Building a homemade egg incubator and using the same to hatch eggs is a great activity that can teach a lot to kids and even adults. It is a responsibility that you need to fulfill in order to get desired results. There are a lot of things that you will have to keep in mind before starting a homemade chicken incubator project.
Apart from the planning on how to make a homemade incubator, you will have to keep various things in mind. Offering an ideal environment inside a homemade egg incubator is essential for the success of such a project. And to maintain the ideal environment and ensure hatching of healthy chicks, you should keep the following pointers in mind before starting a homemade egg incubator project:
Before placing the eggs in a homemade egg incubator you need to prepare the eggs to improve the chances of hatching. You should make sure that the eggs are not stored for more than 7 days before you start incubating them for hatching. Also, make sure you do not directly put cold eggs in the incubator. Bring them to room temperature before placing them into the incubator. Failing to do so might result in moisture condensation on the shell that can reduce the hatch rate.
It is really important to control humidity inside a homemade incubator for chickens. This prevents loss of egg moisture and supports the incubation process. According to experts, humidity should stay in between 25-60% from the beginning of incubation to the last three days before hatching. During the last three days of incubation, maintaining humidity between 70-80% is recommended for the best results from a homemade chicken egg incubator.
Keep in mind that the local humidity level in your area will affect the amount of water needed inside a homemade egg incubator. Keep water level inside the water dish on the floor to control humidity, effectively.
Turning the eggs is an important part of the incubation process. Experts suggest that you should try to turn the eggs for 4-5 times a day. But even if you cannot turn eggs for 4-5 times, you should at least turn the eggs for 2-3 times every day.
Keep in mind that during the last three days, eggs are not required to be turned as embryos inside the eggs are moving into hatching position. Also, keep the homemade incubator for chicken eggs completely closed during the hatching period to maintain the right temperature and humidity. Just handle the turning process with extreme caution during the first week as developing embryos are extremely delicate with soft blood vessels. Fast shaking and jerking can damage the embryos.
While using a homemade incubator for chickens, you should have a complete control over the temperature inside the incubator. Generally, a temperature of 99.5F should be maintained for hatching the eggs of common birds like chickens, duck, goose, etc. Temperature control is extremely important as too high temperature will kill the embryos and low temperature will hatch the eggs sooner than normal hatching time. This will lead to premature birds that will be sick or weak and will die sooner than healthier birds.
Duration of incubation depends upon the type of egg you are incubating. Usually, if you are incubating a chicken egg, then 21 days is the common duration for incubation. However, humidity, temperature and other factors will lead to variation in the duration of incubation. While using a homemade incubator for chicken eggs, you must keep a check on all the parameters diligently to provide the right environment for incubation and hatching. Also, you must ensure that the egg must hatch in the commonly accepted period for a healthy bird.
A homemade chicken incubator project is a fun activity that you can plan with your kids to teach them about discipline, punctuality, responsibility and at the same time enable them to experience the miracle of life. They will be happy to see chicken eggs hatching in front of their eyes and at the same time understand the importance of ideal temperature and humidity for the hatching process. It can also serve as an ideal school project and they can create a great report as their homework. Maybe, after seeing chickens hatch, they learn to see life in a new light and value their existence as well of others in a better way than before.
So, instead of giving them a chance to glue themselves to the TV screens or gaming consoles, help them build a chicken incubator at home and give them something that they can proudly claim of developing under their supervision. To know more about how to make a homemade incubator, you can check our website for the process.