How do I get a sucessful hatch with a Little Giant Still Air?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Smartie_Pants, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    I have tried several hatches in mine, and I only got 3 birds out of all of them I tried. A couple hatched with deformations and died in just a couple of minutes.

    In the Spring I want to hatch some babies, but my mom isn't going to let me unless I can be sure nothing bad is going to happen. I cannot rig up a computer fan because I have absolutly no knowledge of how to do that and they don't sell fans in my area anymore. (I don't buy on Ebay yet and I'm not to fond of entering my mom's card info online.)

    I think part of my problem might have been setting the bator on my dresser which is next to a heat vent. Next time I'll put it in the spare room where its away from a vent.

    So here are my questions:

    1. I have the auto turner tray, but have read that it doesn't do a good job. Is this true? If so, what should I do? Turn by hand?

    2. How many days in advance should I warm up the bator and stablize the temp? 2?

    3. What should the humidity be during incubation?

    4. Humidity during hatch?

    5. If I buy eggs from someone on here, what might be an average hatch rate after the ship?

    6. Do hatching eggs have to be put directly into the bator or can I wait a couple of days to warm up the bator? Or should I warm it up before they get here?

    7. When I hatched before, I kept the humidity way up (70 to 80 percent) from pip to hatch and they still stuck in the shell a lot. What is my problem and how do I fix it?

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. JanieMarie

    JanieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Georgetown, Minnesota
    Number one you can never guarantee nothing bad will happen.
    Expect about a 50% hatch rate from shipped eggs.
    Have your bator up and running at least a couple days before you set your eggs to stabilize temps and hum.
    Let your eggs rest for about 6-12 hours or even overnight large end up in the carton to stabilize the air cell.
    Move your bator to a draft free location. An area with relatively stable temps.
    Temp 101 - 102 at top of eggs in still air. Hum at around 35-40 first 18 days and maybe 65 during hatch. Pretty tough to get the hum up to that in LG. Add extra dishes of water. Maybe having it by a heat vent could be why the chicks still stuck. A flow of hot dry air cant be good.
    I never had the auto turner with my LG. Turned by hand 3 or 5x a day. I had pretty good hatch with all this
    Hope this helps! And Happy Hatching! [​IMG]
  3. griffin45

    griffin45 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2008
    South Central Virgina
    First off, in the spring I will be glad to send you some mutt eggs for free.
    My wife and I have been using a LG still air for about 4 months now and our hatches got better when I covered the LG with an afgan blanket. The temp stayed pretty consistent.
    I quit trying to regulate the humidity during the beginning of incubation, then on about day 14 I fill both trays and pull both plugs. We keep the temperature at 100.5 +/- 1 degree (ignoring temp changes during turning and candling). If you have a basement that stays at a constant temperature I would try to incubate there. If not try to put the incubator in the center of the room you are using. On the day I first detect any chirping or movement in the eggs, I mist them all the eggs with warm water and then let nature handle the rest.
    The LG turner works OK, but our best hatches were hand turned. Our last hatch in November was 100%.
    Hatching eggs should be allowed to rest for a few days before putting them in the incubator. The 48 hours that you are calibrating is a great time to do this. Also put several sealed baby food size jars of water in the incubator while you bring it to temp and if you have room leave them in there while incubating. The water helps stabilize the temp. The LG thermostat is super sensitive. When I start calibration I turn it all the way up and then bring it down half of a turn. After that I gradually bring the temperature down to 100.5.
    I hope that I have answered your questions either directly or indirectly well enough that you can have a great hatch this spring!
  4. Catfishingpokey

    Catfishingpokey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Albany, Tx
    the best you can do is warm the bator atleast a couple of days.when shipped eggs arrive let them rest on a counter top at room temp. over night.after they are in the bator try to keep your temp as steady as possible.if you are going to turnn them yourself 3 times a day is plenty. keep the bator cloced unless u are turning eggs or adding water.after u put them in the bator its temp will go down and it will take it a while to get regulated again dont make any changes till the next day at least.if you do all that as close to right as possible you should get a decent hatch which for shipped eggs would be around 50%.good luck.and dont forget to take them off the turner and raise the humidity on day 18.

