1st time incubator -- fine tuning

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Pascal PicklePants, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Pascal PicklePants

    Pascal PicklePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2010
    Boise, ID
    I just finished my home made incubator and am waiting for my fertile eggs to arrive. I've done hours of searching and reading on the site and have learned a ton, but now i'm looking for a few bits of specific advice. I just know there are some incubation geniuses out there looking to share their knowledge.

    The bator is a retired 54 quart cooler with:
    -- a hot water thermostat*
    -- 2 x 40 watt bulbs in line
    -- 12V PC fan
    -- 24 egg capacity
    -- external turning system
    -- home made egg-o-meter (empty egg filled with hot/cold pack gel with temp probe, sealed with silicone)
    -- hygrometer

    1. The bator has been cycling for about 12 hours and the egg-o-meter is fluctuating between 99.3 and 100.0 Is that close enough tolerance?? My thought is that nature is less precise than that, so it should be OK, but I want to be sure.....there are little lives at stake her after all! The ambient temp inside the incubator fluctuates a bit more. About 98-102. But so far no spikes in either direction.

    2. Is 2x40watts too much? would a more gentle 2x25 watt be better?

    I know this is my first attempt with incubation and I will learn from any mistakes, but I also want to limit those mistakes. So any and all tips and advice is very welcome and appreciated.

    *I read a few posts that said that wafer thermostats are more precise than the water heater ones, but alas, I had already begun construction.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    With a forced air, everything looks good. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    One thing I'd suggest, if you can. Move your egg-o-meter around a bit to make sure the air is circulation all over the incubator and you don't have hot/cold spots.
     
  3. rebel yell

    rebel yell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you will move the thermostat about 1 inch from the light bulb with the metal side facing the bulb you will get less variation in temp, just a suggestion.
     
  4. Pascal PicklePants

    Pascal PicklePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rebel yell, I did read something about that. Have you found it to make a big difference? I could do it, but it would require moving a few things around, and of course, another re-calibration. But I do have the time as my eggs a re still a few days away.
     
  5. rebel yell

    rebel yell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its up to you, I made mine out of a Omaha Steaks ice chest & hung it about 3 inches away from it & it varied almost 7 deg. I moved it to about 1 inch or so & got a 1-2 deg. out of it, it varies less than my wafer thermostat does in my mini fridge bator, if I had time i would do it, but that's just me.
     
  6. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I know nothing about homemade bators, but I had to tell you I LOVE your screenname!!!!!!
     
  7. Pascal PicklePants

    Pascal PicklePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2010
    Boise, ID
    Thanks for the tip, if I have space to mount it on a bracket and still have access to the adjustment screw I will try it. Right now it is mounted to the wall with the side facing the light bulbs. It is spaced out from the wall about 1.5 inches which helps, but by that same logic, your suggestion would be even better.....back to the workbench I go!!!!!!
     
  8. Pascal PicklePants

    Pascal PicklePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the comment on my screenname........I have to stop letting my 4 year old nephew name things for me!

    A already have him to thank for naming my 135lb mastiff "Beans"[​IMG]
     
  9. rebel yell

    rebel yell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let us know your out come.
     

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