Differences in recommended temps?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by afj6710, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

    185
    0
    99
    Jan 2, 2011
    I have seen several different recs for incubation temp. My LG still air instruction book says to keep it at 99.5, I've seen it often recommended on here to stay right around 100, my SIL swears by 102, and this site recs 102 as well (and also says that variations as little as 1 degree can have a huge impact on hatch rate).

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. chickmanna

    chickmanna Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    1
    101
    Mar 12, 2011
    Battle Ground, WA
    Everything I've read says 99.5 is the temp you want the egg to be (internal temp.) All the other variations seem to pertain to the air temp. and where you are measuring it, and whether or not you have a still air incubator or one with a fan.

    Still air incubators have layers of heated air, hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom. Having a fan creates a more even air temp throughout the incubator. So what temp. you choose to maintain depends on the type of incubator you have and where the temp. measurement is taken.

    Also very important to check the accuracy of your thermometer.

    Most info I've read here at BYC says that temp. measured at the top of the eggs in a still air incubator (for instance laying the thermometer that came with your LG on the eggs) should be about 101 to compensate for the fact that the eggs are actually in a lower temp. air layer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  3. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    606
    15
    164
    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    It depends on the type of incubator. Circulated or still air. In an incubator with a fan (circulated air) the usual recommended temp is 99.5. In a still air I use 101.5 measured at the top of the eggs. The reason for the difference is that in a still air incubator the air stratifies, warmer at the top and cooler at the bottom. This higher temp at the top brings the center of the egg to the desired 99.5.
     
  4. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    676
    24
    136
    May 6, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    Yep. But honestly it doesn't really matter that much. As long as it ranges from 99-102 you'll be okay. Anything above or lower you're getting into the danger zone.
     
  5. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

    185
    0
    99
    Jan 2, 2011
    I'm kind of test running my LG still air to see how it responds and how consistent temps are. For the past 26 hrs, temps have been ranging between 99.4 and 100.4, with the only outlier being this morning when I put books on top of the viewing windows (but not covering the holes) to see how much it raised temps - temp went up 2 degrees (to 101.56) in a little over an hour, so I removed the books. Temp went right back down within 2 hours. The average for this time period is 99.93 degrees.

    Would y'all recommend the temps being slightly higher if I'm incubating in a still air? I could just cover one of the windows with a book.

    eta: these temps were done without any eggs, so the 3 thermometers were placed on the wire rack. I'm unsure what the temps would be at the top of the eggs. I just opened the unit to place the glass thermometer on top of one of the digital ones. Hopefully, I'll be able to see how much the unit reacts to the top being lifted and what temp difference I'm dealing with higher up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  6. 3forfree

    3forfree Chillin' With My Peeps

    982
    22
    141
    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    I have a coolerbator with a fan and I open and close it 3 times a day to turn the eggs. The temps and the humidity change everytime, but I don't worry about it as the bator isn't opened for that long of time. The temps and humidity have always gone back to where it was before I opened it., I don't think the temp of the eggs is affected that much.
     
  7. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    606
    15
    164
    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    Get your thermometers up off the wire about an inch and check the temps. A paper towel tube or small cardboard box to hold them up off the floor will probably give you a higher temp reading. I'm thinking you are likely a little on the warm side if anything.
     
  8. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,118
    25
    143
    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY

    I am also test running my lg, but I have the fan for mine. I have a digital thermometer and a standard thermometer on the auto turner racks. I am holding steady at 99-100*.
     
  9. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

    185
    0
    99
    Jan 2, 2011
    Oh wow! I put a paperback book and a block in there to put the glass thermometer on and it's reading around 102.5! The thermometer on the racks is still reading 98.6 - I can't believe there is a 4 degree difference in an inch/inch and a half! [​IMG] How on earth do people still get good hatches with that kind of variation? I'm kind of freaked out.

    We have a little computer fan but DH is working a funky shift right now and has not had a chance to put it in.

    *If* I put the eggs in without installing the fan, what temp should i be aiming for hi and low?
     
  10. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    606
    15
    164
    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    Nothing to freak out about. That's just how a still air works. Its kind of like under a hen. The top of the egg against the bird is quite warm while the bottom is much cooler. Remember we're shooting for about 99.5 at the center of the egg. I'd try to turn yours down about one more degree at the top to 101.5 and I think you'll be right there. Time will tell. Choose a temp and go with it for a whole hatch. If they hatch right on the 21 day mark you are right on. If they are a day early cool it down a tick. If they hatch late warm it up a tick. It aint rocket science but it sure is fun.
    Enjoy db
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by