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First time hatching with a still air incubator *Day 22 & I have a pip!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ZooMummzy, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    and I am completely nervous! I hate the unknown yet at the same time thrive on the thrill of learning. This will be my 3rd hatch on my own so I'm still a newbie in all sense of the word which only adds to my nervousness.

    When my hens stopped being broody after I purchased 8 Serama eggs for them, I had to act quickly so I bought a LG 9200 still air incubator at my local feed store. Six different people in the store at the time told me they had great success with the unit. I purchased the fan option and installed it but it was defective. I didn't have time to find another one and since I'm sneaking this hatch in under my husband's nose, lol, I couldn't ask for his help. I have read just about everything I can in the past few days on here and other sites about this unit and hatching in still air incubators. I've followed the directions and all the tips and tricks people have shared. I think....I think...I've done everything right. It took those two days to get the temperature set and steady but it has been holding at 102 on top of the eggs (reading on 3 different thermometers - one a digital probe) and 55% humidity for 24 hours. The eggs went in today and so far only one temperature spike (up to 104!) for a few minutes. I got it back down quickly but steadily. I have no idea what my success rate will be but if nothing else, this is a learning experience. After fiddling for two days, adjusting and readjusting, I know why people buy the fancy incubators lol. Perhaps that will be in my future but for now, fingers are crossed and stress level is high [​IMG] Hopefully in 21 days I will have a few fluffy Seramas to add to the 3 I hatched last New Year's [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  2. chickensNpoodles

    chickensNpoodles Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2010
    A still air LG Styrofoam incubator is all I ever use. I always have a 95% or better every time. I keep my humidity at 37% and my temp at 99-100 degrees. At lock down time, I get to humidity to 67-72 percent and only open when they all hatch. I don't have a turner, nor a fan. I hand turn 3 times a day and that's it. Try not to worry, they will hatch and I find they are pretty forgiving to temp and humidity fluctuations.
     
  3. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Thank you for those encouraging words! I will be hand turning too only because I didn't want one more thing to not work or go wrong this time. The temperature and humidity always makes me freak out though everyone tells me to just relax that they are forgiving like you mention. I hate it when other places tell you 1 degree or 1 percent makes a huge difference. Lol it only adds to my worrying. One place said keep the humidity between 50-55% till lock down then get it up to 80%. It was at 60% till I remembered to remove a plug last night lol. Do you fill all the reservoirs at the bottom with water? One place said fill the inner till lockdown and another said fill them all and just use the plugs to regulate. I filled them all (mainly because I forgot to only fill the inner) The temp has been the most difficult. I can't tell you how many times I adjusted that little knob! The thermometer they give you is 2 degrees off (low) it seems but I finally got everything consistent. Do you think 102 is too high? Every place told me 101 to 103 with no fan (top of the egg)? I figure I've done the best I can do and the last two hatches I had a friend's incubator and we didn't monitor the temps or the humidity at all and both were very successful hatches. I think after I get this first one under my belt with this unit I will feel better!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  4. chickensNpoodles

    chickensNpoodles Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2010
    I don't fill the tray till day 18. I use a dampened sponge for the first 18 days. But I do know some that just use the trays. Just what ever your preference is. On the temp and humidity, I use a Accurite digital themometer and humidity. I just set it next to the eggs under the window so I can keep track. I know several people who incubate at the humidity you are using and they have great hatches too. So I guess you just have to see what works for your area. Oklahoma is very humid, sometimes even in winter.

    I use to worry when I incubated, but the more relaxed I become about my hatches, the better the hatch rate. Go figure. LOL. I do still tend to worry when I have special eggs in there, but I try to have fun and not worry. Good luck and let us know how your hatch turns out.
     
  5. chickensNpoodles

    chickensNpoodles Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2010
    Oh, I forgot to add. If you do use a sponge for humidity, be sure to sanitize it every other day. I wash mine in dish soap, rinse well and then nuke it for 2 minutes in the microwave. Then I just rinse again to cool it down.
     
  6. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Yes, I had forgot to take into account that everyone's environment is different. Oregon humidity is all over the place. Our house tends to be on the dry side since I don't want mold growing due to all the rain in the winter. I'm going to leave the humidity alone for this hatch, the temperature too, and see what happens. Thank you for the information about the sponges. The people at the feed store who recommended this model said they used sponges too. I didn't think about sanitizing them. I got pretty good at relaxing last year during my hatches so hopefully I will get there again lol.
     
  7. soap&eggs

    soap&eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    i use still air..no fan..no turntable....i turn alot !!! odd number of times everyday.. biggest thing for me is location..one spare bedroom is just perfect...in kitchen drafts from door really messes things up... i just use small cup for water..i must have crack at bottom of mine cuz water leaks out under incubator if i use water tray...first hatch or two i followed directions..had half hatch...someone told me leave plugs out the whole 21 days..since then ive had almost 100 percent hatch rate everytime...also each time you adjust knob for temp you have to readjust..instead just open top if too high on a spike..or pop open a window a bit for short time... 102 is what ive always gone by...
     
  8. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    soap&eggs :

    i use still air..no fan..no turntable....i turn alot !!! odd number of times everyday.. biggest thing for me is location..one spare bedroom is just perfect...in kitchen drafts from door really messes things up... i just use small cup for water..i must have crack at bottom of mine cuz water leaks out under incubator if i use water tray...first hatch or two i followed directions..had half hatch...someone told me leave plugs out the whole 21 days..since then ive had almost 100 percent hatch rate everytime...also each time you adjust knob for temp you have to readjust..instead just open top if too high on a spike..or pop open a window a bit for short time... 102 is what ive always gone by...

    That is awesome advice, thank you! Did you measure the humidity before you had both plugs out? I am just wondering. I'm following the guidelines but I know there are so many variables. Oh and yes, I did just take the lid off for a moment. I am done touching that knob! [​IMG]
     
  9. elloyd

    elloyd Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2010
    cottage grove
    good luck i had my first ever hatch the day after thankgiveing and i did not do so good i had 2 eggs hatch out of 9 but i had alot of problems with my home mad incubator and then my husband came home with the lg and i just got the temp up in a day and out the eggs in i am gonna try again on the 11th so i have a question should i leave my vent plugs out or should i leave them in also i was woundering what part of oregon u are in i live in cottage grove
     
  10. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Good luck to you also! I live near Corvallis.

    This site http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/res19-opincubator.html , which I found to be extremely helpful with all the little nuances of still air incubators has an entire section on the vent plugs (toward the bottom of the page). Another site with a forum said to widened the air holes (the little ones all over the place) in the top a bit. I haven't done that, but I did pop out the two holes where you would install the fan (right above the thermostat area) and I also removed the towel I had it setting on last night. I didn't realize there were air holes on the bottom too (oops!). Right now, I have the back vent out and my humidity is holding steady at 55%. When I go into lock down, I'm going to take the front one out too and probably put in a sponge if needed to get up near 80%.
     

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