emmsx3

Chirping
Nov 30, 2019
62
61
61
Hi Everyone!

I had a hen that had laid 3 eggs earlier this month but we realize she has not returned to her eggs and for almost a week and we can't find her anywhere...:( I decided I wanted to save her eggs and I've researched different ways to make a homemade incubator. But the simplest way that I've done it, is that I've got a small plastic tub container, placed a thick towel on the bottom, put the eggs on top of the towel, and then added another small cloth to cover the eggs. I also have a digital thermometer to make sure the temperature is right (99.5-102) For heating I used a heating plate that I bought on Amazon earlier this year.

This one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7U6BUJ/?tag=backy-20

And I also placed a bowl of water inside for the humidity. I've been doing my best to turn the eggs at every odd number and also spray a bit of water on them once to twice a day. Marked the area where the air cell is at so I know its still developing. It's already the 8th day and in the previous days til now there was always development! From the yolk to the spider veins appearing and its eye. They are also moving around a lot when I candle them. I didn't think this would work and I've never heard any one using a heating plate to incubate eggs but I'm hoping all goes well since it is so far. But as the day is progressing, I'm wondering how will I keep the humidity up when they are ready for lockdown on day 18.

I'm only using that heating plate and I'm wondering if I should use a regular bulb over that bowl of water. Or use a wet cloth and cover them with it to keep the humidity high since I won't be able to open up the lid. Anyone have any ideas of what I can do before that day comes?

Thanks!
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Nov 23, 2010
29,028
18,312
867
St. Louis, MO
We can address humidity later but nothing else matters unless the internal egg temperature is 99.5F. Where are you measuring temperature? In a still air incubator, the temperature can vary by up to 2 F from the top of the egg to the bottom of the egg. That's why they recommend 100.5 at the top of the egg in still air due to thermal stratification. That should equate to an internal temp of 99.5. Are you sure the thermometer is guaranteed accurate or has been calibrated?
Turning is almost as important as the correct temperature. The more you can turn during the first 2 weeks (especially the first week) the better they will develop.

To answer your original question, I don't think a heat plate is the correct heat source for incubation unless you can be fastidious about temperature at specific elevations in the space.
Humidity is very important but it can vary dramatically from day to day in nature so day to day humidity, IMHO is less important than the first two points.
 

emmsx3

Chirping
Nov 30, 2019
62
61
61
We can address humidity later but nothing else matters unless the internal egg temperature is 99.5F. Where are you measuring temperature? In a still air incubator, the temperature can vary by up to 2 F from the top of the egg to the bottom of the egg. That's why they recommend 100.5 at the top of the egg in still air due to thermal stratification. That should equate to an internal temp of 99.5. Are you sure the thermometer is guaranteed accurate or has been calibrated?
Turning is almost as important as the correct temperature. The more you can turn during the first 2 weeks (especially the first week) the better they will develop.

To answer your original question, I don't think a heat plate is the correct heat source for incubation unless you can be fastidious about temperature at specific elevations in the space.
Humidity is very important but it can vary dramatically from day to day in nature so day to day humidity, IMHO is less important than the first two points.
I put the thermometer right by where the eggs are (I inserted pictures below) When I am home during the weekends (during the weekdays my mom takes care of the eggs), I keep a close eye on the temperature and make sure it doesn't exceed over 103-104. There are times that if it was about to go over, I adjust the legs of the heating plate more up so the temperature can be lowered a bit. And then to make it at the right temperature, I could always lower it more down. I've done this for a week already (going into the second week now) And so far the eggs have been developing nicely. All three have movement, air cells are good, veins and all, everything seems to be going smoothly. Here where I live they don't sell incubators (I live in a small town) So if I had to get a incubator, I'd have to order it online. I was going to, but by the time it was going to arrive. It wasn't going to be in time before the eggs wouldn't be good to incubate anymore. It would have been well over 7 days and shipping to here would have taken at least 2 weeks considering the holidays and there could be a risk of delays.

But I've read that spraying the eggs with a little water helps too. But I figured that seems to just cool the eggs down and not sure about the humidity. I know it seems I may be doing this wrong and yes a heating plate may not seem the best option. But I'm willing to try and do my best to save these babies instead of leaving them for dead.
 
Last edited:

emmsx3

Chirping
Nov 30, 2019
62
61
61
:fl:pop:fl Please keep us updated as to your progress. Stop spraying water, it does cool off the eggs and you don't want that. You need a hydrometer to measure the humidity. It should be lower (30% - 45%) until lockdown where is should be up to about 70% ... Alot depends on the size of the air cell.

@sylviethecochin @Pyxis @Kiki
Thank you and I will! I wanted to get a thermometer with a hydrometer too but like I said I live in a small town and I swear I went to every store and asked if they had those but none had any :hit The one I currently have now is the best one I can get and the only one they had available near me. Again I wanted to order one online but the shipping...:(

But so far the little ones are doing fine, today is the 8th day and they are moving around a lot! December 28th is hatch day, so I'm hoping they will make it by that time. Will keep updating and I just turned them so I posted pictures of them below :)
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Nov 23, 2010
29,028
18,312
867
St. Louis, MO
The word is hygrometer.
Most of which are extremely inaccurate.
I too recommend not spraying eggs with water. That may cause bacterial infiltration into the eggs,
 

emmsx3

Chirping
Nov 30, 2019
62
61
61
The word is hygrometer.
Most of which are extremely inaccurate.
I too recommend not spraying eggs with water. That may cause bacterial infiltration into the eggs,
Sorry I'm still new to this so please bare with me...
I saw that person say "hydrometer" so I assumed that's what they were called:th

And alright, I will no longer spray the eggs with water.
 
Last edited:

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Nov 23, 2010
29,028
18,312
867
St. Louis, MO
No worries.
There are both hydrometers and hygrometers.
The latter measures humidity.
The former measures specific gravity of liquids for things like testing lead acid batteries and antifreeze.
Good luck.
 
Top Bottom