SO YOU WANT TO INCUBATE!
Artificial incubation, already known by Chinese people and Egyptians about 1000 years before Christ, is currently implemented by machines commonly named incubators, properly conceived and manufactured to control and keep constant the artificial conditions of temperature, humidity, ventilation and rotation of eggs as set up by the user.
During the years, F.I.E.M. has contributed to the design and implementation of more and more improved devices able to control the whole incubation process, by a simple operation.
It has also to be mentioned that good incubation strictly depends on the usage of suitable incubator, as well as on a set of very important factors which can affect the final results, unless properly managed.
To help proper incubation, it is necessary to act during breeding so that the egg is not exposed to bad weather conditions, intense coldness, air drafts, direct sunlight, excessive heat or humidity; to this purpose we recommend to collect them several times a day by suitable egg trays used in our Astrale series, to ensure extreme ease in cleaning and disinfecting, thanks to their manufacturing materials.
Broken and fissured eggs, eggs with irregular shell, double yolk or irregularly-shaped blood spots are to be rejected. All proper eggs must be instead kept in suitable rooms at temperature around 14-16°C for maximum seven days - since longer periods badly affect the hatching percentage – and anyway not less than three days.
Incubators must be located in a healthy, easy-to-ventilate environment, at least 60 cm from the walls, preventing their direct exposure to solar radiation or heat sources. The best temperature in the rooms where machines are kept is between 17° C and 23°C and must not be subject to thermal changes of any kind.
Incubation really starts when eggs are placed inside the incubator and ends about 2/3 days before the supposed birth of the chick. From this moment, hatching phase starts and ends when the chick gets out of the shell.
F.I.E.M. provides its customers with a highly diversified series of products useful to manage the different phases of incubation and hatching in separate machine or inside the same machine.
Incubators, properly conceived to generate heat, humidity, ventilation and to turn eggs, consist of materials keeping these values constant and making cleaning easier at cycle end.
The temperature must be kept constant since excessively high or low values could accelerate or slowdown, respectively, the embryo development, with abnormal situations arising thereof and provoking the birth of malformed or weak chick or even their death inside the shell.
To ensure the proper embryo development, a proper administration of humidity is required, meaning the quantity of water in the air. F.I.E.M. can provide for a series of systems able to administer humidification, from the simple use of manually or automatically-filled basins to the innovative digital management of ultrasound atomisation system or compressed-air spray nozzle.
Another important parameter for a good incubation is ventilation which helps air exchanges between embryo and the external environment. It has to be remembered that a wrong ventilation would provoke an excessive accumulation of carbon dioxide causing high mortality.
The automatic turning of eggs, to be performed delicately, naturally imitates female behaviour during brooding and aims at improving heat distribution on egg surface, preventing dangerous adhesions of embryo to shell walls.
Candling procedure is performed on eggs incubated by at least one week or possibly before hatching, to ensure about embryo vitality; to this purpose, special lamps are used, named candling lamps, which pass on every single egg (in dark rooms) to determine whether they are fertile or not, or find any dead embryo inside the shell.
The hatching phase starts about 2/3 days before the birth and can be performed inside the same incubator (if equipped with drawers suitable for hatching) or in a separate machine properly conceived and designed for this delicate final phase. Humidity and heat distribution are different from incubation phase and, if all incubation operations have been properly performed, the chick starts pecking the egg on the 19th day and hatches between the 20th and the 21st day.
Chicks are to be moved from the hatching chamber only when properly dried and weaned according to the different criteria suggested by F.I.E.M. in “warm electric brooders” section dedicated to the various weaning systems.