HovaBATOR Incubator Model 1586- Tips for success?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JekkaLynn, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. JekkaLynn

    JekkaLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband saw how disappointed I was when the only hen I could get to go broody was a tiny little banty and that she was trying to hatch over a dozen eggs and setting herself up to fail.
    So he bought me an incubator and an automatic egg turner. We put it together and set it up on our counter in a sheltered spot that the kids and cats won't bother it.
    Now I am waiting for it to stabilize before putting any eggs into it.

    Has anyone used one of these incubators?
    Does anyone have any hints or tips to get a good hatch out of it?
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know your area and how humidity is there but this time of year it's typically high and you wont need to add water at all or only a shot glass full which will fit to side of egg turner. If you don't have a hygrometer then you should get one. Small inexpensive temp/hygro combos can be found in walmart or even tobacco shops.

    To calibrate the hygrometer use a salt test. Easy test to ensure you know the correct humidity. I like to run 35-40% and then 55-60% day 18 to hatch.

    I've an older model picture window Hovabator with fan and wafer thermostat. Love it.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/866877/salt-test-to-calibrate-hygrometer

    Wait at least 6 hours on the salt test, true humidity is 75% so however far off your hygrometer is note that on a piece of tape and stick it to hygrometer or on incubator to remind you to add or subtract X amount for true humidity reading.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  3. JekkaLynn

    JekkaLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got a super cheap hydrometer thing and stuck that in just to give me a rough guestimate until Saturday when I buy I good one. And I got a wireless indoor/outdoor remote thermometer. The thermometer is taking forever to read the temperature though
     
  4. JekkaLynn

    JekkaLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :( So it is looking like the temperature has been on the low side for while. It has been closer to 97 then to 99 since midafternoon. I added a second thermometer and have been fiddling with the tents trying to get it set properly. Once my newest thermometer finally heated up it agreed with the first thermometer which means the eggs have been at 97 for most of the afternoon and evening. Will they still be ok?
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    They will be fine, 97 is the low end of incubation and slows growth but for that short period of time things should be OK. The nice thing about the wafer thermostat is getting temp up to 99.5 F is easy compared to say a Little Giant incubator where nudging adjustments can jump 4 degrees or more and start cooking eggs.

    Eggs are in trouble for prolonged periods at 96 and 103 F. Optimal temp is 99.5 F and remember that incubators have a range of temp swing. So if you've a sensitive thermometer take the average of high and low. I use a mouth thermometer to verify temp. Mine reads highest temp and wont go down even if taken out to read it. I use it to see high end of temp swing, which is almost a minute after heater shuts off then fiddle (many tries) to get low reading which is about minute after heater turns on. Average the two (high and low) and that's the true temp.
     
  6. spotsplus

    spotsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The eggs should be ok but I'd try to get it up to 99.5. I have a hovabator that I've been using for 8 years and it's worked 100% for each of those years. A hygrometer is a must. I found when I turn on my hovabator each spring that it tends to set on the low side (97-98) and I adjust the temperature and it goes right up where it should be and stays there for the rest of the season. Good luck with your hatch!
     
  7. JekkaLynn

    JekkaLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What should my humidity be at?
     
  8. JekkaLynn

    JekkaLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think my humidity is too high. I took out one of the vent plugs. Will that be enough to fix it or do I need to do something else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I like 35-40% humidity during incubation and raise to 55-60% day 18 to hatch.

    Preform a salt test on your hygrometer.

    For me to obtain 35-40% in incubator with my house environment I only use a double shot glass of water and it fit's to side of egg turner. I never use the bottom water trays as they are simply too large surface area giving far too much humidiity. When I take out the egg turner on day 18 to lay the eggs on side I find a tumbler or coffee cup works for humidity to be 55-60%. Keep in mind that it's the surface area of water that effects the humidity not the depth so find what works for you in your area. During high humidity months like summer and depending how many eggs your incubating you may not even need to add water the first 18 days.

    Humidity is important but nothing to constantly worry about during incubation. You can check development of eggs via candling and determine if the eggs need more or less humidity than your giving them by comparing the egg sac growth to a standard.

    [​IMG]
    It's not exacting but gives you idea if you need more humidity if sac is far too large or less (typical) if sac too small.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  10. JekkaLynn

    JekkaLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have no water at all in there and the cheap hydrometer is saying about 45-50... hopefully they are alright.
     

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