Egg Incubator Information
THE STORY OF THE EGG
Chickens have fathers and mothers just as people do. The father chickens are called roosters. Mother chickens are called hens.
The egg starts with a germ spot. This is the small, rather tough white spot you find in our breakfast egg. Next comes the yolk, then four separate layers of white. All of these parts are kept in shape by membranes—very thin layers of transparent “skin.”
At the large end of the egg is an air pocket, filled with oxygen. The shell, that looks as though it were solid, is actually porous. That is, there are thousands of tiny holes in it, so small that it is impossible to see them. The egg breathes through these holes.
WHAT IS A FERTILE EGG?
Before it can produce a baby chick, an egg must be fertile. A hen can lay eggs all her life without laying a fertile one, for in order to produce a fertile egg, a hen must have a husband. The germ spot in the fertile egg is the part that becomes the baby. Before the egg is hatched, the baby is called an “embryo.” The embryo must have food while it is growing. It gets its nourishment from the yolk of the egg. That is why the germ spot is
always attached to the side of the yolk. The egg white is a cradle for the growing embryo. If the egg gets bumped accidentally, or if it is moved too suddenly, the soft white around the embryo comes between it and the shell and cushions the shock.
DON’T SCRAMBLE YOUR EGG!
A fertile egg is so delicate that it can be ruined by small mistakes. Sometimes a perfectly good egg won’t hatch because it has been turned wrong end up, or shaken. If an egg gets cold or too warm, the embryo won’t develop correctly. Experienced poultry men never expect to have every egg in the incubator hatch.
KEEP YOUR YOLK IN PLACE!
A mother hen reaches underneath her body and turns her eggs frequently with her beak. This is because the egg yolk tends to float toward the shell. When the egg lies too long in one position, the white separates and allows the yolk to float through, forcing the germ against the shell and killing it. The mother hen avoids this by changing the position of her eggs Remember, the Chick Hatcher takes the place of a mother hen. When a hen has babies, she sits on the eggs until they hatch. She keeps them warm by spreading her soft feathers over them. She is very careful with them and won’t let anyone else touch her eggs.
PREPARING YOUR CHICK HATCHER
IT’S UP TO YOU
The creation of life is a complex and mysterious process. From the moment you place an egg in your Egg Incubator you will be partly responsible for the creation of a life. If you make mistakes, your chick will die inside the egg. Statistics show that under ideal conditions, about 75% of fertile eggs hatch successfully. On some farms, only about 49% hatch. The Egg Incubator is scientifically designed to give as near ideal conditions as possible. Now it is up to you to follow instructions very carefully, so that the egg you put in your Egg Incubator will develop into a healthy, happy little chick.
STEP I: LOCATION OF Egg Incubator
Once you have put an egg into the incubator it should not be moved; so it is wise to select a location before using it. It is best to place your Egg Incubator at about eye level.
DON’T PLACE YOUR Egg Incubator NEAR A GAS HEATER: Carbon dioxide from gas will kill an embryo.
IN A DRAFT: An embryo develops pneumonia easily. Avoid a spot where wind will blow directly on the Chick Hatcher.
NEAR A HEATER: Too much heat can kill an embryo.
IN A COLD ROOM: The Egg Incubator is built to maintain proper incubation temperature in a moderately heated room (72° is deal). The heating unit cannot provide sufficient warmth in a freezing room.
WIRE RACK AND SHIELD FOR EGGS
Your Egg Incubator is equipped with the a UNIVERSAL WIRE RACK to hatch all kinds of eggs. Follow the same instructions for
MIRACLE OF BIRTH
As the given number of days approaches the chick is almost fully developed. He turns slowly inside the egg shell, and begins to peck it with his beak. It can take him up to as long as 20 hours after the first peep to break out of the shell. All this time he keeps turning and pecking, until he has pecked a circle clear around the large end of the egg.
Don’t touch the Egg Incubator. Just watch through the dome if you want to see your chick. He’s very weak after the effort of being born. He’ll probably lie close to the egg for about eight hours before he starts moving around. He’s an ugly little thing, with his feathers all stuck down. He looks like nothing but great claws and beak.
Don’t try to feed him until he is completely dry and moved from incubator.
A HOME FOR YOUR CHICK
While your chick is resting and gaining strength, you should prepare his future home. Secure a cardboard box approximately 2 feet square. Sprinkle straw in the bottom about an inch deep. When the chick starts acting as though he wants to walk, it’s time to put him in his box. Make a slit in the corner of the box, about 4 inches from the bottom and extending about 8 inches along each side. Lift the chick very gently from his Egg Incubator—DON’T SQUEEZE—and put him into the box. Now work quickly so he won’t get chilled.
Empty the Chick Hatcher bowl and turn upside down. Keep the light turned toward the center of the box. Push the rim of the bowl into the slit in the box corner until it is steady and secure. Now PLUG IN THE LIGHT. Ideal temperature in area of light is 100° F. but other areas of box should be cooler.
When hatching several eggs, often there will be a difference in the time the chicks will hatch. In this case, you may hang a 25 or 40 watt bulb over your brooder box while the Chick Hatcher bowl is still being used for incubation. The bulb should be hung over one corner about 6 inches above the brooder bottom. After all chicks hatch the Chick Hatcher bowl can then be set as directed.
