Michell Instruments is helping to increase the number of healthy chicks hatched in farms across Europe with its I7000 Hygrosmart temperature and relative humidity sensors.
The I7000 Hygrosmart temperature and relative humidity sensor provides highly reliable and accurate measurements of these key parameters for chick hatching. The sensor is accurate to ±2%RH and to ±0.2°C and is highly stable with less than 1% RH drift over a year to maintain the ideal hatching conditions over time. The small yet robust sensor is also easily interchangeable with a simple ‘plug and play’ system, which means that farmers can maintain the accuracy of their RH and temperature measurements in the incubator themselves. The easy procedure takes only few minutes saving time and being extremely cost efficient.
The ideal temperature range for hatching a chicken egg is between 37 to 39°C, preferably 37.5°C. While a broody hen can maintain this level of temperature easily, an incubator needs reliable and accurate temperature control to be sure changes in the ambient temperature don’t make conditions too cold or too hot for the chick embryos to develop. Just 15 minutes above the top end of the temperature range can be enough to kill off the developing chicks, while changes in temperature during incubation will result in unhealthy birds. However, with the correct controls in place, egg incubators reliably produce high yields of successfully hatched eggs because the ideal conditions can be maintained accurately.
The relative humidity in the incubator is also important for the correct development of the embryos. Sixty percent relative humidity is ideal, but a range of 50 to 65% is acceptable. Once again, these conditions are designed to mimic the body of a sitting hen, and careful monitoring of the conditions in the incubator is needed to ensure that the level remains consistent.
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