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Hovabators/Little Giants and temperature adjustment

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by magdelaine, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am hoping that those of you who have set eggs in these incubators can give me a little insight. I spent a lot of time calibrating the thermometers and the wafer things that control temp. I used a red dye thermometer and compared the temps of a couple of digital thermometers I'm using and the temps were wayyy off, like by 6-7 degrees, so I marked it accordingly and assume that when my eggometer reads about 107 the eggs are at 100 degrees.

    I found that after I added the eggs and gave it some time, the temp that I had perfectly adjusted kept creeping up. I found the eggometer reading 108.4 and said, yikes! The red dye thermometer is still in there, but it's hard to read, as the marks are for every two degrees and while it may look like it's "barely" above 100 degrees, it may well have made it to the dreaded 103 mark. I added a computer fan so it's not a still air incubator, but it's possible the air is still stratified I suppose. The thermometer is sitting on top of the eggs.

    I only set the eggs on Tuesday morning. So my question is, did I kill the eggs? And how long can I expect the temp to keep creeping up? I know in a vague sort of way that mass will act as a heat sump and that it will take less action on the part of the incubator to keep things warm as the eggs heat up. However, I expected that to level out in half a day or so. Here I am two days later and I'm still having to check and adjust the thermostat down.

    Any experience you can share appreciated!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    To start off, let me say, I hate those incubators. That said, many people hatch lots of eggs in them.
    I also hate most thermometers. Buying a good one is a must or else it's a guess and gamble.
    There are several things going on and some to consider. One thing is the reaction time of the thermometers and the fact that the controller continues to cycle power to the heat element.
    As for "did I kill them"/ This will answer that question.
    http://www.brinsea.com/Articles/Advice/PowerOff.aspx
    However, if you don't know what the actual temperature is, who can say?
    These are the two best thermometers I've found at a reasonable cost.
    They read very quickly.
    http://thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt301wa.html
    https://www.brinsea.com/p-394-spot-check-digital-incubator-thermometer.aspx
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  3. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I may have to get a better thermometer for sanity's sake. How do you use the cooking thermometer in an incubator? Do you put in a cup of water and test that?
     
  4. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That article rocks by the way. Just the information I needed. I don't think I killed them, yet.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I just stick it in one of the air holes.

    You could also poke a hole for it on the side so it reads at egg level but since you have a fan that shouldn't matter.

    ETA
    I had lots of failures before I invested in a real thermometer.

    By red dye thermometer, are you referring to a mercury thermometer?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I use the LG w/the fan kit and egg turner installed. First off let me say, these are not set them and forget them bators. They do have to be monitored for temp flunctuations. The whole incubation period. If they are in a room where the temps stay steady and they are not getting any drafts or direct sunlight they can hold temps fairly well. I found just the spot for mine and last hatch the temp did not spike or drop significantly unless I messed with the adjustment on it. When people ask about teh little giant and foam bators my reply is unless you are willing to babysit and monitor them, they are not for you. They are definitely not for the person who works away from home or is a busy body. I am checking mine consistantly throughout the day. Usually, like I said, since I have found a good spot for it, it's fine, but there are times I have to crack open the viewing window to let a little warm air out or tap the adjustment to get a bit more heat. Of course there's been a couple heart attack times where my thermometers (I use three) have shown 102 and I throw off the top in panic mode....lol But don't be suprised when you are making little adjustments here and there the whole time. Many people HATE these bators just like Chicken Canoe up there...lol. I for the most part don't mind because I'm not usually gone for extrememly long periods of time and I am constantly checking the bator and would even if I had the best bator in the world...lol
    I've found the digital thermometer that tells to the tenth is my favorite though.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, except it has red dye in it. It came with a science kit and I tested it by putting it in ice water and boiling water. Both extremes checked out perfectly but I understand there can be a curve in the middle where the temps may be less accurate.

    I ended up using it to calibrate both incubators. The other I have is a borrowed Reptipro 5000. Once I figured out that setting it to 106 degrees equaled 100 degrees on the top shelf, it's held the temp VERY well. The only problem with it is that there is a 7 degree differential between the top shelf and the bottom which means that you can only incubate 16 eggs at a time. If I end up buying it, I was thinking of experimenting with a computer fan so I could use the bottom shelf.
     
  8. magdelaine

    magdelaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, well, it's good to know that I should be expected to babysit it. That helps. I was doing it anyway but at least I know my paranoia is justified! I do have them in a perfect room; no direct sunlight and pretty quiet too. I try to keep the door closed so the temps stay even. Luckily I'm home most of the time except for periods of several hours, so I can make it work. I think I'm going to have hubby research building our own cabinet model.
     
  9. hoopy blues

    hoopy blues Out Of The Brooder

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    last year was my first time to use a l.g. still air with turner with a ACU-RITE THERMOMETER set at 99 deg.it ranged from 98 to 100 deg but mainly 99 .I set 12 eggs the first time and hatch 8 of 12 the second time i set 21 hatched 19.I just let it run a hen has to come off the nest to eat .I am at home so i can keep a eye on mine as long as it dont go to high or low for a long period of time you may be all right.I do trust my thermometer it also has humidity to.
     
  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    That's a pretty good hatch rate. Still air bator's are recommended at 101-102 temps. (Despite manufacture manuals.) Not that it sounds as though it mattered in your case...lol
     

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