Incubation Workshop, 9-11 January 2017

in incubator

VulPro is thrilled to welcome raptor breeding specialist Jemima Parry-Jones and Neil Forbes back to South Africa. On this trip they will be travelling with incubation specialists Holly Cale and Adam Bloch from the International Centre for Birds of Prey, UK to host a workshop on avian incubation methods.

This will be an intensive hands-on workshop with a small class of max 20 people – first come, first serve. It will take a full 3 days between 9 and 11 January 2017. It will be conducted entirely on site at VulPro at our incubation facilities. The course fee of 8,000 ZAR per person will include the workshop manual and lunches/tea/coffee but excludes accommodation, which must be arranged independently if required.

Please contact Maggie Hirschauer at to register or for more details.

For more info on the instructors, visit:


Provisional Programme


Neil Forbes (BVetMed Dip ECZM (avian) FRCVS)

Jemima Parry-Jones, MBE

Adam Bloch

Holly Cale

Day 1

Why artificially incubate raptor eggs?

Preparing equipment and facilities for an incubation season: choice of incubators. incubator room, nest site preparations, mapping incubators, use of data loggers in incubator room and incubators air quality and biosecurity, pre-season sterilisation.

Technical advances in running an incubation facility

Preparing birds to produce optimal numbers of good quality eggs: nutritional aspects, egg handling and hygiene, egg fertility rates, avoiding missed eggs, insemination intervals/semen survival periods

Nest site preparation, planning for egg collection, imprint or natural breeding for egg production, egg pulling, chick manipulation

Biosecurity of the Incubation room: people, air quality, egg batch, Management, incubator infection control, room and equipment, sterility monitoring, egg shell testing, full pm and tests of all non-positional DIS.

Setting eggs (choice of eggs), which to incubate together, different incubators for different sized/stage eggs.

Egg development management, weighing down, candling when too do, what to do with clear eggs

Managing problem eggs in early / mid incubation

Day 2

Hands-on workshop: normal physiology and development of healthy chicken eggs

Peri hatch normal egg management : hatcher, drier, recognition of stressed embryo (use of Buddy), when to interfere, weight loss management and actions., management of mal-positionings

Neonate Management: temperature, handling, feeding, access to day light, nutrition, wholesomeness of neonate food, probiotics in first feeds, transfaecation, transvomition

Optimising outcomes on returning chicks to parents

Day 3

Monitoring and managing chick weight gains and skeletal development

Managing the psychological development of neonates, forms of imprinting, good and bad effects, short term, long-term, breeding implications

New Health risks encountered during the imprinting of raptors

Investigating neonatal losses from artificially incubated eggs

Ethical aspects of captive breeding: blue sky thinking, what the future holds, where do off spring go, inbreeding / release / zoo or private ownership

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