Eggs. Eggs are amazing things. The structure alone could take up a page of information. The nutritionally value has been studies more times then needed, but is so amazing that people just keep looking at it over and over. Not only that, but what a versatile food. Not only is it clean and untouched before broken and used for food, you can fix an egg in so many ways. How could a cake be baked and baked nicely without eggs in the ingredient?
How amazing that a mother bird SITS on her eggs to hatch them into baby birds. The warmth of her body allowing the baby to form inside that thin, yet strong shell. Further, that a human could take a machine, an incubator, and hatch babies birds is also one of those thing a person could think about for hours.
Is this a new practice? HEAVENS NO!
THIS PAGE IS VERY MUCH UNDER CONSTRUCTION.....MUCH MORE TO COME
Believe it or not, some adults do not know that not all eggs are fertile. No. You can not use those chicken eggs from the Grocery Store to hatch chickens. And for more than one reason. For eggs to be fertile you must have a male and female of the same species that have mated, per egg. No. Your chicken can not fertilize your goose's eggs. Ducks and geese are different species.
NOT ALL BIRD EGGS ARE THE SAME
Depending on the size of the incubator you are using, it may or may not be able to accommodate the type of eggs you would like to hatch. The eggs need to fit correctly and, if you will, comfortably, into the incubator.
READ THE DIRECTIONS THAT COME WITH YOUR INCUBATOR
PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT COME WITH YOUR INCUBATOR. SIT DOWN AND REALLY READ THEM. If you did not receive instructions with your incubator, go on line and look up how to incubate the type of eggs you are putting into the machine. Better yet, look up the instructions that should have been with your incubator. Many times these sort of information sheets are free to down load on the manufacturer's site.
A person can not just fill up the egg incubator and walk away for 20somthing days and think they can come back to a machine full of healthy happy new bird babies. There is much to do when you incubate eggs. You must attend the eggs at least once a day, and some eggs twice a day. You will need a sprayer that spritzes so that you can moisten your eggs lightly and you will need to turn them. Most people that incubate eggs mark one side on the egg, or both, so that they can know if and when they turned them.
Know how long of incubation period the type of eggs you put into the incubator takes before hatching. Your eggs need care just as your baby birds will when they hatch.
IF YOUR ELECTRIC GOES OFF
DO NOT OPEN THE INCUBATOR!
If your electric goes off, and everyone's does now and again, do not panic. Go and get a blanket and lay it over the top of your incubator until the electric comes back on. When the electric comes back on, leave the incubator alone for several hours. It might be time to turn the eggs, but if you chill the eggs by opening the incubator, turning them will not matter. You do not want those eggs to get chilled. Do not be tempted to open the incubator so that you can handle an egg to see if it is still warm. LEAVE the incubator alone.
CANDLING YOUR INCUBATOR EGGS
Candling eggs means that you will look into the eggs as the bird is growing within to check and make sure there is indeed a chick inside that egg. Not every fertile egg will produce a baby bird. Candling was first done, of course, with a candle long before there was electric. Thus the name.
To Candle Your Eggs:
Please research the type of birds you will be hatching out. Some birds will need hand feeding several times a day, every single day for three or more weeks. Some hatch out and are ready to eat and drink and follow you everywhere. Not all baby birds will eat the same feed. Know what is best for the type of bird you are hatching. Don't wait to buy the type of food you will be needing. You can usually buy just a couple of pounds at feed stores. If you are only planning a few birds, buy less food. If you set up to hatch 25 or more babies, buy a larger amount of the food that type of bird eats. Have your baby bird area set up and ready for the birds before the birds are due to hatch. Also, a week or more before the eggs hatch, check your heat lamp and make sure it is working and working well and correct.
All baby birds must be kept warm, dry, clean, and fed. You might/will need a heat lamp to keep them warm. You will need several towels or other absorbent bedding pieces to help keep them warm. Your baby birds will need to be attended several times a day. They can be quite a mess and need to be cleaned, fed and watered many times a day.
