How to stabalize incubator temps

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Leaguinea, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Leaguinea

    Leaguinea Songster

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    I am new to this...
    Currently I have 7 guinea fowl (given to me as month olds) and am looking to hatch some of their eggs.
    I would be interested in gleaning information from all the wise people on this site....
    First question - I have made an incubator from a Styrofoam cooler, heated with a 25watt bulb hooked up to a hot water heater thermostat. My thermostat is fluctuating the temps between 85.6F - 107.2F how do I regulate this? would it work better if I hooked up a fan? is there something I am doing wrong? Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

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    I would use a fan and also what is the model of thermostat and can you adjust the range that it kicks on and off. For instance, with a hot water heater, it is not going to kick on and off just because the temp fluctuates .5 degrees but you do want it to do that in an incubator.
     
  3. Tenrec

    Tenrec Chirping

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    It would definitely work better with a fan. A cooler is going to have a lot of height on it. The biggest differences in temperature occur across the stratification due to hot air being lighter than cool air. For something that deep, a fan is actually necessary.

    Also, it helps to put your thermostat probe a few inches hanging/floating away from the heat source. That way the probe senses changes very quickly and can tell the thermostat to adjust accordingly.

    Also, it will help to put heat sinks in the incubator. Heat sinks are bodies that can absorb or emit lots of heat without changing too much in their temperature themselfves That way, then there is a temperature difference between your heat sink and the environment, your heat sink will absorb/emit heat accordingly. Eggs themselves are heat sinks and stabilize temperatures, but you don't want to wait until it's egg time. Water's probably your best heat sink in an incubator. Try bottles (or jugs, depending on how much room you got) of water, closed, dispersed in the incubator. If it's not too much trouble and not too hazardous to the eggs, and you are hand turning, it helps to turn the heat sinks every time you turn the eggs.

    I'm sure there's lots of other advice for keeping things even. Let us know how your keets come along.

    edit: I forgot to mention, but multiple thermometers in a large incubator are also necessary. Hopefully you can get some and place them in different areas where you'll put your eggs, to make sure everything is in the acceptable range.
     
  4. Leaguinea

    Leaguinea Songster

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    The model is an Upper T-Stat.
     
  5. Leaguinea

    Leaguinea Songster

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    Jun 22, 2017
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    Does it matter if the bottles are glass or plastic?
     
  6. Leaguinea

    Leaguinea Songster

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    Ok so I installed a fan last night and watched the thermometer. the temp stabilized some (took longer time to fluctuate) but will still drop as low as 88.4 before the thermostat kicks in and turns the light on and than goes up to around 104 before it shuts off. Here is a picture of the thermostat I have.
     

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  7. thejaxx

    thejaxx Songster

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    I found using a half brick or such, will absorb heat quite nicely. Then when I would open to rotate eggs, they helped in bringing temp back up quickly. This helps in stabilization.

    This was a tip from Shannon at MyPetChicken.
     
  8. Leaguinea

    Leaguinea Songster

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    Jun 22, 2017
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    Would a large stone work the same as a brick?
     
  9. thejaxx

    thejaxx Songster

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    Maybe?

    She had told me a brick, or something terra-cotta is best, as it absorbs a lot of heat and releases it at a rate that helps stabilize after you open and close the incubator.
     

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