The different equipment used in the hatchery are:
These are small incubators holding a maximum of 300 eggs. This incubator has a lamp lit inside the incubator with a chimney. This runs on kerosene. The temperature differs from place to place in this incubator. Fresh air comes from the back and hot air leaves from the top of the incubator. Turning of eggs is done 3-5 times in a day. A water tray is used to maintain the humidity but this is not maintained accurately. The temperature is 100.5oF. The hatchability is relatively low and varies based on the efficiency of the worker.
2.Hot water incubator
Hot water is circulated through metal pipes fitted inside the incubators. Hot water heated outside is pumped through these metal pipes. The incubator temperature is maintained around 37.7oC. The average temperature in this is 99.5 to 101oF. Based on the temperature reading in the incubator, the amount of heat in the water is increased or decreased. In this there are fluctuations in temperature and it is a laborious method. There is no fan. Ventilation and Relative humidity is as seen in the kerosene incubator. Here also the hatchability is low.
3.Forced draft incubator
These incubators revolutionised the poultry industry by enabling supply to large number of chicks. The temperature is maintained between 99.5 and 100oF using a thermostat mechanism. A fan is provided at the back of the incubator and provides the required ventilation. Modern incubators have automatic turning device and humidity is controlled and regulated.
A small incubator will hold less than 1000 eggs.
A large incubator - 1000 to 10,000 eggs
Jumbo incubators - 10,000 to 30,000 eggs
Walk in incubators - 30,000 to 60,000 eggs
Drive in incubators - More than 60,000 eggs.
All the above incubators are forced draft incubators with all modern gadgets and are electrically operated.