How much ventilation needed in a homemade incubator?

ArizonaDesertChicks

Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs
11 Years
Dec 8, 2008
2,378
35
229
Glendale, AZ
This is my first time hatching eggs in an incubator - I hatched eggs one other time with a broody.

I made a homemmade incubator, but don't have any idea how much ventilation is needed for oxygen after day 18. I'm assuming I have enough now, especially since I am also opening the bator 3 times a day to turn the eggs. With Phx, AZ being so dry, I'm thinking I'll want to use as little ventilation as possible those last 3 days in order to keep the humidity up, but don't want the eggs & chicks to be oxygen deprived.

My incubator is made from an aquarium so there is no drilling holes in the sides - I have a slit at the top that can be adjusted - see pic :


The current vented area is 3/8" x 8". Is it adequate? Too much? Do I need more than that the last 3 days? Do I need an area on both sides or is the one side fine?

The aquarium I'm using is 19" long, 12" tall, & 12" deep and does have a fan installed.
 

asher

Chicken Enabler Extraordinaire
12 Years
Jan 26, 2007
3,448
19
244
Mountains of NC
I would just go by your hygrometer and see what it says in terms of humidity. (It appears that you have a digital hygrometer, anyway, that shows temp and humidity?)
 

ArizonaDesertChicks

Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs
11 Years
Dec 8, 2008
2,378
35
229
Glendale, AZ
Thanks for replying. I do have a hydrogometer to measure humidity, but I think there needs to be a certain amount of airflow so the eggs/chicks have enough oxygen in there. I don't have a real incubator and am wondering how big of a ventilation area/hole I need for the last 3 days when I no longer open up the lid for turning.
 

Revelle

Songster
9 Years
Jan 30, 2010
339
2
121
Silvis
The vent holes on the LG one I have, one's roughly the size of a dime, and the rest have about a 1/4" diameter. Those ones have 9 places. Hope this helps!
 

onthespot

Deluxe Dozens
11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
7,187
37
271
Riverside/Norco, CA
I thought about using an aquarium for an incubator and thought about putting a simple air pump to force air into it at a slow, controlled rate. Then the fan could mix it all up and keep the fresh air evenly distributed. Haven't tried it, but I have thought about it.
 

dovecanyon

Songster
10 Years
Oct 15, 2009
425
18
159
Weaverville, CA
I think since you have a fan installed, the ventilation you have will be fine. We have used an aquarium as a hatcher several times, and have had wonderful hatching success. Ours did not have a fan, and we only had a small slit (similar to yours) on each end. Don't worry, it will be great.
 

ArizonaDesertChicks

Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs
11 Years
Dec 8, 2008
2,378
35
229
Glendale, AZ
Quote:It's great to hear from someone who successfully used an aquarium as an incubator (I'm a little nervous). Did you leave the two slits open during days 19-21? Also, what was your humidity set at from days 1-18 and then on days 19-21?
 

dovecanyon

Songster
10 Years
Oct 15, 2009
425
18
159
Weaverville, CA
Yes, since we didn't have a fan, I left the slits on both ends open, but only about 1/4" wide. If I had used a fan, I would have only left one open. We kept our humidity 30-40% days 1-18 (tried to stay as close to 32-35 as possible) and 60-70% during lockdown (aimed for 65%) Don't worry about humidity and temp spikes when the hatching starts, as pipping, zipping, & hatching will throw the readings all over the place! Just leave it alone, and it will all settle down on it's own. We also left the new chicks in until the hatch was finished. They were fine for the 2 days it took.
 

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