By Lynette Simango
A new customer sent his eggs in for our incubation services on a Tuesday morning and we gladly received the eggs and the money of course. On wed around 5 pm they called in to check if their chicks had hatched already. Obviously, they had no idea how an incubator operates. My aunt kindly told him, it takes the same timeframe as of a brooding hen for the eggs to hatch. I know the customer must have been frustrated and had a lot of questions on his mind, one being – Why would anyone send their eggs for incubation when a broody hen can perfom the same job? So here is why you should consider artificial incubation over brooding.
1) Unlike natural brooding where you have to give your broody hen at most 20 eggs, with an incubation many chicks can be hatched at a time in a short while.
2) Another thing is that it is possible to plan when to hatch the chicks unlike with the hen one may not know when it can sit for the eggs. From a personal experience, winter is not a good time to hatch chicks and with incubation you can choose not to do that during winter.
3) Artificial incubation cannot spread parasites and diseases to the chicks and lastly there is no cost for feeding a broody hen since an incubator is used.
4) Incubation is very effective. Chances of eggs spoilage are minimized since all eggs are subjected to the optimal hatching temperatures. When customers increase with each passing day, you know you are doing your job right- 90% plus hatching rate.
5) And of course there are no chances of the hen damaging eggs through pecking, a common occurrence with natural incubation.