How's this temp range for incubating eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by megalomaniac, May 16, 2010.

  1. megalomaniac

    megalomaniac Songster

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    May 16, 2010
    Mississippi
    Great forum guys, just found it last week...

    I'm planning raising my own eggs for the family, building a coop and run on my 2 acres, and stocking it with 6 or 8 hens (was thinking 2 red stars, 2 white leghorns, 2 ameracaunas, and 2 buff orphingtons....

    In any case, I've got 3 kids and would love to hatch a few chicks out more for the educational experience than anything.

    I've built and incubator with a 45 qt heavy duty styrofoam cooler, a water heater thermostat, 40 watt bulb, 2 thermometers (accurite and cooper), and heat sinks in the bottom of the incubator consisting of tupperware containers filled with water (probably total volume of 1 gallon).

    The 'outside' probes of the thermometers are set inside a homemade 'water wiggler'.

    I've got my water wiggler probes at a very consistent range of 99.3-100.8, but the water heater thermostat (it's not mounted to a metal plate, just free in the incubator) isn't very precise with regulating the air temps in the incubator... they typically range from around 90 up to 112 or so.

    So, in essence, I've got a 20 degree swing in air temps, but very consistent (1.5 degrees or so) water wiggler temps. Will this be adequate, or should I go ahead and purchase a better thermostat? I don't want the kids first experience to be a disaster [​IMG]
     
  2. trilyn

    trilyn Songster

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    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Yeah, you don't want the kids first experience to be a disaster. Mine was, and I was heartbroken at 34! [​IMG] You've gone this far, get the better thermostat! Good luck!
     
  3. megalomaniac

    megalomaniac Songster

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    May 16, 2010
    Mississippi
    Forgot to mention, there is a small CPU fan installed in the incubator for circulation of air as well...
     
  4. countrychix

    countrychix Songster

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    Mar 18, 2010
    Frewsburg, NY
    Your set up sounds very similar to ours, only our thermostat is mounted to the side of the incubator. I get air temperature swings, but nothing like what you're experiencing. I have a bit more swing on the water wiggler temperature than you do, usually between 99.4 and 102 but so far we have had 2 successfully hatches from our bator. I always go by the water wiggler temp, though I still do monitor the air temp.

    I did notice that the thermostat became more stable after running for about a week or ten days and the swings were down to only a couple degrees in either direction. I'm on my 3rd hatch now and this time as well as with the 2nd I only had to tweek the thermostat slightly and pretty much could leave it alone after the initial start-up.
     
  5. megalomaniac

    megalomaniac Songster

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    May 16, 2010
    Mississippi
    moved the thermometers to the opposite side of the incubator (the side the eggs will be on...) and away from the lightbulb.

    air temp swings now range 97-102 or so... wiggler temps still fine.

    I think I'm gonna give it a go and see what happens.
     

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