If you are a poultry farmer, then an incubator is one of the tools you should not miss in your arsenal. This is if you want to get the optimal returns from your business. And if you do, proper cleaning is priority in determining how the hatchlings come along.
But you may have best incubator for hatching eggs, yet fail to get the best from it. A good incubator is like a fertile and conducive breeding ground. In it, you will give your eggs and embryos protection from germs and other harmful conditions.
Organisms such as bugs can interfere with the breeding process. In addition, the way you handle the eggs, say using dirty hands, can be the cause of problems.
Effective hatching of chicken eggs is not only about having the best incubator. It is how you care about the incubator that matters.
No matter how good an incubator is, you may not get 100% yield from it. But with proper care, at least 80% of you chicks will hatch.
Based on this, cleaning the incubator is an important exercise. Before and after hatching the eggs, makes sure the tools to have used are cleaned effectively before the next project. Hatching the eggs may too nice you might want o try again.
How do you clean the incubator then? Here are the steps:
The initial cleaning
This is the first step and a compulsory one. If you don’t get this well, then the next steps will not make much sense.
Physical cleaning is necessary as soon as the chicks are hatched. This will leave it clean for the next eggs you put in to settle in a clean environment.
There are waste materials you would not want affecting your eggs. The debris and shell remains from previous projects should be taken out.
The way you handle this initial step can make a big difference in your venture. Sometimes even a new incubator carries germs and must be cleaned thoroughly. Therefore, consider the following:
- Use detergents. It is important to include a detergent in your cleaning procedure. You should be careful not to use hard chemicals. Detergents will remove the dirt and make it easy to lift. Check the manual to understand the cleaning requirements.
- A hand-held sponge or broom can be nice for cleaning. They can take the dust out with ease. This will depend on the size of the incubator though.
Finish this step by allowing the incubator to dry first. After this, you are ready to move on to the next step.
This is the next level of your incubator cleaning process. It comes only after the incubator is sparking clean.
But outward cleaning only removes the dirt you can see. Germs on the other hand are a bit tricky to deal with. It takes more than water and soap to get rid of such.
By disinfection, you will have taken care of bacteria, fungi and germs. These are a huge threat to the embryo as they can easily penetrate through the shell. If your eggs get contaminated, you will have to count it a loss and get new ones. This is a waste you don’t have to experience.
There are a few disinfectants able to do the job effectively. But before you pick on one, you should to know how to sanitize. The most basic way is to spray the chemicals into the incubators. The other way is through fumigation. It is a method suitable for larger incubator.
There is also a decision to make regarding the kind of chemicals to use. Chicken eggs are very vulnerable to effects from many substances. You will therefore be required to check the instructions on the manual first. Here are the most common disinfectants:-
- Formaldehyde: This is a very popular disinfectant. Only ensure you handle it with proper care. It can be dangerous to your eggs if not well handled, and potentially dangerous to you as well! Wear gloves just to be safe.
- Chlorine: This is a common disinfectant in many households. It works well on smooth surfaces.
- Other sanitizers: There are a few other sanitizers on the market. Make sure the option you pick is not corrosive.
Drying and storing
Now that your incubator is clean, it is time to dry and store it away. If you are not ready to use it yet, it could be a good idea to ensure the incubator is kept clean at all times.
You should not use the incubator immediately. Give it about a day to properly dry. Otherwise the remaining moisture will corrode it.
This is a thorough maintenance procedure. You are ready to bring in the eggs for hatching. Always wash your hands clean when handling the eggs. Keep the eggs away from harm and danger and your eggs will hatch well.