Little Giant Circulated Air with Egg Turner temp distribution

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by NDakota Boys, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. NDakota Boys

    NDakota Boys New Egg

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    Looking for a little feedback here on people experience with temp distribution. I am an electrical engineer that works at a company with a fairly sophisticated test facility. Because of past results with egg hatching I was curious about the stability and temp distribution of my incubators (Qty 3). Right now I have all three fully loaded with eggs and utilize the 8 top vent holes to insert a K type thermal couple multipoint calibrated to +/- 0.2 degrees. At 99.5 degrees for instance most of my thermal couples are around 0.8 degrees high. The instrument I use to calibration the thermal couples is a Omega Heat Dwell so I am absolutely confident in my +/- degree accuracy. Now the interesting thing here is how many references I find on the internet on the critical nature of temp on egg incubation. I do not disagree but wonder how on earth this is #1 measured and #2 maintained so accurately. For example, I note the the position of the egg turner can effect the top most surface temp of the eggs in the incubator by as much as 3 degrees. I try and maintain the position of the plastic sheet with the thermal probe and humidity sensor in the exact center of the incubator which is difficult with the egg turner slowly shifting its position. I have also notice a fairly large temp stratification from top most of the incubators to the bottom by as much as 11 degrees. The most concerning however is the temp distribution of the average mid point of the egg in any given location from the front of the incubator to the back - I'll call the back the end the heater/fan assembly further sits toward and front the end closest to the control panel. The "front" meaning the end close to by tummy when I look at the display will average at mid egg level around 95 degrees and the back 101. I am very concerned that my hatch rate on the eggs on the "front" end will be lower than the back. I took enough data on all three utilizing store bought eggs that I was confident the 99.5 setting on the digital display gave me the best average temp and after loading my eggs I plan on leaving the covers on until lock down other than peaking them open to adjust the plastic sheet position with the temp/humidity sensor. To maintain humidity between 50 and 60% I have installed plastic tubing and inject water with a large syringe which is working well. I plan on documenting my findings with a series of youtube videos to help discussion on this subject. If my hatch rate this go around is not better than 50 - 75% I can only guess its the temp distribution issues I am documenting is root cause for my continual fertility audits of my eggs are 100%, I have honestly not found an unfertilized egg in a very very long time. If my hatch rate is greatly improved based upon my not removing the cover for candling and water adding I would say everyone's concern on temperature are incorrect. My grandmother showed me how they incubated eggs as a child and the unit they uses in the 30's used a candle in a box................. I just can't imagine how this worked with any degree of accuracy in comparison to the little giant units I have in my basement - free of drafts, at a constant 72F room temp and 45% room humidity.

    I would love to hear what others have observed and what they think because I know I have at least 15 eggs in each incubator that if I were to insert a probe into the egg itself and measure the fluid temp over the entire incubation period it would likely average 94 to 95 degrees which from what I can tell from experienced incubator comments = total failure, way too cold.

    thoughts everyone? I love this website and all the shared info

    john and the boys
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Temp is very important, yes, but eggs can cool for a while each day with no harm. Hens for example get off the eggs each day for a half hour to eat, drink, and poop, so eggs have to be able to deal with this. Eggs also cool down internally much slower than the air around them cools. You can put a water wiggler toy in your incubator and stick a probe thermometer in it to see what the internal temps of the eggs are and you will see that if you open your incubator, while the air temp drops rapidly, the internal temp of the egg does not.

    So while temp is definitely important, eggs can take short periods of cooling each day with no ill effects. For some species like geese doing this is actually beneficial and results in a better hatch rate.

    Where you run into problems is when your temp is too low for a sustained time. For example if it was at 97 degrees the whole time instead of 99.5 the eggs might not develop at all or at the very least will hatch late. Too hot and you'll have an early hatch, have chicks that are too large to hatch on their own, or heat the egg's internal temp up to 104 degrees or higher and the embryo will overheat and die.
     
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  3. NDakota Boys

    NDakota Boys New Egg

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    So my follow-up would be specifically related to the little giant circulated air incubator with egg turner. Given the first response to this post raises no alarms with my observations I wonder if the design and placement of the heater/fan unit and the probe design and the plastic sheet targets the optimal set up for a small incubator unit given Little Giants long history with the poultry market. I would wonder with this particular design set at 99.5 degrees with high quality eggs and careful humidity control if it is possible to achieve a 100% hatch or at least a random distribution hatch based upon egg location in the incubator. Being I am an engineer I am already planning to design my own incubator to ensure each and every egg in the turner has nearly the same environmental conditions which is obviously not the case with these untis. However if these units if used correctly are just as good I don't want to solve a problem that doesn't need to be solved and go back to other root causes - what ever they might be.

    In summary what should my expectations be with these incubators? I am stuck on this while I wait for my hatch - now at day 9 - because so many posts reference temp as being so critical and I have proven to myself these units are not +/- 0.5 degrees. They are more like +/- at the very min 5 degrees. I realize this is the air temp and not the fluid temp of the eggs which could be less so after my hatch I plan on actually instrumenting 8 store bought eggs filling the entire incubator and running it for several days to see how much the fluid temp of the egg varies based upon egg location, egg turner angle, humidity percent and anything else that might effect the temp of the developing embryo.


