Watching baby chicks hatch from an incubator can be a joy for children and adults alike. An incubator in a classroom can be used to illustrate the miracle of life to students, or it can be used on the family farm if you simply want to quickly increase your number of chickens. Hova-Bator incubators are produced by GQF, which started out originally as Georgia Quail Farm. GQF has developed all of its incubators on site at its own quail farm since the 1950s.
Unpack all of the parts, separate the large top and bottom plastic pieces that form the main body of the unit.
Locate the wire mesh screen, owl clips and the plastic liner tray. The wire floor and plastic liner should be connected with owl clips on two of the sides. The clips connect by sliding one part over the wire floor and the other part under the plastic liner.
Place the connected wire floor and plastic liner in the base unit of the incubator. The wire floor should be on top. The pieces should be lined up so that the shape of the water trough in the bottom unit matches the shape of the water trough in the plastic liner. Once the liner and floor are in place, fill the trough with warm water. Put the large plastic top piece on top of the bottom piece.
Locate the power cord receptacle on the top piece of the incubator. There are two large yellow units on the top piece, one is round and the other is roughly rectangular. The power cord receptacle is in the middle of the rectangular piece. Plug the small end of the power cord into the receptacle. Plug the other end into the wall outlet. Place the incubator in a location that has an ambient room temperature of 21.1 to 26.6 degrees C, with fresh air but no draft.
Wait one hour for the incubator to warm up. You will see a blinking red light on top of the incubator when it is nearing the correct temperature.
Place the eggs you want to hatch on their sides on the wire floor of the incubator. Draw a small "x" on the top of each egg, this so you will know which side is which when you turn the eggs. Place the included thermometer on top of the eggs so that you can check to see if the eggs are staying at a constant 37.8 degrees C.
Turn the eggs over two to three times per day. Look to see if there is still water in the trough; fill it up if it has evaporated. Research how long it takes for your particular eggs to hatch. Stop turning them three days before the projected hatching date.