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364
INCUBATION AND INCUBATORS


It possesses a very large water tank, holding 15 gallons for every hundred eggs. Through this tank there pass two hot-air horizontal flues, lying in the same plane. The novelty of the construction lies in the great volume of water used and in the disposition of the iiues towards the top of the tank. It is said that very little circulation of water takes place beneath the flues, because warmed water rises instead of falling. The great body of water below the flues will therefore only take up heat relatively slowly, and will, on account of its bulk and its physical properties, but slowly lose it. Should the flame fall in power, or even go out for ten or twelve hours, it is claimed that no serious loss of efficiency of the apparatus will resu t.,

Regulation of the temperature is by means of an air tube, the air in which expanding bulges out an indiarubber diaphragm and this moves a lever. The lever o erates a valve which allows more or less of the heated air to escape from the egg-drawer. (b) Hot-air Incubators.-W. H. I-lillier's Incubator (fig. 7) is circular in form and is constructed of a double-walled metal case. The space between the two walls is packed with a non-conducting material. The incubation or

egg-chamber (C) is

warmed by a circular

heating box (H), and

the air in this is heated

by alamp. The roof of

this box forms part of

the floor of the incubation

chamber and from

it a main flue (F) and

A four smaller ones (F')

pass upwards through

the roof of the incubator

and discharge

to the exterior.

Fresh air passes in to

the incubator t hrough two tubular channels (A and A') on either side of the heating box and escapes through a hole in the roof, which serves at the same time as a passage for one of the rods (D) in connexion with the temperature regulating apparatus.

This apparatus (T) consists of a glass tube of é in. bore, and which is bent into the form of a circle of 5 in. diameter. The tube is fastened to a wooden disk, which rotates upon a pivot and in so doing operates a vertical rod (D), which in its turn works the cap (V) which covers the orifice of the main flue. The tube is partly filled with mercury and is closed at one end. At this end there is contained some spirit. As the temperature rises, this expands and pushes the mercury column farther along the tube. The equilibrium of the- position of rest is thus disturbed, and the wooden disk consequently rotates, carrying with it the vertical arm, the downward movement of which raises the cap (V) of the flue. The temperature at which it is desired that this valve shall uncover the flue, can be adjusted within the necessary limits by sliding the weight (W) along the horizontal arm and by the amount of mercury present in the bent tube. The air of the incubation chamber is rendered sufficiently moist by the evaporation of water in the vessel (G).

In the Cornell incubator (New York) more personal attention is required than in other forms, since the ventilation of the egg chamber is not wholly automatic but is regulated according to the results of observation. The great difficulty in ventilation is the proper combination of fresh air and moisture. The Cornell Incubator Company has endeavoured to obviate this difficulty by carrying out a series of observations on the rate at which evaporation occurs in incubating eggs under natural conditions. The rate of evaporation is measured by the size of the air-space within the egg-shell at successive days. This they have ascertained, and with their incubators they furnish a book of instructions in which diagrams showing the size of the air space on the 1st, 5th, 10th, 14th and 18th days are given. Examination of the eggs should therefore be made every two or three days, and the result compared with the diagrams. The incubator, is provided with an adjustable ventilator and this should be so arranged that evaporation is neither too great nor too little. The ventilator should never be wholly closed, and if when closed to its minimum evaporation is still too great, then water should be placed in the moisture pans. In all cases lukewarm water should be plaézed in these on the 18th day and the ventilating slide opened wi e.

It will thus be seen that in this machine there is an attempt to do away with the addition of water to the incubator drawer during the greater part of the period of incubation, and to rely upon the aqueous vapour naturally present in the atmosphere. This attempt is based upon the fact that water vapour is lighter than air, and will therefore rise to the top in any enclosed volume of air. If the direction of the ventilating current is downwards in the incubation chamber, and if it is slow enough, it is thought that the water vapour will be sifted out and tend to accumulate to a sufficient extent in the chamber. In the Cornell incubator consequently the ventilating current passes first upward through an external heater in order to warm it, whence it is then deflected downwards into the egg-chamber and diffuses through its perforated bottom. Then it passes along a space beneath the chamber into a space in the left-hand wall of the incubator and N, , , , . ., ,, ,, ,

