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Still air incubator - temperature question?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm using a Brower 845 still air incubator.  The instructions tell me to keep the thermometer between 101-102 degrees.  My digital thermometer wasn't very acurate so I placed a (reptile) thermometer with probe across the egg tops.  The probe shows very precise temperature variations to the tenth degree.

 

BTW-My digital thermometer/hygrometer stays at about 95 because it is seemingly measuring the floor temp only (and I question it's accuracy at that). I did check the hygrometer with the salt test and found it within 2% of the correct 75% reading. It was 77% so I'm comfortable with the humidity readings it's giving me.

 

My heater cycles (turns on) about every 5 minutes and stays on about a minute.  The probe readings change about every 10 seconds and climb to a peak and then fall to a low within that 5 minute cycle.  I've been taking the "average" of those two "extreme" temperatures to regulate my incubator temperature.  Am I figuring this correctly?

 

Example:  High-103.5/Low-99.5 = 101.5

                 High-101.5/Low-96.2 = 98.6

                 High-104.2/Low-99.4 = 101.8

 

High temperatures over 104 scare me, so I often find myself regulating the screw to a lower temperature...but maybe 104 is OK because it is only part of the average temperature and NOT the stable temperature??  This is my first hatch experience and I have 11 special silkie eggs in there (special to me anyway).  I'm hoping someone can either calm my fears or correct me on understanding these temperatures.

 

 

Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

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Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

Reply
post #2 of 10

suggest a range of 98.5 to 101. its a safer range and has worked great for me. if you do have hatches at the higher temps u could end up with mostly roos. lower temps better chance for hens. mine has given 100% hatch rate or near 100%. GL

 nothing but big, bold blue/black/splash jersey giants.
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 nothing but big, bold blue/black/splash jersey giants.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crankster76 View Post

suggest a range of 98.5 to 101. its a safer range and has worked great for me. if you do have hatches at the higher temps u could end up with mostly roos. lower temps better chance for hens. mine has given 100% hatch rate or near 100%. GL


The probe thermometer shows a RANGE that most thermometers do not register...they basically stay within the average temp even when the heat goes up or down in the still air environment.  That being said, my average is about 100. 

 

My question (to someone familiar with still air bators) is more, "am I figuring my incubator average temperature correctly?"  This specific incubator instructs to keep the temperature between 101-102 and that is what I'm shooting for.  This is only the temp about 1/4 of an inch above the eggs anyway so I'm not cooking them.  My floor temp is 95'ish.

 

Hmmm, I read that the gender (roo or hen) is determined at fertilization and often a result of abundance or lack of protein in the hen's diet?  Oh well, I've got alot to learn.
 

 

Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

Reply

Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

Reply
post #4 of 10

YES i HEARED THAT 2. but also got some insight that the temp in the early stages effects that as well . first heard it from dr.allen's post' standards of pefection'. someone posted on it . so I did some studing on it. also tried it out on a couple of hatches and it seems to hold some merit.

 nothing but big, bold blue/black/splash jersey giants.
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 nothing but big, bold blue/black/splash jersey giants.
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post #5 of 10
The sex of the chicken is determined by the genetic material donated by the hen before the egg is laid. Incubating temperature has nothing to do with the sex of the chicken. The sex was determined before the rooster got involved.

As you have observed, hot air rises. You can get quite a variation in temperatures in a still air depending on elevation. The recommended temperature is 101.5 degrees Fahrenhiet measured at the top of the egg in a still air.

The temperature inside the egg does not change all that rapidly compared to the air temperature. What you are doing seems reasonable and should work. I would not panic or over-worry about it. Some people make a wiggler to check the temperature inside the egg. This is where they make a gel egg and put a thermometer inside the gel to see what the actual temperature is inside the egg. I have not done it so I cannot give you any details on how to do it, but it is one way some people have solved your problem. They normally find that the egg temperature itself is pretty stable. If you can do it without spilling water, a thermometer in some water at the right elevation should work. If that elevation is the center of the egg, that temperature should be 99.5, not 101.5 like at the top of the egg. It can get a little tricky.

