Incubating eggs 8/15, please hold my hand...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sunny Side Up, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    This is only the 2nd time I've used an electric incubator to hatch chicken eggs, I'd appreciate your advice & support.

    I've borrowed a Hovabator 1602N from a friend who included a digital thermometer and a humidity gauge. It also has an egg turner. There is a little fan under the lid but it isn't turning on.

    I've placed it on my bedroom dresser, a room that doesn't go through temp extremes during the day. Our house stays air-conditioned all day set at 78 degrees. This room doesn't get direct sun during the afternoon.

    The incubator has been wiped down, the outer 2 troughs have been filled with water, and the turner & the heating coil were plugged in about an hour ago. The temp reads 113 and the humidity 47. I loosened the wing nut & turned the thermostat down a quarter turn.

    Sixteen bantam eggs are due to arrive in the mail tomorrow at noon. If the 'bator is holding a good steady temp of 100 I will put the eggs in that night.

    What is the ideal range for the humidity for these first 18 days?

    Is there anything else I should do before setting the eggs?

    When I place the 16 eggs in the turner cups, should I space them evenly along the rows or bunch them together in the middle?

    I've had dozens of hens hatch many more clutches of chickens, ducks, turkeys, & geese for me. You've got to admire their wordless genius for doing the job so effortlessly yet with such humility. Sure wish I had a bird to hatch these eggs!
    I thank you all for your advice & support. [​IMG]
     
  2. darkbluespace

    darkbluespace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2014
    Portland Oregon
    I would do some reading about shipped eggs and their complications...depending on how your air cells look, you may not want to turn them for a few days.

    About humidity, I have been dry incubating and it is going really well! My humidity has been 30 to 35% with no water added till day 18.
     
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    ??? I can't get the incubator to stay at a steady temperature, it keeps fluctuating from 99 - 102. I've been turning the thermostat lever towards "decrease" a little at a time throughout the day, keep checking the temp every half hour or so. Once I saw it at 99.5, then a half hour later it was back up to 102.

    The eggs arrived today, all in good shape. I'd like to put them in the 'bator, but am concerned that they'll be killed right from the start if the temp goes up to 102.

    What should I do?
     
  4. darkbluespace

    darkbluespace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2014
    Portland Oregon
    Temperature for still air is supposed to be around 101 to 102. I have jars of water in my bator... they hold heat at the right temp and keep it steady. Too bad the fan isn't working, that usually helps keep temp stable too. If your eggs arrived today, I personally would let them rest for a day... fat end up... rest time is actually supposed to increase the hatch rate ! It would be good if your temp was a bit more steady, but as it is it is probably averaging just over 100 which isn't too bad.
     
  5. Mamasaurus

    Mamasaurus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2014
    This happened to my incubator - we rang the company to 'reset' the thermostat over the phone - it was simple but I didn't do it myself, sorry. Might be worth a call to your manufacturer because the temp fluctuation is definitely not good for the eggs!! [​IMG]
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Thanks, Mamasaurus, but this is one of those economy styrofoam models, I need to set the thermostat manually. I'll keep tweaking it & checking the temp overnight, maybe set the eggs in the morning.

    This sure gives me even greater respect for my broody hens, who do this job all by instinct with their little birdy brains. I've observed them setting in the coldest times of our Fla winters when they spread themselves almost flat over their nests (the kids laugh and say "Look, Mom, a chicken pancake!") and take only the briefest of coffee breaks off the eggs. And I've observed them setting in the middle of our simmering summers, once I even saw a hen standing up over her nest for a while to let them cool down. In the summers they may take longer breaks, even indulge in a dust bath once in a while.
     
  7. Mamasaurus

    Mamasaurus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2014
    Lol, yep - they do what they do naturally! Doubt they think anything of it!! [​IMG]


    My bator is the same as yours styrofoam and manual - we still needed to do something to the thermostat via the manufacturer (took about two minutes) before it settled. I had it manually turned to the lowest setting and it was still up at 104F in a cool room!! Once H reset it, I was able to manually set it to sit nicely at 99.7F like I wanted [​IMG]

    We have borrowed this bator to set duck eggs and the owner had given it gladly because it 'didn't work'. when we told his wife what we'd done she threw her hands in the air and said it'd been in the shed for two years doing nothing because they'd had no success for about 4 settings....she went home to tell him - they rang the manufacturer like it says to in the book...his reply "Really, I'm surprised the number even works!" LOL
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    That's interesting, how can the mfr do an adjustment over the phone? I wonder if they'd respond on a Saturday?
     
  9. Mamasaurus

    Mamasaurus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2014
    Not sure because I didn't do it myself! H did, I'll ask when he gets back from farm duties! Over the phone the manufacturer told H what to do, and he did it - didn't take very long at all! I know he undid the thermostat cover - but sorry, that's all I know, pretty clueless on this one!

    You can only try on a Saturday - its always worth a try to get your eggs set!!
     
  10. Mamasaurus

    Mamasaurus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2014
    How did you go with your incubator? I asked hubby, he said he took the cover off the box under the lid and turned something? with a screwdriver, it was made to take a screwdriver. In effect it set the dial on top higher so it could be adjusted down. Not sure if that makes sense to you...hope you get it sorted!
     

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