Help! Incubator got too hot?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Akio, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Akio

    Akio New Egg

    Oct 14, 2016
    A couple days ago, I accidentally left the heating light on my homemade incubator for what was probably a little over an hour (incubating button quail eggs)... It went from 98 to 133 degrees Fahrenheit in that time :( when I found out, I immediately cooled them in water and got the incubator back to the right temperature. This happened on day 7. This is my 1st time incubating, do you think they will survive? What is the hottest your incubator has been for 1-2 hours that has had survivors?

    Also, the next day my incubator starting stinking like someone's warm, bad breath. I'm almost certain none of the eggs have a bacterial infection because I candled and sniffed them, and there were no blood rings and they didn't smell. Could this possibly have been caused by the fact that I used they wrong water cup for the humidity and ended up putting somewhat dirty water in the incubator? Or did the temperature from before cook the eggs or something?

  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper

    Nov 3, 2010
    I am very sorry to hear that this has happened but I will say 133 degrees I doubt you will have any survivors. If this ever happens again do not get the eggs and water to cool them off that will introduce bacteria to the shells and also check the eggs because they cooled off too quickly. If it would ever happen again you need to remove the heat Source or the top from the incubator and allow it to cool naturally until it gets down to where they are about 99 degrees again. If it was me and the eggs themselves are stinking I would throw them out and start over before you have one explode. If you hold the eggs up to your nose you can plainly smell if they are rotten inside
  3. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2014
    I had it go to 110* and no one hatched. There were 35 looking good the day before. But I don't know how long it was that high.

    I would say that things don't look good for yours. But how close was the thermometer to the eggs? Maybe they didn't get that hot. But eggs don't take high temps very well.
  4. marque

    marque Out Of The Brooder

    i just checked my incubator and went up to 103°. i removed the top to cool it down and ots back to a normal temp. i think the water for humidity an too low but hopefully it was only for a very short time. Im on day 6. Is 102 to 103 egg frying temps???
  5. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2014
    Do you have forced air or still? And how long was it that high?
  6. marque

    marque Out Of The Brooder

    well, it has a fan kit with egg turner. [​IMG]

    unfortunately im not sure how long it was at a hi temp but when i walked in the room to check it, the temp was at 100. It seemed to be going up just as I was walking in because i watched the temp go up to 102.8 then I took the lid off real quick, adjusted the thermometer, checked it again and thought maybe the thermom was malfunctioning but it started going up again so I removed the lid,...(added some water) then watched it for a good while and it went back to normal. I have the incubator in my back bedroom and I walk back to check it constantly all day. It was probably 2 hours max since I previously checked it and it was fine.
  7. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

    Nov 11, 2008
    If this helps anyone, I have had that happen to me about two times with chicken eggs. I believe it went almost to nearly 175f if I recall correctly lol I don't remember if they all hatched, but I know I had some that hatched. Don't know for how long the temp was that high but I'm sure well over an hour. To cool the eggs I simply opened the bator and let it cool down on its own then set the temp back to what its supposed to be and candled a couple days better to see if there was any movement so I wouldn't pull the plug just yet.
  8. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2014
    I would just wait and candle them. I think there is still hope. As long as it doesn't happen again, I would say you are fine.
  9. marque

    marque Out Of The Brooder

    i hope so. I have some Onagadri Phoenix eggs in there along with some others. I'll candle in a couple days with a little prayer

    I appreciate you help. I'll have to report back on my progress.
  10. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Ah, yes, just got done hatching with this or something similar. I got 6 of 7 to hatch but I was home and watching it like a hawk. Adding water destabilized the temperature for some time- the first night of lockdown I lost count of the number of adjustments. It looks like you've got lots of moisture- I'm assuming you're in lockdown? Otherwise high humidity won't allow the egg to lose the internal moisture that needs to be gone to allow the air cell to expand for when they go to hatch.

    So three tools I found made a big difference:

    1. an accurite thermometer that shows you the HI and the LOW. If you have a spike, and I had MANY, it will show you how hot it got. After each spike, I removed the batteries and let it sit for 5 minutes at room temp. This is important to clear the display of your most recent spike ... so you know when there's another one. I had 2 of these adjacent to the eggs on the turners. (like $8/ea) Now, they rarely agreed, but you can work with anything as long as it's consistent.

    #2 saved my sanity- the accurite thermometer that is made for indoor/outdoor readings. There's a sensor you can leave in the incubator on top of the turner , and it comes with a battery powered display you can take anywhere in your house or within 155 feet or so, and be able to tell at a glance what the temperature CHANGE is. Though the air temp was 99-100, it always read 89-90. When it rose above that, I knew it was immediate action time, reset the one I mentioned first. That way TV time, cooking, whatever- I could easily see if it was holding steady. Spendy even on sale at around $30, but it kept me from trekking downstairs every hour.

    #3: 2 meat thermometers that go down to zero - not the kind that start at 120 degrees... obviously the chicks would be goners at 120! They conveniently reach to about top of egg in turner height, just stick one just left of the control panel in the narrow vent hole, and the other closest to the top right of the control panel. These were the best representation of the air temp.

    Remember that the incubator thermometer may not be accurate, and the humidity reading won't be either. Mine got set at 93.2 and that's what held 99-100, no joke.

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