Incubator questions and concerns.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Our Roost, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay gang! We are buying an incubator for the first time and need to get the skinny on using one so we dont fail in the process. We both know that there are umpteen million different brands and do it yourself makes out there to be used. Depending on how many eggs you wish to hatch, there is pretty much something out there for everyone. We found that the review section of product listings and on the BYC forum people had mixed concerns and issues regardless of the product uses or cost coming from those that have used them. Tons of love, like, and dont like or hate it being displayed.
    Finding a "Set it and forget it" model was all we thought was needed to hatch eggs! Ha Ha! Even a model with all the bells and whistles has work and possible updates and changes needed done to the unit to get it functioning properly. More complex than we anticipated! A good broody hen can make life so much easier.
    I think we have found a model that is as close to the "Set it and forget it " mode and at a reasonable cost for what it offers feature wise. That being said, there are guidelines for hatching eggs that are a must for good success. These are what we need to learn and need input on!
    Thermometer and heat settings coupled with humidity and hygrometers, egg turning and so much more are just a few things an incubator has the ability to do if you acquired it with those features and functions. Everything kaput if these dont function properly! Check, check, and recheck.
    I pose the question of just what is the proper heat setting, the right humiduty, and how often do you turn eggs? What else is needed besides patience?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    What model did you get or plan on getting?

    If hatching under 40 eggs, I recommend the Hovabator Genesis 1588 It is pretty much set it and forget it. I do recommend checking to ensure your turner is operating properly. I dry incubate until they internally pip, but that requires more work in the end than just 'locking down' on day 18. So depending on the humidity in your house (if it is extremely low, I'd recommend adding a touch of water during incubation), but otherwise just let it be. Plug it in, put the eggs in the turner, candle at day 10 if you wish, and again on day 18. On day 18, remove the turner: fill up the troughs in the incubator and lock down, which really means just don't open the incubator until your chicks have hatched. This can cause shrink wrapping.

    I find the Genesis fool proof pretty much :) Plus it has a big picture window so you can watch them hatch!!
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Temp is 99.5F. If you have a model with a turner then it turns slowly all the time. I turn manually twice a day, morning before work and at night after dinner. As for humidity you'll get all sorts of answers and one of the reasons is there are all sorts of climates and heating systems in homes. If your house is dry then your going to need to run more humidity in your incubator. I have a humidifier in house during heating months. That said I run my incubator 30-35%. Let it get to 40% and then dry out. When candling on day 10 note the air sac and if too large up humidity, if small then lower it. Then candle again day 15 to see how things are going. On day 18 you stop turning eggs and get humidity up enough for hatching. I like to run 50% knowing as they hatch the humidity will spike up. If humidity get's past 60% I open lid quickly to release the vapor. I know, some say that's a big no no. Oh well, chicks hatch better in lower humidity than wet. Humidity is important but too wet is bad in my experience.
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Anyone know exactly what humidity a broody hen would provide? I'd like to know :)
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'm on my first hatch too.....one of the things I made sure to check was that any of thermometers and hygrometers are correct by testing them against a known criteria.

    I used a candy thermometer tested in boiling water and noted how far off 212 degrees it was.
    Then put the candy thermometer and 3 others in the incubator and compared them all, noting any differences.
    I made a chart noting all temps and made notes about if this one reads this temp it is actually that temp.

    Hygrometers can be tested by putting 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup water in a dish or jar and mixing it to a slurry.
    Put the salt slurry jar and the hygrometer next to each other in a sealed plastic bag.
    After 8-12 hours the hygrometer should read 75%...again note and differences and you're set.


    I turned on and ran the incubator, watching several thermometers and hygrometers for 48 hours, to get to 100 degrees before setting any eggs.
    I didn't touch the thermostat for 24 hours, until the temp had stabilized from adding the eggs.


    Good Luck Have Fun!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Wonders if a broody would sit on a hygrometer for you? :)
     
  7. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What model did you get or plan on getting?



    If hatching under 40 eggs, I recommend the Hovabator Genesis 1588 It is pretty much set it and forget it.

    Iam getting a Pro series model 4200. Price is right and so are the features.
     
  8. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    aoxa! How dare you pose that question in regards to a broody hen. Their hatches arent perfect either! Haha.
     
  9. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    aart, Good points you made about thermometer and hygrometer. Inaccurate readings were the biggest complaint of products ineficiency. How do you know the one you are replacing it with is good or bad?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Not so much good or bad, just knowing what the numbers really mean.

    All 4 thermometers and 2 hygrometers I checked were 'off', even the candy thermometer I started with....thus the notes I took and made a chart to cross reference easily and quickly.
     

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