Unlike other species, pheasant eggs are not so easily to be hatched out in force-air artificial incubators. Using broody hens or still-air machines can give a better hatching results.
But in case of commercial operation, it is not possible to hatch it through broody hens, because of the high cost and low efficiency. Still-air machines need much more attention and labour than automatic forced-draught incubators. Some types of forced-draught incubators give better hatching results than others.
The normal time of incubation for ‘True’ pheasant eggs is 24–25 days. However, the actual time will be affected by factors such as age and method of storing eggs, and management of the incubator, especially its temperature and humidity.
The manufacturers’ recommendations for operation of incubators should be followed at all times. As a guide, forced-draught machines should operate at a temperature of approximately 37.5°C during incubation.
Humidity doesn't influence the incubation so much like temperature. But correct humidity control is essential for pheasant eggs. The humidity should be approximately 65% (30.5°C wet bulb) for the first 21 days of incubation, and should then be increased to 90% (34°C wet bulb) until hatching is completed.
If high humidity is not maintained at hatching, the chick will have difficulty penetrating the membrane of the shell which will be too hard and rubbery. Keep moisture trays filled with warm water at all times and increase humidity at hatching time by hanging wet hessian in the incubators, or by using automatic misting sprays in the cabinet of the incubator.
Eggs must be turned regularly during incubation to prevent the embryo from sticking to the shell. The more frequently the eggs are turned, the more chickens will hatch successfully. Some incubators are fitted with automatic devices to turn eggs every hour.
If the eggs are turned by hand, they will probably not be turned during the night. It is important that eggs do not spend two consecutive nights on the same side. To avoid this, turn the eggs at a vertical angle of 90° an odd (not an even) number of times during the day. Don’t set and hatch eggs in the same machine unless they are all at the same stage of incubation.
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