|Posted by Rey Bajenting on January 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM|
At RB Sugbo, incubation is either by natural or artificial. Mostly by artificial method of setting and hatching eggs by electric incubators. Our hatcheries are by GLITech, of Gilbert L. Inisin. RB Sugbo and GLITech have been collaborating and working together in discovering the better systems and designs in incubation technology.
Brooding is also both by natural—hen brooding, or artificial. In this respect, we find natural hen brooding as the better method. Thus, most of our chicks are hen brood.
Once a hen gets broody and set to start setting eggs, we put back some of the stored eggs on the nest for the hen to set. At the same time, we also place a number of eggs in the artificial incubator, whether hers or from other hens. The naturally set eggs and those in the incubator will hatch at about the same time. At night we put in the nest the artificially hatched chicks along with the hen hatched. The following morning, the hen will be misled into believing all the chicks are hers and will take care of all of them. However, care should be taken that the chicks are of similar color as some hens kill different-looking chicks.
This method will save time for some hens. Some of the hens will not have to sit on their own eggs as the eggs are artifically incubated, thus they can be prepared immediately for the next clutch of eggs and insemination. These hens are also spared from brooding chicks, a process that will take at least a month of their time.
In the first two weeks, hen and chicks are kept in enclosures that will protect the chicks from rain and bad weather. These little houses are floorless and movable. The hen is tethered so it cannot partake on the feed for the chicks.
After two weeks, the chicks may be allowed outside by opening a door. The hen remains tethered inside so the chicks will not venture too far away. Soon the hens shall likewise be allowed outside so mother and chicks can now roam farther. At night hen and chicks get back to the house for protection from weather and predators.
Throughtout the brooding period, no anti-biotic is given, unless very necessary, when an outbreak occurs or clear manifestation of illness is seen in the flock. otherwise probiotics is freely given to both hen and chicks.
When the chicks are separated from the hen, they go to the range area.