Animal Husbandry - Poultry
01. Poultry breeding
02. Systems of breeding in poultry breeding
03. Selection and improvement of Poultry
04. Choice of birds in Poultry breeding
05. Different factors - choosing birds in Poultry breeding
06. Culling of Poultry in poultry breeding
07. Effect of culling on eggs production
08. Incubation and hatching of eggs - poultry breeding
09. Selection of broody hen for hatching eggs
10. Selection and hatching of eggs in detail
11. Setting nests, hen and eggs for hatching
12. Care of sitting hen, hatching eggs, candling
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You are reading Animal husbandry article on Poultry Breeding
VII. Incubation and Hatching
For economical production of poultry it is necessary that the flock is renewed every two years (in exceptional cases three years to replace the birds that have died or have been culled or sold). It means that one-half to one-third of the flock must be replaced each year by new birds, usually chicks. It is always safer to hatch the chicks from eggs by incubation.
A. What is incubation?
Incubation can be defined as a process of multiplication of poultry stock by hatching out chicks from fertile eggs, naturally or artificially. Incubation can be done by setting eggs under a broody hen. This is called natural incubation. Eggs can also be hatched artificially in a machine incubator and this is known as artificial incubation. These incubators are worked by hot water or hot air with ! kerosene or electricity.
Whether natural or artificial incubation, the time taken for an egg to hatch out is the same. Incubation period of different birds is given below:
Fowls (chicken) -21 days
Ducks -28 days
Geese -30 days
Guinea fowls -26 days
Pheasant -24 days
Pigeons - 18 days
Quails -18 days
Turkey -28 days
The advantages and disadvantages of natural or artificial method of incubation are discussed in table 2.
Table 2 : Advantages and disadvantages of natural and artificial incubation
A villager with a small poultry unit normally prefers the natural incubation methods, as he can collect only a small number of eggs in a week's time for hatching and they can easily be kept under one broody hen. Using an incubator for as mall number of eggs is not economical.
A large number of eggs necessary to load in an incubator and which cannot be collected by a small farmer within 7 or 8 days, as each farmer may keep only few birds in his flock. If a number of small farmers join together and collect all their eggs, there could be a possibility of using an incubator provided there is regular supply of electricity /kerosene. The incubation temperature required for chicken is 37.6° C (99.7S°F).
Next : Selection of broody hen for hatching eggs
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