Informatiom required from experienced hatchers

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by draag80, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi. I have a question that I want to ask to experienced members. Suppose I place eggs in incubator and on day 2, I fail to turn the eggs for 24 hours due to.....well some reason. What affect should it have on the hatch results??
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The eggs should be fine as long as you turn them regularly (2-3 times a day) for the rest of the incubation period. Best of luck!
     
  3. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Actually I got really poor results from one of my incubators recently. The other two gave almost 90%-100% result which I imported from china and have digital control and have auto turner every two hours.

    The one under discussion gave so poor results that I have to know the reason so that I can make modifications. I made it at home using local materials. It does not have an auto turner and has manual thermostat which has a variation of 0.5 degree celcius. Say turns heat on at 37 and turns off at 37.5. I have bulbs for heating. I have a fan which turns on with the heat and vice versa.

    According to my limited experience, the following factors could have contributed to poor hatch results.

    1- lack of auto turner. Means I have to open the incubator slide the egg tray out and turn around 100 eggs which takes a good 10 mins. The eggs loose heat and humidity.

    2- the fan turns on only with the heat and turns off with the heat which results in poor circulation.

    3- the thermostat has variation of 0.5 degree.

    Please share ur opinion in this regars and guide me to make this a better incubator.

    Heres a pic

    [​IMG]
     
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hopefully someone else with experience in homemade incubators will chime in. It doesn't seem like that would be much different from the Little Giant styrofoam incubators...they're still air and need to be opened to turn the eggs a few times a day. Those can still have decent hatch rates - although, sometimes they don't.

    What was your hatch rate on this one?
     
  5. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    25 out of 78. A few chicks were not healthy. Two of them have died. The rest were very weak and I had to hand feed them. Seems stable now.

    I got 100 chicks from the other two incubators which have capacity of 56 each. All are healthy.

    Last year also it gave same results with many chicks having leg problems.

    I want to get to the core of the problem. I think may be the heat of the bulbs suddenly getting on and off is not good for the eggs. Heat source shd be constant.
     
  6. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those problems are definitely associated with temp and humidity issues. I think you're probably right about the bulbs going off and on - that temp may actually be dipping below what you think before heating back up. Then the constant opening may cause the temp to drop for more time, too.

    Were they late hatching?
     
  7. Selga

    Selga Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2016
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    I have an old homemade incubator - the pics attached. No problems with bulbs going on and off. (I incubate still air, have not used the fan.) The thermostat resolution is 0.1 degree C which I think is a must. I have set the span to 1 degree C, so it turns the bulbs off at approx. 39.0 and turns on at approx. 38.0 The bulbs are 25W each. However, I put a medical thermometer on the top of the the eggs and adjust the thermostat according to reading of the medical thermometer. I hand turn and open the bator 3x times a day, sometimes it is open for half and hour... no problems ever, and I open the bator to take out chicks at hatchtime. However, if you use fan and live in a dry climate, it could be a problem. Humidity 30-35%, but I watch the air cells. Hatch rates are about 75-83%, which is not ideal, but I am happy with it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    1- lack of auto turner. Means I have to open the incubator slide the egg tray out and turn around 100 eggs which takes a good 10 mins. The eggs loose heat and humidity.

    That by itself would not bother me. A broody hen will often stay off her nest for over an hour in warm weather when she takes her daily constitutional. Even in pretty cold weather she might be off 15 minutes at a time. Instantaneous heat or humidity in those ranges isn’t very important, it’s average heat and humidity (moisture loss) over the incubation period. The egg is pretty dense. It takes quite a while for the change in air temperature to affect the interior of the egg.

    2- the fan turns on only with the heat and turns off with the heat which results in poor circulation.

    This could be an issue, especially in a tall incubator with trays at different elevations. Warm air rises. When the fan’s off you may be getting quite a bit of temperature difference in the top and bottom of your incubator. In homemade incubators especially you can easily get some protected spots that may not be getting the full benefit of the air circulation. I’d certainly want the fan on at all times and take the temperature at different spots and elevations to assure the fan is doing its job and keeping the temperature constant throughout.

    3- the thermostat has variation of 0.5 degree.

    This may or may not be an issue. A lot will depend on where the thermostat is in relationship to the heating bulbs. If the thermostat is too far away, you may get quite a bit of heating or cooling in parts of the incubator before it kicks on or off, especially if that fan is not blowing. I can’t remember what the potential problems are if it is too close. I don’t know what the optimum distance is with yours but I suggest checking temps at different places to see how it’s doing.
     
  9. gpop1

    gpop1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never like to see a mercury style thermometer layed side ways. Have you tested a diffrent thermometer to ensure the temp is correct.
     
  10. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    1 - Not really an issue but an auto turner would greatly help. Studies have shown that the more frequently the eggs are turned the better they hatch. Turning eggs is more important early in the incubating cycle than it is towards the end. The old cabinet incubators were set to turn the trays every 3 hours. The new cabinet incubators are set to turn the trays every hour.

    2 - Critical error. The fan has to be on all the time. You can correct this by tapping into positive power line before the controller and bypassing the controller with the neutral return line or by providing it with its own power circuit.

    3 - Not a serious issue and may improve once the fan is no longer controlled by thermostat.

    Good luck.
     

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