You really can't take instantaneous air temperatures and figure out the average temperature inside the incubator or inside the egg. You can get estimates and what you are doing and getting seems reasonable, so again, don't panic. To calculate an exact temperature you would need to know how long it was at each temperature and work it out from that.

In spite of all I've said, I don't think you have a problem. With your time intervals, it is not going to heat up enough inside the egg for the high temperatures to be a problem. It is not going to be a low temperatures long enough for it to cool off significantly. I think you'll get a good hatch. What I don't know is if the average temperature is going to be a bit high or low. If it is low, your hatch could be a bit late. If it is high, it fould be early. But from your numbers, I think they will hatch.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Ridgerunner, exactly the response I was hoping for regarding temperature. 

I've been so consumed with this that I even purchased an aquarium thermometer.  Maybe I can create a wiggler with that.  I will look into it.  So many great ideas on here.  Many thanks smile.png

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

The sex of the chicken is determined by the genetic material donated by the hen before the egg is laid. Incubating temperature has nothing to do with the sex of the chicken. The sex was determined before the rooster got involved.
As you have observed, hot air rises. You can get quite a variation in temperatures in a still air depending on elevation. The recommended temperature is 101.5 degrees Fahrenhiet measured at the top of the egg in a still air.
The temperature inside the egg does not change all that rapidly compared to the air temperature. What you are doing seems reasonable and should work. I would not panic or over-worry about it. Some people make a wiggler to check the temperature inside the egg. This is where they make a gel egg and put a thermometer inside the gel to see what the actual temperature is inside the egg. I have not done it so I cannot give you any details on how to do it, but it is one way some people have solved your problem. They normally find that the egg temperature itself is pretty stable. If you can do it without spilling water, a thermometer in some water at the right elevation should work. If that elevation is the center of the egg, that temperature should be 99.5, not 101.5 like at the top of the egg. It can get a little tricky.
You really can't take instantaneous air temperatures and figure out the average temperature inside the incubator or inside the egg. You can get estimates and what you are doing and getting seems reasonable, so again, don't panic. To calculate an exact temperature you would need to know how long it was at each temperature and work it out from that.
In spite of all I've said, I don't think you have a problem. With your time intervals, it is not going to heat up enough inside the egg for the high temperatures to be a problem. It is not going to be a low temperatures long enough for it to cool off significantly. I think you'll get a good hatch. What I don't know is if the average temperature is going to be a bit high or low. If it is low, your hatch could be a bit late. If it is high, it fould be early. But from your numbers, I think they will hatch.


 

Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

Reply

Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

Reply
post #7 of 10
I also use a reptile thermometer with a probe that is very accurate. Its kind of annoyinglol but I have used the same math as you. Mine are in lock down now. Hopq I get babies!
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzwina View Post

I also use a reptile thermometer with a probe that is very accurate. Its kind of annoyinglol but I have used the same math as you. Mine are in lock down now. Hopq I get babies!

Here's wishing you many chicks too! fl.gif  I've actually upgraded to a circulated air incubator of my own.  I was more than happy to return that old Brower to its owner-LOL!  Although, it did hatch 4 out of 12 babies from those shipped eggs..........my first time incubating.

 

I currently have some eggs in my HovaBator from that very first chick that hatched for me!  And, the daddy was from my second hatcht.  The cycle continues and I am a true incubator addict!

Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

Reply

Wife to 1 wonderful husband, homeschooling mom to 1 super son

 

Chickens: 1 RIR named Rhodie, 1 BO named Buffy, 1 PBR named Rocky!  2 EE named Angel and Ebony, 1 Welsummer named Ginger and 2 Golden Comets.

 

6 silkies named: Mysty Blue, Leo Pierre, Cinnamuffin, Cloud, Shadow and Icelynn

14 chicks in the brooder consisting of 3 Welsummers, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Americanas and 6 d'Anvers

And...

Reply
post #9 of 10
I just redid my forced air LG to run off an ac digital temp controller.
And I got a broken frig for free to store my eggs in until I'm ready to set the Bator.
Now just have to wait 10 weeks for my quail to start laying. 😊
post #10 of 10
By broken fridge, I mean the defrost time failed, so the fridge parts stays tight at 50, but the freezer will freeze me ice super quick. Lol
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