HATCHING APPARATUS. The method, strange to those who do not understand it, of hatching chickens by artificial means, is no thing more than a mode of applying warmth to the eggs. If a hen for any reason does not 'sit' upon her brood, an artificial mother is sometimes provided, which will rear several broods at once ; it is a board or box lined with soft lambskin, covered with a wicker, and placed near a heated wall in such a way that the young chicks may receive warmth sufficient for their tender condition. These artificial mothers are, however, only a sort of house for chickens newly hatched : they are not hatching-machines. The Egyptians have long been in the habit of applying heat and mois ture artificially to the hatching of chickens. Mr. Bucknell some years ago invented a hatch ing-machine under the somewhat learned name of the Eccalcobion ; and more recently Mr. Cantelo's HydroIncubator has attracted public attention. In this apparatus heat is applied to the upper surface of the eggs as they are ranged in layers. A current of warm
water flows over a waterproof cloth, beneath which the eggs are placed. A tank of water is kept continually at a temperature of 109° Fahr., with the surface so arranged that the heated water may flow over the waterproof cloth : a return pipe being so placed as to connect the outer end of the cloth with the bottom of the tank. There is thus a continual flow of water over the cloth, at one uniform temperature. The eggs are placed in drawers having perforated bottoms, with a layer of woollen cloth between; the upper surface of the eggs can just touch the under surface of the warmed waterproof cloth ; but the arrange ment is such that air can freely circulate between the eggs and the cloth. The water is heated by slowly burning charcoal fires.
Although there is much ingenuity displayed in this apparatus, it seems doubtful whether the method will be a commercially prospe rous one.