A Problem With an Incubator? What could be the issue here?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Erka97, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I got a new incubator for Christmas of this year, it's the largest I've ever had as I once put 40 chicken eggs in it [could technically take more, but I only have one shelf, and besides the eggs all turned out to be too old anyway], and it's originally for reptile eggs. After the initial experiment with the 40 eggs that I'd been hoarding in the basement for two months, I got a batch of fresh chicken eggs and put them in. It was perfectly fine, and besides a few deaths and the complicated birth of a chick called "Sponge" I ended up with about a dozen healthy chicks.. So the incubator was used as a nursery for Sponge for a bit, and then a hospital when I put her outside and she managed to escape the brooder and nearly freeze herself to death, and then cleaned in preparation for my newest project; Emu eggs.
    I turned it back on just before they arrived, and everything seemed fine. According to the readout on the front of the incubator, the temperatures were fine and stable. The eggs were placed inside, along with a new thermometer I got to check the humidity. Much to my surprise, this new thermometer reported temperatures that varied wildly. 90 F one day, 100 the next with no describable reason. Thinking it was faulty, I got a second thermometer, only to find that its readings were similar, and have now been further confirmed with a infrared temperature gauge. I've seen temperatures in there go up to 104, even when it's set at only 96! Luckily the eggs themselves, on the surface at least, generally remain between 92-98 or 99. Hopefully they haven't been killed.
    What could be wrong?
    And why didn't this cook my chickens?
    Also, in the general experience, how do eggs do with hours-long power outages? The emu incubator was unplugged accidentally for about 6 hours, and of course there's no real way to tell with them how they're doing in there. What is the lowest temperature anyone has seen eggs survive, for how long and on what day? -I assume earlier is worse, and my emus were only on day 10, which as far as my research has told me is the emu equivalent to a chicken's day 4 or 5. Chickens of mine were fine with a similar period of cooling on day 10, but I'd like to hear the experiences of others, especially with younger eggs.
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I have no input as to the reasons for the fluctuations, but I can give you a link on the temps and what is deadly when: http://www.brinsea.com/Articles/Advice/PowerOff.aspx
     
  3. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the article. Seems useful, although what is apparently awful for a chicken is normal for an emu -they've been incubated at 95 degrees and lower and it's suggested that this is how wild dads do it. I especially like the rate of cooling for a hen egg is given, I might be able to work with that for some sort of equivalency to emu eggs. I'll have to be more careful with the overheating it seems, though.
    I'll also probably do an experiment with my next batch of chickens at day 4, see how they do and maybe track their temperatures now that I can do that.
     
  4. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What type of incubator are you running?
     
  5. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is described on the site it was purchased from as a "OrangeA Reptile Egg Incubator" and also a "Reptipro 6000" I believe that number is correct.
    When set at 37 degrees C, it reads 36 most of the time, but the temperature varies between 95 and 100 degrees f. Set to 35 C, it's around 90F.. If it was consistently too high or too low it would make more sense, but instead it's just all over.
     
  6. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 6000 reptipro.

    I put a thermometer in that measures high and low temps over 24 hours. Mine does the same thing. Set at 99. Temp goes to 105 to 94. But one thing is those air air temp measurements. The swing is worse than I like. They are short term and not sustained.
    Eggs have thermal mass so they don't change as fast as air.

    It really bugged me but I still got good hatches with it.

    I have some quail and pheasants incubating in it now.
     
  7. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The main reason it's driving me insane is because there's no way of telling if an emu egg is alive at all until day 30 or even later. With chickens I'd be fine because I can just shine a light in there and know how they're doing. Emus? Possibly 60 days of turning every four hours and worrying just to get a giant shell full of slightly bad egg... Or three in my case. And they're seasonal layers so I can't even get more.
    I even tried to adapt by setting it in the middle of the accepted range, something like 96 degrees. Nope. Up to 100, then down to 91 within a day or two.
    In retrospect turning it up a few degrees to warm things up when it got unplugged was probably a poor idea, it got up to like 106, but for less than an hour since I turned it right back down once the shells felt warm on top. They're big eggs too, so I just hope they're alright.
     
  8. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Others have said it may be an issue with the door seal or surrounding temperatures, but one would think there would be some sort of pattern in that case. There doesn't seem to be; if it gets cold in my room, sometimes the incubator cools too, but usually it heats up and tries to cook my eggs. I put a blanket over the front to block any door seal issues and help stabilize the temperature; that helps usually but then sometimes it gets down to like 90 [as it was when I got home today] or spikes up to 100. Not great for emus which like it cooler.
    What else can even be wrong with an incubator that would cause such erratic problems?
     

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