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Calibrating my incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by boymeetschicken, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. boymeetschicken

    boymeetschicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2016
    I have a Brinsea Mini Advance. The last hatch I did the chicks hatched a few days early and 2 died after lockdown, so I decided to check the temp. I purchased an inexpensive terrarium temp/humidity meter, popped it into my empty incubator, filled one of the two wells with water, set it to 99.5F, and turned it on.

    After 24 hours, the temp on the meter was showing just barely under 100F. The humidity was around 50%.

    I then filled both wells with water to simulate lock down, and the temp went just barely over 100F, and the humidity was around 60%.

    Is the temp too high? Is the humidity OK? I'm guessing if I had eggs in there it might change the humidity a bit, right?

    Here is the cheapo meter I bought, so it's hard to say if it's super accurate.
    http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Econo...&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your temp is good if the thermometer is accurate. But the fact that your chicks hatched early causes some thought that the temp may be off. I know you just bought that thermometer but it does not mean it is right. I would calibrate it (there a few different methods depending on exactly how your thermometer is) and then go by that.

    Your humidity is what would cause me more concern at this point. First I would want to know if you are at a high elevation or not. If not then I would say your humidity would be too high for days 1-17 if you are running it at 50%... maybe you are not, maybe you were just saying that is what it showed with 2 wells filled, but if it were me I would run it closer to 25%-35% during days 1-17. Maybe try filling only 1 well. For lockdown I typically raise my humidity to 75% but I also open my bator for different reasons so I want it to rebound quickly. If you are a hands off hatcher and do not open the bator until the hatch is complete then 60% for lockdown would probably be sufficient.

    The thermometer that I used I bought off of Amazon... Incubator Warehouse Digital with temp and humidity and it was something like $14 with $6 delivery so only about $20. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XNMG4S/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2JELRZPR1IJ9S
     
  3. boymeetschicken

    boymeetschicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2016
    When I filled only one of the wells (simulating humidity on days 1-17), the humidity was 50%. When I filled both the wells (simulating lock down), it was 60%. There doesn't seem to be a way for me to run the humidity any higher than 60% because the only way to adjust the humidity in the incubator is to fill none, one, or both the wells with water.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  4. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2015
    Instead of using the wells is there room for you to use sponges? Remind me but the mini holds 7 eggs? You could get a kitchen sponge, cut it into 1" or 2" squares and use those. You may be able to get your humidity a little lower. And then on lock down you could fill your wells and then add sponges in addition to get your humidity higher.

    But with all of that said, on your last hatch how did your air cells look? I use the humidity numbers I gave you are a baseline, but rely most heavily on my air cells. If my air cells are good then I just continue doing what I had in the past. If they are too big/too small on days 7, 14, and 18 I make adjustments. Once you get to day 18 you don't have a lot of wiggle room but you do have a little. Since you said 2 died on your last batch after lock down I would wonder if maybe they pipped internally but did not have a large enough air cell and drowned.

    Here is the air cell chart that I use. It has been floating around the web and is a pretty good tool.
    [​IMG]
    Try the sponges and see where that gets your humidity.
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Tn
    Did you calibrate the thermometer and hygrometer itself to see if its accurate? If they aren't, you'll never know exactly what's going on in there. If you have an old school under the tongue glass thermometer, they're usually quite accurate (but should be checked as well).
    What's your humidity when you run completely dry? If I ran at 50% the first 18 days, most of my chicks would die from not enough moisture loss. 60% at lockdown is doable, and the humidity will increase as the chicks hatch anyway.


    So, the big question in all of that is did you calibrate the instruments you're using to check the 'bator?
     

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