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Incubator Operation - Ventilation and Temperature Control

Views: 85451     Author: Phoenix     Publish Time: 2023-09-08      Origin: Phoenix Breeding Equipment

Energy consumption, labor use, durability, maintenance, technical support, parts availability, and capital costs influence the choice of incubator design. The optimal physical conditions for the successful growth of any embryo are adequate gas exchange, correct temperature, correct humidity and regular turning of the eggs.


The actual number of eggs hatched per machine, the frequency of hatching (1 - 2 times per week), and the actual position of the hatched eggs in the machine will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Operate the device according to the manufacturer's instructions.


For multi-stage incubators, the recommended total incubation time is 504 to 510 hours, and for single-stage incubators (box machines), the recommended incubation time is 504 to 508 hours. However, actual expectations will require some variation (+/- 2 - 4 hours) depending on flock age, egg age, breed, climate and hatch window.

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Business incubation systems are mainly divided into three categories:

Multi-Stage Stationary Egg Rack - Incubate eggs at different stages of development and load with egg trays.

Multi-stage trolley loading - Eggs and egg trays are pre-loaded on trolleys at different stages of development. Then, the trolleys are loaded into the incubator.

Single Stage Trolley Loading - Eggs are hatched at the same stage of development, with eggs and trays preloaded on the trolley. Then, the trolleys are loaded into the incubator.


Four factors affect the total incubation time of eggs:

Incubation temperature: usually fixed for any hatchery, but can be adjusted according to the age and size of the eggs in order to achieve the ideal hatch time.

Egg Age: Older eggs require longer incubation times. If the eggs are stored for longer than 7 days, you will need to add additional incubation time.

Egg size: Larger eggs require longer incubation times.

Water loss: Low water loss will prolong the incubation cycle and reduce hatch ability. High water loss will reduce incubation time.


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Incubators usually draw fresh air from the room in which they are located or from a clean, constant-pressure chamber. Fresh air provides oxygen and moisture to maintain proper relative humidity. Exhausting the air from the incubator removes the carbon dioxide, humidity and excess heat produced by the eggs. The air supply volume of the incubator should be 8.5 to 13.52 cubic meters per hour per 1,000 eggs. Most incubators will have a humidity system that can vary the level of relative humidity. Fresh air supplies relatively little moisture, so to reduce the load on the internal humidification system, the air entering the machine is pre-humidified so that it closely matches the internal relative humidity. The temperature of this air should be 24 to 27°C (76-80°F).


Multi-stage incubators require constant air exchange. Adjust ventilation so that the carbon dioxide concentration in the machine does not exceed 0.4%. Most stationary egg rack incubators run at 0.2 - 0.3% and mobile incubators at 0.3 - 0.4%, but these CO2 concentrations are not required.


Single-stage incubators require different proportions of air exchange at different incubation times. During the first stage of incubation, the damper will be completely closed or almost closed. The damper will gradually open as the incubation cycle progresses and fully open at the end of the incubation cycle. The manufacturer of each incubator can provide more detailed calculations.

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temperature control

Temperature determines the metabolic rate of the embryo and therefore the rate of its development. Modern broiler chickens genetically produce higher embryo temperatures, so the risk of embryo overheating is higher. Research shows that adverse incubation conditions can affect different stages of the life cycle after hatching.


Factors affecting temperature uniformity in the incubator:

Incorrect ventilation – air supply, pressure, damper settings, exhaust ventilation.

Temperature calibration - the temperature probe of multi-stage incubators is calibrated every 90 days, and single-stage incubators are calibrated before each empty machine is incubated.

Cooling issues - water flow rate, stuck valves, incorrect water temperature, mineral scaling on the refrigeration tubes.

Incubator capacity utilization is too high or too low - The machine is calibrated to full load and may not operate within the calibrated temperature range if it is not full of eggs.

Poor engineering design.

Maintenance - Door seals are worn, cracked or damaged.

Incorrect egg turning angle - Calibrate every 90 days for multi-stage incubators and check every time the machine is empty for single-stage incubators. Make adjustments if necessary.

Incubation mode.


Balanced incubation model

In a single-stage incubator, the temperature can be adjusted to optimize embryo growth and thermogenesis, starting at a higher temperature and gradually lowering it through transfers.


egg incubator

In a multi-stage incubator, the temperature should be kept constant. The optimum air temperature for hatch ability and chick quality depends on the type of incubator. Using temperatures above or below the manufacturer's recommendations can cause embryos to develop too quickly or too slowly and cause hatch window, hatch ability or chick quality issues. Uneven incubation in multi-stage incubators can cause large temperature variations. An under-loaded incubator may not reach the correct temperature and prolong incubation times, while overloading can cause overheating problems. Both conditions can adversely affect hatch ability and chick quality.


The design of the multi-level incubator, the machine performs best when there are different egg ages mixed in the machine. However, grouping young, mid- and older flocks can have a detrimental effect on hatch ability and chick quality.

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logoPhoenix Breeding Equipment Co., Ltdis a professional manufacturer and exporter that is concerned with the design, development and production of livestock breeding equipment. which can provide all kinds of poultry farm equipment, such as automatic feeding and drinking linepoultry nipple drinker, rabbit nipple drinker, poultry feederpoultry drinkierventilation fanCooling pad , egg incubator,pvc pipe ,ss pipe etc. Check out our site to find the latest in poultry equipment. We hope you’ll fine the right products for you,, and how it allows you to scale up to the next level when you’re ready.

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