So i have found that my electronic thermometer and hydrometer's readings are reflecting the top of the egg versus the bottom. 104@ top and :/100 on the turner and I'm waiting for the reading for on the very bottom. What should I be setting my temps at to be sure the egg is propely heated all around? I have a still air incubator.
your did calibrate them first???? yesss????right??????? no not with a still air, you should get a fan and put it in, I highly suggest it! but for now, read and understand why you dont have stable temps all around, and then you will understand where to set your thermometers........
Let me throw this out here from the article just once for everyone, you need the STILL AIR PART....... (from the Hatching Eggs 101 - BackYard Chickens Community)
Never trust the thermometer that comes with the incubator, always check it.
The thermometer that came with my incubator was off by 5 degrees.
That could mean life or death for your babies.
Did you know "The yolk is orange and on its surface is a visible germinal disc; radiating from this area is the more watery white
yolk, which is less dense. During turning, the yolk’s structure makes the part containing the germinal disc stay most dorsal (closest to the incubating bird) for heating"
With a Forced Air Incubator (fan model) you can get the best hatch rate by keeping the temperature at 99.5º F. throughout the entire incubation period. HOWEVER, when using a Still Air incubator (no fan) at 102º F. The reason for different temperatures is that with a fan model the circulating air warms all around the egg while still air temperatures are warmer at the top of the egg than at the bottom. The temperature is measured at the level where the embryos develop (at the top of the HORIZONTAL egg). NOTE:
If the eggs are in vertical position, elevate the thermometer just below the top of the egg. The temperature is measured at the level where the embryos develop (at the top of the egg). Never allow the thermometer to touch the eggs or incubator because incorrect readings can result.
A high temperature tends to produce early hatches. A consistently cooler temperature tends to increase incubation times and produce weakened chicks. In both cases the total chicks hatched will be reduced. Prepare your incubator and run it for several days before adding eggs, to be positive you are maintaining correct incubation temperature. NOTE: It is common that when adding eggs the temperature will drop but should come back up to correct temperature within an hour or two. Don’t rest the thermometer's bulb touching the eggs or the incubator. Incorrect readings will result. Did you know that 10/13 day old embryos begin to produce excess heat in the incubator? Most large commercial incubators will spend more time cooling than heating!
Why Measure eggshell temperature?
CALIBRATION! YES! It’s IMPORTANT!
Calibrate the thermometer/s you are using for your Incubator. I use 3 thermometers! You need to make sure your thermometer is reading correctly, Even one degree may cause serious problems with your hatch! A simple method without specialized instruments and knowledge is to compare your thermometer/hygrometer with other devices.
CALIBRATION of thermometers:
Freezing point method.
Fill a glass with crushed ice. Add a LITTLE clean water until the glass is full and stir. Wait 3 minutes then insert the thermometer tip into the ice-filled glass so it’s in the water ice mixture. Wait a minute and if the thermometer reads 32 F then it’s accurate, and if it does not, it requires calibration.
Boiling point method.
Boil water in a pot, about 6” deep. When the water is at boiling point, place the thermometer into the water and make sure that the tip stays in the middle of the boiling pot, away from bottom and sides. Wait 30 seconds and check if the thermometer reads correctly at 212 degrees if you are at sea level or below 1,000 feet elevation. The boiling point of water varies for different elevations: sea level at 212 F, 1000 feet at 210 F, 2000 feet at 208 F, 3000 feet at 206.4 F, 5000 feet at 202.75 F, and 8,000 feet at 197.5 F. The thermometer needs calibration if the reading is incorrect.
Calibrate the Digital Thermometer
Adjust the nut of the digital thermometer in order to correct the temperature. This is done by simply turning the adjuster until the correct reading is reached. Digital thermometers do not require any adjustment of a screw or nut. You simply need to locate the reset button. When the freezing point or boiling point of water is achieved, simply push the button and that’s it. Some digital thermometers may require you to push hold the reset button.
More information on Calibrating your thermometer/hygrometer:
HOW TO CALIBRATE HYGRO with SALT TEST
NOTE: Some incubators, even expensive ones may have "hot spots" or "cool spots" depending on air circulation inside the incubator.
Probe thermometer & water weasel (Water Wiggler, Water Snake) found on Amazon or Ebay make for EXCELLENT internal temp guides! The perfect internal temperature of an embryo is 99.5 degrees. If you can't find a water wiggler you can make your own with ziplock filled with water folded in half and insert the probe in the center middle.
Examples of thermometers and hygrometers
I personally like to keep a digital one that also keeps track of “highs and lows” along with 2 incubator thermometers AND a PROBE! It depends on how scientific you plan your hatch!
More Important than make/model is CALIBRATION.
It NEEDS TO BE SPOT ON!