Automatic solar-operated mini egg incubator developed under Farmers’ FIRST Programme (FFP)

   A fully automatic solar-operated mini egg incubator for poultry eggs was developed and tested under the Farmers’ FIRST Programme (FFP), ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya. Regulation of temperature, humidity, and turning of eggs at specific time intervals is done automatically using various sensors and motors. A heating coil was used to generate the heat inside the incubator instead of a filament bulb to increase power use efficiency as a filament bulb will consume more power. Through experiments, the length of the coil, the value of voltage, and the current required to generate specified temperature were optimized. The recommended eggshell temperature is 37.8°C for optimal hatchability of eggs. For that, a thermostat temperature module was used which shutoff the power to the heating device whenever incubator temperature reaches the threshold temperature. To prevent adhesion of the developed embryo to the inner shell membrane, it is recommended that eggs should be turned 24 times daily at 20°-45°. Therefore, an automatic turning unit which includes the motor, timer module delay timer, etc. was developed and installed in the incubator to turn the eggs automatically. Relative humidity is very important as low relative humidity during incubation may cause excessive egg water loss, resulting in embryo dehydration as well as embryonic death. For that, a water sump was provided at the bottom in which the water level can be maintained from outside without opening the incubator. Also, a 12 V DC fan was provided for air circulation and uniformity of the inner temperature during the incubation period. As AC power is inconsistent and not available sometimes in this region, the developed incubator was operated with a 12 V DC power supply through a solar panel (120 W) and battery (100 A-h). Initial results show encouraging results as the developed Automatic solar-operated mini egg incubator successfully hatched poultry eggs.

Automatic solar-operated mini egg incubator
Developed embryo
Chicks hatched out successfully
Day old chicks
Chicks (4th day)
Chicks (12th day)

Contributors: Dr. Naseeb Singh (Scientist), Dr. H. Dayananda Singh (Scientist), Dr. Meena Das (Senior Scientist & PI, FFP)