Incubating in Gainesville,Florida


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 27, 2010
Since I know there is quite abit of traffic through the site I thought I would write to tell you about my incubator and it's hatching rates. I just got chicks last year about September and now it's gone full circle with hatching the little guys from eggs. I bought a Standard Tractor Supply Company incubator with a digital thermostat and a turner. This model does not have a fan though some will tell me I screwed up there I hope you read through this all first. The setup of the incubator is not as hard as you might think it really is plug and play + minor additions. When you open the box it comes with there is a therm on a plastic card I through this away and used a Walmart special the acu*rite therm w/humidity. The next thing to do was follow the instructions on the pamphlet for setup but use the new therm to setup the dial and only set the dial with the turner on with a full load(load of eggs that is) to simulate real world use. Humidity here is about 40% year round in an A/C home. I didn't fill the reservoirs with water, instead I added two kitchen sponges(new in package) cut into pieces into the channels as exampled in other posts. If you have no others around and can't afford a few wash the ones you have, fill them with water and nuke them in the microwave for 60 seconds(don't do this dry or the light up like fat lighter) kills anything bio hazard on the sponge. After I got the temp setup to float at 100 +/- 1% measured at egg level on top of the turner trays between eggs I was set to go. Collected eggs for one week and put them in on a Friday night. I like setting on a Friday I found because they hatch out on a Friday 21 days later giving you lots of time to look after the new ones or run to the store for something you might have forgotten. This is assuming your working a standard work week M-F. I leave both plugs in the incubator the whole time and I don't disconnect the turner either until I see the shells starting to get pock marks from chicks trying to get out. When I see marks on the shells I wait for the turner to level out and then transfer everybody to a couple of egg cartons from the turner.

I have had only one or two eggs not hatch in the last 3 batches of 41 since I have been setting up like this. I am writing this for anyone that will be in my position next time and looking for a setup to try for the area. I would not suggest using the incubator as a brooder. IMHO I would not like them to be in a Styrofoam box any longer than is necessary I set them up with a 250watt IR bulb brood light(foot or so from the floor) in a open bottom cage outside that is moved everyday. Gets the chicks started on grass and ground as feed then show them the food trays after half a day. Water is always provided they have their beaks wet upon entry of their brooder they don't have problems finding it at all(using a red bottom waterer 1 gallon). These are my experiences I hope they help someone else.

Tsc incubator
Tsc turner
Barred Rock eggs(within one week of pickup from nest boxes unrefrigerated storage)
Home depot brooder lamp
250 IR bulb
thats an impressive hatch rate for incubating. Ill be sure to pass this along to my non member friends. thanks for the info!
well my hatch came out today they were all pipped and 6 were out of shell when i left for work. My daughter saw the chicks and was messing with the cover which we tld her no realy quickly but no one noticed she had turned the temp knob. I will not go into the results but just remember to cover that adjustment knob really well if anyone small is in the house.

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