An incubator is a machine where fertilized avian eggs are kept warm until they hatch. It creates the right conditions to sustain an embryo until it becomes a chick.
This article focuses on poultry incubators, their features, the different types, and what makes them differ in price.
Poultry farming has grown significantly to over 50 million heads as of 2020. They are large-scale commercial entities and several small-scale farmers. The shift to incubating chicks has seen a rise in the uptake of incubators. There are locally assembled incubating machines and imported ones. They come in different prices, and the following features determine the price.
The number of eggs an incubator can hatch. The price differs according to the size. They can hatch up to 5000 eggs, depending on the size of your incubator. The larger ones cost more compared to the small ones. They require higher power consumption and will need training upon purchase. They also tend to have a more increased lifespan, and some sellers offer free backup generators on purchase.
Incubators can use electricity or solar. There are automatic incubators that use solar. The power required varies according to size. They make it possible for hatching in areas with no electricity. It can be an option in areas connected to the grid because of power outages that interfere with the hatching process. Solar is cheaper because it does not require backup.
Automatic, Manual, or Semi-Automatic
Manual incubators will be operated by hand. The eggs will be turned manually, and you must keep track of the time between turns. They are ideal for home or professional use and are cheap but tedious. Some semi-automatic models are digital and are suitable for small to medium-sized poultry breeders. Automated incubator price in Kenya varies depending on the capacity.
What it hatches
Ducks, doves, and chickens can hatch using incubators. Some small incubators handle only chicken eggs and do not allow modification, but large ones accommodate different egg types. Cheap models lack some features making them limited to hatching only chicken eggs. If your farm is only a poultry farm, then a small one is ideal because there is no need for additional features.
Locally Assembled or Imported
Incubators are imported or made locally. Imported ones cost more because of the shipping cost, but if you get them from a supplier who procures them in bulk, the price reduces because the cost will be distributed among the machines. Local incubators allow alternative power sources, but some farmers prefer imported ones because of higher hatching rates.
A big poultry farm will require a giant incubator because of the requirements of the business. It also has access to more money to spend on an incubator compared to a small one. A large farm will fully utilize an incubator with a large capacity, whereas it will be idle in a small one. The amount of money an individual or company has will determine how much they will spend on an incubator.
To conclude, incubators play a significant role in the economy as poultry products are in high demand. Whatever your budget is, you can get one to suit your needs.