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questions about making an incubator!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I'm going to start hatching eggs in the future, and i have a few questions. i know these might sound stupid, but I'm gonna ask them anyway. 

1. when do the chicks come out of the incubator and into the brooder? (how long after they hatch)

2. how important is it that i put mesh on the bottom of the incubator? i know i have to put mesh around the light and fan, but what about the bottom?

3. do i need to put glass in the "view window" or can i use plexiglass?

4. is hardware cloth what i should use, or some other type of mesh?

5. is it better to have a humidity reader and thermometer together, or separately (1 or 2 instruments)? does it matter where in the incubator they are? 

6. is it better to have a fan or not for a first time hatcher? if i need one, does it matter what type?

7. does it matter where the bowl of water is placed?


thanks so much for answering my questions, I'm sorry if they are stupid!!




post #2 of 2

These are my opinions. others will have others.


1.  I let them sit at least 24 hours, up to 72 hours depending on who else has hatched or pipped.  We have low humidity here and opening the hatcher/incubator when there is active pips or zipping has ended in bad results sometimes.  A fully fluffed chick always seems to do better than the mostly dried.


2.  I don't know know what incubator you are using, but protecting chicks from themselves is always the best course of action.  Mesh on the bottom probably isn't a bad idea unless it affects the operation of the incubator.


3.  I would always use plexi.  Glass has a tendency to break, plexi will crack.  Tempered glass is harder to break, but see my previous sentence.


4.  Hardware cloth seems universal and easy to find.


5.  I have a combo reader in the front(s), a wireless thermometer in any areas that might need attention.  Before you load everything up, run your incubator for a few days.  Find out where the hot or cold spots are, how the humidity distributes, how to add water without opening the lid/door, etc..  Trial and error is fun and all, but better to minimize the "uhhh, what do I do now" moments.  


Also, I don't buy cheapo thermometers or humidity meters.  If two $40 meters tell me the same thing in the same spot, I'm good.  Yes, spendy, but I also don't wake up at 2 AM wondering if my eggs are going to bake or dry out.  There are other ways of taking these measurements that are cheaper, others will tell you about it or just do some reading.


6.  Fan.


7. Depends on how much humidity you need.  In front of the fan would be the best spot to get moisture moving, off to the side may be fine if you don't need much.  You may not need a bowl of water depending on your incubator if it has channels for water.


The only stupid question is one that is not asked.  We all started from the beginning, now it's your turn. :D 

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