Bird Eggs: Improving Hatching Rate
The most important aspects to consider when incubating eggs:
Start with Fertilized Eggs: Unfertilized egg cannotbe hatched. Incubation should commense within one week of having been laid. After that, the viability of the egg decreases.
When acquiring eggs, select good eggs: Remember that deformed, dirty or broken eggs have a low hatching rate, as do rough or small eggs.
Sanitation is Key:
Wash your hands before handling eggs. Bacteria on your hands will transfer to the eggs and cause the development of eggs to arrest..
Disinfect the incubator! The cleanliness of incubator is essential. Incubators should be completely sanitized before they start to incubate eggs.
Dirty Eggs: Eggs covered in waste / dirt need to be carefully cleaned before placing them into the incubator. Be very cautious. These eggs get very slippery when wet and can easily slip out of your hands and break.
Other Important Factors:
Cracked Eggs: Hatchability is low with cracked eggs as bacteria easily infects the embryo inside. However, the better quality incubators (i.e. the Octagon series) have successfully hatched cracked eggs. This website has tips for repairing cracked eggs.
Minimize Disturbing the Eggs: Even though eggs should be inspected, do keep in mind that frequent egg inspections may impact viability of the eggs. Keep them to a minimum.
Noise: Noise can also influence hatching result. Place the incubator into a quiet area, away from noisy appliances (phones, washing machines) or busy areas. Properly prepare the incubator before adding the eggs, this includes: sanitizing and testing BEFORE adding new eggs.