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Little Giant Incubator Tips?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chicksgalore, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. chicksgalore

    chicksgalore Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    I'm getting ready to start my first incubation of the year with my Little Giant incubator and I haven't had much success in the past. I don't have an auto. egg turner so I've manually turned the eggs 2 and 3 times a day in the past (up to day 18 of course). Does opening the bator mess with the humidity too much that way? I know people who have better hatches doing it with a cardboard box and a lightbulb so I can't figure out what I do wrong! Maybe I just mess with stuff too much?

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any tips from those with more experience or from those who use the Little Giant successfully (without auto. egg turner) like exactly what temp./humidity you keep and how many times you turn the eggs. Thanks!!

  2. Crazed Chicken Lass

    Crazed Chicken Lass In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2009
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Hello....I am using a little giant incubator without and egg turner.

    This is my first hatch, due in 4 days, so we'll have to see how it goes.

    So far, I've had to pull 5 out of 36 eggs....one wasn't fertilized, one had a meat spot, and three were quitters (day 2, day 5 and day 14-ish).

    I did have a major power failure, and was without power for 16 hours on days 14/15. You can read my other post if you want, to see how I coped with it.

    This is my last day to turn the eggs. Temp is holding at 100 degrees and humidity at 55%.

    Here's what I think you should do:

    1. Choose a room with for your incubator that is not drafty, and holds a constant, steady temperature. You would be surprised how this can effect your 'bator.

    2. Make sure you have a thermometor you can see clearly through the window. The thermometor should be level with your eggs.

    3. Make sure you have a humidity gauge. I am using a small one my hubby got at the music store for his guitar.

    4. Test run your 'bator for at least 6-8 hours and make adjustments until it is holding at 100 degrees.

    5. Check your temp and humidity every time you turn your eggs, before opening the 'bator. If your temp is a degree or two off, make a SMALL adjustment on the dial. Just a hair at a time.

    6. Add 1/4 cup very warm water ONCE A DAY to the rectangular reservoir in the bottom of the 'bator. This has been suffucient for me to hold humidity.

    7. Take out the red plugs on the top of the bator, so air can move through it a bit. I am going to put my plugs back in tonight when I prepare to raise my humidity for the hatch. I will add more water to the rectangular reservoir AND to each channel-type reservoir on the sides of it. I will also add a wet sponge or wet paper towels, under one of the red plugs. I WILL NOT open the 'bator after my final turning tonight. If I need to add more water, I can do so by removing the plug over the sponge, take a straw and a tall glass of WARM water, Place straw in water to fill and cover with finger to hold. Then drop it in the hole onto the sponge and replace the plug.

    8. I have been turning my eggs 3 times a day, as close to 8 hour intervals as possible: 8am, 4pm and 12a (approximate). I made an egg turning chart I keep posted above the 'bator and write down the time when I turn them.

    9. I am a curious lass, so I did candle a few times. I would wait until night, turn out all the light sources in the room the 'bator was in and remove one egg at a time, closing the 'bator to keep the rest warm. I would only keep it out for a minute or two at most.

    Best of luck to you....I hope this helps![​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  3. the_eagle69

    the_eagle69 Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    Far SW VA
    Not really answering your question but i have great luck with the LG's and i dont sugest useing one with out a truner. they run about 44 to 50 dollars and is a lot cheper than running the bator and not haveing any luck. Two hatches would more than pay for the truner.
  4. the_eagle69

    the_eagle69 Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    Far SW VA
    Great post Chicken lass only thing i might do diff is i take out one plug and on day 18 i take out the other and add extria water (spong or paper towles) they need the air flow.
  5. mom2fourbebes

    mom2fourbebes In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2008
    I have an LG still air and I'm using it with a turner. I'm on day 12. Started with 20 Silkie eggs...I dropped one when candling at day 4 I think...

    I thought only 9 were viable but I have 10 viable...the others were either unfertile or just duds...

