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Air cells before setting?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Had a miserable hatch rate on my first hatch, so I'm about to set another batch and was giving them one last inspection.

 

As I set the eggs aside this week, I candled to verify there was an intact air cell at the top. This was usually the case, a small but identifiable air cell. Now, prior to setting, eggs only a few days old don't appear to have one. Is this a concern prior to setting them? I quickly go from having 40+ to set to only a 18 or so if it is.

 

My house is a little on the dry side being winter, but on the very cool side... 56-66F depending on time of day. Eggs were rotated and stored with the wide end up.


Edited by Hiltonizer - 1/31/16 at 11:47am
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Seems I was using two different flashlights...realized this and they were identifiable again. One was seemingly too bright for a shadow to be cast.

post #3 of 6

I've never candled pre set eggs. Always assumed their is no air cell first day. We hold eggs two weeks and even bit more to have enough to set so there is a wide range of time they sit on the kitchen counter fat end up in egg carton. I use a book, or anything to prop the side of carton up to tilt eggs now and then until it's time to set all at once. With that range of no air cell to what ever developed after few weeks in kitchen still have gotten 90% + hatches with own eggs collected daily. Two years ago had a trio of birds, collected over two week span and 100% hatch. Where I'm going with this is If the eggs are stored in 65 F fat end up and tilted there was no ill effect to hatch rate.

 

Come to think on it that trio had two hatches back to back. The first batch was around 2 weeks of collection and second was every egg collected until the first batch hatched. It was second batch that made 100% hatch. Think problem with few on first was eggs were kind of freezing before being collected some days resulting in around 90% hatch. I've read statements that eggs should be no older than a week and storage must be in dark 50-55 F basement turned two or three times a day. I've not found statements like that to be true in practice. Failures in my first years of hatching could always be blamed on temp or humidity issues. Once you get down a proven system with your own equipment any poor hatch rate was due to shipped eggs.


Edited by Egghead_Jr - 2/6/16 at 2:08pm

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I candle them mostly to check for cracks, but its hard to decipher which end is up since these birds seem to lay relatively round eggs. Hense, the air cell check.

 

I store the eggs similarly, using soup cans to tilt the cartons.

 

Still working on my temp issues, I have a day 7 candling to do tomorrow, and if there's a fair percentage of DOA's I'm going to toss the whole batch and re-calibrate. I introduced an Inkbird controller into the equation for this hatch, since heating with a woodstove is just too much fluctuation for a still-air Hovabator. Once I get a decent hatch rate in the Hovabator I'll build a proper cabinet to up capacity.

 

The first hatch I didn't use a hygrometer, knowing what my house RH was due to my LaCrosse station (mid-low 30's), and I just added a spong and water for lockdown. I think it was definitely too dry. Only 2 out of 27 hatched (39 originally set), two had curled feet and one of those was an assisted hatch. The hygrometer is barely breaking 40% after I add water now, so I assume it was around there last lockdown.

post #5 of 6

Where are you measuring temp? Didn't realize you had a still air. Those matter where and what your reading for temp. Hot air rises type thing so think layers at different heat. People have mastered them here- verdict is if you measure temp at top level of eggs (assuming they are upright in a turner) you should be reading 101 F. What seems to prove out is that's the easiest place to measure when eggs are in a turner. Internal egg temp will be consistent but the air temp from top of egg to layer bottom of egg will be in large range. Don't worry about range and in faith get temp to 101 F top level of eggs. Your in a hatch now and wouldn't ditch them as it's early enough to do that correction. It will do a world of good.

 

Salt test to calibrate hygrometer:

 

Fill milk or juice bottle cap with salt. Add drops of water until saturated. I poor off any excess water.

 

Put cap and hygrometer into a sealed container. Quart size zip seal bag works well, if a larger hygrometer use a gallon zip seal bag. I provide small pillow of air when sealing.

 

Wait 4 hours or until hygrometer reading is stable, may take longer with gallon container. Subtract the reading of hygrometer from 75 and write it on piece of tape to stick on incubator as reminder.

 

Ex: your reading in salt environment is 82% RH. Withing 0.5% range at room temp the true RH is 75%.  75-82= -7. You'll always subtract 7 from what your hygrometer reads to be true RH.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Probes sit between in the eggs in the turner, my target there is 99.5.

 

I'm pretty confident the new hygro is accurate, it and my LaCross were within 1-2 % of each other. The problem was just not using it during lock down before I think, combine with the unstable temps sans the controller.

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