1. The Basics of Incubation
When incubating eggs, there are five key factors to bear in mind:
- Temperature – With the egg at the correct temperature (for most species this is 37.5°C), the biological process of incubation will commence and the embryo will begin to grow. The temperature must be sustained throughout the incubation period.
- Egg turning and positioning – As the egg is turned, the embryo will pass through the egg white, allowing it to gain fresh nutrients. As the embryo grows, correct positioning of the egg ensures that the embryo forms in the correct position for hatching.
- Humidity – The shell of an egg is porous, meaning that water can pass through it. Over the egg incubation period, water passes from the egg to the air outside. Correct humidity ensures that the right amount of water is lost over time. It is important to remember that humidity will vary, and this is not a big problem; it is the average humidity that matters more.
- Fresh Air – It is important to note that during incubation the egg breaths; it takes in oxygen from the surrounding air and gives out carbon dioxide. A fresh air supply is vital to egg incubation and hatching eggs.
- Clean Environment – During incubation, eggs are susceptible to infection. The warm, egg incubator is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Eggs should be clean and disinfected before egg incubation begins.
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