Poultry hatching is yet to catch up in Kerala. Hatcheries are an emerging area worth trying for the farmers in the state. Chicken eggs can be hatched in 21 days while ducks and turkeys take 28 days. Quails hatch in 18 days. All eggs are hatched in incubators by heating up with electricity. Hatcheries have two parts – hatchers and setters.
Here’s how the process goes. Selected eggs are stacked in setting trays – broadside up – in the setting cabin. Chicken eggs stay in the setter for 14 days before they are shifted to the hatcher compartment for four days of incubation. The eggs are examined with a candle on the seventh day and the 18th day. The bad ones are discarded.
The examination is done by letting light rays pass through the egg. This process can weed out unfertilized eggs and eggs with dead foetuses. Eggs are fumigated and sterilized before they are put in the incubator. The hatched chicks are sex-determined on the very first day.
Incubators should have a generator on stand by to deal with any situation of electricity disruption. Incubators come in all sizes – from the big ones which can hatch up to 10,000 eggs to the moderate ones with a capacity of 500 eggs.
Pradeep Kumar Valiyaparambil who runs a hatchery at Kurichithanam near Kottayam is one of the entrepreneurs who have tasted success in the sector. He has been chosen as the best poultry farmer by the Kerala government. His farm has chicken, ducks and various categories of ornamental birds. He has an incubator that can hatch 500 eggs at a time. He said that the incubator has made his farm more productive.
Contact Pradeep Kumar for more details at +91 94461 97280