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Opening lid during lockdown for oxygen?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So I have run into a bit of a problem. I am on day 24 of incubating some mallard eggs and am getting ready for lockdown tomorrow. My problem is struggling to get good ventilation in my homemade incubator while maintaining temp and humidity. If I plug up all the holes except for one at the end of the incubator I can keep a nice temp of 99.5-100.5. The problem is when I try to get fresh air pulled in from outside by the fan by poking holes behind it; this drops my temp considerably by around 10 degrees which is way too cold. 

 

I have tried a larger watt bulb and I can get good ventilation, but then the problem comes in when I unplug the holes I can only get 25% humidity.

 

So I was reading around and read a post by someone (who seemed credible/knowledgeable) who said that opening the lid during lock down to get fresh oxygen in the incubator won't shrink wrap birds or cause any hatching problems. Any body have any input or recommendations?


Edited by duckman4450 - 11/15/15 at 6:06pm
post #2 of 4
My suggestion is to use the stronger light and raise the humidity by adding more water surface so more water can evaporate. You can do that by adding more containers of water in there. Putting sponges, rags, paper towels, something to wick water out of the reservoirs to add more wet surface area is another traditional way to up the humidity. This will cause the reservoirs to run dry earlier but you want that water to evaporate.

How big are your holes and how many do you have. Where are they? How big is your incubator? You don’t need a lot of air movement, you need some air movement. One relatively small hole at the top is usually enough.

Opening the top of the incubator during lockdown does not always cause shrink-wrap. As long as you are not silly about it opening the top usually doesn’t. But it’s more complicated than that. The lower the humidity during regular incubation, the more likely it is that opening the incubator can cause shrink-wrap. The longer it is open the more likely it is to cause shrink-wrap. Different eggs have different porosity, some lose more moisture during incubation than others. Others are stored longer before incubation starts so they can lose a lot of moisture even before they go into the incubator. These are more prone to becoming shrink-wrapped. Having too low humidity during lockdown can cause shrink-wrap.

Opening the top does not always cause shrink-wrap, but it does let heat and moisture escape. If I have an emergency to deal with, I’ll open the top and deal with it, but otherwise it stays closed. The first time I used my incubator I caused one chick to be shrink-wrapped so I know it can happen. But I also know it does not always happen.

If you envision sitting there from now until the hatch is over to pop the top open every few minutes, just sit there and plug and unplug the holes. Same effect.

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

My suggestion is to use the stronger light and raise the humidity by adding more water surface so more water can evaporate. You can do that by adding more containers of water in there. Putting sponges, rags, paper towels, something to wick water out of the reservoirs to add more wet surface area is another traditional way to up the humidity. This will cause the reservoirs to run dry earlier but you want that water to evaporate.

How big are your holes and how many do you have. Where are they? How big is your incubator? You don’t need a lot of air movement, you need some air movement. One relatively small hole at the top is usually enough.

Opening the top of the incubator during lockdown does not always cause shrink-wrap. As long as you are not silly about it opening the top usually doesn’t. But it’s more complicated than that. The lower the humidity during regular incubation, the more likely it is that opening the incubator can cause shrink-wrap. The longer it is open the more likely it is to cause shrink-wrap. Different eggs have different porosity, some lose more moisture during incubation than others. Others are stored longer before incubation starts so they can lose a lot of moisture even before they go into the incubator. These are more prone to becoming shrink-wrapped. Having too low humidity during lockdown can cause shrink-wrap.

Opening the top does not always cause shrink-wrap, but it does let heat and moisture escape. If I have an emergency to deal with, I’ll open the top and deal with it, but otherwise it stays closed. The first time I used my incubator I caused one chick to be shrink-wrapped so I know it can happen. But I also know it does not always happen.

If you envision sitting there from now until the hatch is over to pop the top open every few minutes, just sit there and plug and unplug the holes. Same effect.


Hi! The holes range in size from the size of a bb to the size of a golf ball and they are on all sides as well as the top and I cover or remove them with tape as needed and it has worked well. 

 

Talking to your point about the humidity during incubation, I have been weighing my eggs and the eggs have all lost right around 14-15% so I got that part down very well.

 

I was not thinking about opening it very often, maybe every 6(?) hours or so. I have tons of holes and if enough oxygen gets in by only have a few holes uncovered then that's great. I could even uncover the hole behind the fan every so often and get a lot of fresh air in quickly.

 

How much humidity is TOO much during lockdown? If I add a higher watt bulb I will have to increase the humidity to probably 80% give or take a few to get the temperature right.


Edited by duckman4450 - 11/16/15 at 4:01pm
post #4 of 4
You’ll get different opinions on how much humidity is too much during lockdown. In my opinion, 80% would be OK. I usually shoot for 65% to 70% but when they start hatching they add a lot of moisture to the incubator. I’ve seen 85% or even a bit more after that happens and it does not bother the late hatchers.

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
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