V

u- T

C 'ii

J if c. J T H

A I

FIG. 7.-Hi1lier's Incubator.

out to the exterior through an adjustable and graduated ventilating slide. ~

These incubators are hot-air machines, and the hot-air chamber is situated above the egg-drawer and is traversed by several fiues opening out from a main one. The temperature regulating apparatus appears to be similar to that of Hearson's machine and operates by a thermostat, which through the agency of levers opens or closes a valve over the main flue. '-The

Westmeria incubators (Leighton Buzzard) are of two patterns. One type is built on the hot-air principle and the other on the hotwater system. In both forms the heated air from the heating surfaces is deflected down on the eggs and escapes through the perforated bottom of the egg-drawer. The inlet air is first warmed by Contact with the main flue. The thermostat is similar to that in the Hillier machine (fig. 7) and consists of a coil mounted on an axis, round which it can rotate. The coil is filled with mercury and is closed at one end. Between this end and the mercury column is a short column of air. By expansion of the air under a rising temperature, 'the mercury column is displaced and brings about a rotation of the disk to which the coiled tube containing it is attached. This rotation raises the cap over the main flue.-All

the incubators so far described have been constructed with the idea of obtaining as nearly as possible a uniform temperature. But in E. S. Renwick's incubator (America) no attempt is made to obtain uniformity in temperature. On the other hand, it is designed to give a periodical oscillation from one extreme to the other of a limited range, about 3°, of temperature. This is accomplished by means of a thermostatic bar made of plates of brass and vulcanise fastened together. This is connected with a clockwork and detent arrangement, which simultaneously opens a valve and actuates the lamp flame. The temperature falls to the lower limit of its range before the thermostatic bar is sufficiently bent to set the clockwork arrangement operating in the reverse direction, by which the valve is closed and the lamp flame increased. The temperature then rises to the higher limit, when the bending of the thermostatic bar again releases the detent and the clockwork opens the valve and reduces the flame.

The incubator is said to succeed well. It also possesses a mechanical arrangement by which all the eggs can be periodically turned on rollers at once.

Size.-The incubators which have been described' are of relatively small size, and the numbers of eggs which they can incubate are strictly limited. For commercial purposes, however, operations of a much larger magnitude are desirable and necessary. ' And there can be no doubt that for these purposes the incubators of the future will be of great size and will contain from 15,000 to 30,000 eggs or more at a time. Already, at Aratoma Farm, Stamford, New York State, there is established a large incubation room, containing several thousands of eggs, and in which the heat regulation is controlled in part by the personal efforts of attendants. It constitutes 'almost a complete return, with added accessories, to the methods of the Egyptians, and to those of John Champion.

R Bacleriological I ncubatars.

These differ from bird incubators in that the heating surface of the incubation chamber generally surrounds all sides of it and there is, as a rule, no special arrangement for bringing about a more or less humid condition of the contained air. In some forms there is an arrangement to ensure a continuous supply of fresh and moist air, but in the majority the incubation chamber obtains its supply of fresh air vicariously. In some forms the chamber of the incubator is heated by awarm water tank of a simple kind, which extends round all its sides. 'But in other forms a series of tubes or flues passes through the water in this tank and thus simulates in principle the tube boiler. This latter form utilizes the heat of the flame to a greater degree than the former kind. In yet other forms the incubation chamber is heated by warm air chambers which surround-it or flues which traverse it. Most bacteriological incubators are square or rectangular in form, but some bacteriologists prefer cylindrical forms, presumably on account, of the ratio of volume to surface in Connexion with the water tank. I One of the best known and most generally used of the cylindrical and water-tank kind is that of Dr d'Arsonval. It consists of two copper cylinders (fig. 8 C and C'), 'each terminating in a cone below. Between the cylinders is a wide inter space, in order that arlargé volume of water may be contained. This inter space therefore constitutes the water-tank of the incubator. The upper orifice of the inner cylinder is closed by a movable double lid, which contains an inter space filled with water. The outer cylinder has an oblique form at its upper end and is permanently closed. The result attained by this slope of the lid of the outer cylinder is that the water tank, which *is fed from the highest point, becomes completely filled. The aperture at the highest point of the outer cylinder is plugged with a caoutchouc

plug- and through a perforation in this a glass tube (T) is placed. In,