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LAB INCUBATOR IS SET UP BUT... HUMIDITY IS HIGH! Help me!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DAVE07, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. DAVE07

    DAVE07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Melbourne
    Hey all. Greetings from Australia..

    I have just been luckily given a lab incubator (water jacketed) it holds the temperature really really well at a stable 37.8 degrees. This is the model I was given http://www.thermoscientific.com/ecomm/servlet/productsdetail?productId=11962287&groupType=PRODUCT&searchType=0&storeId=11152

    This
    is my first ever attempt at hatching eggs

    My only concern is the humidity within the incubator. The water pan that come with the incubator is designed to run 95% humidity. To combat this I got a new pan and reduced it in size by 3/4. I made my own wet bulb thermometer and it is saying that humidity is still running at 86%!

    Should I remove the water pan all together? as I belieive that this incubatior already draws air from outside which already has humidity in it? Has anyone had success with these? In melbourne.. outside humidity is approx 70- 80% I believe.

    I dont really want to drill through the glass door to create ventilation ports. I dont think I can even if I wanted too..

    I've read through previous posts on here where people have considered using these types of incubators however I could not find any results on hatching.. tips or tricks on how to improve these

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! you can hit me up directly on [email protected] if easier.

    Many thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    You might need to go without water to get humidity down to an acceptable level.

    Reducing surface area will lower humidity. You cna put something in the pan to take up space and lower the surface area. A small bowl maybe, rocks, blocks, most anything to take up space.



    Good luck
     
  3. DAVE07

    DAVE07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Melbourne
    hey there, I reduced the surface area of the water drastically (almost by 80% now)
    however it seems that the humidity in the incubator is remaining the same. My incubator is set to 37.8 degrees celsius and my wet bulb is reading approximately 36 degrees celsius. I think my wet bulb thermometer is right, but I'm doubting everything now. There is air circulating lightly in the incubator via a fan which sucks up air from outside, I touched the eggs and side walls of the incubator. They feel dry. So i dont know why the wet bulb reading is so high.

    Out of frustration this morning I removed the water all together and left it dry. p.s I'm on Day 3.

    Anyone out there that could assist? put forth their views. Not sure if I mentioned it last time, I live in Melbourne, Australia. We're in spring time at the moment here.
     
  4. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2011
    Biloxi, MS
    Have you weighed your eggs? You're having such issues that I would strongly recommend it, so that you can watch to be sure you stay on track to lose about 13% by weight by day 18.

    I understand that you've removed the water now, but check and make sure you don't have a puddle or some condensation somewhere. Also, although I can't imagine your wet bulb being that far off ... You might want to do the salt calibration, just to ease your mind. Put 1/4cup or so of non-iodized salt in a bowl with enough water to bring it to wet sand consistency. Package the bowl and the wet bulb in a ziplock bag or some appropriately small contained area, and keep it sealed for 6-12 hours. The humidity should then be registering at 75%.

    I wish I had another suggestion for you. I can feel your frustration from the opposite side of the world.
     
  5. DAVE07

    DAVE07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Melbourne
    I'll definately calibrate it to be 110% but I think it's pretty spot on. I also purchased one off ebay to be sure. I did the mistake of not wieghing the eggs prior to putting them in the incubator. Will I harm them if I take them out now to wiegh them, is it pointless at day 4?

    As it is a lab incubator I cannot open up any vents. I wonder is there anyone out there who has had experience with a lab incubator in hatching chickens in the past?
     
  6. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2011
    Biloxi, MS
    Sorry - just woke back up.

    I think, if your humidity has been as high as you think it has been, you've probably had extremely negligible water loss in the past four days incubating - and that's what you're weighing for. You can bring them out for a few minutes to weigh them - Mama hens do get up to eat and drink and take a poo sometimes. When they don't take a poo in place, you know. (ugh!)

    If you'd feel better about it, pop a bathtowel in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and see if it's warm to the touch, and nestle the eggs in there while you weigh them each. You can weigh en masse, but then if you have quitters later you're going to have to adjust for those (and if one of those explodes, you're going to wind up making an educated guess about how much that egg weighed).

    I wish I had any experience at all with a lab incubator to lend you.
     
  7. DAVE07

    DAVE07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Melbourne
    Thats some good advice! Thanks I'll try it out [​IMG]

    Still wish I could get in contact with somone who has actually used one of these types of incubators. There seems to be alot of forums mentioning that they have started / considered using these but no one has actually reported results.

    Help soothe an obsessed guys nerves! haha
     
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'm sorry no one is coming forward that has used this machine. I know how you feel: when I made my own, others could offer suggestions, and I had to do the doing and accessing the effect.

    My first thought was buy a cheap humidity reader; we have many choices available at our huge stores. I find the % relative humidity easier and large numbers easier to read! LOL

    I'm betting because this is well made that there are no air leaks only purposeful ventilation holes. So your system maybe like my Little Giant, which is cheap, and holds the humidity very well, so well that when I follow instructions to fill the 2 wells the %RH soars! I emptied the wells and had 40-45%RH with dry wells! SOme days the weather changed drier or rainier and then the incubator would also alter.

    What is the ambient %RH ? You maybe ok with out the added water. And try to find a RH meter--ball park numbers are ok. The real key is to check for the size of the air cell if you are not able to weigh the eggs. Google " Size of air cell on 7th, 14th" should give you several diagrams to compare to your eggs. GL
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I've only used that kind of incubator to grow murine cells at 95% humidity and 5% co2. [​IMG]

    I would say that you should remove the water tray all together and do a few hatch runs to find out what works for your set up. All incubators require some tweaking, even pre set ones.... I do not measure humidity myself and hatch fine!
     
  10. DAVE07

    DAVE07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Melbourne
    Haha.. the machine would work great for cells.. yet to be determined for Chicken Eggs. On day 5 so a few more days and I'll have my first shot at Candling eggs. That will be my weekend project!

    Yes all the water has been removed. I kept a small glass of water in there overnight with a wet bulb thermometer in it to see if humidity has dropped but it seems to have remained at virtually the same level.

    The unit has a HEPA filter which is hooked up to a fan and circulates air flow. I removed the filter so it doesnt baffle the air flow as much in the hope that the more air circulating would reduce humidity. Not much luck here. I did notice the temperature increase though on the thermometer where eggs were held. The incubator holds steady at 37.7 degrees where as the eggs where at 38.4 degrees celsius this morning.

    Its a fun game.. for the patient! I'll see how I go with this incubator. Another thing I need to consider is power consumption. Apparently these bad boys really love sucking electricity. Long run its probably worth while purchasing a purpose built incubator for hatching.

    I've seen really good reviews on the R COM 20 / 50.. but am sitting on the sidelines for now.
     

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