Best quality hatching eggsKelly
The most important goal of any fertile-egg producer is to be the best, consistent quality supplier of the best quality hatching eggs to the hatcheries. Everything starts at the breeder level, …Uniform hatching eggs of good quality is the result of good breeder management… It starts with the breeder pullets that he receives.
Uniform eggs from uniform hens is what the business is all about.
The lighting programme should be set so as to stimulate the hens to lay the majority of the eggs in the mornings (up to 12 noon), thus enabling them to be collected, fumigated and moved to the holding cool room at 16-18 °C and 75% RH (relative humidity), with a final collection by early afternoon. RH percentage is also extremely important, as lower will increase evaporation from the egg and reduce its weight, resulting in lighter chicks. It can also have an effect on the air cell size. This becomes more important if the eggs are not collected frequently, as they will become warmer.
Science has shown that eggs laid early in the day have a thicker shell and therefore less chance of being cracked. The cuticle is the coating that covers the egg shell and it helps to protect the inside of the egg from bacteria, which can cause many problems internally.
In many situations, eggs are collected on plastic incubator trays. This allows for faster cooling from the laying house to the cool room. The temperature here should be in the range of 16-18 °C. It should be remembered that embryo development will begin at 24 °C +.
It is not advisable to collect eggs in cardboard egg trays/ flats, as the fibre material absorbs egg heat and it takes longer for them to cool down. This is more of a problem in warmer climates. Because the fibre trays are fairly porous, they can also harbour unwanted organisms/bacteria/fungi and attract vermin.
Depending on timing, it’s better to allow the eggs to stand over, as it will give them a chance to stabilise before setting, which will result in better hatchability with better quality chicks.