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Incubation conserns and advice would be appreciated.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ladyh, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a lot of concerns and questions. I have a HovaBator Deluxe Egg Incubator Combo Kit 1602N. With egg turner, and two thermometers, and fan. The thermomether and wet thermometer are different temps from all the thermometers I have as back up to this. I have had this running the pre 24 hours before putting in the eggs.I have it in the unusued bathroom, outside temp approx 52-62 fluctuating degrees. The temperature does not stay constant. Now the eggs are in 1-15-2015 , it still jumps from 45% humidity to 75% humidity and I'm still constantly adjusting. The temps are from 93 to 101.9 degrees.

    This is my first attempt in incubation, however, upon reading various sources of information:

    1) Even though the eggs I brought in to the house were only 2 days old before putting in the incubator and still experiencing temp and humidity changes; if they were out with the hens, wouldn't they were be experiencing various temperature changes and it would not be constant?

    2) It's day 3 and the temps and humidity are still jumping back and forth. How would a hen keep a consistent temp and humidity (in a New Mexico dry climate---humidity yeah right LOL) when she has to go and eat and drink and leave the eggs ergo: incubator temperature and humidity changes? I don't know how to determine if any of my hens would go broody.

    3) Since the eggs were put in at day 2, if she was waiting for lets say 8-10 eggs to accumulate before sitting, wouldn't there be fluctuations in temp and humidity, ergo, being in the incubator with the same changes should not affect the hatching of the eggs?

    4: So far I'm not very impressed with this incubator. I called "Incubator warehouse" who makes this thing and he said that temperature variations would not affect the hatchability of the eggs (contrary to every thing I've read on forums and the internet?)

    Just frustrated looking for some opinions and advice.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Incubator Warehouse does not make it, GQF makes it. You can e-mail them at [email protected]

    My guess is that your main problem is the temperature of that bathroom. The heater on an incubator is not tremendously powerful. The recommendation is that the incubator be in a room that is at least 70 degrees so it can keep up. It’s just not made for fluctuating temperatures of 52 to 62 degrees. GQF’s write-up says it can handle temps of 60 but that’s cutting it really close.

    I have a Hovabator 1588 and it has no problems holding a steady temperature but it’s in a room above 70 degrees. In your bathroom it’s not likely to be hit with direct sunlight which can cause problems, but is it where a draft from a vent is hitting it or maybe do you change the temperature in there pretty drastically by opening the door? Any incubator does better if it is in a room with fairly consistent temperatures above 70, is out of drafts, and is not in direct sunlight.

    That incubator has the same type of reservoirs for water as my 1588. What controls humidity is water surface area. How deep the water is does not matter except for how fast that reservoir runs dry. How much time are you giving it to stabilize humidity? If you spill a little water the humidity will spike until that water dries up. Patience may be required on your part.

    There is another part to this. How constant is the moisture content of the air going in? I’ve seen mine vary from 17% to 31% with no water inside at all. With one certain reservoir filled it may vary from around 30% to over 45%. The difference is due to the humidity of the air going in although the temperature of the air going in can play a part too.

    Never blindly trust any instrument, thermometer or hygrometer, unless you know it has been calibrated. I don’t care if it comes from the best incubator company in the world, the ones that come with the incubators just aren’t that reliable, let alone any from other sources. Here are some articles that might help you with that.

    Calibrate a Thermometer
    http://www.allfoodbusiness.com/calibrating_thermometers.php
    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/ThermometerCalibration.html
    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/HygrometerCalibration.html

    We are not chickens or broody hens. Broody hens usually do a better job of incubating eggs than the professionals that may hatch 1,000,000 chicks a week, every week. The ideal condition for a hen is that she lays an egg a day for maybe two weeks before she starts incubating them. That nest should be in the shade so the sun is not heating and cooling them that much, plus if it is on the ground the temperature and humidity level doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much as you might think. Even in a lot of our coops the temperature and humidity in the nest doesn’t fluctuate dramatically, though each coop is different. A broody hen does have some control over humidity too. Some people have put hygrometers under them to check.

    I’ve seen a broody hen come off the nest two times a day and stay off over an hour each time in the heat of summer. In cooler weather once a day for about 15 minutes might be more normal. Broody hens are aware of those things. Instantaneous air temperature isn’t all that important anyway. The egg is a lot denser than the air so it takes it a lot longer to heat up and cool down inside where the chick is than you’d think.