BIRDS CAN MAKE GREAT INDOOR PETS TOO
You might be surprised how many people, sane people mind you, are keeping chickens, ducks and geese in their homes as pets in diapers. The birds or poultry, make great pets, if you spend the time with them, and really are not much more mess then a parakeet, except at meal time.
Before you run off and buy a Poultry Bird for a HousePet, do your research. Ducks and Geese can live very long lives. Once they are raised indoors, these birds will not do well outdoors. I have entire websites about keeping Poultry as Indoor Pets, please see our sister sites (at the right, under the navigation strip) take the time to read up on the care it takes. Do as much research on the type of bird you want to keep (indoor or out) before buying.
Please do not incubate eggs that when hatched the birds have no home. If you are going to incubate eggs have the birds "spoken for" before they are put into the incubator. And remember, as hard as it will be, those baby birds need to go to their new homes shortly after hatching. If people buy your birds for pets, especially indoor pets, they will want the baby bird to bond with them right away.
When your baby birds go to their new homes, make sure that the new owners know and understand the care the bird will need and how large the bird will become. It is a real good idea to write the bird care down (type it up) so that the new owners can refer back to it. We all know how exciting it is to buy a new pet, we are not always focused on what the people are saying about it, we are focused on how cute the pet is!
Be prepared for the new owners to call or email you now and again with questions. Some of the questions might seem very stupid to you, just keep in mind, it is a real question to them and they are just trying to take the best care of their new bird as they can. And they are asking for your help.
EASTER DUCKS, CHICKENS AND GEESE
Many baby birds are hatched out for Easter Gifts. In the right hands this is no problem. But to buy these inexpensive pets for a child that is too young or does not live where they can keep the birds, just a tragedy for the bird. Most times the child keeps the bird in a box until the child tires of it, then out the door it goes, where it lands, no one knows. Some are taken to local ponds, where they will surely die and this is illegal, some are given to farms, some are used for pet food (snakes or large dogs), and many land in the local Animal Shelter. Please think and think hard before buying a bird at Easter. They are adorable! But need to have a good home too.
On the other side of that coin. IF you have a spouse or child that has been wanting a pet duck or goose or chick for a pet, or if your child is in 4H, if the person receiving the pet knows the care and time involved, well then, Easter is a great time of the year to purchase your new pet. Just make sure you are not the family hosting the celebration, you don't want too many people holding the bird or children around it. And please make sure all the adults in the home are ok with this sort of pet, indoors or out.
CLEANING YOUR INCUBATOR AFTER YOUR LAST EGGS FOR THE SEASON HAVE HATCHED
Be sure to unplug and clean your incubator very soon after your last egg hatches. Clean it well and correct and let it dry completely before packing it up and putting it away. Again, pull out your manufacturer's manual and clean according to what the manufacturer recommends for your own incubator. If you put your incubator away without cleaning, bugs and or mice may/will get into it to eat what has been left behind within.
1. Incubating eggs away from the mother bird has been practiced almost as long as man has been on Earth? History tells us that Aristotle wrote about Egyptians hatched eggs in 400 BC and Chinese History tells us that they were hatching eggs artificially as early in the year 246.
2. People hatch all sorts of eggs in incubators, chickens, parrots, pigeons, snakes, reptile, turkies, turtles and about any type of animal that comes out of an egg.
3. The patent for use and construction of egg hatching incubators for chickens, ducks, and other farm birds in the USA dates back to 1844.
4. Eggs must have water added, spritzing, to hatch.
5. Most duck breeds take 28 days to hatch, Mascovies take 36 days to hatch.
6. Most birds form their tongues on the fourth day of incubation.
7. Animals hatching from eggs have an "egg tooth", it is a very hard piece of beak that they use to crack and open the egg so that they can hatch.
8. You can often hear eggs "peep" before they hatch.
9. Not all eggs will hatch at the same temperatures. Be sure to check the temperature that your type of eggs will need to form correctly.
10. Hatcheries use very large incubators, larger then most folks refrigerators.
11. There are many sites on the Internet where a person can purchase all sorts of types of fertile eggs.
The contents of this page for Incubating Eggs is still under construction. Please check back.