryo from sticking to the egg shell membranes while turning makes it easy to complete contact of the embryonic membranes with food material in the egg.
- Hygiene- Hatching eggs should be clean and stored in neat containers in the sanitary room. Contaminated eggs do not hatch and their poor quality is reflected on the chicks if they hatch.
Other factors affecting hatchability of eggs are egg selection and candling, improper fumigation, egg handling and toxicity to name but a few. Hatchability of eggs requires a lot of efforts. The process can be demanding and costly. Thus, it is wise to pay attention and seek help if having any doubts or complications in the egg hatching procedure depending on the method that you go for. Veterinarian assistance will never disappoint and will guarantee better yields and income.
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