    Incubating eggs is not knew. The ancient Egyptians were doing it in the times of the pharaohs. People have a lot of experience incubating eggs and there have been a lot of studies on what procedures give you the best chance for a successful hatch. It’s still a lot of art instead of science. The professionals using incubators that may hold as many as 120,000 eggs at a time still have to tweak each incubator to get to the maximum hatch rate. The guidelines they have given us give you the best chance of a good hatch, but many of us violate some of those guidelines all the time and usually get a pretty good hatch. The more you violate the guidelines the worse your chances are but the eggs are usually pretty tough. You don’t have to be perfect to get eggs to hatch, but it helps to not wander too far from the guidelines for too long. Just do the best you can and treat the first incubation as a learning curve.

    Good luck!
     
  3. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, that is so informative and will look up those links. I have 4 breeds currently, Black Australorpe, Rhode Island Red, and Silver Wyandotte and Barred Rock. What I've read is that they may NOT go broody as they aren't a typical broody breed? I'm going to wait out 10 days and do the water candeling (my eggs are brown) and see. I may just wait out the 21 days just in case. In New Mexico, the temperature deviates a lot. I think I could add a heat lamp in the bathroom, as I currently have a 65 watt that comes on at 9:00 at night and off at 7:00 in the morning to help w/temps. In spring summer my house deviates from 60 degrees in the am and can go up to 99 degrees during the day inside....Dry heat so it's not the same as back east moist temps.

    Can you refer me to an inexpensive 'AUTOMATIC HEAT AND HUMIDITY" THERMOMETER that automatically adjusts and I could possibly turn off the heat portion and leave the egg turner on?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Please do not do water candling. In my opinion, that procedure should only be done as an emergency when your incubation is running late and you are ready to throw out the eggs.

    It’s not so much that the chicks inside may drown, they shouldn’t be affected at all that way. But you can easily wash off the bloom which can allow bacteria inside the egg. The bloom is a layer the hen puts on the egg as it is laid, that’s why an egg looks wet when she lays it. The bloom quickly dries and helps keep bacteria out. It’s not perfect but it is pretty effective.

    Those breeds will lay brown eggs but they should not be dark enough to cause that much problem candling them. There are a lot of different ways to candle. I usually use a strong LED flashlight with fresh batteries in a pitch dark room and hold the light to the egg. You can build a candler by cutting a hole in cardboard so the egg fits tightly and have the light on the other side. I think there is something in the Learning Center up at the top of this page about how to do that. You should be able to see development in those eggs by candling with a light. There is a learning curve, you get better with practice, so don’t do anything dramatic or drastic based on the results. At seven days in you should be able to see if there is any development.
     
  5. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just used a Relion Digital thermometer (for taking fever temp) and instead of putting in water I put in incubator...That reading showed 101.2 Where as that IncuTerm Thermometer that came with the incubator only shows 99.1 inside arggghhh!!
     
  7. Knigge

    Knigge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 good thermometers and the one on my Little Giant 10300. I keep a spreadsheet of all 3 Temps all humidities and the temp in the room and it averages it out for me. I take readings multiple times a day and adjust but I record them on the spreadsheet 3 times a day and make notes of anything I did as far as water and candeling. Maybe keeping record would help you? It helps me feel better and feel like I'm adjusting Temps well.

    I also candle at day 7, 14 and 18 to see how they are growing. Using a good LED flashlight in a really dark room makes a huge difference. I have some EE green eggs in the Bator and couldn't see in them with a normal flashlight. Used the LED tonight and saw much better.

    I had to adjust my thermostat in the house to a steady 69 degrees. I had it dropping at night but presenting eggs showed a major temp change over night so we keep it steady and that helps. A small space heater in that room might help your Bator a lot.
     
  8. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, thanks.. I keep my house really cool at night. The temps will drop to about 45 sometimes, but it is dry here so it doesn't feel really cold like back east. I sleep like a baby. I put a 100 lamp in the bathroom and kept the door closed. I have the orig. therm/humidity guage and another one in there. They both read different. This am it was 45% humidity, I added maybe 3 tbls and it raised. If I ad more it is too high.

    I wish I could find a unit that is automatic and adjust for me LOL
     
  9. Knigge

    Knigge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too like it colder at night however my incubator doesnt lol so I have to give that up for a bit. These little chirping fluff balls better be worth it [​IMG]
    My humidity goal in the first 18 days is 30-45% but I'm jeering an eye on air cells at 7, 14 and 18 days. On lockdown day I plan to cut sponges and put them like wicks in baby food jars in the corners so I can fill them through the holes with tubing and they will be out of the way for babies. My goal for humidity the last few days is 75-80%
     
  10. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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