Being able to hatch an egg can be one of the best experiences that those
interested in poultry can have. There are many eggs that today can be incubated manually requiring only a person to monitor the incubator to ensure that the eggs receive the right amount of air and moisture. When hatching eggs, remember that even the best incubator will not be able to hatch all eggs successfully and so one should always plan to order a few extra eggs. An incubator that has good humidity, warmth, turning and ventilation can get a maximum success rate of 85%.
If planning to use an incubator, remember to avoid any eggs that are either too small or too large. At the same time any misshapen eggs that do not a perfect oval shape should also be discarded. Eggs that have very thin shells or ones that are cracked should be kept out of an incubator as there is a very negligible chance of these types of eggs hatching.
There are many precautions that one should take when hatching chicken eggs such as washing and thoroughly drying the hands to stop bacteria spreading. To prevent the spread of any diseases, it is best that all the eggs come from the same source. It is also advisable to not hold the hatching eggs for longer than three days before hatching.
Using the manual of the incubator, the temperature should be adjusted so that it is warmed up. While the incubator is heating up, allow any eggs that have been kept in cold areas to warm up to room temperature before putting them in the incubator as a direct application of heat to cold or damp eggs is not good for incubating.
Care should be taken to see that the right amount of ventilation, heat and humidity is provided. One needs to remind oneself that there are live chickens in the incubator and as such they need just the right amount of heat and oxygen to survive. The incubator should be kept in a room that is dry and not too damp or drafty.
Depending on the type of species that is hatching, water can be added to the incubator so as to control the level of humidity. Most incubators are equipped with mechanical turners hat are used to turn the eggs inside the incubator so as to prevent the embryo from sticking to the shell. However, if the incubator is not equipped with a mechanical turner, one has to turn the hatching eggs by hand. One also has to plan where the baby chicks will be kept, once they hatch from the eggs.