Did I possibly mess up this hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mogto, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. mogto

    mogto New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Long time lurker, first time poster here. This site has been a wealth of information for me so far, so hopefully someone can shed some light onto this situation!

    I am trying incubating for the first time ever. I got an incubator for free, and as with all free things, getting it fixed up was a task in itself. Anyway, fast forward two weeks and this morning I put in 10 chicken eggs and 10 turkey eggs. The lower threshold is set to 99.5F and the upper is set to 100.5F. It's been keeping a steady 100, so that's good. However, I must have misread something along the way, for I thought the eggs needed to be in the flat with the narrow end facing UP. So, for the last 10 hours, they have been at a 45 degree angle (auto turn) with the narrow end facing up. I now see that this is incorrect, and I needed to originally have the LARGE end facing up. I had to pull the tray out to re-orient them, but they were out no longer than 3 minutes, and are now back in the incubator.

    I know this isn't an exact science, but I also know that small things like that can make or break a batch of eggs. My question is, seeing as they were just put in today and weren't improperly oriented for very long, do y'all think everything will be cool and groovy? Or do I need to scrap them and try again in a week? The turkey eggs are a buddy's, and I'd hate to tell him that I screwed up already!
     
  2. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's fine! For the first 10 hours, it will be absolutely golden!
     
  3. mogto

    mogto New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Oh, good. Thank you for the quick response. I've been sitting here really kicking myself in the butt! I really want this trial run to go well. I am planning on raising a large number of quail, and the first two or three runs of incubating are just to prove everything is functioning properly. If anything goes wrong, it needs to be due to mechanical error-- not human error!
     
  4. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You switched the eggs big side up, right? This is my first hatch, also, and I'm so nervous. I'm on day 16! 5 days to go!
     
  5. mogto

    mogto New Egg

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    Indeed I did. I said ten hours, but I actually managed to flip them larger-side up within 8 hours of noticing (fuzzy math lol) that I'd done it wrong. So, as it's your first hatch too, might I ask a few questions? How big is your incubator on the inside, and given that, how large is your water pan for humidity? I don't own a hygrometer at all. However, the incubator came with a water tray built into it (it has a float and a hose that runs outside to a bucket, it automatically refills when the float moves-- same as a toilet's insides) so I figure with it full my humidity will be fine. The person teaching me how to hatch birds has raised chickens, turkeys and quail, and says he's never used a water tray! Everything I've read says that you have to carefully monitor the humidity within strict thresholds or else things will go south quickly. He claims to "never have fooled with all that," yet apparently hasn't ever had problems with his hatchings in the past. Perhaps the good old Mississippi ambient humidity has been sufficient for him in the past.
     
  6. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Hovabator 1602N brand. It is 18"x18"x9.5" and the water tray in the bottom just loops around the bottom. It has tray #1 which is used through the whole hatch and it also has tray #2 that you fill with water for days 18-21 (lockdown). I have an Acu-Rite hygrometer/thermometer that I bought from Lowes and I also have the thermometer that came with my bator, but that ones, like all thermometers that come with the incubators, isn't reliable. Sometimes with the humidity I have to add a little water to the tray to get it correct, like when the water is drying up, I look at the hydrometer to make sure it's between 25% and 45%, but generally the tray has the perfect amount of water for the right humidity. I only have to refill it once a week.
     
  7. mogto

    mogto New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Hm. I never considered that the provided thermometer may not work. I used an oven thermometer during the 24-hour test run of the coil/thermostats, and while it didn't go as low as 100F (150 was the lower threshold), the gap between the needle's location and 150F seemed to be, if it scales down accordingly, the same as the gap between each other 50F increments (which means the bator thermometer is correct). The man I received it from said that, before he stopped raising his own birds, that it functioned properly. Perhaps I am taking a gamble.. Now you have me wanting to go get an instant read thermometer or another thermometer to set in it, just to make sure haha. Unfortunate-- I was just at Lowe's today, picking up chicken wire for my quail brood pen and didn't even consider that they would have a hygrometer/thermometer! Ugh! That's a pain in the butt, as Lowe's is 45 miles away from here haha.
     
  8. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, that stinks! I'm sure your thermometer is fine, but you can calibrate it if you want. Do you know how?
     
  9. dblred0728

    dblred0728 Out Of The Brooder

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    How do you calibrate it?
     
  10. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are different ways to do it, but the most easiest and used way is to, first, fill a glass with ice and water and then stick your thermometer into the icy water. After about 5-10 minutes your thermometer should read 32* F. If it doesn't, you will know how many degrees to add or subtract when you look at your thermometer. For example, if I put my thermometer into the ice water and it read 34.5 degrees, I would have to subtract 2.5 degrees in my mind every time I looked at the thermometer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013

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