Choosing a chicken egg incubator suited for your needs can be a tedious process. First, you need to select from a variety of models and designs to ensure you properly incubate the hatching eggs. And next is that you need to consider the price and the quality to be sure you are able to make a worthy investment.
Considering these things you need to take into account, many get discouraged when buying an incubator. At the end of the day, they’ll just settle on a particular design, without even checking its features because they believe whatever they choose has its pros and cons.
Well, this doesn’t mean you have to think that way, too. Here’s a guide you can use to make the process of choosing faster and easier.
1. Consider the number of eggs.
Are you planning to incubate a dozen of eggs to replace an egg-laying stock? Or perhaps you are just incubating one egg for a school project? Are you just hatching eggs as a hobby? Of course, whatever reason you’re getting an incubator, it will have an effect on your decision.
Normally, fertile hatching eggs are sold by dozen. And when you decide to hatch out some chicks, chances are not all of them will successfully hatch. And when you buy a typical incubator, it can only hold only 20 to 25 eggs.
2. Decide whether you are getting the forced air or the still air type.
There are two primary types of incubator – still air and forced air. What’s the difference between them? It’s simply the fan.
When you talk about forced air incubators, a fan is used to circulate air around the incubator to keep the temperature constant in every corner. Also, the temperature can be measured anywhere as long as it is within the airflow.
The still air incubator, on the other hand, has no fan. The heat only forms layers inside the incubator. As a result, the temperature between the bottom and top of the incubator is different. When you set up the incubator upwards, the temperature in the middle of the egg becomes ideal for the eggs being incubated.
3. The level of control is something you need to check as well.
There are different levels of control available. But the logic here is that if you want to pay less, then expect more manual work.
If you wish to be successful at hatching eggs, you need to check on the temperature and humidity. Aside from that, you also have to turn it at regular intervals to prevent the developing embryos from sticking to the walls of the shell.
Of course, in most incubators, temperature is already properly regulated. However, setting the right humidity might be a problem at times. Therefore, it is best that you devote time to checking your eggs. As much as possible, you have to turn it at least three times a day.
In case you are using a manual incubator, it is best that you set an alarm. By doing this, you will know when to turn your eggs.
4. Ease of cleaning must also be considered.
Many poultry farmers will not consider this, but honestly, this is very important. Remember that hatching eggs is really a fun experience, but cleaning up can be very tiresome.
Cleanliness plays a vital role when raising chickens in the yard or on the farm. And once you bought an incubator that is easy to clean, you’ll definitely be pleased by the perks.
Every after the eggs hatch, you will notice that there are lots of mess and fine fluff that sticks into every corner, especially the areas that are inaccessible. Thus, you’ll have to sterilize the incubator to avoid bacteria from multiplying quickly. If you don’t want that to happen, it is best that you get an incubator that promotes ease of cleaning.
5. The price is also a deciding factor.
The price is not the only basis when choosing an incubator. Although there are cheap incubators available today, it might not always be the best option for you. Often times, the cheap ones only give short-term results. In the long run, you might have to buy another one, or spend more for repair costs.
But this doesn’t mean that expensive incubators are great choices as well. You need to check all other factors – the chicken house where you’ll install this, style, design, features, and capacity. You never know that maybe you are just paying for the name and not the quality.
Poultry farming is never easy. From raising chickens to choosing a chicken egg incubator, there will always be problems that will arise. Even if you get an excellent quality incubator, some things will stay uncontrollable. Just keep in mind that mother nature also does an excellent job in hatching. But if you are really in a hurry, then probably, you need to get something you can rely on, something that is proven and tested.