Help Please, sudden dip in incubator temperature on day 13

Yuilethu

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
7
0
9
New Jersey
I have a homemade styrofoam incubator. So far it has been pretty consistent with temperature, ranging from 99-100 F with minor fluctuations which were corrected. Humidity is around 45 - 50% with the air sac looking fine. Everything was okay until last night. The temperature dipped down to 97 F at around 2am and held there, then this morning it dipped further to 95 F. I have since switched my 25w bulb for a 40w and placed a heat shield, made from tin foil and hardware cloth, in there. I also added a small fan on the side because the temperature hit 102 F. Everything was okay, holding at 99 F with around 50% humidity, but now, half hour later it is back down to 95.

My question is: is this a normal thing for the temperature to suddenly drop and remain low. I am afraid that for some reason I've had a mass die off and the eggs are no longer holding temperature. They were fine and wobbly when I candled them a couple days ago and got rid of some of the infertile eggs. It's day 13, so theoretically I should have a minimum of 3 more days to go, it would be very sad to lose them this far into the process.

Thank you to those who can provide help.
 

dc3085

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
3,288
331
251
SF Bay Area, California
Is it a homemade incubator? Are you just using a bulb to heat it with no thermostat? A thermostat is what keeps them right on temp all the time. Don't give up on the eggs yet though they won't usually all die during temp spikes.

Edit sorry I can't read I guess, I see it is a home made rig... You need to add a thermostat in the future. I build a lot of incubators, and this is the one I use as it is much more sensitive than anything you could go purchase at the store.
 
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Yuilethu

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
7
0
9
New Jersey
There is no thermostat. I'm probably going about this the wrong way, but I looked up some YouTube videos and searched around this website for a incubator setup. It's been super stressful maintaining the proper temp and humidity. Should I forget how stressful this all is, and end up with cute little peeps I will definitely get a thermostat next time. Thank you for the advice.

Also, update: since I was going to candle them later today I opted to do it this morning in a nice toasty room. I checked to make sure there were no pips (unlikely but just to be safe) and checked each egg in water. Everybody wobbled. I checked the air sacs and everyone was fine. I hope they make it through because they've come this far despite being raised by a mostly ignorant quail mom.
 

dc3085

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
3,288
331
251
SF Bay Area, California
You'll do fine. I'm trying to find time to make a video on incubator building tips. Hopefully I can get it out before your next go around. It shouldn't be stressful, it should be easy as pie. Put the eggs in, fill the water once maybe, lock them down, put them in the brooder when they hatch.

To install a thermostat you only need to splice it on the power wire for the bulb(s) so that once you set the temp it will only let it drop half a degree and kick the light back on.
 
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