    John and the boys
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    I will say that I have two Little Giants and I really, really hate them. Never use them since I upgraded to my Brinseas. They are awful at holding a stable temperature. I would think the ones that come with the fan built in may not have a large enough fan to properly circulate the air so that would explain hot and cold spots. I have still air versions and made them forced air by installing computer fans, and while those were large enough to create a stable temperature throughout, the incubator itself was still prone to random highs and lows. Plus, the turner motor actually puts off heat as well, sometimes even enough that it raises the temp inside the incubator by a degree or two, and so there's likely to be a hot spot near it.

    So to summarize, I find Little Giants to be very unreliable and I won't use them. Mine used to kill nearly everything I ever tried to incubate in them. When incubating the whole way through in them the hatch rates were abysmal. I had some success using one as just a hatcher, but even then I never fully trusted it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
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  5. NDakota Boys

    NDakota Boys New Egg

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    Mar 8, 2017
    I'm curious if anyone viewing can comment on success rates and observations with the circulated air Little Giant?
     
  6. NDakota Boys

    NDakota Boys New Egg

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    I found this link that provides some interesting data from some foam incubators that include the circulated Little Giant unit that I have. I also found some good analysis from someone that took careful note of egg location on their Brinsea incubator and they showed a very interesting hatch rate percentage based upon egg location in the Brinsea and it looks like an identical map to the temp differences I am seeing in the LG units I have. Basically that the corners are bad, center is ok, sides and topmost/back great. The only difference I see is the LG circulated air units other than the corners looking very bad the first row "the row on the controller end - is very bad. I will have to see how the hatch rate in my three based upon egg location fair starting March 21st when my eggs will start hatching - or theoretically start hatching. I hope.......... about 10 years ago I was given a dozen turkey eggs and went out and bought a still air LG for my boys and just used the alcohol thermometer that came with the unit and they boys opened the unit up 3 times a day to turn the eggs which laid on their side. When the eggs started to hatch we totally had the cover off most of the time to watch them and as I remember all but a couple hatched. We tried our best to keep water in the tray but never monitored humidity. I wonder if 41 eggs in the turning rack are just too many eggs and that putting a dozen all in the middle of a still air are better than putting 41 in an egg turner? - maybe because its more like a nest? and keeps eggs out of the bad "zones" and opening and closing and turning the eggs is more natural? Just seems there should be a standard process and procedure but everyone has their own theories. Why put an egg in an incubator in a location that will likely not produce a chick? I wonder if its better to block out the egg locations on the turner and just never put eggs in those spots.

    Unless someone can tell me that an LG circulated air unit should "if used correctly" and "with good eggs" produce a high quality hatch rate.

    Link I found with some temp distribution data:

    http://quackershomepage.tripod.com/~QuackersHomePage/incubator/batortest.html
     
  7. NDakota Boys

    NDakota Boys New Egg

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    Saturday night I put the first incubator on lockdown and candled each as I removed them from the turner. I have 16 of 40 with live chicks. Now this actually exceeds my expectations being they are all shipped Ebay eggs but the thing to note is the center and top is where most of the live chicks are located. Of the 24, 6 have blood rings and the remaining are clear. I am going to crack each tonight and determine fertility. I think wednesday of this week my second incubator will be ready for lockdown and I suspect very poor results on the first two rows. Based upon countless measurements it appears these incubators have a couple flaws in the design. I will reserve my final assessment after my hatch is complete.
     
  8. 1cock2hens

    1cock2hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. NDakota Boys

    NDakota Boys New Egg

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    Mar 8, 2017
    thanks!!!
     
  10. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm assuming you have a 10300 or 11300.

    Hatch rates can be decent but these bators take a lot of watching.

    The off set heater can create hot/cold spots of up to 6 degrees in the respective corners.

    50 percent humidity for me is to high I incubate between no less than 20 to 35 percent humidity. If I go much over I have a lot of formed but dead chicks.

    The plastic sheet is a pain while turning eggs a small movement will change the temp in the bator. The end of the probe is stiff and bendable. I removed mine from the sheet. Bunched the wire in with the other wires and zip tied it. Then I can place the probe at the top of the eggs where I want it below the heat unit. It eliminated the sheet moving and probe is stable.

    To get the correct temp I had to set the bator temp to 103.5 to get 99.5.

    Don't trust the humidity gauge in the bator. Mine reads 40 to 50 humidity. Whether it's dry or full of water.

    I don't incubate in mine anymore. Bought a cabinet. Might use as a hatcher but doubt it.

    Think I did get a couple 80 percent hatches. But most were 50 or less. With eggs hatching from day 19 to day 24.

    One other thing to even temp from front to back rotate the lid 180 degrees. So you alter the hot and cooler sides due to heater placement
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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