Cleaning Your Incubator – DO IT

January 14, 2013 in Animal Care

moreeggs (1 of 1)

Today we’re going to have a gool ol’ talk entitled “Cleaning Your Incubator – DO IT”! We don’t have any styrofoam incubators, so these directions may not apply to everyone. However, I will say this…styrofoam incubators need to be kept up constantly. The best way to make cleanup easy is to have a plastic liner or use aluminum foil (with holes for air flow) in the bottom.

Read more to get started in your incubator/hatcher cleaning efforts!

Cleaning Your Cabinet Incubator/Hatcher

  1. Remove any eggs, egg shells, chicks, thermometers, trays, etc. This may seem obvious, but is your number 1 step. It’s best to clean your incubator/hatcher when you don’t have any critter life forms developing. Trying to clean around chicks WILL result in killing your chicks.
  2. Mix 1 gallon of water with 1/4 cup of bleach (or other sanitization product)
  3. Put on your kitchen gloves and grab some scrub brushes and towels! THIS IS ABOUT TO GET PERSONAL!
  4. Dip your brush into the bleach-water mixture.
  5. Thoroughly scrub out your incubator/hatcher of any chick poopie or other stuck-on debris. The sooner you get those things scrubbed out, the easier it is. If it’s been sitting in your incubator for months, be ready to scrub harder.
  6. Don’t just scrub down the bottom. Check the sides and the top! Paying attention to details will save you extra work in the future. If you don’t need to scrub anything, feel free to switch to a dampened towel (using bleach-water mixture).
  7. Next up are the trays. If your trays are pretty dirty, go outside and hose them down first. Next, use the bleach-water mixture to sanitize the trays.
  8. You’ll also want to clean out your incubator/hatcher’s water container. Scrub-a-dub-dub.
  9. You’re hard work is pretty much done! Put your incubator/hatcher back together (water tub, trays, thermometers, etc). DONT PUT THE CHICKS/EGGS back in! Keep the incubator/hatcher open and allow it to dry thoroughly.
  10. Now that your work is done and dried, feel free to put your eggs and/or chicks back in.

Why Did I Do All That?

If you’re wondering why you just cleaned out your incubator and/or hatcher, the answer is simple. Better hatches and better chicks! Your incubator is a haven for germs – it’s warm and moist. Bacteria is bound to find way into your eggs, dropping your hatch rate substantially. What chicks may hatch also stand a good chance of being weaker than chicks hatched in a clean environment. It is reccommended to do this after every few hatches. If you can do it after EVERY hatch, that’s even better!

 

I hope you have found this useful! Leave a comment below with any questions or if you’d like to add something to this.