Classical theories surrounding egg incubation suggest that constant, stable temperatures are critical if you wish to incubate your eggs successfully. But new evidence has shown that not only is periodic cooling does not just leave the eggs unharmed, it actually improves the hatch rates of egg batches!
To read the full research paper click here.
Of course, when using the best incubator in the world - the natural broody hen - the eggs are regularly left to cool as the hen leaves the eggs for food, drink and toilet time! For the past 35 years, Brinsea products have been very successful at mimicing the natural nest conditions which is why they have recently introduced the cooling option on their incubators.
When it comes to successful egg incubation, every little helps. In the case of the new cooling option, the average user of the Octagon 40 Advance can expect one extra hatch per full batch.
The cooling feature on Brinsea incubators will turn off the incubator’s heater and low temperature alarm for a selectable amount of time, the fan will keep on running throughout the cooling period. Once the cooling period is finished the incubator will then return to its normal temperature with the alarm reset automatically. If you do not want the cooling feature, it can be turned off altogether. The default setting is that cooling is set to off, otherwise you can set cooling periods of 60, 120, 180, 240, 300 and 360 minutes at fixed 24 hour intervals. This new function applies to the Advance and Advance EX versions of the Mini, Octagon 20, Octagon 40, OvaEasy 190 and OvaEasy 380 models.
Upon reviewing the research, Brinsea concluded that smaller poultry, waterfowl and game bird eggs are best cooled for 2 hours each day. Whereas, larger eggs (e.g. duck and goose) are cooled for 3 hours each day from day 7 through to 2 days before they are due to hatch (the same point that automatic turning would normally be turned off). Cooling is not recommended for parrots and birds of prey because the results of cooling for these species haven’t yet been established. This cooling feature is an option which can be enabled to improve your hatch rates.