Nature does a great job in maintaining the correct conditions in order to hatch an egg. But in the artificial environment of a commercial egg hatchery it becomes the job of the hatchery manager to ensure all conditions are as perfect as they can be in order to ensure maximum yield of quality chicks from each batch of eggs.
Not only are temperature and air flow critical but humidity also plays a crucial part in whole process.
Chick hatchery humidity levels
Pre-incubation storage: up to seven days 70-80%RH to reduce the risk of dehydration
Pre-incubation storage: over seven days 80-88%RH to reduce the risk of dehydration
Early Incubation: 50-60%RH to prevent excessive moisture loss resulting in dehydrated albumen and damaged embryo
Growth: 50-60%RH to allow the air space to develop to the correct size allowing chick’s lungs to develop correctly after internal pipping
Development: 50-60%RH to prevent wet navel and red hocks
Hatching: 50-60%RH to prevent shell sticking to down
Chick Pen and Broiler House first three days after hatching: 70%RH to prevent chicks dehydrating in the first few days after hatching
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This document presents an introductory step-by-step approach for food production managers on how to best manage humidity levels to optimise production, reduce waste and improve profitability.