One of the most lucrative livestock farming is chicken egg hatchery business. It has some level of difficulty and requires adequate knowledge of the process. Poultry meat and eggs are one of the major sources of protein worldwide and accounts for billions of chickens/eggs consumed daily.
Poultry is a huge global industry that is highly regulated by government. Investors interested in producing live chicks need to purchase good hatchery equipment. Other requirements are adequate land, utilities and specialized knowledge of the process.
The hatchery should have the capacity to produce chickens, ducks and turkey. The main focus is to produce chicks for farmers. The farmers in turn focus on egg or meat production depending on the breed of chick hatched.
Things to Consider before Starting a Chicken Egg Hatchery
Before starting the enterprise an investor needs to write a business plan. The next step is to analyze local demand and develop specialized knowledge. You can hire an expert and procure knowledge.
It is mandatory to scrutinize egg quality because it will affect the production. Fertilized eggs are gathered and disinfected before the process. Other things include setting up a financial management system and taking stock of inventory.
You need quality incubators and adequate capital. Make sure the factory land is zoned for such purposes.
- write a business plan
- analyze local demand
- develop specialized knowledge
- hire an expert
- procure knowledge
- scrutinize egg quality
- set up a financial management system
- take stock of inventory
- purchase quality incubators
- get adequate capital
- large factory land
Write a Business Plan
The first step is to write a chicken hatchery business plan. Then carry out a feasibility study and survey. You need to identify your customer base and study the competition.
Important considerations are popular breeds in you locality, health and safety of the stock. The plan should include funding, land, workforce, fixed and working capital.
You need to develop a marketing strategy and procure quality eggs. The hatchery needs adequate space for eggs, equipment.
- write a chicken hatchery business plan
- carry out a feasibility study
- identify your customer base
- study the competition
- consider popular breeds
- proper health and safety
- get funding
- develop a marketing strategy
- procure quality eggs
- buy equipment
Funding the Egg Hatchery Business
The business is capital intensive and slightly challenging. Approach a commercial bank in you locality for long term, low interest loans.
Present your business plan, company structure and projections. You need collateral, part amount of requested loan and guarantors. Other funding sources include sale of startup shares, partnership or angel investors.
License and Permit.
The industry is highly regulated by government. To ensure your chicks are free of diseases you need NPIP certification. It is essential the breeding hens are healthy and devoid of diseases.
You need to join associations in your area and become an active member. Incorporate the business into a limited liability company and get a business name. There is also the tax identification number and get insurance cover.
The number of workers depends on the size and scope of the enterprise. You need to hire qualified staff to handle the hatchery including vet and casual workers. You need an administrative crew, marketing and bookkeeper. Other staffs are cleaners, location driver and chick handlers.
Equipment for Chicken Egg Hatchery
There are two ways to hatch an egg the natural incubation method or artificial method. The natural incubation process is the hen sitting on the eggs. This process takes 21 days under ideal heat and shelter conditions.
The artificial method is better controlled with the aid of an incubator. This advanced egg hatchery system can handle hundreds of eggs at once. To hatch the eggs the prepared eggs go through ideal conditions of temperature, ventilation.
Equipment list are electric egg tester, egg setter, automatic egg hatchers. Others include feeder, egg weighing scale and brooder. More are weight balance, electric de-beaker, compressed air system.
You need emergency standby generating set, hatched try washer. There are three types of incubators based on different styles of setter and hatchers. You have the vertical fan incubator, tunnel incubator and walk in corridor incubators.
It is important to invest in egg handling equipment. The equipment is used to transfer the eggs from breeder farm trays to hatchery trays. This methodology is ideal for handling large volume of eggs. The hatching egg trays you use should have the capacity to handle 90 to 180 eggs.
List of Egg Hatching Equipment
- electric egg tester
- egg setter
- automatic egg hatchers
- egg weighing scale
- weight balance
- electric de-beaker
- compressed air system
- emergency standby generating set
- hatched try washer
- vacuum egg lifter
- egg trays
- egg Candler
How to Hatch Eggs with an Incubator
The average hatching time for eggs is 21 days. Some may hatch a day earlier or later. Eggs can generally hatch under right warmth or temperature and is achievable with or without an incubator.
The farmer needs to source fertile eggs from a reputable source. Make sure they are from the best breeders, medium sized, whole, presentable shell and clean. Avoid washing the eggs because it removes the protective layer.
Setting the Eggs
Set only clean and undamaged eggs in the incubator. It is important setting them within a ten day period. Anything over 10 days would reduce your chances of success. At 50 to 60 degrees temperature and 75% humidity the eggs can survive the 10 days hiatus period.
