There are some things that absolutely must be done when you try your hand at incubation hatching. Incubating hatchings requires a vast attention to detail, and it all starts with the selection of the eggs themselves. Choosing eggs for incubating and hatching is a skill in itself. If you are a regular breeder, you might do as most others do and set your entire stock of laid eggs for incubation. On the other hand, if you don’t have too many incubators, or if space is a serious issue, you may have to choose between your available supply of eggs when selecting which ones you wish to incubate and hatch.
One important criterion when selecting eggs is to look at the breeders that lay them. It might seem self obvious, but healthy breeders will lay eggs, that, when hatched, will grow into healthy new birds. Also watch to see which birds lay the greatest percentage of productive eggs that are useable and fertile. The birds that lay the most fertile eggs are also usually the healthiest, and their chicks have the greatest chance of surviving incubation hatching. Another nice criterion for selecting between eggs is to choose those eggs whose breeders were not disturbed in the breeding term.
Breeders that have been fed the correct diet also produce the healthiest and most viable eggs. Lastly, eggs that were not a result of inbreeding also tend to be the most viable, and the chicks that are born from these eggs are most likely to survive. This is because inbreeding tends to reduce the diversity of the gene pool, and tends to increase the possibility of congenital defects that can cause unhealthy chicks, or which defects, if serious, can even lead to a larger number of fatalities than average, both during the incubation period and afterwards, when the eggs hatch.
Another sign of a defect in an egg is an egg that is overly large or overly small. Both sorts of eggs can cause problems in the incubation and hatching process. Large eggs seem to have a larger than average incidence of failure in the incubation and hatching process, which can result in a greater number of failed eggs. Small eggs lead to small, stunted and unhealthy birds, and these chicks are liable to become ill or to die soon after hatching. In any case they result in a line of genetically smaller birds, which is to be avoided at all costs. These are points to bear in mind when you set out eggs for incubation hatching.