When titled as a farmer, there are number of different tasks and duties that fall on your shoulders. There are animals to feed, crops that need watering, equipment that needs fixing, and a host of other things that need tending to. The life of a farmer is not an easy one at all, and because of all the work that’s involved, it’s a lifestyle that’s not the most attractive to a lot of people out there. With that said, there’s no denying the importance that farmers carry. They are the reason that we have food and crops, and we would be so completely lost without them. One of the most iconic parts of any farm is easily that of chickens.
Chickens are incredibly useful animals, and one of their main duties is to hatch eggs. However, unknown to some, there’s actually a lot of work that goes into the egg hatching process.
A mother hen is tasked with properly incubating her egg, but there’s an odd trend that’s been happening with a lot of modern hens. That trend? They aren’t doing a great job at properly incubating their babies. An egg that isn’t incubated correctly could either die or become deformed, and neither of those are positive outcomes. If this happens to be the case, a farmer will often have to incubate and hatch the egg themselves.
However, just what goes into this whole process? That’s what we’re here today to find out.
Get your incubator set up
First of all, you need to ensure that you have an incubator and that it is set up properly. When hatching eggs via an incubator, you’ll want to ensure that the temperature is at exactly 99.5-degrees all the time. If it is just 1 single degree higher or lower for any more than a few hours, the embryo of the egg will be killed off entirely.
Additionally, you need to ensure that the humidity in the area is somewhere between 40 and 50%. This needs to be kept up for the first 18 days of the incubating process, and the last few days before the egg hatches, that level should be between 65 and 75%.
Last but not least, your incubator needs to have proper vents or holes throughout the machine to ensure that enough air flow is able to circulate and move through the egg. This essentially allows the egg to breath, and is critical to a healthy hatch.
Getting your egg to incubate
When incubating an egg, you’ll have to wait a total of 21 days for the process to complete. However, this incubating process is so much more than simply placing an egg in your incubator and calling it good at that. When incubating an egg, you need to ensure that you frequently turn it. You’ll need to gently turn an egg at least 3 time each day, but if you can do this more often, that’s even better.
You should keep up this whole process of turning the egg up until the 18 th day of the incubating process, but stop after this. For the last few days before the egg hatches, you’ll want to leave it alone and not bother it at all.
Time to hatch!
A couple days prior to the egg actually hatching, you’re more than likely going to notice that the egg will start to shift ever so slightly throughout the day. This shifting takes place because the fetus inside the egg is becoming more and more active. Following this shift, the chick inside will then peck a very tiny hole somewhere in the egg to get its very first breath of fresh air.
However, once this hold has been made, don’t fret if your chick stops moving. Once the chick pecks this hole and starts breathing, it will usually rest for anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to build its strength back up.
Following this resting period, the chick will the resume the hatching process and begin to break out of the rest of its egg. You might be inclined to help your chick while it is hatching from its egg, but it’s best to leave the little chick alone. It’s incredibly easy to injury the chick’s frail body during this process, so leave it be and let mother nature take its course.
Once your chick finally hatches completely from its egg, keep it in the incubator so it can use the warmth of the machine to properly dry off. From here, you’ll want to then move it to a brooder where it will begin the very first few weeks of its life!