Mkulima today while poultry farming is a leading venture for novice farmers it comes with its own set of challenges like diseases and attacks by wild animals. Today we cover how to use an egg incubator for the first time.
At this point, you need to remember incubator are different with different manufacturers, therefore, might differ. So we cover some of the general to-do items on how to use an egg incubator for the first time
Ask an experienced person or carefully go through the user manual during setup.
I would strongly advise you to research or find someone to help. The benefit of having someone experienced or mentor with you is that it will greatly reduce your learning curve in the use of incubator and hatching.
Open the doors to your incubator and fill it with water in its trough. Make sure it is not completely filled to allow for the circulation of air. After that remove all the tray setters from the incubator.
The next step now is to connect your spanking new incubator to the power source. To protect your investment make sure that you have a power surge installed when connecting to power.
Egg incubators can be costly to purchase as well as maintain. Ensure the fridge guard is connected as not faulty. This will protect it from a power surge, blackouts, and brownouts.
The fridge guard is meant to protect the fan of the incubator from malfunctioning or getting spoiled by electricity.
When done now you can power on the incubator.
How to use an egg incubator for the first time | Setting
Set the internal temperature to 37.8 °c and humidity at 65%. These two should be the lower readings for your setup.
Disable the incubator alarm then press the arrow button looking down to 3 seconds and close the door.
At this point put the setter back into the incubator and add your eggs.
Remember to remove all cracked eggs. You can use candling method to look and find the best eggs for incubation.
All the eggs should be positioned such that the smaller part of the eggs is down and the larger side faces up.
When putting the setters back to the position in the incubator remember to start from the top going down.
Use the control panel to reset the setters in case they are not in the right position. Keep pressing the buttons in the control panel until you get the desired portion.
If the position is not correct your eggs might not get the optimum conditions needed for incubation resulting in huge losses.
After putting everything in place close the doors and start working on the incubation conditions.
Set the conditions by pressing the set button and the arrow that points downward. Continue doing this until you get a reading of F1 90.
This means that after every 90 minutes the incubator should rotate the eggs. If the F1 is at 90 press the ok button seven times to reset it to normal conditions *37.8,65
On day seven you can do candling to check on the quality of the eggs in the incubator. If you see that the eggs are clear there is a possibility that those are bad eggs.
But if you notice dark p[atchs or red patches in the egg then it means the embryo is forming and you need to put it back in the incubator.
On day 19 stop the rotation and have the setter positioned at F1 100. At this point, you can as well leave the setters at a flat level.
To achieve these press the control buttons to the desired position.
After that transfer, all the eggs to the hatcher position, and in case you have any excess or run out of space put them on the lower setters of the incubator.
You are advised to add water after every 24 hours and for the last three days, you can adjust the humidity to the maximum level of 75 percent.
Normally the humidity has an error of 10 percent and it’s normal that is why it’s advised to set it 65 to either 55 or 75. This variation is in the range of the alarm and the operations will not be affected.
The temperature has an error of about 1°c and for example, 37.8 should be set +1/-1.
There is no cause for alarm at this point. Your eggs will go bad when they get to below 27°c and is above 39° c.
Most incubators come with two fans. THE MAIN FAN MUST ALWAYS BE IN ROTATION. SMALL FAN ROTATES ONLY TO CORRECT ERROR OF TEMPERATURE AND NOT SOO OFTEN.
Credits Edwin wa EESA
Having an agribusiness question? Do you know of a successful agribusiness venture or story that you wish to share? I would like to hear from you. Send me the TIP(s) at email@example.com
Like and follow MkulimaTODAY on Facebook | twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Group share this article and leave comments or questions or WhatsApp me +254700761190 on what you would like me to answer in the next article.