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Button Quail Incubator TEMP RANGE?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have a basic home-made incubator, from a Styrofoam box, a 100watt incandescent bulb, a fan, a bowl of water (for humidity,) a digital thermometer (by zoomed) and a thermostat (by appleherps)

Everything fits and seems to be working well as I await the arrival of my eggs, the fan lightly circulates the air and the thermostat clicks the light on and off in accordance to the temperature. The only problem Im having is it seems to me that my thermometer is more sensitive than my thermostat. The thermostat is allowing for a very precise 10degree range. It will let the box heat up to exactly 99.7 then click off, and over a minute the temperature will slowly but steadily drop to 89.7 then it will click back on and it will steadily rise (for less than a minute). Ive played with the thermostat to try and fine tune it to exactly 99, or maybe a little above or under to get an average that I want but it always heats it up to that point, lets it drop exactly 10, then heats it up again.

Now, I assume that in nature the hen might be fidgety or getting up to eat from time to time, so small drops shouldnt be *that* bad. But I just wanted to check what the experienced peeps think. Although it is varying 10 degrees, it is very regular and works like clockwork, so at least they can *get used to it*..? lol. Im assuming the thermostat is just slightly less sensitive or going for an average or something. Any suggestions? Should I up the temp? lower it? I invested quite a bit in this thermostat so I dont want another one.

Thank u in advance
Alex

post #2 of 13

welcome-byc

Wow, I don't know how big your styrofoam box is, but the 100W bulb seems high to me.  I made mine from an Omaha Steaks cooler (don't know if they vary in size?  Mine is about 18"Lx12"Wx15"H) and I am using a 25W bulb as the heat source.  I'm using a reptile thermostat that has been awesome - held temps very precisely throughout incubation, although as it turns out, I had two chicks hatch this morning about 36 hours early so it looks like I've had my temps a little too high the whole time - not the thermostat's fault - my thermometer must be off a little. 

If I were you, I'd try exchanging out the 100W bulb for a lower wattage bulb and see if that makes a difference.  FWIW, mine keeps the light on for 3-5 mins, then off for about the same length of time.

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Should I add supplemental heat?

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Enjoying my 10-acres in the country with 50+ chickens, turkeys and muscovy ducks!  Blog is here.

 

Read about my fox attack here

A fox attack survival story

My hoop house

Should I add supplemental heat?

Reply
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, and thank you for the welcoming smile

My styro box is about 2ft by 1ft 5in... though there is a 3x3inch collumn in the middle where the air just circulates around(it was styrofoam I got from a package so it was molded to shape the item that was in it, if that makes sence) The inside looks like a rectangular donut...

I just put in a 60watt, as thats the lowest i could find in the house, and It didnt seem to make much difference. It's still dropping 10 degrees, but now it just takes slightly longer for it to reach 89.7 so the hypothetical eggs are spending longer in the cooler temps...

I think either way my thermostats going to get it to the right temp then drop it 10degrees till starting up again, so I guess I just want to know is that safe, and is it better for it to be more rapid (at 99.7 more often) or slower with a lower watt.

Because of the donut ish shape, I have the light and fan vent on one side of the box & collumn, and the sensors (for bother the digital thermometere and the thermostat on the other side of the collumn where I plan to put the eggs (so they arent Right in front of the elements)


Edited by lilfred333 - 1/29/11 at 9:50am
post #4 of 13

You need to adjust your thermostat. I have my electric going from 98-100.2. This works pretty good for me, but in your case you probably need a 40 watt bulb, and then adjust your thermostat to kick on sooner.

post #5 of 13

Button quail do great on 99.5 degrees farenheight. I am not good with DIY incubators but if you can keep it between 99.5-100 F then you are good to go.. Also consider humidity. 50-60% is ideal for button quail.

Breeder of Jumbo Coturnix and standard in many varieties, Chinese Blue Breasted (button quail) Quail, other game birds, poultry, waterfowl. Author of Coturnix Revolution.
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Breeder of Jumbo Coturnix and standard in many varieties, Chinese Blue Breasted (button quail) Quail, other game birds, poultry, waterfowl. Author of Coturnix Revolution.
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post #6 of 13

What you need to do is get a water wiggler, then you need a thermometer with a probe. Put the water wiggler at the same level that your eggs will be with the probe from the thermometer inside the water wiggler (make sure the end isn't sticking out because that's where the temperature reads from--usually the last 1"-1 1/2" of the probe). This will tell you the 'inside of the egg temp'. If this reading is between 99 and 100 degrees I would leave it alone. It takes longer for the eggs to cool than it does for the air temp to cool.

'Safe' range is about 98* to 102* for the air temp.

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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by quailladyoffortmyers 

Button quail do great on 99.5 degrees farenheight. I am not good with DIY incubators but if you can keep it between 99.5-100 F then you are good to go.. Also consider humidity. 50-60% is ideal for button quail.


The problem is they are unable to keep it at 99.5-100*. Their thermostat allows for too much swing in the temperature.

Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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post #8 of 13

On almost all thermostats I have seen you can adjust when it kicks on and off.

post #9 of 13

If it has a 10 degree swing I'd set it at 105 and leave it. Then it would warm up to there and kick off, then drop to 95 and kick on. Should keep it right around 95 that way.

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post #10 of 13

Where Is Your Thermostat In Relation To Your Heat Source? If Too Close The Temperature Swings Will Be Quick And Extreme.

A Couple Of Good Ideas Here... Lower Wattage Bulb As Posted Earlier, As Well As Heat Sinks... Basically A Few Mason Jelly Jars Full Of Water And Sealed In The Bottom Of Your Incubator, Once They Heat Up To The Operating Temperature They Will Help Stabilize And Slow Down The Rate At Which The Inside Temperature Drops... Helping Maintain A More Stable Temperature With Less Fluctuation And Slower Fluctuation Times. These Jars Are Filled With Water And Sealed... They Do Not Replace Your Hunidity Source, Nor Do They Contribute To Your Humidity, The Idea Is The Heat Up And Stay Warm, When Your Heating Element Shuts Off They Will Continue To Give Off Warmth Thereby Helping Keep The Temperature Steady Inside The Incubator.

A 10 Degree Temperature Fluctuation Is Pretty Wild And Likely To Solicit Very Unsavory Results For Incubating. Try Moving Your Thermostat To A Different Location... Opposite End From Heating Source About 1/2 To 2/3's The Way Up The Side Wall Of Your Incubator Box. Also If Using A Fan Try To Direct It Away From The Themostat

I'm Not Yelling!... Thanx Anyway, But Its The Best Way For Me To Read The Print On The Screen.....LF Cochins, SERAMA, RINGNECK AND RUFFED PHEASANTS, MEL. MUTANT RINGNECKS, BLUE SLATE TURKEYS, MALLARDS, WOOD DUCKS, ROUENS, BUTLER BOB WHITES, COTURNIX. PM ME FOR EGG AVAILABILITIES!
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I'm Not Yelling!... Thanx Anyway, But Its The Best Way For Me To Read The Print On The Screen.....LF Cochins, SERAMA, RINGNECK AND RUFFED PHEASANTS, MEL. MUTANT RINGNECKS, BLUE SLATE TURKEYS, MALLARDS, WOOD DUCKS, ROUENS, BUTLER BOB WHITES, COTURNIX. PM ME FOR EGG AVAILABILITIES!
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