    10 are just dark masses with the larger end of the egg showing the air pocket you hear about...not sure what the dark mass is but i'm hoping for the best...hope that's the chicks...as I don't see any veins...I saw veins at day 4 in some but I didn't mark the eggs because I AM A GENIUS [​IMG]

    My humidity has held steady around 40-50 with just a sponge...I haven't filled the wells...but good idea about the straw through the vent holes to add water...I will keep that in mind when it comes time to raise the humidity....

    I most likely will be selling this LG incubator and turner after this incubation....too stressful....besides, Chick days are here at some Orschelin's in Missouri!!!...and pretty soon Tractor and Supply should get their chicks too!! Oh man, am I in trouble!!!
  6. chicksgalore

    chicksgalore Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    Thanks for all the info. I sure hope this year's hatches are more promising. Chicken Lass, what are you getting your humidity up to the last 3 days?
  7. Fox

    Fox Songster

    Nov 4, 2008
    South Carolina
    Quote:I hatched in a box, and had great luck. I tried hatching in the Little Giant without a turner and had 1 out of 7 hatch. I was so disappointed. The rest died within days of the hatch and I don't know why. Now I have a turner and we are trying that as well as measuring the temps at the top of the eggs and keeping it at the suggested, higher temp of 102 (at the top of the egg) and it runs about 100.6-100.9 at the lower tray level... where the egg would rest. Our humidity is in the mid 40's to low 50's. We have one plug in, one plug out. I will know how it goes by the end of the month... I have 30 eggs in. They say if you have a lot of eggs a little higher temp is good in a still air... last time we tried to keep it close to 99.9 and that was not a good hatch, so I trying this way and hoping for the best. I wish you better luck than I had on my first LG hatch! It made me want to go back to my box!!

    Happy Hatching!
    John Long likes this.

  8. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Songster

    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    I just completed my very first hatch about 24 hours ago with Ducks! 9 out of 9 pipped, 8 out of 9 hatched! One pipped but died the next day. I have the LG still air, with no turner and it worked great!

    These are a few important things no one told me about the LG:
    1. The back of the incubator gets less heat so the eggs develop slower. If possible rotate the rows when you turn them.
    2. If your temp is consistent for weeks or days then spikes a few degrees higher double check the humidity! Once you regulate the LG to the desired temperature you should never have to adjust the temp. Even when you add the eggs or water it will eventually come to room temp (although it will take hours to do).

    The humidity was impossible to get above 50% with the water rings alone so I added wash cloths to the front and back, and cups of water on the side. Id mist the wash cloths when they got dry. The cups and rings I only had to add water to once the entire time. No matter if the red plugs are open or not mine still kept the same temp and humidity. I kept one open the entire time, and one closed. My LG seemed to hold the same consistent temp the entire time no matter what the weather was. My room where I incubated them isn't the most stable temperature (April weather in Illinois does that for you, one minute its a blizzard the next its 70 degrees out) but it never effected the LG's temp.

    Good luck, I cant wait to hear about your hatch!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  9. lakeshorenc

    lakeshorenc Songster

    Jan 14, 2009
    Lake Waccamaw NC
    I had a great hatch in my LG with no turner or fan. First I threw the thermometer away that comes with the LG and bought a Accurite Humid/temperature guage. I turned mine 5 times a day (7am,10,1,4,7) kept the temp at about 100.5-101, I did have a few dips to 94-98 at night. Humidity 45-50% first 18 days then 63-70% last 3 days. On day 18 I filled the reservoirs to the top, added the shelf liner, put the eggs in paper cartons I had cut down(eggs big end up) added sponges under the vent hole so I could raise the humidity if needed with out opening the bator. Out of 20, 17 hatched. 1 was infertile, 1 was a quitter and 1 died after pipping.
    John Long likes this.
  10. Hooey

    Hooey Hatching

    Jun 7, 2017
    I have a LG incubator(the incubator at tractor supply)I'm 3 days from my 21st day mark. My temperature is at 93.0 and humidity is at 56%. I know I can't open the incubator at this point but what can I do my second batch to maintain that humidity and temperature level? Soon after these hatch I will be hatching out turkey and duck eggs(yes I have the self egg turner in my incubator) what do I need to do to get ready for these up coming eggs ?

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