Hachability in hatchery operations is the percentage of fertile eggs that is hatched into good quality day old chicks at every cycle. Therefore, the percentage hatchability determines how profitable hatchery business will be, if it is low the number of day old chicks will be reduced. The main goal of every hatchery is to make profit especially with the a hihg cost of production nowadays; high hatchability means production of more day old chicks.
The following steps are required to maintain good hatchability consistently:
- Timely collection of eggs from the laying boxes or trays especially in the tropic where temperature is hot, collection should be 4 to 5 times per day;
- The eggs must be allowed to cool before stacking and packing them to the egg store;
- Transportation of the eggs to the store should be done in controlled conditions so as to prevent condensation and mechanical shocks;
- Storage temperatures must be consistent and 15 – 16 degrees is ideal and storage periods must be reduced;
- Good egg shell quality: eggs without cracks, bad shell or dirts should be allowed into the hatchery;
- Proper egg grading of first grade of eggs from second grade of eggs and they must be separated;
- Fumigate the eggs as quick as possible;
- Do not overheat eggs during incubation;
- Do not set eggs within 48 hours of hatch.
There are so many other factors that affect hatchability like high level of aflatoxin in feed, age, health status, heredity, nutrition, frequency of turning in the incubator, egg size etc. It is essential to consistently follow the above steps to achieve a high hatchability at every hatching operations for optimal gains.