3rd hatch bombed...thinking of upgrading thermostat?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by donrae, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    So my adventures up til now are here....https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/906342/fully-formed-chicks-with-large-air-cells-not-hatching

    I set two dozen eggs for a third attempt. My thought was to keep the temp a touch higher and see how that went. However, 105 was not really what I had in mind [​IMG].

    We don't have central air, we rely on a swamp cooler. One nice hot day, honey and I were both at work and the boys didn't turn the cooler on. Got home and it was 95degrees in the house, and 105 in the incubator. I candled that night and still saw movement, so thought we were good to go. But then, a few days later, we went to the coast for the day and didn't even think of the incubator....same thing happened. Plus, it's just been very difficult overall to hold temp this time. Last two times, it stayed pretty darn steady....this time I was chasing highs and lows all the time, seemed like. Over the course of the hatch, I had temps from 97-105. Pretty sure I was lucky to get the two chicks that did hatch...

    Set 24 eggs
    discarded 8 around day 10, they were clear or early deaths.
    Had 4 fully pip and then die
    Had 2 hatch and doing fine. Happily, one is female [​IMG].

    I'm going back and forth on doing exams of the non-piped eggs. I don't like doing them, but I had fully intended to on this batch. I'm just wondering, with the temp spikes, if exams would tell me anything useful? If anyone has a compelling argument for doing an exam, please, I'd love to hear it. I'll hold on to them until tonight.

    My honey's thinking we need to step up thermostats, since we don't have good temp control in the house. He's looking at this...


    or this


    What do you folks think? Any experience with either one? I was going to hold off trying again for August and shoot for Sept, but then we'll be having cool nights and warm days and I'm afraid I'll be chasing temps again.

    I've also thought about trying to find someone local with a proven incubator to see if they'll hatch a batch for me. I've mostly been incubating from my splash Ameraucana rooster's pen, and even with the broody hens haven't had good rates this year. I'm starting to wonder if it could be him? Any input on that?
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It could be both. Last year, I set 5 broody hens, gave them 12 eggs each, and ended up with 5 chicks hatching (not all from the same batch - the hens were set at different times throughout the summer - had 3 hatch in one batch, two batches with 1 each). I think it was my rooster. He got nabbed by a coyote in Aug. of last year, and his son stepped up to be the flock rooster. This year I had 2 hens go broody. Each got 10 eggs. The first one broke 3 eggs during incubation, 5 out of the remaining 8 hatched. The second one hatched 8/10. Of last year's eggs that didn't hatch, most never started developing. That's why I think it was the rooster.

    I can't recommend either thermostat since I haven't used them, but I think it would definitely help you with regulating your temps. I would think that would make a huge difference.
  3. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Songster

    May 23, 2013
    sorry to hear about the trouble you had with this hatch. The variance of temperature throughout incubation was surely the culprit. Personally I learn a lot about embryo development by opening the eggs, but that's just me. You can open them if you want to, or not.

    I don't have any experience with either thermostat, sorry... I know there is a very nice digital one some people use (DeannaA user on BYC and OZExPat also has a digital one he recommends). Both of the ones you posted look very nice, but I could not tell one from the other!
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Songster

    May 23, 2013
  5. darkbluespace

    darkbluespace Songster

    Jun 13, 2014
    Portland Oregon

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