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Sanitary conditions you have to meet if you want to be successful at incubation hatching

Sanitation is far more important than many people think in ensuring that the young chicks actually survive the first fortnight, or indeed, even the first few days after incubation hatching. If sanitation is bad, disease and infection will run wild in your brood, leading to completely unacceptable mortality and losses. Remember that the young chicks are far more susceptible to disease than are older birds, and that a few diseased chicks could well lead to a 'snowball effect' in which an entire brood hatched by you dies out.

Proper sanitation procedures can go a long way to limiting all this. The best way to ensure sanitation is to ensure that the unit in which the eggs incubate is a separate unit from the one in which they finally hatch. This is because sanitary conditions automatically degrade in an incubation hatching environment, and this sort of procedure ensures that the hatching chicks do not contaminate the environment of the chicks that are not yet hatched. This system also allows proper disinfection and cleaning of the hatching unit at regular intervals, which can't be done if you have eggs incubating on a continuous basis.

So separating the hatching and incubating units is the first step to effective disease control in the young chicks. Remember that the hatching unit has to be cleaned thoroughly, including any egg shells, and of course the down of the young birds. Use a powerful vacuum cleaner at first and later scrub out the inside of the hatching unit with a hard brush and warm water laced with detergent. Lastly apply disinfectant liberally to the entire inside of the incubator for best effects. Of course you need to return the incubator to the necessary environmental conditions before you can continue using it for your next batch of eggs.

You'll be surprised at how much of a difference these simple procedures can make, sometimes eradicating disease from among your hatching birds by a factor of up to ninety seven percent! Remember that the disinfection of the incubator is by far the most important part of the cleaning process, and this is the portion that you need to pay the most attention to. Quaternary ammonia is an excellent substance to use in disinfecting your incubator, though some owners also choose to fumigate the machine. However, fumigation can be dangerous to the next batch you put through incubation hatching, and if you're at all uncertain of how to handle it, you had best either stick to disinfectants or else call in an expert in fumigation.


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