Incubator Issues

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JKeiser, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. JKeiser

    JKeiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Hello all,

    I have a dozen eggs due to arrive at my doorstep in the next 4 days. My Hova Bator has been at a steady 99- 100 range for the past few days, but now it is at 96, and I cannot figure out how to raise it accordingly. This is my second attempt at hatching eggs myself. I have the water trough filled as well. Please help me steady this temp!

    Thanks,

    JK
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Make sure the place where the incy is has a steady temp. I have piled towels around the sides to add insulation. Try putting another thermometer or two in there. IMO thermometers are notorious for being inaccurate.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    First is location. Do you have it where it is getting hit with air from a vent, maybe in direct sunlight (I doubt this one with your specific problem), or is it where opening an outside door can change the temperature? It needs to be where the room temperature is stable.

    What is the room temperature? The recommendations are that it be in room at least 70* Fahrenheit. I've used my Hovabaor 1588 in a room that the temperature was in the mid-60's and it worked, but maybe I was lucky.

    Is the lid on tight? Along those lines, is it plugged in? Have you tripped a circuit breaker where it is not getting power? My wife used to work on computers at a school. The first steps if a computer was not working was to see if it was plugged in, getting power, and turned on. Checking out basic things saved her a lot of aggravation. You did not mention how long it has been at 96. Is it still dropping or has it stabilized there?

    I hate those dip switches on mine. They are a pain to work with. Have you tried toggling the dip switches. If it is like mine, number 4 should be on and the rest off. It's possible in taking the lid off and on, that dip switch got jarred out of position. I know it should not happen, but.......

    Did you just put cold water in there? It takes a while to warm back up. Air temperature should warm back up a lot faster than water temperature, so I doubt that is it, but maybe give it a bit of time?

    Have you had to use those dip switches to reset the temperature? When I have a short power failure, mine seems to go back to factory default, which is about a half degree too high.

    Now a basic question, Have you calibrated your thermometer and how much do you trust your thermometer? Certainly do not trust the thermometer that came with it. You need a good one. I think a whole lot of temperature problems with incubators are thermometer problems much more than thermostat or incubator problems.

    Just a few thoughts off the top of my head to get the conversation started. I don't mean to insult your intelligence with some of them, but sometimes the basic things are right in front of you. I like simple solutions.
     
  4. JKeiser

    JKeiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, Just checked the bator, back up to 98. Let me make a list of bullet points so we are all in the same page:

    - I have 3 thermometers in there, one is super fancy and ready 100% accurate. I rely on this the most.
    - The bator is in our Mudroom ( which is adjacent to a door leading to the porch.)
    - It lies on top of a sink, perhaps that is what could have caused the sudden drop in temperature?
    - My biggest concern is when I have to either turn the eggs or add more water for humidity. I am worried that it will become much too cool, and the eggs will die.

    Can someone tell me more about the blanket idea? Do I just wrap it around the bator??


    -JK
     
  5. mothrhen

    mothrhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stupid question, what's a dip switch? I'm starting my hatch in 2 weeks and I'm not setting up the incubator until next week so, I'm not totally familiar with all of the parts yet.
     
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I keep mine in a closet. No drafts. Probably with it being the mudroom, by a door it is catching a draft. I would move it. Opening an incubator is not a bad thing until the last 3 days. Think about it this way, a hen gets off the eggs everyday to poo, eat, drink, and they still hatch the eggs. I actually just started to open mine up every other day to let fresh air in. Oh one more thing.......
    [​IMG] Michele
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Dip switches are the controls you use to program certain incubators. If you look at the top right of this link, you'll see them. They re either on or off. I don't know about current computers, but dip switches were pretty standard internally on older model computers. That's where I first met them.

    http://www.gqfmfg.com/pdf/1588 WIDE RANGE ADJUSTMENT.pdf

    When I first got my 1588, I tried to set it up in an attached garage. I could not get it to stabilize temperature. Every time I opened the outside door, the temperature would drop. I moved it to a spare bedroom and it worked fine. I don't know why yours being on a sink would cause a problem, but I'd be real suspicious of that outside door. If you can at all, I'd move it to a spare room or spare bathroom, somewhere the temperature is pretty constant.

    Don't sweat it about opening the incubator to turn eggs or add water. The interior of the egg is pretty dense. While the air temperature may vary, the internal temperature inside the egg will be real slow to change. The air temperature can fluctuate but as long as it does not stay high or low too long, the inside of the egg will not change temperature. I've seen broodies stay off their eggs for over an hour when they take their daily constitutional in the middle of summer. In cooler weather they stay off for a lot less, but they still take time to eat, drink, and relieve themselves. Your eggs will be fine when you turn them or add water. Just don't get ridiculous about how long the incubator is open.

    Humidity is much the same way. You are worried about average humidity over the entire incubation, not an instantaneous humidity. If it spikes or drops momentarily, no big deal. It is the average that counts.
     
  8. mothrhen

    mothrhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Ridgerunner. That's all good info to know.
     

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