Houston I think I have a problem.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HeatherLynn, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok so temp is steady finally. Only took 2 days fiddling and 3 thermometers. Anywho but humidity is high. 75%. I read it should be 50% during the first 18 days. Problem is where I live. I take the hydrometer or whatever its called out of the bator and the humidity is almost 80. I am assuming this is going to be an issue but I don't know how to fix it. I went outside and it was close to 100%. In the house in marginally better. I think the heat in the bator is dropping it slightly but not by much. Suggestions?

    I have a confession when I hatched geese before we never measured humidity. We just loaded that puppy up with water and made sure they were getting a damp 100 degrees. I am finding this a bit daunting right now.
     
  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    You can calibrate your hygrometer https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=271098&p=25 (post #229) to be certain it's correct, and then I would try putting those clay beads sold for substrate for lizard habitats in the bottom. That will initially act to absorb some of the moisture, while also being a fantastic thermal mass to keep your temps steadier. Later, when it's time to crank up the humidity, they will act to release moisture if you soak them- again keeping the temps steady. I have at times used them and kept the channels full of them or rolled up paper towels during lockdown.

    Our humidity is outrageous, too, but it seems to stay below 30 in the incubator unless I add water. Perhaps you have a basement with a dehumidifier? That's where I incubate. A forced-air kit may be a better choice for you.
     
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok I have 4 thermometers. 1 came with the incubator. 1 is an accurite thermometer from the garden section. Another is an accurite thermometer/hydrometer from the garden section at TSC. Another is a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer/hydrometer. The digital reads 103. The thermometer from accurite reads 98. The thermometer/hydrometer reads 93. The one with the incubator goes straight to 110 and stays there. Ummm so today i have spent $30 on new thermometers and still nothings agrees. I am ready to pull the plug before I go any further. I had the temp steady. I put the eggs in and all heck broke lose on temp.What did I do wrong.
     
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Well, the worst thing I can say is that you can't trust digital equipment. Leave the incubator on, and tomorrow go to Wally World (I hate Wal-Mart, but they have one thing I need:) get 3 or 4 of the $1-2 sealed glass tube aquarium thermometer with the green suction cup. Make sure all of the ones you choose have the same temp when you look at them there in the store. They are on a little card hanging by the fish.

    I'm cutting and pasting my incubation hints from another column:

    The rule is: get the temp right with it empty, and make sure it's stable for 48 hours without the plugs, without you touching it. Use 3 (yes, 3!) of the sealed in glass aquarium thermometers from Wally World ($1.70 each, I always have at least a dozen on hand because I run 5 or more incubators and a hatcher). They need to be on the turner, wedged between eggs so you can read what the center of the egg is, internally. This is the only reliable way, as the thermometers on cardboard change with humidity changes, and they tell you the top temperature or the temp on the floor! Took forever to figure out it wasn't really spiking as badly as the thermometer said, but was due to the cardboard shrinking and swelling from humidity!

    When you put eggs in, it will take hours to get stable again- ignore it!!! Don't adjust it at all. After a day with eggs, you can put a plug in to go up a degree or two. You can add another plug if you need to. If you're too hot the day after you add eggs, you can turn the thing down A HAIR. That's all. Don't adjust again for a day- be patient. Don't dismiss this recommendation. You can go up a degree or two per plug you add at this point, too. Try not to use the knob to adjust.

    If the temp isn't too hot- like 102* consistently, I don't turn it down. If it's not below 98* consistently, I don't turn it up. I add a plug and wait 24 hours. I haven't adjusted my thermostat in 6 months. You can get it stable. My incubators are always full. So are my brooders.

    Ignore humidity until day 18. For lockdown, roll up paper towels and stuff them in the water channels, then fill the channels. Lay another paper towel across the wire. Put the eggs on the now wet paper towel and make sure the whole lot stay wet for 3 days while in lockdown.

    I've hatched hundreds or thousands of eggs this way- YOU HAVE TO GET IT STABLE BEFORE YOU ADD EGGS.

    I forgot to add the thermometers have a little green suction cup- I leave it on and move it to the tip end for one, and the top end on another, and the middle for the third. This make them a slight bit different in elevation in the incubator as the turner moves, and you can average them for the true temp.

    I use paper towels because they're disposable, so they won't harbor bacteria, but they increase the surface area of the evaporative substrate. You'll then have BOTH sides of the paper towel on the wire, plus the surface of the ones rolled up in the channels, shich swell to rise over the channels themselves. You'll easily hit 80% if you follow my instructions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010

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