Incubating help- Little Giant and Brinsea

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenlady91, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. chickenlady91

    chickenlady91 Just Hatched

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    I am in need of some help/recommendations with the Brinsea Octagon 20 advance and Little Giant incubator. I have bought the automatic turners for both. I did not purchase a humidity pump for the Brinsea.....this is going to be a long post...so here we go!
    All of my incubating has always been done by either a Silkie hen or the Brinsea mini advance- I absolutely love this incubator, and have GREAT success with it. I recently wanted to hatch a large amount due to the demand of chick breeds I hatch. I bough the 2 incubators above just to try out and hoping/ aiming for a successful hatch but, this did not happen. I did everything that I had done with my small incubator with the settings and I put a countdown on and waited. I took both turners away just like you are supposed to. By day 21 I had about 1 or 2 in each incubator hatch and some pipping in each incubator. By day 25 everything seemed to be a struggle which I had never experiment with my tiny incubator. I kept water pots filled and even put sponges in at day 18 to raise humidity. When I opened up eggs that had not hatched, both incubators had fully formed chicks and some had not absorbed the yolk at all. What could have happened? Temperature? Humidity? Both? I would like to try hatching with them again but not before I figure out what went wrong. Now I need some "expert" advice from experienced incubating people so to speak. If possible please be specific with problems you can figure out with the specific incubator listed. Included is one photo of a chick that I opened and did an "eggtopsy" on. [​IMG]
     
  2. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    I have the brinsea mini Eco and the brinsea octago 20 Eco. Which model little giant did you get? Is it forced air or still air? So here's a couple questions so that I can help you figure out the problem/s. Did you test each incubator with calibrated thermometers and hygrometers to check the accuracy of the temps and humidity? Did you monitor the air cell growth throughout incubation to make sure your humidity was on track with the eggs moisture loss? What was your humidity days 1-18? How many eggs actually pipped and then died? And what breeds were these eggs?
     
  3. chickenlady91

    chickenlady91 Just Hatched

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    I have the little giant still air. I did not calibrate it, seeing as the smaller ones I used have always worked without any help like that but I can the next go around. Eggs developed like they should when candled. Humidity fluctuated from 40-50 %. Out of 61 eggs, 5 or so made it out on time, the others that were late died a few days after being put in the brooder. They seemed week. All of the breeds I tried for in those incubators, I always successfully hatch in others. Araucana, Ameraucana, Olive Eggars, Silkie, D'Uccle, and Old English.
    I did notice with the still air, that the temp would go up to 100.3 at some times. I thought that was strange, but read on here that can happen and not to worry? What about the water pots in these things? How do you fill them?
     
  4. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    Ok, I think we found the first problem. Still air temperatures need to be higher, 101-102 at the top of the eggs. Low temps can delay hatch and cause developmental issues as well. With that, I would try and discern which chicks came out of the LG and if they were the ones that died post hatch. The second thing that came to mind from the info you supplied was your humidity. Large fowl eggs tend to do better with lower humidity, especially in a styrofoam incubator and the bantams (silkies) tend to do better with the higher humidity (40-50%). A lot of hatchers don't like to mix the two due to their different humidity requirements during incubation.

    As for the wells, in the octagon 20, I fill both wells at lockdown and add a piece of felt material to the bottom and wic it into the wells. A lot of people use paper towels. If I didn't use anything on the bottom in the wells my humidity would only be at 40%. Did you add something to the bottom to wic the water? Without the humidity pump this is a necessity!! I can find a pic for you. As for the LG (I had one for a couple days before returning it) I would probably fill one well up at a time until my humidity hit 70%. What was your humidity at lockdown in both incubators?

    I know how easy and reliable the mini brinsea is! It's actually my favorite incubator. Now that you have two bigger models you should calibrate separate thermometers and hygrometers for each one. If I were you, I would use the brinsea to incubate in and the still air LG as a hatcher only (but that's just my 2 cents) :).
    If you need the pic of the brinsea at lockdown let me know and I'll post it for you!
     
  5. chickenlady91

    chickenlady91 Just Hatched

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    Ok awesome. Thanks! So they need to run higher... Now does this matter with the egg turner? Do I still place the thermometer on top of the eggs in the LG? Can you specify what my humidity in each incubator should be day 1-18 then in lockdown on each incubator? Any photos would be appreciated! I'm not sure what the wicking is for the Brinsea. I did separate eggs due to the size differences in each chick and requirement. Now I just need to sort out all the other incubating issues you have found!
     
  6. chickenlady91

    chickenlady91 Just Hatched

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    Also, is a digital hygrometer ok? Any brands you recommend? I have the glass thermometers to use.
     
  7. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    Without the humidity pump the octagon 20 needs more then just the wells filled in order to give you enough humidity. I fill both my wells for days 1-18. Then at lockdown I add a material to the bottom and dip it into each well. This creates a lot more surface area of water and should get your humidity between 60-70%. I'll find the pic now...
    [​IMG]
    This is the only photo I could find at the moment. See how the paper towel is spread across the bottom and it's actually pulling water from each well. You need this at lockdown for sure.

    I'll leave a link for an article that discusses humidity throughout incubation. There is no set number. Many different hatchers use many different %'s but it's actually very unique for each person and each batch of eggs. That's why you need to monitor the air cell growth because it will help you determine the perfect number % for your eggs. This article breaks it down.
    http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com...anuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity

    It's late here and I'm headed to bed but I will write more tomorrow. I didn't want you to think I forgot about you! ;)
     
  8. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for this information. I followed the directions and you are right. I had 4 formed chicks in the egg that drowned. My humidity was much to high. After 26 days I went ahead and cracked the eggs. Fluid just poured out with dead chicks inside. I'm not giving up on hatching but next time I'll go with the dry hatch method. It work for chickens, why not us?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  9. chickenlady91

    chickenlady91 Just Hatched

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    Thanks so much! Look forward to any more help! Will be writing down. The Hicks that were formed inside the eggs were so beautiful, it's a shame they didn't live. Hopefully I have successful future hatches!
     
  10. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    A digital hygrometer is fine. I actually use a really cheap dial hygrometer that I got online for $5. The key to using any hygrometer is to test it for accuracy. They are easy to calibrate. Sometimes I get them in the mail and calibrate them and they are dead on, other times they are 10% or more off. Once you calibrate it you will know exactly how accurate it's reading. If you can't adjust it, just take into account how off it is. If it reads 65% but you know it's actually supposed to be reading 75%, take that into account for every reading. Here's the directions.
    http://www.stevejenkins.com/blog/20...grometer-humidity-sensor-using-the-salt-test/
    (And I like to let it sit in the bag for 24 hours, I've found the most accurate results this way.)
     

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