Originally Posted by VeggieMinette
Yes, I believe it's the 9200, but it's not marked anywhere and the person that I borrowed it from doesn't know, either. It's Styrofoam, 2 windows on the top. Little black dial to turn up or lower the temperature. She also gave me the rails & automatic egg turner. It has reservoirs in the bottom Styrofoam piece for water. She gave me a plastic thermometer to place on top of the eggs but nothing to measure humidity. If this is the same as yours, I would LOVE any help/tips that you can provide.
I'll look into the leg bands. Yes, it's strictly for separating the colors.
If it has the heating element that runs around the top and isn't digital, then yes, most likely you have the 9200 (which the model number is no where on it that I can find...lol) Which lucky you the 9200 is actually better than the newer digital ones. This is mine:
The last two pics you can see the heating element I am talking about. Mine has had the fan kit installed as well.
The biggest tip I can give you is have at least 2 independent thermometers that have been checked for accuracy and a hygrometer that has been checked. I lost my first hatch because I bought a new thermometer, never checked it and it ended up being 6 degree off. I now use no less than 2 that are in sync with each other. For still air you do want 101-102 degrees at the top of the eggs. As you can see, I do have the turner. I don't use it any more as I decided I prefer hand turning, but I started out using it the first couple hatches I did. First thing to do is set up the bator, get it running and make sure it holds a steady temp. The adjustment for these bators is very very touchy. A slight turn of the "knob" will have a big effect so when you are adjusting make sure you are going to be there to monitor it to make sure it doesn't spike or dip dramatically after you make the adjustment. I actually wiggle my "knob" slightly and wait and then again if I have to after half an hour. I also leave my vent plugs out for the duration of the incubation/hatch. Many leave them (or one) in until lockdown, others leave both in until day 10 and then remove them for the rest of incubation. Whichever you choose, just make sure they are open at hatch.
If you are not in a high elevation or very arid climate I suggest using a low humidity incubation method. Low humidity for the first 17 days has gained popularity as hatchers-especially those with styro bators have had more successful hatches running lower than the standard 50-60% that manuals preach. I use this method very successfully: http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com/blog/throw-away-those-incubator-manuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity
Now for you, you have lower odds because you are using shipped eggs, and shipped eggs carry a lot more problems than local eggs. Shipped eggs only have an AVERAGE of 50% hatch rates basically because of the handling during shipment. Most people that I know that do shipped eggs candle the egg to check the air cell as one of the major problems with shipped eggs is often detatched air cells and saddle shaped air cells. They let the eggs sit for a full day after recieving them and then if the air cells are loose they set them but don't turn them for the first 2-3 days of incubation. Many people who do shipped eggs incubate upright in cut down cartons and just tilt the cartons 3xs a day for "turning". Theory being because of the stress and damage done to shipped eggs- less is more. If the air cells are large when recieved, low humidity incubation in the first week or so may not be the best thing and going by the air cells will be your guidline. @RubyNala97 has done her share of shipped eggs and can give you her experiences and she's also done a lot of research on the subject of hatching shipped eggs.
And there are many of us willing to help along the course of incubation too if you hit a snag or have a question that hasn't been answered for you.