FOOD AND WATER
Fill a small jar lid with fresh water. Add gravel or marbles to the water to keep the chick from drowning. Lay the water lid in a corner of the box and put a dish of food beside it. Use a starting mash from the feed store. Do not feed the chicks seeds or hard course feed.
Plug cord into receptacle to turn light on. Place thermometer on wire rack about one inch from and parallel to the heat shield. Put dome on the base with notch in top aligned with notch on base. When thermometer stops and levels off, this will be the temperature in the incubator.
The desired temperature is 100 degrees, but a range between 98 and 102 degrees is acceptable. If temperature is slightly high, it may be lowered by tilting the bulb up towards the top of dome and also by sliding the foil down towards the bottom of the base, or removing the foil. If temperature is slightly low, it may be increased by tilting the bulb down towards the bottom, sliding the foil up higher behind the bulb or putting extra foil strip in bottom (running across the one that goes behind the bulb) to come up on sides of bottom and laying strips of foil over the dome.
If room temperature is between 70 and 74 degrees F. you will be able to adjust temperature to stay just about the 100 degrees desired.
HUMIDITY AND VENTILATION
CHICKS NEED MOISTURE! Heat from the bulb tends to dry the air which in turn drys the egg. Put water during the incubation in he gets out of the shell and his feathers will stick to the shell.
CHICKS NEED TO BREATH! Even while inside the egg the little chick must have plenty of air to breath. In order for the egg to absorb oxygen, the incubator must have proper circulation of air. The dome has a hole in the top to provide this ventilation, so be sure that it is not obstructed or closed up.
PLACING EGG IN INCUBATOR
When you have located, prepared and tested your Egg Incubator you are ready to put in the eggs.
Place the eggs on the wire rack, in the center and close to the heat shield, with the large end tilted slightly up. Inside the shell the chick grows with its head at the large end of the egg where the air pocket is located. If you stand the delicate little chick on its head it will not live. So keep this in mind: always lay egg on side with the LARGE END SLIGHTLY UP. Place thermometer on top of eggs about one inch from and parallel to the heat shield.
KEEP YOUR YOLK IN PLACE
Eggs must be turned regularly to prevent the yolk from settling to one side and to exercise the egg embryo. When you turn the egg, the embryo gets its exercise by turning in the shell until its head is upright.
In the Egg Incubator the eggs should be turned at least twice a day. To turn the egg, pick it up very gently, turn it end over end so that small end is pointing in the opposite direction. A small “X” and “0” on opposite sides is an aid in keeping up with the turning.
Three days before eggs are due to hatch, stop turning the eggs. They should not be disturbed during hatching time.
Different types of eggs take different lengths of time to hatch, as follows:
Quail - 21 to 23 days
Cortunix - 17 to 18 days (speckled eggs)
Chukar - 23 days
Bobwhite - 23 days (white eggs) Turkey - 28 days
Pheasant -23 days
Duck -28 to 33 days
Chickens - 21 days
Goose -28 to 30 days
Be gentle at all times. NEVER touch your egg except to turn it. When you turn it, be careful not to jerk or jar it. Replace dome quickly.
NOW IF ALL GOES WELL, YOU WILL SOON HAVE YOUR OWN DOWNY LITTLE BABY CHICK!
KEEP IT HOT
Your chick will need plenty of heat for the first few days. Keep the brooder over him with the light on. If he gets too warm he’ll move. When you get acquainted with him you can tell whether he’s happy or sleepy or angry by the tone of his plaintive little “CHEEP! CHEEP!”
Don’t handle him for a few days and when you do finally pick him up, be very careful NOT TO SQUEEZE or FRIGHTEN HIM. See that he always has clean food and water and he’ll be a wonderful little pet.
BE KIND TO YOUR PET
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR CHICK: Be sure that your Chick always has WATER, FOOD and a clean home. When he gets too big for the house DON’T TURN HIM LOOSE. If you don’t have the facilities for caring for him properly it is suggested that you give him to a local hatchery, farm, Humane Society, Feed or
COLD: In room temperatures of 64 °to 69 ° may compensate for these lower temperatures by placing a piece of kitchen aluminum foil (6¾” x 6¾”) over dome of Chick Hatcher. Shape and trim so that window is clear.
Do not discard the egg if your temperature drops for a short period of time. The embryo may survive if returned to incubating temperature.
HOT: In room temperatures of 75° to 790 Remove aluminum foil from bottom of bowl. Do not remove shield.
If room temperatures exceed 80°, pull plug from socket to turn off bulb periodically. Under high temperature conditions the temperature inside Chick Hatcher should be checked by hanging thermometer with scotch tape to inside of dome so that bulb of thermometer is at same height as top of eggs. Ideal incubating temperatures are from 97 to 101 . Temperatures of 103 °or more will kill embryo.
HOW TO GET YOUR FERTILE EGG
CHICKEN, DUCKS, TURKEY AND OTHER FARM YARD FOWL—Write to your State Agriculture Department, capitol of your state and neighboring states and request names of producers of eggs you desire.
GAME BIRD EGGS—Write to State Game and Fish Commission, capitol of your state and neighboring states and request names of producers of eggs you desire.
BOB WHITE AND CORTUNIX QUAIL EGGS may be obtained from G.Q.F. Manufacturing Co.