I have great hatch rates here in the USA but the last trip to the Philippines was a total bust.
My solution is to try and emulate my hatching process here.
The first step is humidity. I could not get the incubators there below 55% this hatch and most of the time they were at 60%
I decided to invest in the following
this little gadget is designed to use with a dehumidifier. Its a hygrostat. You plug a de-humidifier into it and you can control the humidity
normally you would plug a house size de-humidifier into it to control humidity in a basement - but this little gem will fit nicely into my big bator. I have been trialling it in by bedroom and it even pulls water out of the air here with 20% humidity. I will test them together in my bathroom tonight. This should automate the humidity control - Bernie should not have to open the bator ecept to empty the container. If it fills in a day, then I will drill a hole in it and attach a drainage hose - I may do it anyway.
the second thing to do will to be to monitor cell size, or water loss from the eggs. I will provide Bernie with a scale, mark 3 eggs from each breed with a number and have him way them on day 7, 14 and 18. Additionally I will have him draw the air cells and take photos for a log. He can at least toss the clears, and count blood rings and early quitters so we know our viable egg hatch rate.
Next is temperature. I am changing the bator thermostat to a digital. They really are nice. I have them here in the US on all my bators.
The ants will be a non-issue now we have seen the problem, we can fix it.
Finally is the power reliability.
I bought a spent battery-ed 600W rated UPS. The bator uses 150 watts max, Instead of the small battery that is inside (and useless anyway) I will use a deep cycle marine battery. That should give me more than enough hours of dependable power when the electricity company decides to do repairs. If there is a power outage overnight, while Bernie is asleep, it will be seemless.
Strict temperature, humidity and power control, candling, weighing and documenting.
We are going to win this battle.
Edited by ozexpat - 4/27/13 at 7:56pm