Small Hatchery
• Breeding Stock
• Eggs
• Incubators
• Coordination
• Lessons Learned
Small Hatchery Management
- Breeding Stock -
• Fertility
• Egg Production
• Feed
Small Hatchery Management
- Breeding Stock Fertility Considerations:
• Breed Characteristics
• Health – NPIP status
and physical freedom
from parasites and
• Male to Female Ratio
• Spurs and Feathers
Small Hatchery Management
- Breeding Stock Egg Production
• Male Fighting and
Hen Harassment
• Lights – 14 Hours
• Parasite Management
• Disease Management
• Timing Production
Small Hatchery Management
- Breeding Stock Feed Considerations:
• Breeder Feed
• Fresh, Clean,
Unfrozen Water
• Oyster Shell
• Wheat Germ Oil
• Cod Liver Oil
Small Hatchery Management
- Eggs -
Proper Storage
Small Hatchery Management
- Eggs Storage Considerations:
• Location – out of sun and drafts, with constant temperature; a
cooler is ideal
Temperature/Humidity – ideal is 60 degrees F
Air Cell Up
Rotate – daily rotation will improve hatch
Duration Effects on Hatchability/Viability – best
results are obtained from eggs 7 days and less, 10 days or less
provide good results, but viability drops sharply from day 10
Small Hatchery Management
- Eggs Condition Considerations:
• Odd Shapes – likely not viable; may indicate poor air
cell position
• Cracks – will allow entry of bacteria; can be sealed using
candle wax
• Dirt – infect incubator with bacteria; wet dirty eggs likely
not to hatch due to infectious agents being drawn into the
Small Hatchery Management
- Eggs Shipping Considerations:
• Effect on Viability – jarring can damage air cell and loosen
embryo attachment
• Proper Methods – wrap in newspaper or paper towel so that
movement with egg carton is prevented; when mailing,
allow several inches of cushioning material around cartons
• Resting Overnight – allow eggs that have been
transported/shipped to rest over night at room temperature,
this will allow air cells to reform and result in better hatch
Small Hatchery Management
- Eggs Candling Considerations:
• Candle at 7-10 Days
• Again at Day 18
• Method
• Meanings of
Small Hatchery Management
- Incubators -
• Location
• Temperature/
• Incubation
• Cleanliness
Small Hatchery Management
- Incubators Location Considerations:
• Constant Temperature
and Humidity
• Away from Sun
• Clean Environment
Small Hatchery Management
- Incubators Temperature and Humidity Considerations:
• Constant 99.5 degrees F
• Humidity 55% during First Two Weeks
• 65% during Hatch/Last Two Weeks
• Low Temperature can Delay Hatch
• High Temperature can Accelerate Hatch
• Low Humidity can cause Pipping with Inability to Hatch
• High Humidity can cause failure to seal navels and
drowning during hatch
Small Hatchery Management
- Incubators Incubation Cycle
• Run Incubator for 5
Days with Correct
Temp/Humidity before
• 2 Weeks in Incubator
• 1 Week in Hatcher
Small Hatchery Management
- Incubators Cleanliness Considerations:
• Clean Incubator and
Hatcher at Start of Season
• Separate Hatcher allows
Succession Settings
without Debris Concerns
• Use 1-2 Tablespoons of
Pinesol per Gallon of
Water for Humidity
• Dry, Vacuum, and Spray
between Hatches
Small Hatchery Management
- Coordination -
• Hatch Planning
• Chick
• Cleaning Cycle
vs. Incubation
Small Hatchery Management
- Coordination Hatch Planning
• It Takes 2 Weeks to Know
• Once Lay Commences,
Save Eggs for 1-2 Weeks
• It Takes 3 Weeks to Hatch
• It can take 4-7 Weeks from
Commencement for First
Chicks to Hatch
Small Hatchery Management
- Coordination Chick Distribution
• Once Chicks Hatch They must
be Placed
• Power Outages and Other
Temperature Fluctuations can
Alter Hatch by 1-2 Days
• Number of Chicks Hatched
may be Greater of Fewer than
Number Planned
• Shipping Chicks Requires
Additional Planning and Labor
Small Hatchery Management
- Coordination Cleaning Cycle vs.
Incubation Cycle
• When Setting Once Every
2 Weeks, Plan to Clean
Hatcher within 2 Days of
Chick Removal
• When Setting Once Per
Week, Hatcher must be
Cleaned on Day of Hatch
Small Hatchery Management
- Lessons Learned -
• Pedigree
• Hatch Cycle
• Management
• Other People
Small Hatchery Management
- Lessons Learned Pedigree Considerations:
• Pedigree is useful in Planning
• Pedigree Marking of Day-old
Chicks is Done by Toe-punch
• Chicks must be Separated
According to Mating before
They Hatch
• Labor to Pedigree increases
Time Spent to Take-off Hatch
from 15 Minutes to 50 Minutes
Small Hatchery Management
- Lessons Learned Hatch Cycle Considerations:
• Hatching Every 2 Weeks is
better due to Reduced Workload
and Increased Hatch Sizes
• Setting Every Hatch on the
Same Weekday makes Keeping
Track of Hatch Due Dates
Much Easier
• Maintaining Hatch Intervals is
Useful, Giving Regularity to
Small Hatchery Management
- Lessons Learned Management
• Broody Hens cause Fertile
Eggs to begin Growth,
Saving these Started Eggs
Kills Embryo
• Someone must Maintain
Breeding Flock
• Breeder Replacements
must be Grown, Selected,
and Maintained
Small Hatchery Management
- Lessons Learned Other People:
• When Pooling Hatching Eggs:
May have Schedule Conflicts
• May have Different
Expectations (breed
performance, chick availability,
• May Attempt to Reduce Feed
Costs by Using Lower Quality
Feed – thus Reducing Viability
• Industry Controls Each
Segment – feed, breeding stock,
incubation, housing, processing
– for Good Reason

Small Hatchery Management