Having lots of temperature problems with my incubator.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by MikyAngel347, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. MikyAngel347

    MikyAngel347 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 23, 2012
    I made an incubator with a styrofoam cooler and a 25w bulb with a dimmer. Problem is that ever since I started it. Firstly it had no holes on it (the cooler). But I noticed the humidity wouldn't go up (with a small cup with water inside), so I changed it to a bigger container. Thing is that it didn't change. So I made two holes in the top of the incubator. And the humidity raised, but here is when the temperature problem started to chase me. When the tempetrature stabilized on 99.5 F I put the button quail eggs inside. The first day the temperature stayed pretty fair. But each day that passes is more cooler, so the temperature lowers to 98.3, but then ups to 99.0. I didn't worry much about this. At night I have to raise the intensity of the light bulb with the dimmer to increase the temperature. Yesterday I raised the intensity and temperature increased up to 102.5. I am really worried that the little chicks were affected. What recomendatios would you give me to keep the temperature safer for the eggs? (The eggs have been incubating for 8 days now). I have seen some growth in some eggs that are a little bit paler than the others. The little chick takes up like 75% of the egg now. I don't want them to die, they're the only hope I have to reproduce my button quails, since the male died the day after I put the eggs inside the incubator. Again: What recomendations would you give me to keep the temperature stable?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC and the quail forums!

    Do you have any fans running in this cooler to distribute the air around? Sounds like the heat may be accumulating in areas that you don't want it to, or dissipating completely. You don't want hot spots in an incubator. Causes all sorts of incubation trouble and many times deformed or dead chicks. The temps needs to be kept as stable as possible. Temp drops or spikes can be tolerated by the embryo's for very short periods of time, but not long term.

    I find that a purchased, well made incubator, operates properly and will last for years to come, with no second guessing and if used correctly hatches healthy chicks every time.
     
  3. MikyAngel347

    MikyAngel347 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. No, I have no fans, but now that you say so, I remembered that I have a small fan I can use. I have no money to buy a storebought incubator, I forgot to include this in the description. But I think theres no turning back here. Ill put the fan as soon as I can. Thanks for your help. :) Also, does the fan has to be in front of the eggs or anywhere in the incubator?
     
  4. MikyAngel347

    MikyAngel347 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, I forgot, will the vibrations from the fan affect the embryos?
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    No, fans will not bother the embryo's at all. These fans will distribute the heat evenly so no hot spots are formed. Make sure to keep a thermometer down at egg height so you know exactly what temp the eggs actually are. I would keep the fan mid height somewhere and not directly on the eggs to dry them out.
     
  6. MikyAngel347

    MikyAngel347 Out Of The Brooder

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    The eggs are doing really well, the only thing I'm concerned about is about the air cell in all of the eggs. The eggs have a rather smaller egg cell than on the image I saw. They're supposed to hatch on sunday. The egg cell takes up to only 10% of the egg. The thing that i dont understand is that yhe image shows the egg cell that occupies almost like 30% of the egg! Anyway, my qiestion is, is there something I can do to increase the size of the egg cell? If the answer os to lower the humidity, down to what percent? Please and thanks. :)
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    You are probably ok with only about 10% air cell. As long as there is some air to breathe once the chick pokes into the air chamber. What happens is, the chick will poke into that air chamber and breathe that air. When it gets filled with too much carbon dioxide, then that triggers the chicks need to zip out of the egg.

    At this point, you do not want to lower your humidity. If they are due to hatch on Sunday, than today is lock down. Only raise your humidity about 10% more than you are running now. Open all vents to get all the oxygen you can into the incubator so the chicks can breathe. Then sit back and wait. LOL
     
  8. MikyAngel347

    MikyAngel347 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, I can't believe that is already that close. It's so exciting! I'll raise the humidity. Can't wait!
     
  9. MikyAngel347

    MikyAngel347 Out Of The Brooder

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    OmG!!! One hatched this morning!! I'm still waiting for the others to hatch, but, what do I do with the chick after I put it in the brooder? He haven't eaten, will he eat on his own, or I have to teach him?
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    You want to put down paper towels and sprinkle food all around the feeder area on the paper towels. That way he can first get something to eat, and then figure out where the food is stored. :) You can tap your finger on the food, like you are eating it, and he will get the hint. After they figure out where the feed is, in a couple of days, you can remove the paper towels.

    Make sure to use a low waterer with marbles in it or even a jelly jar lid with small stones in it, so that the chicks do not drown. Quail chicks drown very easily in water when they are very young. You might also want to dip his and others beaks in the water the first day so they know where the water is stored also. :)

    Keep an accurate thermometer in the brooder at quail head height and start it out at 95 degrees, lowering the temp by 5 degrees each week there after for 6 weeks. Make sure not to completely enclose the lid of the brooder so that heat and air can exchange. Keep the heat source off to one side and the feed and water on the cooler side, so that chicks have a place to get out of the heat if they need to, and to get the food and water, they will have to go to the cooler side of the brooder. This is good for them.

    Good luck with the babies!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012

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