Chicken incubators are designed so that human beings can place the eggs the birds lay in them and hatch the eggs without the hen. By using chicken incubators it is possible for the human being to control when the little bird will hatch out thus increasing the chances of survival for the little birds. It also allows people to be able to continuously keep eggs ready to hatch so there is always a fresh supply of small birds.
Chicken incubators can be purchased from almost all feed and supply stores. The most common ones that are designed for household use are actually fashioned from Styrofoam like the ice chests you keep cold drinks in when you go on a picnic. You can get these types of incubators with attachments you place inside that are designed to turn the eggs for you or you can turn the eggs yourself.
When you have eggs in chicken incubators and do not have an automatic egg turner you need to turn the eggs at least three times every day. If you decide you want to turn the eggs more than three times then make certain that you turn them an odd number of times so the eggs never spend too much time in one position. On the 18th day of incubation you need to stop turning the eggs and allow the little chick inside to get prepared to hatch.
You need to have a fairly high humidity level inside chicken incubators in order for the chicks to form correctly and to be able to hatch. The humidity level inside the incubator needs to remain at approximately 60% until it is getting close to hatching time and then you can allow it to drop as low as 50%. If the humidity level is not maintained the little chick will often stick to the egg and be unable to free themselves from their shell.
You want the temperature inside the chicken incubators to remain at 99.5 degrees. The temperature can go as high as 101 and it can drop as low as 97 without damaging the birds as long as the temperature variation does not happen for a long period of time. If the eggs get too hot for too long or they get too cold for too long then the little embryos inside will stop forming and perish. There is a little known fact that the temperature inside the chicken incubators can cause more of one sex of chicks than the other. If the temperature during incubation stays to the high side of normal you will have more little roosters hatch and if the temperature stays more to the cooler side of the temperature range you will hatch more little hens from your eggs.
Chickens eggs incubate for 21 days but this is not an exact science. Sometimes the eggs will hatch as many as two days before you thought they should and sometimes they will hatch as long as four days after you thought they should. All of this has to do with the fact that the temperature inside the chicken incubators has to reach a certain level and remain that way consistently to create a chick. Sometimes they reach their temperature a little sooner than at other times.
You want to make certain that the chicken incubators you are using are placed where they will not be in a draft. Cool winds blowing on the device can keep the temperature inside the device from staying a constant temperature and damage the success of your eggs hatching. You also do not want to set the device in the direct sunlight because the sunlight shining on the device can cause the temperature inside to rise higher than you want it to.
One thing you should always do before you place your eggs into chicken incubators is to make sure that the device is holding its temperature accurately. To do this you will want to allow the device to be turned on and running for at least three days. You can check the temperature to make certain that the device was maintaining the correct temp for at least twelve hours continuously before you place the eggs inside. During these three days is a perfect time to place the water inside and get the humidity level regulated before you put the eggs inside.
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