If you don’t have a broody breed of hen or it seems unlikely that your hen will go broody then you can artificially incubate your eggs. It is slightly more complicated and time consuming to incubate an egg yourself using an incubator, for example you will have to check the egg regularly. However, if you have a large number of eggs and since the incubators tend to behave more reliably than a hen, it is actually better to use the incubator. And practice makes perfect.
What equipment do you need?
There is a standard range of incubation equipment you will need to get started:
- Incubator - for example the Brinsea Mini Eco is a great starter incubator.
- Candling lamp - such as the Brinsea Ovaview to help you watch your eggs develop.
- Anti-bacterial cleaning solutions- Virkon S tablet.
- Thermometer for the room
- An incubation record sheet- you can download one here
- Pencils - to mark the eggs and take notes.
- Incubator instructions - You can download all the Brinsea incubator instruction manuals from the incubation shop category. For example the Brinsea Mini Eco Instruction Manual
Choosing the right incubatorThere are a reasonable number in incubators available on the market. Most incubators work in a similar way by providing heat and humidity to the developing egg. Below is a diagram showing the basic components that make up an incubator.
The basic parts of an incubator.