Preparing a proper environment for young chicks is really the first stage of the entire incubation hatching procedure. To be unprepared in this regard means that you can hatch your chicks successfully only to have them die before your eyes for lack of an environment to sustain them. Disease can spread with uncanny ferocity through a population of young chicks, and the lack of proper conditions, sanitation, hygiene, and even a lack of sufficient food and water can all have disastrous consequences for your young population. The only way to avoid this is by careful planning beforehand, and also by possessing an understanding of the factors that influence mortality rates among young chicks.
Trial runs are crucially important when you start out with incubation hatching, firstly because you need to ensure that your incubator is working correctly, but also because placement is crucially important to ensuring that the eggs incubate correctly in the incubator. Incorrect positioning of the incubator can result in the loss of a whole lot of the eggs through high variations of temperature, or through insufficient ventilation. Outdoors is usually the very worst place for an incubator because environmental conditions vary too much for you to maintain any level of stability.
This is why it is usually recommended that you provide adequate shelter to your incubator. This shelter will ensure a stability in environmental conditions that might otherwise not be possible, and this sort of planning can make all the difference between success and failure in incubation hatching. Your trial run with the incubator will ensure that problems of placement have been addressed adequately. It will also prevent your suffering heavy losses in eggs and chicks should your placement somehow be wrong. If you’re satisfied with the placement and the functioning of the incubator itself in the trial run, you can go ahead and begin incubating the first lot of eggs.
You can expect more problems here if you’re inexperienced, but experience will come in time, and you will become more and more successful with each lot of eggs that goes through your incubator. The requirements of incubation hatching are not really that hard to master, but some kinds of knowledge, and in this case a little patience, could really prove to be a virtue. If one is careful, and if one works from a good knowledge base, then success at incubation hatching is more or less inevitable.