Incubators keep the material of interest in a stable temperature and humidity conditions to allow for development and multiplication. Products such as eggs and cells require periods of uniform temperature and humidity for their development. This article will explain the factors required in a good incubator and the incubation process.
Incubators are used in agriculture and medicine to increase the number of an organism of interest. Recently, a lot of interest has developed in the incubation process of eggs for different birds; poultry, ostrich, quails, and many others. The conditions of the incubators resemble those achieved by the bird brooding over its eggs. The great benefit of the incubator is its ability to maintain stable and uniform conditions for hutching at a higher efficiency than can be achieved by most birds. A good incubator is designed with the following factors: temperature, humidity, ventilation, and egg turning.
Temperature affects the speed of the embryo’s development in the egg. Optimum temperatures should be maintained as fluctuations, even to ranges as small as one degree, can have adverse effects on the hatching of the eggs. A good incubate should maintain uniform temperatures of about 98.8oF to allow for reliable conversion of the egg’s contents into an embryo and a hatched chick. Temperature is an important factor to consider in determining incubator prices.
Eggs lose small amounts of moisture during the incubation; to develop air cells. The relative humidity drives this process of air cell creation within the incubator, which should therefore have precise control. A good incubator should have a humidity range of 40-60% during incubation. The initial stages of incubation are done at a humidity of 40% and progress to 60% in the last days of hatching.
The embryo in the egg requires Oxygen for respiration and, in turn, gives out Carbon dioxide. Therefore, air circulation over the eggs is required to maintain this delicate balance. A suitable incubator should have functional vents within it to achieve this purpose. Proper ventilation also helps regulate temperature by removing the excess heat the eggs produce during incubation.
Turning the eggs
Turning eggs occasionally is a requirement in a good incubator. In Manuals incubators, this is done manually to reposition eggs so that temperature distribution is uniform. Automated incubators have microprocessors that enable this process, with a minimum opening of the incubator doors.
Incubators come in different types: manual using paraffin, electrical, and solar. Depending on the availability of electricity, a user will choose the type most appropriate for achieving the task. It is important to note that the electrical incubator has more functionality than the manual.
The functionality and effectiveness of a suitable incubator greatly depend on the above factors and give the user the leeway to reap maximum benefits. When keenly considered, one is sure of choosing an effective incubator.