First timer, sort of...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PatS, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Last Sunday my beautiful (and he was!) Lemon Cuckoo cock was killed by a bobcat. He died protecting his hens, and none of them were hurt.

    I pulled an incubator out of the shed, a Marsh/Lyon TX6, that I had bought for classroom use over 20 years ago. It's one of those round ones with the plastic viewing domes. It is forced air and has an adjustable water reservoir. Once I got the fan turning, it heated right up and looked good to go.

    I ordered new thermometers and wicks and they came yesterday. I had the temp stabilized at a hair below 100 with the old thermometer and the new one reads the same; and the wet bulb reading yesterday and this morning was at 81 or 82°. The information I found online from the company said to aim for a wet bulb reading of 86°, but I didn't have a lot of luck with hatching in the classroom all those years ago and after reading about hatching at a lower humidity here on BYC, I wondered if perhaps too high a humidity wasn't my problem way back when. I currently live in Northern California at about 1,400 ft.

    Anyway, I put in 12 eggs I was able to collect this week and 6 from a friend who had this rooster's brother. The temperature jumped up about one degree and the humidity jumped up to a wet bulb reading of 86°. I made a small adjustment with the thermostat and have it where I want it, and the wet bulb is also down a bit to 84°, an hour and a half later. If a friend's hydrometer is to be trusted our room's humidity is about 61%, so the humidity in the incubator is slightly lower than the room's.

    Is it normal for temperature and humidity to rise a bit when adding eggs? When I candled the eggs last night to check for cracks there was really next to no air space to speak of that I could see in most of the eggs. Could they be adding humidity to the incubator?

    Those of you with loads of hatching experience, what wet bulb reading would you like to have for the first 18 days, and then at lockdown? If it is lower than what mine is reading, how does one lower humidity in this kind of incubator? Also, today is Saturday, so lockdown would begin on a Wednesday, assuming all goes well, correct?

    Thank you for the hand-holding!

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