Homemade incubator mistakes should I try other eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rocketdoctor, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. rocketdoctor

    rocketdoctor Chirping

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    May 10, 2010
    I think I made some big mistakes with our homemade incubator for my daughters science experiment. I think my current hatch is not going to work due to the following mistakes:

    we didn;t calibrate our thermometer
    We got Americana Hatching eggs
    I put all my Hatching eggs in at once

    5 days ago my incubator was a steady 99 degrees so I put a dozen eggs in the incubator. I started to think if the digital thermometer I had in there was accurate so last night I bought a standard glass thermoment (non mercury based) this thermometer is measuring up to 104 degrees. I then tried to candle the eggs and couldn't see well into them. Ive heard from other threads on this forum that you can't candle blue eggs till 14th day?

    Im thinking I should take some eggs out and break them to check progress and if they are developing then leave it as is, if not just discard them all and try again with white eggs for next try. My daughter and family thinks I shouldn't do this since I might break the few eggs that are developing.
     
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    You could do it ether way. Did you calibrate the new thermometer to see if its accurate?
     
  3. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Quote:I would not break them open! I have found in my personal experience that digital thermometers are much more accurate than mercury thermometers, but that will, again, depend on the individual thermometers.

    Besides, we had a temp spike to 104.8 on day 4 here... on day 10, every single egg in there except for one still candled good with a moving chick inside! And the one that showed no development and had to be culled had been iffy on day 5 anyway (had to candle on day 5 just to check on everybody because of the temp spike the previous day but normally wouldn't have until day 10). Even the one that was iffy, I put it back in the bator and waited until day 10, just in case.

    You would be surprised what kind of spikes and troughs in temp & humidity that the eggs can tolerate during incubation (though ideally, we like to not have spikes and troughs). I would advise, though, not opening ANY eggs that you are not 100% certain are "dead". You could very well inadvertently damage/kill a perfectly healthy chick.

    Good luck to you.
     
  4. rocketdoctor

    rocketdoctor Chirping

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    May 10, 2010
    Quote:Well this is my mistake the first time, how do i calibrate the thermomenter? Do I have to buy a certified mecury one online
     
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    On the glass one you can calibrate it to ice water... The digital ones can drift so ice water does not work as well with them. Or you can get a good medical thermometer an they are almost always accurate.

    Here's my way of doing it. http://cmfarm.us/ThermometerCalibration.html
     
  6. muddstopper

    muddstopper Songster

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Murphy NC
    Quote:Rebel, your information about calibrateing the thermometers is pretty good, but you did leave out one important thing to make the calibaration truely accurate. First the ice water method is only at 32* if the water is actually pure and does not contain any impurities ( such as clorine or floride), that could change the freezing point of the liquid. I'm splitting hairs I know and tap water is perfectly fine to use for what we are doing, but if you wish to get really acurate calibration, you could freeze some distilled water to mix with liquid distilled water and maybe shave off a degree or two on the calibration scale. Also water boiling at a specific temperature such as 212 degrees isnt totally accurate either. I can and have boiled water in a glass beaker in my hand, its all about the barimetric pressure which will effect the temperature that water boils at. People living in high elevations will see water boil at lower temperatures than those living at or near sea level. Also impurities can/will effect the boiling point of the water.

    Too calibrate digital thermometers that have a sensor on a wire, I will coat the sensor with liquid rubber to seal out any possible contact with the liquid. Moisture is what effects the sensors and changes the electrical signals in the electonics. Keep the sensor dry and it will provide accurate readings. I dont have a medical thermometer, but suspect since they are made to be placed in a warm wet enviroment, ( a mouth or rear end), they are probably already sealed against moisture. A thermometer with a metal probe shouldnt be effected by moisture and shouldbe safe to place, probe only, in a glass of ice water.
     
  7. rocketdoctor

    rocketdoctor Chirping

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    May 10, 2010
    well I tested the liquid thermometer in a glass of warm water with a medical thermometer and the liquid seemd to be a a few degrees high. I think my incubator might be averaging around 101 which might be OK. Im going to take some previous advice on this forum and wait till I can determine if they are bad or good by candling.
     
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Quote:Rebel, your information about calibrateing the thermometers is pretty good, but you did leave out one important thing to make the calibaration truely accurate. First the ice water method is only at 32* if the water is actually pure and does not contain any impurities ( such as clorine or floride), that could change the freezing point of the liquid. I'm splitting hairs I know and tap water is perfectly fine to use for what we are doing, but if you wish to get really acurate calibration, you could freeze some distilled water to mix with liquid distilled water and maybe shave off a degree or two on the calibration scale. Also water boiling at a specific temperature such as 212 degrees isnt totally accurate either. I can and have boiled water in a glass beaker in my hand, its all about the barimetric pressure which will effect the temperature that water boils at. People living in high elevations will see water boil at lower temperatures than those living at or near sea level. Also impurities can/will effect the boiling point of the water.

    Too calibrate digital thermometers that have a sensor on a wire, I will coat the sensor with liquid rubber to seal out any possible contact with the liquid. Moisture is what effects the sensors and changes the electrical signals in the electonics. Keep the sensor dry and it will provide accurate readings. I dont have a medical thermometer, but suspect since they are made to be placed in a warm wet enviroment, ( a mouth or rear end), they are probably already sealed against moisture. A thermometer with a metal probe shouldnt be effected by moisture and shouldbe safe to place, probe only, in a glass of ice water.

    Yep, I did forget to talk about that. I just think using ice water an boiling water is not that good of an idea with digitals at all. Boiling even pure water is inaccurate an pure ice water only really works with glass thermometers or higher dollar digitals that don't drift as much as the cheep ones most people have.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  9. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Quote:Sounds like you may still be in good shape.
     
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper Songster

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Murphy NC
    I am not even sure the cheap digital thermometers will even go up to 212* so putting one in boiling water is probably a bad ideal anyways. On the other hand, the cheap digitals with the sensors on the wire can be calibarted using icewater as long as the sensor is sealed water tight. Which is why I dip mine in the liquid rubber before using.
     

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