miniHatch




A Division of C. Botkin Enterprises Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find a list of frequently asked questions about the program and our service, along with incubation.  Please look here for answers to your questions.



Q: What do you we get with the kit we are paying for?
Q: How long will it take for our eggs to hatch?
Q: Is the condensation in our machine going to cause problems?
Q: We forgot to add water one day, what will happen?
Q: Why do we only fill one side of the water pot?
Q: Does it hurt the eggs when we remove the top to fill the water pot?
Q: What colour will our chicks be when they hatch?
Q: What breed of chicks do we have?
Q: Can we take photos of our chicks?
Q: We want to handle our babies, can we?
Q: What is the likelihood of Avian Flu?

Q: What do we get with the kit we are paying for?
A: In your kit, you will get the following items:

  • A Brinsea Mini Advance Incubator* for the duration of incubation.
  •  A bottle of pure water for use during incubation.
  • One of our custom lamps* for candling your eggs during incubation.
  • 5-7 special hatching eggs.
  • Delivery to most lower mainland locations.
  • Pickup of all chicks and unhatched eggs after hatching is complete.
  • A miniHatch Quick Reference Guide
  • An 8 1/2 x 11 poster that outlines embryo development for each day of chicken incubation.
  • The incubator instruction manual.

* Item must be returned upon pickup.

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Q: How long will it take for our eggs to hatch?
A: All chicken eggs take around 21 days to hatch.  The exact time will vary depending on incubation temperatures for the entire period and may fluctuate by one full day.

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Q: Is the condensation on the inside of my machine going to cause problems?
A: No, the condensation is a natural buildup of humidity inside the machine.  It may be very prevalent during the hatching period while the chicks dry off.

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Q: We forgot to add water one day, what will happen?
A: There should not be any problems with your hatch if the water is not topped up for one day.  Just do not forget again and resume normal filling with one side of the tray.

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Q: Why do we only fill one side of the water-pot?
A: The machines are engineered so that one side of the resevoir is only filled during incubation and both for the hatching period.  When the countdown timer displays "day 2", fill both.

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Q: Does it hurt the eggs when we remove the top to fill up the water pot?
A: No, a hen would normally leave the nest every day to eat and drink.  This departure has the same cooling effect as removing the top of the machine and filling the water pot.

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Q: What colour will our chicks be when they hatch?
A: Part of the fun of the program is that we can offer different breeds of chicks to each class for hatching.  All eggs in each machine will be from the same breed, but each setting will likely vary, so we cannot say.

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Q: What breed of chick do we have?
A: Stay tuned to this site for images of chicks and their parents to help you identify your chicks as an additional activity.

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Q: Can we take pictures of our chicks?
A: Yes! Your camera flash will not affect the babies through the outside of the machine.  Please DO NOT remove the top off the incubator to photograph the chicks, they can move quickly.  When a miniHatch representative comes to pick up your babies, they may allow you to open the top.

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Q: We want to handle the babies, can we?
A: We ask all of our users to NOT open the incubator when the chicks have hatched or are hatching.  They can get a chill and get sick from the cool air entering the machine, and it is also not recommended in terms of biosecurity, both for the users and our home flock of birds, where the chicks will be introduced.

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Q: What is the likelihood of avian flu?
A: The likelihood of eggs being contaminated with Avian Influenza is only possible if the parent flock is infected.  That is not likely nor possible since our birds are constantly monitored for any health problems at our farm by our staff.  Avian influenza must come from an outside source, and we practice standard biosecurity principles set forth by the CFIA.  Its transmission to humans is also very unlikely.  Any occurence of Avian Influenza within the country must be reported to the government as well, who will pursue any associated flocks for further testing.  If the virus does exist in a flock, the entire country will be aware of it very quickly, as we experienced in 2004 and 2007.  Parents can check the status of our country's flocks at the website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, as well as find the related biosecurity information as well. Our eggs are also wiped with a mild solution to remove any contaminants, and students are not to ever handle eggs or chicks.  The incubator must always be closed except for the addition of water, so direct contact is minimized.

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