Do you start with a cold or warm incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by magdelaine, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    297
    58
    158
    Mar 27, 2011
    Inyokern, CA
    So I know you are supposed to run the incubator before putting in the eggs, but are you supposed to let it cool or can you put them in a warm incubator? I know heating them too quickly can cause early death. I have two incubators full of mostly dead eggs, one that had a wafer failure and a HUGE temp spike day 5 and the other...well, from what I can tell everything is working well on it. But most of the eggs are clear or have blood rings. Only a few seem to be developing. The one thing I can think that might have gone wrong is that I put them in a warm incubator.

    What do you all do?
     
  2. Zanna

    Zanna Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,767
    177
    198
    Oct 14, 2010
    Jefferson, Oregon
    I always put them in a warm/running incubator. My storage for the eggs when collecting is a cool closet so I set them on the counter for an hour or so to warm up some before putting in the incubator. Clear eggs and bacteria rings happen even in perfect conditions. Have been hatching 1 - 200 chicks a year for over 7 years and have used several types of incubators, one of my best hatches occured after a 12 hour power outage!!
     
  3. ducky 13

    ducky 13 Chillin' With My Peeps


    When I hatched my first brood I incubated the eggs ten minutes after being laid and I got 45 out of 48 chicks hatch heathy
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    17,901
    3,365
    471
    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    I too always set them in a warm incubator that has been running at the correct temp for at least 12 hours. Also from putting the lid back on it only takes 5 minutes if that to get back up to the correct temperature.
    Although you are setting eggs in a warm incubator this should not be a problem for the eggs as it will take several hours for the heat of the incubator to actually penetrate right through the shell of the egg.
    Good luck with the eggs that you have developing.
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I too have my incubator up and running a day or two before hatch to get it regulated out, (LG w/air, so it takes a bit more work than the Brinsea to get regulated... [​IMG] lol) I learned not to set them until everything is ready and stable.
     
  6. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    297
    58
    158
    Mar 27, 2011
    Inyokern, CA
    Ok so the consensus is that putting eggs in a warm incubator should not cause a problem? I wonder if I had a temp spike that I wasn't aware of? It's just heartbreaking...out of five dozen eggs I put in there are *maybe* four still wiggling. (One for sure.) I hope they hatch!
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,887
    6,293
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    I'd like to add that it's also important to have it running reliably at the right temp (I'd recommend 24 hours so you can catch any slow spikes or drops) before putting those eggs in. I like to put sealed water bottles in the bator that approximate the volume of the eggs that I'll be putting in. I then run it for 24 hours before adding eggs. THEN, IMO, one of the most important things you can do is NOT touch that thermostat for at least 24 hours after putting eggs in, UNLESS you have a temp spike. You may see the temp take a dive after putting eggs in.... just leave the thermostat alone, and it will most likely correct.

    One thing to be aware of is: Increased metabolic activity of the chicks around day 7 and day 14 may give you some temp spikes, requiring the thermostat to be bumped down a bit. It doesn't make sense to me... about having to turn the thermostat back, but I've seen it in both of my hatches in my home made bator.
     
  8. ducky 13

    ducky 13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, well I didn't wait. Reasons.

    -» It was my first time hatching eggs
    -» I was really excited and couldn't wait
    -» The incubator was brand new so I just had to use it right away

    Although I didn't wait 24hrs. It never spiked and I ended up with 45 out of 48 chicks hatch
     
  9. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    297
    58
    158
    Mar 27, 2011
    Inyokern, CA
    The water bottle advice is very sound; I'm going to do that next time. I did find that there was quite an adjustment between running an empty incubator and a full one.

    My thermostat wafer MUST have gone bad; I was having to adjust it down every 12 hours or so after the eggs went in. Finally, there was a temp spike that ended it for every egg in the incubator on Day 5. I candled all of the eggs last night and sadly turned the durned thing off. But I also ordered new wafers and a Brinsea spot check so I'll be ready for the next experiment.

    I just wish I knew what had gone wrong with the eggs in the other incubator which seems rock steady. Maybe when the eggs all came up to temp the thermostat didn't handle it well and so there was a slight spike?? Right now I have two wigglers and two maybes out of 16 eggs that went in that one.
     
  10. BenHogan

    BenHogan Out Of The Brooder

    47
    1
    26
    Jan 22, 2015
    The water bottle sounds like a good idea. I have always had a small temp spike about 24hrs after setting eggs. I attributed it to what happens when I have a warm mass in the bator as opposed to just an empty cavity. I used a Farm Innovators incubator with a fan. Up to now, I have just watched for the spike and tweaked the thermostat, but maybe I could eliminate that issue by putting in a water bottle.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by