The process of incubating eggs carries with it a lot of responsibilities that you have to fulfill in order to have a successful hatch. One of the things that a farmer will need to do on a daily basis during the incubation process is to keep turning the eggs.
That is, unless you have an incubator that is fitted with an automatic egg turner – the ultimate in convenience!
But what exactly is egg turning important irrespective of whether it is done manually or automatically? The answers to this question will set the ball rolling as we look at how to do it.
Let’s take a quick look at the importance of this process. First of all, you need to turn these eggs because when they are under the custody of a hen, she does the turning every eighteen to thirty minutes and in the incubator case, there is no hen hence you are the “acting hen”.
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When embryos are beginning to develop, they start their life on the upper side of the yolk. The yolk is the food that the embryos feed on at this stage and when it is turned, it floats upwards so that the embryos can continue drawing the necessary nutrients they need from the yolk.
When this turning is not done or done on time, the embryos will lack all the necessary nutritional supplies that they need. This lack of nutrients can lead to feeble and malnourished chicks and if taken too far, it can lead to the death of the embryos.
Now with a clear understanding of why this process needs to be undertaken, it is now time that we look at how best you can turn your eggs. Below are guidelines on what you need to do and what you need to avoid as you turn the eggs.
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Frequency of turning
For optimal results, turn the eggs a minimum of 2 -5 times per day. According to authorities in this field, the more times you turn the eggs, the better the results.
Know when to stop turning the eggs
You are supposed to stop turning the eggs 3 days before they hatch. This means that you need to keep a proper calendar so that you can know exactly when these days set in. The reason behind this is that during the last 3 days, the embryos will be moving towards their hatching position.
Use markings on the eggs to help you turn them
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For easier turning, you need to mark the eggs with an “X” on one side and an “O” on the other .This will help you know which of the eggs have been turned or not.
Take caution while turning
Before you turn the eggs, take the following precautions:
- Ensure that your hands do not have any dust or grease on them. This is because when egg shells are exposed to oil or grease, they lose their chances of hatching;
- Ensure that you handle eggs in their first week of incubation with extra care. This is because they contain fragile embryos that have just begun to form and they have fragile blood vessels that can be damaged easily in case the eggs are mishandled;
- Remember to close the incubator properly after turning the eggs so that you don’t interfere with temperatures on the incubator.
So far you have gained access to all the necessary information you need to perform successful egg turning. This is because of you turn the eggs successfully in line with every fact shared in this article, you will end up with a greater hatching success. Additionally, you will get healthy and bigger chicks that will populate your poultry farm.