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Cornish X Journal - Page 2

post #11 of 83
On the scalder build I suggest wrapping the barrel with insulation even if only the foil faced bubble wrap a couple layers thick then cut a floating lid of good quality foam like the 2 inch pink board used in construction. That would really cut down on heat loss and greatly help recovery time. I agree using the whole barrel will also allow larger volume of water which will hold heat longer.

About Hoover's hatchery, I ordered from them last summer and have mixed feelings. I'm in Wisconsin so shipping isn't that far and I've never received a chick delivery damaged from the postal service but when I ordered from Hoover's I got 25 ISA browns and 25 red rangers, 25 rainbows. I had one dead on arrival looked like it was smashed by the others then in the next couple weeks a did lose quite a few birds I don't remember anymore but it was a dozen or more, I also did not get even 1 extra chick which is odd with a 75 bird order. I'm not holding it against the hatchery just yet because I had to have my mom take delivery of the chicks this time and she thought as it was summer they didn't need their lamp so they sat on the brooder for 2 hours with no heat until I found out and called a friend to go turn on their light. I'm sure that contributed to some of the losses in the first day or 2 but I'm skeptical about the rest. Last year their prices were good and they claim to have good success and have decent reviews so I will give them 1 more try but if I have major losses again I won't be giving them my business again. I've ordered layers from McMurray twice and never lost a chick even with their poor shipping practices, but their meat birds are a little pricey
Edited by blucoondawg - 3/18/16 at 10:56am
post #12 of 83
Thread Starter 

My experience has been off and on. I ordered my first batch from them last year and I had quite a few losses. I got a replacement order and they were thriving. This year was far worse but the second shipment was excellent. I really believe it is heavily dependent on the weather and the care from the postal service gives your birds. I'm going to try harder to find a local hatchery next year but Hoovers has a decent selection, good prices and always makes it right. I think if i do order from them again I'll make sure the nighttime temps are above average or wait a couple weeks before I order. Problem is here in SC it get hot FAST. I ordered late last year and my birds were panting for the last 2 weeks. 


I made a lot of progress on the scalder. Amazon delivered 3 days ahead of schedule so I had the materials to play with over the weekend. I wired the Ranco with a 14 gauge extension cord. 


Things I learned:


Skip the universal adapter kid. It's just about worthless.

Fitting this to a round barrel is a little tougher than i thought. 


I switched out to a 35 gallon barrel because the 55 gallon just look unwieldy.  


The brackets on the element are really geared toward a very specific mounting pattern and this is far from universal. I ended up using a lot of silicone to seal it up despite the gaskets.


I wired the ranco thermostat with a 50' 14 gauge extension cord. I'll require this to plugged directly to the socket so i know it's always on the right sized extension cord at it's farthest possible reach. 


I liked using a barrel with a built in removable lid to reduce heat loss. 


It's currently running in the back yard on a test. It's 56˚ here today. The water came out of the tap at 63˚. After the first hour it was already at 87˚. Once I get it to 148 i'm going to leave it there and see how it hold temp. 


If it all works and I don't get electrocuted i'll post back with some pictures. 

post #13 of 83
Just plug in to gfci outlet and you won't have to worry about getting electrocuted. How were your chicks otherwise, I did have a few that had crooked curled toes, I guess I didn't care because they were meat birds going to the freezer anyways and they could still walk fine, it didn't seem to bother them but it does show their lines aren't the greatest
post #14 of 83
Thread Starter 
I did 50 last year and they all looked normal. Kept all the feet for stock so I would have noticed for sure.

Here's a couple shots of the prototype. Once it all passes QC I'll dress the cable and mount the thermostat.

post #15 of 83
Thread Starter 
post #16 of 83
I had rangers and rainbows it was mainly the rainbows with feet issues, their Cornish are probably ok then. I'm gonna do more this year haven't decided how many or what kind
post #17 of 83
Thread Starter 
The scalder came to temp in 5 hours and 26 minutes. It was cool and breezy today and the tap water was cold as well so I'll consider this a worst case scenario. I estimated the amount of water at about 30 gallons after leaving enough room to dunk and drain a chicken. ill be testing recovery time tonight.
post #18 of 83
Thread Starter 

I did not account for the huge disparity in temperatures between the top and bottom of the barrel. Taking temps revealed a 55˚ difference from the hottest to the coldest parts of the barrel. I mistakenly assumed that the element positioned about 10 inches off the bottom of the barrel would create it's own circulation but it seems there will be no way to evenly heat the 35 gallons with this element without some type of agitator. If my water at the top needs to be the proper temperature to scad the water at the bottom will be cold. I'm looing into adding a small air pump or submersible fan. 

post #19 of 83
Air bubbles will create a lot of cooling via evaporation. Not sure on temp tolerance but Harbor freight has small pond pumps for $6-12. Might even just be able to put a shield around the element to force it to pull cold from the bottom and create some convection.
post #20 of 83
Thread Starter 

I'm pretty sure if i shrouded the element with PVC running vertically it would force it to draw from the bottom like you said. However, I think the pump is the simplest way to go. I have an old sump here that i'm going to use to test the unit's heating ability with circulation. I expect it's going to increase heat loss a great deal and i'm not sure the 1500watt element will be able to keep up. Last night, when i unplugged the unit the top was 168˚ while the bottom was 105. That puts the average temp still a bit too low for scalding after 10 hours of heating. Today's experiment should help.


my sump will need to run on a separate circuit for the test today. If it works, i'll need to find a small pump that will run on the same line as my scalder without tripping a 15 amp breaker. I think the small pond pumps are pretty efficient and it looks like I have a a lot of options under well under 100 watts. I'm eyeing one that pumps 160 gallons per hour and uses just 9 watts for $12.

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