How much temperature variability is okay?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Doulos, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Doulos

    Doulos Out Of The Brooder

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    So, in a few weeks I'm going to be hatching some Welsh Harlequin duck eggs, and I chose the DIY incubator option, forced air.

    I've only tinkered with it a little bit, and I have been getting temperatures in the 96.3-103.3 degree range. The time at the extremes is never more than a few seconds. Most of the time it's reading right around 100. So, the average of that would be 99.8 degrees. Is this an acceptable range? I'm assuming some of the cheaper factory models have to have a few degrees of fluctuation.

    I'm tempted to order a cheap infrared thermometer to test the temperature of a few store bought eggs and see how good it is. Anyone have any experience with that?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  2. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right around 100 is what you want. Cheaper models always fluctuate, some more than others.

    A cheap infrared t-meter might be worse than the cheap incubator thermostat, which is probably better than a cheap thermometer from wally world, but it could be worse.

    I notice a lot of people take several hatches to dial in their incubators and cook, or undercook, a few (or more) hatches in the process. If you are concerned with this issue, then more cheap is not necessarily a good thing and I would do some looking around to find a good middle ground.

    I personally am good with my $40 thermometer/hydrometer and the hatches it helps produce.

    Your mileage may vary, and there will be other opinions on this. Good luck.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    If you are using a still air, I would not want variations of more than 100.5-102.5. Lower for any length of time is going to delay your hatch and increas probability of development issues, and much highe is going to run the risk of cooking them.

    Forced air I'd want to see the temps between 99.5-100.5. Of course the more stable and consistant you can keep it, the better off they will be.
     
  4. Doulos

    Doulos Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, it's using a water heater thermostat, and it's forced air. I tested again and let it run for longer, and it's staying around 98-102 degrees. It dips down to 98 or up 102 for literally about 5 seconds before the bulbs turn on/off, so 90% of the time, it's sitting right at 100 degrees (measuring right where the eggs will be sitting with the probe). That shouldn't be long enough to actually alter the internal temperature of the egg, right?

    I'm just wondering how much fluctuation a cheap incubator otherwise would have...It's got to vary by a few degrees if it turns on and off even for just a few seconds?

    I'm using a $20 thermometer and hygrometer that I think is quite accurate- I tested it using an ice bath, which is the recommended method for calibrating thermometers from what I found, and it was only over by .5 degrees, so I adjusted for that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  5. Danbol86

    Danbol86 New Egg

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    From the research I have done...small fluctuations in temp is ok, especially in short bursts like you have mentioned. The air temperature will change much quicker than the actual egg temp. The eggs will change much slower in temp than the air...so as long as it's not long durations of low/high temps, then the eggs probably won't change much if any.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It takes more than a few minutes to alter the internal temp of an egg. Broody hens have to eat and drink every day, leaving their eggs to cool. You're on track with average temp being around 100 degrees.

    Good deal on the thermometer/hygrometer. Keep something else around (even a cheapy) to compare to just in case your good one gets wonky.
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Yes, you are correct.

    I have an old LG9200 with fan installed. As long as I can keep it above 99.5 and under 101 I am happy.
     

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