  5. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Thanks. I guess I'll just have to convine her then. Oh, and about the shipping, 50% is the average right? So you could also get 0 that hatch or every egg could hatch? Does buying them from a person relatively close to you make any difference that across the country?
  6. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Quote:If I can get my mom to agree I will probably take you up on that. Especially if the mutt will be from your cochin, silkie, ee, group that is in your signiture.
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Quote:Personally I don't think it matters where they come from. I had quail eggs shipped from MS and AL this fall and out of 38 eggs I got 3 chicks. I got more eggs from AK this fall, out of 30 eggs that didn't candle as clears, there were 19 that hatched. It really just depends on how they were packaged and handled. The ones I got from MS were packaged very well, but the P.O. did a number on them evidently. The ones from AL were not packed as good, some were broken when they got here, and most of the rest were scrambled.
  8. griffin45

    griffin45 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2008
    South Central Virgina
    Quote:If I can get my mom to agree I will probably take you up on that. Especially if the mutt will be from your cochin, silkie, ee, group that is in your signiture.

    Yep they will! Until spring they all stay in the main coup. They won't get seperated till it warms up a bit.
  9. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    You never know what you're going to hatch, and there are no guarantees. I've used the LG with the turner and it has worked just fine for me. I put a folded up papertowel between the racks, under the vent hole, and I just squirt water on it several times a day for those last three days to help keep the humidity up. You will definitely want your LG in a place that doesn't get heat/draft fluctuations. Even a closet or spare bathroom will work. Just not near a vent [​IMG] or a door, or a window where the afternoon sun will come in. Also, try setting it on blocks to lift it off of the table about 1-2". The airholes on the bottom are important for the air circulation, and shouldn't be blocked. If you put it up (I use two pieces of 2x2" lumber) you will get better air flow. And it is ok to open the incubator during the first 2 weeks to give the eggs fresh air, and to cool them just a little. Just like when a hen gets off the nest to eat/drink. I try to open mine up every day at least once for abou 3-5 minutes. [​IMG]
    If you can get eggs locally, that will help your hatch rate. You never know how the PO will handle them. I've had many 0% hatches from shipped eggs, no fault of the shippers. I've also had a couple of really good hatches, one from WA and one from VA. Just don't give up. Take notes so you can compare hatches. You'll get better.
    As for a fan... check out your local thrift shops or computer repair shops. They will usually sell them for a couple of bucks, and if you check out Miss Prissy's thread on her chick-o-bator (link is in her signature), she shows how to wire it for your incubator. [​IMG]
    Good luck!
  10. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Quote:1. I have the autoturner, but it's an older model than the one they put out now. Mine always worked fine. It did raise the temp in the bator slightly, though, so when I took it out, I had to make an adjustment. Turning by hand also works fine, and many people swear by it. I used to turn by hand before I got the turner. That also worked fine.

    2. Overnight is usually fine for prepping the bator before you put the eggs in.

    3. Humidity should be around 45-50% until hatching time
    4. when it should be raised 65-70%. Different people will tell you different things. But most of the variations that you hear about come from people who have instruments that are reading off so that they THINK they're incubating at a certain percentage and they're really not. To incubate properly, you should be doing it at time-tested settings, and you should be reading those settings with a GOOD thermometer and hygrometer.

    5. Average hatch rate for shipped eggs is, as has been suggested, about 50%. But you can do better or worse depending on shipping conditions, flock fertility, etc.

    6. Warm the bator up overnight before the eggs get there. The eggs should be allowed to rest about 6 hours to come up to room temperature and stabilize before you put them in. Longer than that ages the eggs unnecessarily. Especially if the eggs were not very fresh when they were shipped, every hour you let them sit beyond what is necessary is another hour that the blastoderm is potentially breaking down.

    7. It's hard to say what made your chicks stick the last time. Your problem could have been that your hygrometer was off and you really weren't holding 70% hum. even though you thought you were. Or you might have had humidity too low overall during incubation so that by the time you got to hatch there wasn't enough moisture in the egg and the high hum. at that point didn't help. But the absolute worst hatching scenario as far as humidity goes is to have it too high up to the point of hatch so that there's a lot of goop in the egg and then not have it high enough during hatch so that all of that goop turns sticky and the chicks are essentially glued into the shell. Basically you want it low enough during incubation so that the proper amount of moisture is lost from the eggs and then high enough during hatch so that the remaining moisture helps the chicks turn in the shell. Any deviation from that is going to cause problems.

    Hope this helps.

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