It is the joy of every farmer to practice productive farming as this guarantees profit and gives motivation to go on
If you have adequate space to keep a large flock, it is good to consider the cheapest and easiest method to hatch chicken eggs. For those who don’t have an incubator, there is an alternative.
Requirements for a homemade incubator
- A plastic bin or any other available material that can be used to make a simple incubator.
- Water bowl.
- Dry towel
- Enough cotton wool
Factors to consider when hatching chicken eggs without an incubator
When handling eggs, make sure that your hands are always clean. This will help avoid blocking the air spaces with dirt or grease that may be on your hands.
Choose a room with stable humidity and temperature to avoid damaging the eggs. This will ensure that you achieve a higher hatch rate.
Use grease or lead pencils only to mark the eggs. Mark them with a y on one side and the other with x to easily help determine eggs which have been turned.
Prepare your plastic bin by drilling holes on the lid and sides to ensure there is enough ventilation. Lack of enough air will lead to death of chicks in the shells and this will lower the hatch rate.
Place a towel on the bottom of the bin. On top of the towel put a cotton wool and place the eggs evenly spread. Place a thermometer inside the bin to check the temperature of the eggs.
Make sure you have enough space on the lid to fit incandescent gooseneck lamp inside the bin. The lamp will provide the required warmth to hatch the eggs.
Mist the eggs daily with pure water daily and ensure that the humidity inside the bin remains at 60%. Placing clean water inside the bin in a bowl ensures that there is relative humidity.
Do not forget to turn the eggs daily at least twice and ensure that they are evenly spread. Turning helps relax the embryos and exercise their muscles.
If you don’t have a towel to put at the bottom of your plastic bin you should not be scared as you can use wood shavings, rice husks` or even sand as long as they keep the temperature moderate.
Never use market eggs as you can’t tell the difference between those fertilized or not. Using eggs laid by your flock or those from known farms is recommendable
Any thermometer can be used as long as it functions well. Never put the eggs in direct sunlight. Select a room that is between 37 degrees and 38 degrees Celsius.
If you do not have a plastic bin you can opt for some used carton boxes of good quality and desirable size depending on the number of eggs you have.
For those who don’t have spray bottles to spray the eggs can place some clean water in a container inside the home made incubator. It is good you put in mind that chicken eggs take 18 to 21 days to hatch.
DIY. How to make an incubator
With the required materials ready, making an incubator is easy. Here are the steps to follow when making a simple incubator for you.
- Choose a bin of the right size depending on the number of eggs you intend to incubate. You can use other available materials like carton boxes or card boards if you do not have a plastic bin.
- Put a dry towel at the bottom and place enough cotton wool on top of the towel. The towel and cotton wool will ensure that heat is retained and the eggs remain warm throughout the brooding period.
- Most plastic bins are perforated on the sides. If yours is not perforated, make enough holes to make sure there is sufficient air circulation. Also make holes on the lid as hot rising air will escape through the top.
- Make sure on the lid there is an opening large enough to fit a goose neck lamp. The heat source will provide required warmth to hatch the eggs.
- Suspend the heat source from the ceiling.
- Place the eggs inside the bin and place a bowl with some clean water. Put the thermometer inside the bin to check the temperature.
- This kind of a homemade incubator is easy to make and cheap.