Waterfowl eggs differ physically from chicken eggs
Due to the increased degree of biological challenges experienced by the vulnerable embryo in its natural ‘wet’ environment, waterfowl eggs have a thicker ‘coating’ or cuticle compared to chicken eggs. This coating protects the eggs from contamination. In nature, the cuticle of waterfowl eggs gradually erodes during incubation due to the nest activity of the parent bird. This results in more exposed pores and, consequently, an increasing rate of gas exchange that provides the developing embryo with sufficient oxygen and creates an air cell big enough to facilitate hatching.
To replicate the interaction between parent bird and incubating waterfowl eggs, two approaches are traditionally used. Some hatcheries actively remove the cuticle by washing the eggs before incubation. Others spray the eggs with water during incubation. However, research into the specifics of waterfowl egg incubation has brought Petersime to an alternative approach that benefits the hatchery majorly.
Non-linear weight loss: nature as the benchmark
Petersime’s advanced single-stage incubation concept with tightly sealed cabinets and precise ventilation allows a natural evolution of the humidity levels. The concept is based on the principle of non-linear weight loss (NLWS), which imitates the humidity levels an embryo experiences when incubated naturally by the parent bird.
How does this work? Petersime’s single-stage incubator mimics the natural non-linear weight loss profile of waterfowl eggs. At the start of the incubation cycle, humidity levels are kept high to reduce weight loss. In a second phase, the levels are reduced in order to accelerate weight loss. By precisely providing O2 and removing CO2 and water in correlation with the developing embryo’s requirements, the incubator enables the egg pores to be exposed through just the right amount of limited erosion at the right rate. This generates the required gas exchange for good embryonic development and growth with the cuticle remaining intact.