Homemade incubator help...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JEH1984, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. JEH1984

    JEH1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am new here. I use to have chickens when I was younger. The last time I hatched eggs was back in middle school and I borrowed the school incubator. I set 30 eggs and 4 didn't hatch out. I remember that the temp was 93f and now I read that it needs to be 100f. Since I own a place now I can have chickens again and I built myself an incubator and I am having some problems.

    I have been running my homemade incubator for a few days now and finally found a thermometer that has the wire connected to it. I suck it where the eggs would be placed once I receive them. I let it run for few hours with the new thermometer in it and noticed that the temp will got up to 104.9 before the WTH turns the light off. Then the light will come back on when its 92.4. I turned the WTH down to see if that would help but I am still get about a 6-7 degree difference when the light turns off and back on. I was told to put a heat sink in it to help with them temp. Is there anything else I can try and see what happens?! I have a fan blowing on the light and then one that is blowing the air on the WTH. I'm currently at work and don't have any pictures. I will post them once I am at home.

    Thanks!! - James
     
  2. cva34

    cva34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What type /kind thermostat are you useing...cva34
     
  3. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    I'd say you need a different thermostat, with a smaller on/off range... or one that's adjustable maybe.
    some thermostats do seem to have a bit of a buffer zone. also, you might adjust the fans to be blowing for maximum circulation but not directly on the light/thermostat. that might help even the temps a bit too.
     
  4. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need heat sinks, yes - sealed jars or bottles of water, or rocks, or both. Air is a horrible conductor of heat, and looses the heat far too quickly, so if you can fill up some of the air space with something that actually stores heat well, you'll be much better off.

    And you need to drill a few holes in your WHT so that you get airflow inside it to the switch. AND you need to make sure that your WHT is about 1/2" from your heat source, and that your airflow is blowing past your light bulb and onto the WHT. (and that you've made allowances for it to then blow onto your humidity source, because that's when it will best pick up moisture).
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I have made one incubator and hatched out a few; I'm not an expert but I can offer suggestions.

    Try moving the WHT closer to the heat source to a faster on-off cycle.Try placing it 2-4 from the heat source. You will also need to adjust the WHT to a hotter setting; the actual setting of the WHT is immaterial; your goal is 99-102 range. I did not alter my WHT and it still works well for me. (Some people alter it for better management of the temp--do a search).ALso this close to the heat source is radiant heat so try to line up the the fan to blow to heat source to WHT.

    Heat sinks SLOW the temp change up or down; it doesnot create heat, it collects heat from the heat source; I use many jars filled with water to prevent spikes.


    DO you have ventilation holes? You will need many of these: some located at the bottom, some at the top. You can open and close these with tape usually. THen eliminate as many leaky areas as possible. THis gives you more control.

    I also changed lightbulbs from a 40 watt to a 60watt. This also improved the range.

    Keep a notebook of each of the alterations and record the effects. Use this info to make further alterations.
     
  6. JEH1984

    JEH1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for the information. I moved the WHT closer to the light. That seemed to do the trick. The temp is between 99.5 and 99.7. I cannot get it any closer without going over 101f.

    Before and After

    Working on the humidity right now. I will be receiving my eggs on Saturday to start the count down. Hopefully everything will go as plan and I will have some silkie babies!

    Again thanks for the info!!
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you know how to candle to look at the increasing size of the air cell? the goal is to go in to lockdown with the perfect size air cell. THis is a funcion of the humidity and ventilation. So each system varies. You can alter both ventilation and %RH . Try gogling "Size of Air cells at 7th, 14th, " for a diagram of the increasing size of the air cell.

    GOod luck! Remember to let the eggs set for 24 hours. May give you the time to finish your project.
     
  8. JEH1984

    JEH1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will google it! Thanks for the input! It has been so long since I have done any of this! Its slowly coming back to me but a lot of this is new to me. I been reading to let them set for 6 to 8 hours. Your the first to say 24 hours. I will let them set for 24 hours before I place them in the incubator. Also, should I turn the eggs 3 or more times? I had an egg turner the last time I did this a few years back. Any help would be accepted!

    Thanks
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    You can do a google search for more info on the 8 hrs or 24 hrs. Your choice.

    TUrning eggs-- from the time they are set turn your eggs at least 3 times a day; several studies show, accoriding to a hatching book I'm reading, that 5 times or more results in a higher % hatch rate.

    My last hatch I put the eggs in egg cartons ( with bottoms removed for ventilation) and rocked the whole cooler back and forth, mimicing a motorized turner. For easier than turning by hand. Less time consuming and fewer broken eggs! Many creative people here on BYC have made devices to aid in turning all at once. Otherwise hand turning works just fine. DId you remember the O and X marked on the eggs?
     
  10. JEH1984

    JEH1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was planning on using the X and O on the eggs. Will it be a issue if I am not here to turn the eggs for 8 hours a day.
     

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