Incubating in Little Giant with fan and egg turner temp problems

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Bean789, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Bean789

    Bean789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first attempt at incubating 20 fertile eggs. I set the incubator up per directions, purchased 2 separate thermometers (1 is a bulb thermometer and the other is a thermometer with humidity reading combined, not digital) for calibrating/testing temps, etc. No matter how much I adjust the incubator digital thermometer to make it warmer, the other thermometers read 98.0 and 99.5. The temp on the bator reads 101.2 constantly unless the top is removed for a very brief period. I read the instructions on how to raise the temperature but it never seems to raise the temp per the other 2 thermometers. I set the eggs anyway as 13 of them were at day 12 since laying. The other 7 were at 4-6 days. The humidity on the purchased combined thermometer is at 55% while the bator digital is at 45%. How am I supposed to know what is actual for temp and humidity??? Is there a way to get a more accurate reading on the inside of the bator? If it is set at 101.2 degrees, will I kill the embryos? I have only removed the top of the bator twice in the last 5 days. It is covered with a towel because the room it is in gets the door opened quite a bit throughout the day. I plan to candle at day 10. Any info on this incubator and how to actually calibrate the thermometer other than adjusting it to other thermometers (which doesn't seem to be working correctly either) would be immensely appreciated. It was expensive to get 12 of these eggs as they are a rare breed. Also, should everything go ok and I see life inside these eggs, should I purchase another incubator for the lockdown process? I would hate to lose them all in the last few days.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    All thermometers have different response times so that may be one issue you're dealing with.
    As the heat element cycles on and off it will cause the different thermometers to read differently especially if one is closer to instantaneous.

    Hygrometers IMO are notoriously inaccurate and need to be calibrated.
    Rather than rely on a hygrometer, which I use, I weigh the eggs periodically to assure the correct amount of weight loss.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Ok, first off. The thermometers that come with the cheap bators are often innacurate. If you have two good thermometers (that are calibrated) in the bator at the top of the eggs, use those. If it remains 101 for the average of incubation it will most likely cause an early hatch and it's likely that it can cause problems with the chick. A forced air should have an average of 99.5, so it would be much better if you could get it down. I have been using a little giant with air and turner. Just the slightest touch to my temp control knob will jump it up/down. I have my bator in a place where the air changes little. (This is best as the outside flunctuations will effect the bator temp's stability especially the cheaper styro bators.) One thing you can try is to take the plugs out if you have them in and this should drop the temp slightly, but if you have it where it's going to be prone to drafts it's going to flunctuate as well.
    If all of your eggs were set at the same time, there really is no need to have a second bator for hatching unless you are getting a better incubator and don't trust the one you are using to do the job. One way to calibrate is to use a regular (non digital like the old mercury thermometers) in ice water. (A bowl of ice, put cold water on it and wait three minutes.) When you put the end of the thermometer it should read 32 degrees F. Then you know that this thermometer is correct and you can use it to compare to the digital ones.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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  6. Bean789

    Bean789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Placed the additional thermometers on top of the eggs in the incubator and it is now covered with a towel to alleviate the temp fluctuations from any drafts or room temp changes. After 2 hours, the temp is now 100 on both of them while the digital built-in is at 101.2. I am candling them this evening to see if any development after I study the stages, signs, etc. for fertile and developing eggs.

    Looked at the suggested link for the egg o meter. Interesting item and will probably get one soon for my next hatch attempt.

    I do not have the means to weigh the eggs but will study the links for the egg sac size, etc. Have to get my calculator out now. LOL
     
  7. Bean789

    Bean789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I candled them at day 7 last night. Very interesting. Some development, at differing stage? Some are blobs of ??? Several have veining, while a couple of others show a large 'vein' almost at the center of the egg and it goes all the way around. I must go back and look at some pics of what they should look like. The air sac was difficult to find on all of them except one. 3 of the Silkie eggs actually had some movement. The Cream Brabanters, out of 12, show some development in 8. The others don't look like anything is happening. I will leave them all for now. No bad smells coming from bator. Checked them again this morning, and temp has spiked to 102! Geesh! I turned it down again and checked it an hour later and it is now at 100 again. I also removed the towel (put it there to alleviate the draft problem in the room due to door being opened and shut a few times a day) and took out one of the plugs. The humidity is ranging from 45-55 depending on which hydrometer you look at. Still hopeful on the Brabanters.
     
  8. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had very good success using a still air Little Giant with an egg turner. I also invested in a digital thermometor/hygometer that I placed flat so the reading was at the middle of the eggs. It is very important that the room you have the incubator in is kept at a steady temperature, with no drafts. 11 out of 13 fertile eggs hatched, all healthy.

    The first time I used an incubator I didn't have it in a temperature controlled room, and the incubator temperature would fluctuate, and the hatch was very poor. Also, had a different incubator.
     
  9. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was having so much trouble with my humidity & temps., that I called Miller Manufacturing (The people who make the Little Giant) yesterday. They basically told me not to rely on the built in temp and humidity readings. Told me to use another separate thermometer. So, now that's what I'm doing. I'm on day 19. I've had to up my temp to 102 on the bator to get my other thermometer to read 99. All 14 were developing fine when I candled at lockdown. So, straight from the horse's mouth......Don't trust the built in gauges. Good luck!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  10. Bean789

    Bean789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The incubator is located within the room out of the way of the door that gets opened and closed and away from the room register and it is in my house where the thermostat is set at 76 degrees. I don't have a room in my house that does not get the door opened or closed several times a day. It was suggested on a couple of sites that a towel be put over the incubator to alleviate any temp changes so this is what I did until this morning. I have 2 other thermometers in the bator and one of them is a bulb type which I calibrated with the ice water method. It is the one I rely on the most. My incubator has the fan and an egg turner and the extra thermometers are sitting on top of the eggs.

    I am still hopeful that I am not 'cooking' my eggs and at least some of the brabanters will hatch. The Silkies were an extra 'throw in' and they seem to be doing the best of all of them.

    Thanks for the info on your hatch.
     

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