Sorry Jules, its been a busy day for me.
I have the Octagon Advance with pump, and love it.
I have only had 2 chicks that started zipping and wouldn't finish. The first, I didn't catch it, and it died. The second was in my previous to the last hatch. I don't know why they do that, except this last one, I suspect was because it was active early, and made quite a big hole to begin with, and the membrane dried around the hole and stuck to a few feathers. It had gotten rolled by another chick, so maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe it was already too dry inside and it just got stuck.
Its also possible for deformities to cause them to be able to pip and start, but not be able to rotate and finish. Like leg issues and such.
Just a few observations... I'm sure others will have more.
I don't have the Advance but I have an Eco and I love it to death. So much so that part of my tax return might be buying me an Eco 40 and my 20 will retire to a hatcher - unless I manage to overstuff the 40 like I have managed to do with the 20 spectacularly this week. Somehow I need to get 29 duck eggs and 12+ chicken eggs in there. Wish me luck because I'm going to need it It'll thin out once I can do candling in a few days and see what developing but until then I'm gonna have to get really creative since I loaned out my other incubator and have nowhere else to put these.
Sorry I didn't respond earlier. Thanks so much for the input. I gave it some thought and although I really want the Brinsea - probably the Advance, but need to look into the Eco, I am going to try one more hatch with the 1602. Drove me nuts but I think there may have been enough of my mistakes that I can hopefully take user error out of the equation.
This is what I will do different next time (what I know at the moment anyway):
- Set all eggs at same time, no adding eggs!
- Weigh eggs at set and each candle and maybe mark aircells. May have to get a candler for this instead of just a flashlight.
- Candle before lockdown to look for internal pips and only then lockdown.
- Don't open the bator during lockdown
- Keep low humidity temps, 30-40% days 1-18 and then up to 65-70% during lockdown. I had humidity over 80% at times this time which I thought would help. The fan may have been a problem with stickiness too.
- Need to learn how to calibrate thermometer/hygrometer, I used a digital from Happy Farm with wire probe and just trusted it.
- Possibly keep temps closer to 99, goal is 99.5. The highest temp I saw was 100.8 very briefly, but it was often around 99.5-100. This bator definitely doesn't stay at 99.5!
- Almost forgot, I may move the bator to the floor of an open closet. It's either that or in our shop which stays cool. I don't have many choices since we are living in the apartment above the small shop/garage on our property while the house is gutted. The shop is a wreck though and it's probably best for the closet. I had this hatch in the tiny kitchen, we have a skylight in the adjoining living room, a sliding door next to the range which is only 8-10 feet from the corner where the bator sits, and just to the other side of the door is the stairway down to the shop. During the day it is cool in the shop and warmer in the apartment from all the skylights and west facing windows.
That's all I can think of for now...let me know if you all have any input- next set is Monday -cuz I'm just a little crazy for a beginner!
I'll post pics from my phone in a minute.