1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

All these different numbers!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by OPPT, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    37
    8
    24
    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    I'm yet another firsttimer with incubating, although we've had adult chickens for years. Our beloved rooster King Rootin' Tootin' just passed away and we ran out and got an incubator in case some of the eggs were fertile, but none of them were unfortunately. We decided to get some eggs from a hatchery though since we had the incubator,and they should arrive tomorrow or the next day. My problem is that we have two aquarium thermometers, a digital one, and the probe that came with the incubator, and none of them agree! I did the water and ice thing with the two aquarium ones; one was 32 degrees and one a little less, but they went the opposite way in the incubator. Meanwhile, the digital one which has always seemed accurate in comparison to the other thermometers in the house, reads 2 to 3 degrees lower than the others (sigh). Any thoughts? Along the same lines, I did the salt test with the hygrometer that came with the incubator and the digital one and after 11 hours, the digital one read 62% and the analog one read 70%. From what I read though, that difference should stay at the same ratio and it doesn't. When they went back to room air, they were at 42 and 44%. We use a wood stove for heat, so I was nervous to use the dry method I've read about on this site. Anyway, I've run on for a long time, but would love some advice. I don't want to freeze/cook/shrink-wrap/drown these little ones!
     
  2. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

    836
    76
    131
    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    [​IMG]
    If you have one of those inexpensive foam incubators, chances are the included gauges are not correct. Getting a good thermometer for incubation is such a hassle. Always use multiple thermometers and use the average temp between them. Your first hatch will help tell you how your thermometers are. I used this digital thermometer along with the aquarium thermometers and it worked great. (http://www.walmart.com/ip/AcuRite-Digital-Humidity-and-Temperature-Monitor/16888914) It takes a little while to detect changes in temperature, which in a way is good because it better reflects the temperature change inside the egg.
    Always use an analog thermometer in conjunction with a digital, just in case of battery failure.
    In my opinion, having your hygrometers even within 8% is good. Humidity is not nearly as exact a process in incubation as temperature. If you can keep it within 10% things should be fine.
    The "dry method" does not bar you from adding a little water. Don't use the included wells in the incubator. Instead, use a small cup to keep the humidity around 30%. I've personally had good success with this method. Then, after lockdown, increase humidity to 75% with wet rags.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    xs 2 Only I use a wet sponge instead of a small cup to hold mine around the 30% mark. I don't use my water wells until lockdown, then I fill them and still have sponges at hatching level to get to 75%+

    [​IMG]

    I would also recommend either monitoring the air cells or weighing the eggs during incubation to give yourself an idea if you do need to adjust the humidity during hatch.
     
  4. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    37
    8
    24
    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    Thanks so much for your input. The eggs (barred rock) didn't come today, so hopefully tomorrow. The digital thermometer says 98.2 but the two aquarium ones say 100 so I may just leave that. I like the idea of using a cup for a little water. Seems like it will be a lot easier. My two hygrometers are at 42% and 24%. I'll add egg weighing to the monitoring procedures. What should the weight do if all is well?I think the three weeks is going to seem longer than 9 months!
    Thanks again.
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I'd go with the aquarium therms too. Eggs need to loose around 13% of their weight. Candling at days 7/14/18 also is a good way to monitor for humidity adjustment by comparing the air cell. Yes, that 3 weeks seem like a lifetime!
     
  6. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    37
    8
    24
    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    Okay, we're all set! The eggs rested for six hours and then went in. They sent us a bakers dozen. I ended up putting a sponge in for humidity because a cup didn't fit with the egg rotating mechanism. I weighed and numbered them all. My husband is anxious about tending them when I'm at work tomorrow! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Good luck!
     
  8. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    37
    8
    24
    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    My husband survived a day of egg watching. My numbers are still all different, but I think we have a balance of sorts. Right now the digital thermom reads 98.5, the two aquarium thermoms read 100 and 101, the one on top of the incubator which seems pretty worthless, reads 97, and the probe thermom on top of the eggs says 99.5. The digital hygrometer reads 28% and the other one reads about 46%. Here's a picture with my chart of the eggs, notes about thermometer and hygrometer accuracy, and a note for my husband on where to keep the digital numbers. Whew, this is a lot of work. The electric went out here for a few minutes just before we put the eggs in, so there's that to worry about too! I have to say though, the pictures everyone posts of the little chicks make it seem all worthwhile. Thanks for the good luck wishes.[​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  9. OPPT

    OPPT Out Of The Brooder

    37
    8
    24
    Mar 3, 2016
    New Jersey
    Well we're 6 hours into day 7 and I just had my first look-see. Every egg lost a little weight, and I saw veins in 10 of the 13 and a dark spot in a couple (the eye?). I think a couple were moving. Is that possible this early? Now they're all tucked back in the incubator. The temp numbers must be close to right. I hope some of them make it all the way to and through hatch!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. candaceb

    candaceb Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Mar 1, 2016
    Following I have an incubator similar to yours and I'm just starting out on this incubation thing too
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by