The meaning of CO2 control system for incubation


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A well equipped CO2 control system will bring benefits for both the hatching results and energy saving of the hatchery. 

CO2 control system helps for better hatching results.

We believe that incubators can obtain better hatching results by simulating the hatching behavior of hens. 

In the nature, at the early stage of incubation, the hens basically do not eat or drink, and rarely leave the eggs. Except the time to excrete and turn the eggs, hens always lie on the hatching eggs. This provided a higher temperature and humidity for the eggs in the early stage. At the same time, as covered by the hens’ body, the eggs were less ventilated, and the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration was also at a higher level. During the mid-term of incubation, hens will occasionally go out for food, and in the last stage of incubation, the hens will concentrate on hatching and take care of the pipping eggs.

In recent years, by scientific research, it has been found that in the early stage of embryonic development, maintaining a higher level of CO2 inside the incubator can stimulate the development of the embryonic blood circulation system. The stronger blood system eventually helps develop stronger day old chicks.

In the hatcher, when the chicks start to pip out, raising the CO2 level can stimulate the chicks to speed up the pipping. This will reduce the hatch window (all chicks hatch out in a relatively short period of time). Because the hatching time is more concentrated, the early hatched chicks will not be dehydrated too much, and the feathers of the last hatched chicks will also be properly dried, so that all chicks will be more uniform.

Both of the above points can help to improve the quality of chicks, reduce the rate of mortality at the farm, improve the feed conversion ratio, and appropriately reduce the raising time required to obtain the target weight. So modern hatcheries prefer to use incubators with CO2 control systems.

CO2 control system helps for energy saving.

If an incubator don’t have CO2 sensor, then it does not know what is the exact CO2 level in the machine, then it has to give more than enough air exchange, otherwise there might be higher CO2 level inside, and not safe for eggs. For heat brought out, the electric heaters need to work and compensate the heat. And for humidity brought out, the humidification system also need to work to give more water into the air, and the evaporation effect will need heat and this will cause the heaters work more time. For the extra air into the machines, the air conditioning system also need to work more. And all of the above will cause extra energy cost.

When an incubator has CO2 sensor, then it knows how much CO2 are there in the machine, so it can give just enough air exchange for the machine, and like this will reduce the energy cost dramatically.

What kind of incubators can install CO2 control system?

However, not all the incubators are proper to install CO2 control system, except when they have the following characteristics:

1, The incubators must be well airtight. Incubator door better have several locking places. Door gaskets should be soft, air tight, and in good condition, free from air leakage. Dampers should also be airtight when fully closed, and so on. This is because CO2 emitted from the early stage hatching eggs is very little. If the machine is not well sealed, CO2 will be emitted through the gap, and it will be difficult to achieve a high CO2 level inside the incubator.

2, The incubator must be equipped with water cooling system. As when the damper is closed to accumulate CO2 level, the incubator can only be cooled by water cooling system, and cannot be cooled by the air cooling system. 

3, The incubator control system preferably has a programmable function, so that the system can automatically adjust the control parameters according to different temperature, humidity, and CO2 level required by different age eggs.

4, CO2 control system can only be useful in a single-phase incubator (all in all out type incubator). Because multi-stage incubators contain eggs of different ages, in which it is not possible to give only high CO2 level to some of the eggs.

5. An accurate and reliable CO2 sensor is a needed, so that the CO2 level measured is correct. And also that an accurate proportion damper control system, will help to guarantee the CO2 system, by allowing minimum air exchange in the later stage of incubation.