Advice for first incubation please? Doing it this saturday!


10 Years
May 25, 2009
Lake Placid FLorida

Im planning on getting some duck eggs and a LG and LG turner this weekend, I know im suppose to run the incubator for a day before adding the eggs.

Can I refridgerate the eggs for a day till I get the incubator started?

Will they still hatch/have same hatch rate if I refridgerate?

How can I get a stable humidity?? thats one question I never could understand.. How do I know how much water to add?

What Humidity is good for the best hatch rate? (also see above question please explain to me how much water to add to get that humidity)

I know im suppose to turn 3+ times a day, but in case I dont get an egg turner (depends if I have enough for it) How far apart should I turn the eggs? like hours wise?

How often do you add water to get the humdity up?

my room has a window AC unit, I usaully use it at night so my room is usaully medium/warm during the day and cool at night, Will this effect the incubator badly? Will I need it in a different room? one of my thermometers (cheap one so I dont know if it reads right) it says my room is about 73-75 degrees at night when i got my AC on, will that type effect it?

Sorry for all the questions, I realllllly dont want to mess up.
Hi, I've been hatching for years. For duck eggs temp around 99.8 or 100. Make sure the Humidity is CORRECT!!!! VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!! around 50 percent, for the last couple of days raise the humidity to about 70 percent. turn at least 5-6 times a day. Hope you hav good luck
You want bator in a room w/no drafts and with a stable temp so your room does not sound like a good place/eggs put in egg carton little end down room temp for a few days wont hurt i have heard up to 10 days is ok/stabelize your bator before you put in eggs/and tell these experts what kind of bator you have and they will be more help! thats all i can help with hope it helps a little.
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The humidity is kept stable by adding water to your bator. Please remember, it is not the depth of water, so it does not need to be a deep bowl of water in there. The humidity is created by the surface area that is wet. Put a small dish in the bator of water. Then add wet sponges or wet wash cloths to the bator to increase the wet surface area to raise the humidity level. Hope this helps and good luck.
Hi Rainstorm--congrats on your incubator! You are about to get very addicted...

First thing first--is there any chance you can spring for the increase in cost and get a Hovabator instead of an LG? They are about $20 more, but will hold temps very well despite changes in the room temperature. The LG is notorious for performing badly when temps fluctuate.

If you can't get a Hovabator (which is similar to the LG, but better quality), you will need to do something to stabilize temps. One option would be to insulate a closet with something--lots of warm fabrics around the edges, etc.--and fill it with thermal mass--like large containers of water. Then place your incubator in that space--the insulation and thermal mass will help to keep the closet a steady temp. Just make sure there are gaps in the door to let air flow through, because ventilation is important too.

I think you're going to get frustrated with the LG if you have to try and run it in a room that is fluctuating a lot, so hopefully you can do one or the other of these things. Or maybe you have a part of your house or a friend's house that holds a stable temp.

As for humidity, you'll need to measure it first before you can even begin to try to get it right. Go to Walmart and get yourself an Acu-rite thermometer/hygrometer combo (and throw away the cheap thermometer that comes with the incubator--it will give you wildly fluctuating readings even if your temp is steady). Calibrate it (search for "hygrometer calibrate" in the forums and follow the instructions you find). Then put it in the incubator and see what your current humidity in there is.

If the humidity is below 50%, then you need to add water to the water tray provided with the incubator. Give the incubator a few hours, and check the humidity again. If it's still low, add water to more trays (there will be several sections to the trays, to allow for this). If it's *still* low, you can add sponges--but I don't usually have to add sponges until the last three days. You *don't* want the humidity above 60%, because you want the eggs to be able to evaporate a bit before the hatch. How much water it takes to get your humidity between 60-70% will depend on the humidity in the room where the incubator is, so you may need more or less water than I use--no one can tell you exactly how much water to use, because no one has exactly the same conditions as your house. That's why you have to measure it and play around with it. Also, the time of year and other factors will affect it--during winter you will be running under dryer conditions, so you'll need to add more water for the same humidity.

During the last three to four days of the incubation period, you will want to increase your humidity so that it is above 70%. At that point, you will probably need sponges or some other means to increase humidity. I just discovered that I can place a bowl of water in the incubator, and then set part of a cardboard egg carton partially in the bowl and it wicks water up into the egg carton and effectively raises the humidity quite nicely. You may play around with what works for you too.

Also, you'll want to monitor the humidity at least daily, so you can add more water whenever you need to. And that, also, will vary considerably depending on your personal environmental conditions.

As for turning, you want to turn at least three times a day. Some folks have success turning before work, after work, and then before bed. Always turn an odd number of times so that they spend the night on a different side each time.

Good luck!!!
Can you get hovobators in TSC? I dont think ive seen them there and if I gotta order one then it would be another month or so before I could get started, Because id then have to Order eggs and the incubator (i aint seen them in the feed stores here) and I cant order eggs for awhile because our stupid usp man is to dumb to come down a dirt road, he's scared hes going to get a little dust on his tires, and I cant drive so getting to the post office isnt the easiest thing either
was going to get the incubator from the arcadia fl swap meet TSC and get eggs from ppl there

But yeah if hova's is in TSC id be more then happy to pay extra and get something I can have in my room

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