Many parameters affect hatch rates and the type of water used in an incubator is an important factor which is often overlooked and certainly underestimated.
We all know it, the warm and wet environment in an incubator is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs which can jeopardize hatches.
The 3 main sources of contaminants in an incubator are the incubator itself, the eggs and last but not least the water you use in the incubator.
You should clean your incubator thoroughly after each hatch to avoid contamination between batches of eggs particularly if you hatch in the incubator. Shell debris, fluff and dirt can harbor bacteria, germs and fungi which are highly likely to damage your next hatch. Please check our tips on how to clean your incubator.
It may also be necessary for you to clean dirty eggs before setting them in the incubator, but bear in mind that any cleaning procedure incorrectly followed can contaminate eggs rather than sanitise them. To find out more on egg cleaning procedures please refer to Should eggs be cleaned before setting in a incubator?
If you have ever read the water analysis provided by your water authority you can understand we recommend you use distilled water in your incubator.
Distilled water is free of contaminants and prevents mineral deposits in the incubators which can promote bacterial growth.
So if you’re using tap water, let alone well water, next time you incubate some eggs use distilled water and let us know if you see a drastic improvement in your hatch rates.