In Benin, a country plagued by frequent power outages, poultry farmers rely on low-cost Chinese plastic incubators for hatching eggs. These unreliable incubators can lead to complete hatching failures when temperature control systems fail, exposing eggs to prolonged high temperatures. Benin’s poultry industry comprises traditional natural incubation methods, industrial partnerships with Chinese companies for Lohmann chicks, and DIY incubators made from repurposed items like dressers and old refrigerators, primarily used for specialty breeds. This project aims to explore the development of one or two solar-powered incubators, with capacities of 500 and 1000 eggs respectively, potentially in collaboration with an electrical engineering department. These incubators should serve as models, constructed from readily available materials by ensuring affordability and sustainability, and support the establishment of purebred poultry populations for both local breeding and commercial hatching.
HSRW will provide crucial technical expertise and support for the development of solar-powered incubators, enhancing the project’s feasibility and impact on the poultry industry in Benin. Fieldwork for this research will be supported by a local partner organization, the ET VOICI chicken farm, in Benin, which will be able to provide local supervision, support in finding local accommodation, shared office, contacts with representatives of the University of Parakou etc.
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