Just relax... it will all be ok. lol. I know... it's stressful but after a few times you will get to the point where (if you are like me) you even forget when they are supposed to hatch!! LOL. I literally set them and forget them!!! lol. I get really good hatches... even 100% out of shipped - usually 90% though.
It is definitely stressing me out. I have the Brinsea Octagon Eco 20, the basic one, and it comes with this "liquid in glass" thermometer, then I put a digital hygrometer/thermometer in there, and that thing will read 99.1 sometimes, and then if I tilt the incubator as per instructions (to turn eggs since I don't have a turner), that darned digital will say 102!
It's scaring me and driving me nuts!
I surely hope I get a chick or two..........
I really appreciate the advice of everyone! Makes me feel much better.......First time hatching with this incubator....and it's only my second time hatching chicks.......
I agree with others. Leave it alone, be consistent with what you do through this hatch, and analyze the results to see if you need to make any adjustments next time. If you start fiddling with the controls and conditions, you will not know what to adjust to make it better next time, if you even need to adjust anything.
That model should be a forced air, so the temperature should be constant through out the incubator. In a still air, the hot air rises so you will get different temperatures throughout the incubator, but not in a forced air. I know you can have sheltered spots in some forced air incubators, especially homemade ones, but this model should not have that problem as long as the fan is working. It is a good incubator.
Never trust a thermometer that comes with the incubator or any other one that you did not calibrate yourself. They do not necessarily read true. Two different reasons. Some are just not that accurate. The ones that are used to take the temperature outside are usually required to read within 1 or 2 degrees of the same temperature each time. This does not mean that they are within 2 degrees of the correct temperature, just that they will return to within 2 degrees of the same reading each time. For incubators, you need a thermometer that is supposed to read within 0.1 degrees. Even with these, you don't necessarily get the correct reading. You need to calibrate them. Due to manufacturing tolerances, they may be off the real temperature. To see what I mean, next time you are at a place that sells outdoor thermometers, look at them. Thermometers on the same shelf in the same climate controlled conditions will often read 4 to 6 degrees different.
Something else. With those digital where the entire electronics goes inside the incubator, I've had the readings go wonky in the higher humidity. Talk about nerve-wracking late in a hatch.
I can't explain what if going on with yours with those big temperature swings. If it were a still air, it could easily be explained, but not a forced air.
If the temperature is really truly 99.1 instead of 99.5 in a forced air, don't be surprised if your hatch is late, maybe even a day or more late. They will develop slower if the average temperature is low. But I'd expect them to hatch OK at 99.1 degrees. How close to the 21 days they hatch is a good indication of whether you need to adjust the incubation temperatures. Better than an uncalibrated thermometer for sure.
I don't know that I've eased your worries any. I do think the best thing for you to do is be consistent with this hatch unless you do find something you know is wrong.
That's good advice, Ridgerunner. I'm not sure how to calibrate a thermometer though. I started out with three different thermometers, with three different readings and that was upsetting! I had the incubator running about 3 or even 4 days before I put eggs in. After a few adjustments, I got a very close reading on the digital and the glass thermometer. Digital said 99.1, glass said 99. So I figured I'd go with that.
With the Brinsea, you tilt it to one side or the other, if you don't have a turner. This is nice because you don't have to open the incubator, you just tilt it......When I tilt it to where the thermometer is at a higher location, then it reads 102, then when I tilt the incubator back down to where it's sitting normally, the reading will go back to 99.1.
So I am still nervous.....Just hoping some of the chicks do hatch. I guess you're right...this will be the test hatch......so I can get it adjusted properly for next time........