Help please (ASAP) - would you use the better incubator for first 18 days or for hatching?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by flocknfoal, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. flocknfoal

    flocknfoal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I now have 2 incubators - one for incubating and one for hatching. Problem is that I'm not sure whether to use the better incubator for the first part or for hatching. Obviously the egg turner will go in the one I use for the first 18 days.

    The nicer incubator is a HovaBator Genesis 1588 - preset, self-regulating temp, digital controls, built in fan, LCD displays set temperature, actual temperature and humidity percentage (it currently has the egg turner and eggs)

    I just purchased a HovaBator Still/Thermal Air Incubator 1602N - very basic model with the wafer thermostat. I have a small temp/humidity guage in it, but as far as I can tell there could be more temperature and humidity fluctuation in this one because it's not self-regulating.

    So, which would you use for the first 18 days and which would you use for hatching?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I'd use the nicer one for the first 18 days. That gives you 2.5 weeks to get the other one up and running with some water bottles to play with the settings so it'll be ready to receive your chicklets at lockdown.
     
  3. KYBOY

    KYBOY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, better first..
     
  4. flocknfoal

    flocknfoal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both for your replies. I already have eggs in the first (nicer) incubator. It's been running non-stop since mid-January. I took a couple of racks out of the turner and put up a divider so I have a hatching area. But I think trying to incubate and hatch in the same box may be impacting hatch rate with my silkies.

    I guess my question is whether there is more leeway / tolerance for temp and humidity fluctuation during the first 14-18 days or the last 3-7 days?

    I guess I'll have to experiment around and see what works. Thanks!
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    It shouldn't be an either or situation. there's no reason why the other bator can't hold a steady temp, unless there's something wrong with the thermostat. You don't want to be hatching eggs in one bator if you have "younger" eggs that still have a ways to go. The younger eggs will be put at risk by the high humidity required and inherent in a hatch, and hatching can be pretty messy, also putting the younger eggs at risk of contamination. Just my opinion, but, I think a staggered hatch requires 2 incubators. Perhaps I'm reading more into what you're saying when you mentioned creating a hatching area. How big is this bator, anyways???
     
  6. flocknfoal

    flocknfoal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's why I bought the second incubator (hence the question I'm asking). I've been incubating and hatching in the same bator for a while now. It actually works well, but I think I can improve my hatch rate with two separate bators - one for incubating and one for hatching. I couldn't afford to buy a second one that was as expensive as the first, so I got the less expensive model. I'm going to try doing the first 14-18 days in the more expensive model (Genesis 1588) and then hatch in the more "manual" model (1602N). Later I may try switching it around and see what happens. It seems like having a steady temp and humidity is more important during the last week but not sure.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Good luck. If you've been hatching for a while, and having good results, I'm sure you'll do fine with the second bator. Are you doing a dry hatch?
     
  8. flocknfoal

    flocknfoal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've tried various humidity levels - still trying to find the magic number for my silkies. Seems to me that silkies are more particular / sensitive than large fowl and they seem to do best somewhere in between I think.

    What I've been doing is a rotational incubation & hatching in one box where every Monday I move eggs in the last row to the hatch area (sectioned off in the box by a piece coroplast), move all of the other eggs up, then add new eggs to the first two rows. I was keeping humidity around 40-45% until I see the first pip, then I'd raise it to 50% (ish) for about 48 hours. Then one of the chicks had a dry sticky chick problem (humidity dropped or too low), so on the next hatch (last Monday) I raised the humidity during hatch to around 60-65%. That time they seemed too wet and kind of weak. That's when I decided to invest in a second incubator.

    Right now I'm going to try to keep the incubation-bator around 35%-40% and the hatch-o-bator about 50%-55% for the last 3-5 days or so. I have one batch due to hatch Monday in the new hatch-o-bator and two batches in the incubator. But now I've got a hen trying to go broody on me (I'd rather have her keep laying and hatch the eggs myself). I also have one hen brooding chicks and one 8-month old that hasn't started laying yet. I'd like it if everyone could lay at once and I could add more eggs to the bator now that I have more room.
     
  9. KYBOY

    KYBOY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got myself in a spot and filled up my three hovabators and had to break out my ancient LG..i wrapped it in a blanket and put three filled water bottles in for heat sinks. I have to watch it closer but it will work, just takes more work.
     
  10. flocknfoal

    flocknfoal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol, ingenious :)
     

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