Over the years we have sold Surehatch Incubators to thousands of customers around the world. We constantly receive feedback from customers who share their experiences in running their own hatcheries. We are delighted to share these tips and tricks with you so that you may get the best possible hatch rates!
In this article we will be focusing on the importance of the hatching eggs
Only set fertile hatching eggs in your incubator
This might sound obvious, but you need to use fertile eggs in your incubator. What is a fertile egg? It's basically an egg which comes from a hen which was fertilized by a rooster prior to it being laid.
If you have your own flock of birds ensure that you have a ratio of no more than six hens to 1 rooster. This will ensure that the rooster has enough opportunity to "get friendly - have sex" with each hen resulting in fertile eggs.
If you are buying eggs from an outside source it's very important to do so from a reputable company or hatchery. Get some feedback from customers who has bought from the company or farm to get some feedback on the hatch rates.
Only set clean hatching eggs in your incubator
Only clean eggs must be set in the incubator. Do not set them if they are dirty or "floor" eggs - this can lead to introducing pathogens in the incubator which could lead to very bad hatch rates. We recommend that all eggs that you set in the incubator be sprayed with specialized hatching egg cleaning chemicals. You cannot just use any cleaning chemical to do this - hatching eggs are very sensitive and must be cleaned with the right chemicals. Go to Products for more info on hatching egg cleaning chemicals
Only use fresh hatching eggs
The fresher, the better - that's the general rule of thumb. Hatching eggs may be stored if required. Correct storage must be ensured in order to maintain the eggs freshness.
The main effects of storing eggs are:
Storage prolongs incubation time. On average, one day’s storage adds one hour to
incubation time. This must be taken into account when eggs are set, so fresh and stored
eggs should be set at different times. Hatchability is depressed by prolonged storage.
The effect increases with storage time after the initial six-day period, resulting in losses of 0.5 to 1.5% per day with the percent increasing as storage extends further.
Chick quality will be affected and hence broiler weights can be depressed in chicks from
eggs that have been stored for 14 days or more.
Gas exchange can occur through the pores in the egg shell during storage. Carbon dioxide diffuses out of the egg, and its concentration declines rapidly during the first 12 hours after the egg is laid. Eggs also lose water vapor while in storage. This loss of both carbon dioxide and water contributes to the loss in hatchability and chick quality after storage.Storage conditions must therefore be designed to minimize these losses. Most eggs are placed in open-sided cases or farm racks, but some are placed in solid covered cases. Allow covered eggs to cool down and dry thoroughly before casing to avoid condensation and subsequent mold growth.
So, next time you set eggs in your incubator remember to follow these tips!
The Surehatch Team