Ideally fertilized eggs should be transferred to the incubator with 24 hours. Before introducing the eggs turn on the heat and adjust the temperature and humidity for 24 hours. In a forced air incubator the temperature should be 99 to 99.5 degrees. If you are using a still air incubator the temperature should be 101 to 102 degrees.
Use a hydrometer to check the humidity at 45 to 50 degrees for first 18 days. Then it is increased to 65% the final incubation period. The usual practice is to place the eggs their side in the incubator close the door and continually monitor temperature and humidity.
Make sure the large end of the egg is slightly higher than the smaller end. The eggs should be turned at least 3 times a day for first 14 to 18 days then leave them for last few days.
Place an X on one side and O on the other side of the egg to monitor the turning process. Turn the eggs every 12 hours and ensure there is adequate ventilation. Within the egg an air bubble is formed to allow the developing chick breath therefore humidity level needs proper management.
The candling process is to determine if the eggs are fertilized or infertile. The eggs are held against a light source in a darkened room. The best period to candle an egg is with 5 to 10 days.
The farmer sees if it contains an embryo. A small black spot means there is an embryo, clear then it is infertile while ring of blood around yolk means the egg has a dead embryo.
The live eggs shift in the final days because of the active fetus. They peck a hole and emerge and struggle to free themselves from the shell. Let them follow their natural instinct and allow them to dry of in the warmth of the incubator.
Only 75% of fertile eggs would hatch however experienced farmers achieve higher numbers. In the last period maintain the humidity at 70%. In the brooder make sure they have adequate water supply. Feed them after two days with starter and the water is placed in shallow flat containers to prevent accidental drowning.
Once the eggs are successfully hatched you need to look after the small chicks. The day old chicks are usually produced to customer’s specification. There are strict IS specifications for layers and broilers.
At this stage they are very fragile and require warmth, light and feed. Brooder equipment includes kerosene or charcoal stove and gas brooder. You could also use an electric brooder, infra red bulbs, reflectors or hovers.
The chicks are fed using a linear feeder or circular feeder. Basic watering equipment could include the basic pan and jar or water basin. The chicks are vaccinated by a qualified vet. Then they are weighed and transported to customer in nest boxes.
Equipment for Brooder Chicks
- kerosene or charcoal stove
- gas brooder or electric brooder
- infra red bulbs
- linear feeder or circular feeder
- pan and jar or water basin
- weighing scale
- transport nest boxes
Selecting the Incubator
Selecting the right incubator will guarantee 85% success rate. The primary function is to maintain right humidity and temperature for the hatching process. Things to consider are cost, automatic or manual control.
Others are easy cleaning, accessibility, forced or still air distribution system. Having an automatic control egg turner reduces the physical turning, manpower.
How Much Can I Make
There are many variables such as cost of production, maintenance and tax. Others are type of equipment, facility, utility costs and transportation. A successful hatchery should attain 85% hatch rate with profit taking within one year.
Chicks hatch within 21 days therefore proper marketing of the day old is important. Some established hatcheries have huge number of clients and back orders.
Who Buys the Day Old Chicks?
The primary customer base are chicken farmers. Day old chicks are breed as layers or growers. Cockerels are usually growers while hens are layers. Some growers are also a mix of cockerels and hens.
Provide space for the day old chicks with proper ventilation and heating. Incubators are generally stored indoors however some are placed outside. Cost of production depends on the scope of the operation. A hatcher can handle 1000 chicks to 100,000 chicks every 30 days.
Proper egg storage suspends development of embryo maximizes chick quality, hatchability while reducing mortality. Proper temperature control supports storage of eggs up to 20 days.
Cool eggs for 1-3 days at 18 degrees centigrade to 21 degrees with humidity levels of 75%. For eggs 4-7 days old store at 15 degrees centigrade to 18 degree, humidity 75%.
Eggs 7 to 12 days 15 degrees centigrade down to 12 degrees centigrade, humidity 80%. Eggs 12 days plus store at 12 degrees centigrade at humidity of 80%
|Eggs 1-3 days||75%||18-21 degrees centigrade|
|Eggs 4-7 days old||75%||15-18 degrees centigrade|
|Eggs 7-12 days old||80%||15-12 degrees centigrade|
|Eggs 13 days old||80%||12 degrees centigrade|
There you have it, follow the basic steps and you would do fine. Please don’t forget to share this post on social media channels. Thanks.