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Little Giant Incubator Tricks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jabowery, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I installed fans in my still air incubators. I think the because of the air being circulated, the temperature stays more even throughout the incubator. There is only 2 ways to hook up the fan. If you don't have the wires right the fan will blow in reverse and all you need to do is reverse the wires so the fan blows in the right direction. I have my fans blowing up towards the top of the lid of the incubator so the air isn't blowing down on the eggs. If the fan blows down on the eggs, when they start to hatch the air blowing on them can cause the membranes in the eggs to dry out and the chicks to stick in the shells. I took some tubing and made some spacers so there is air space between the top and the fan.

    This is my still air Hova-Bator I installed a fan in. I wired this one to my heating element.
    This had wire nuts I cut off and put new ones on.
    [​IMG]

    This is my LG I installed a fan in. I put a separate adapter on it. With this incubator I would
    have to cut the wires and lengthen them, so I put an adapter on instead.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    CMom, good information and pics as usual!! I plug everythiing in to a strip for better control. I pull plug on one fan or shut all down at once, or all on at once. Each incubator and fan run on a separate unit. This is what works for me.
     
  3. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I worked out the RH problem.

    I took those corn cob holders, the cheapo yellow tray ones, and put them underneath the wire mesh bottom and filled them. I cut the bottoms off Solo cups and put three in there too, and added some sponge to spread the water out. The last thing: I took a microfiber cleaning cloth, soaked it with water, wrung it out, and stuffed it inside a cup, then laid that cup in there to hold the crumpled towel. Those things seem to provide enough moisture to overcome the dry basement and air flow through the bator that was sucking it dry.

    Perfect: 60%. I have both plugs out, and the bator is raised as well to provide more oxygen. Temp is totally consistent at 100.

    I hatched local eggs last week and have beautiful babies. Exact same conditions.

    But....I put some shipped eggs on lockdown Tuesday. And I'm thinking they died. No pips. I haven't opened the bator to see if I hear anythng. I'm so bummed that it seems to have happened again.

    :(
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    "Perfect: 60%. I have both plugs out, and the bator is raised as well to provide more oxygen. Temp is totally consistent at 100."

    Is the 60% for lockdown? Nice job finding solutions to keep the %RH up!!

    How far in development did those shipped eggs get? Sorry, I don't want to assume that they were all developed going into lockdown. WHat is the egg shell color? THe dark shells like marans are especially difficult.

    High altitude is a problem when hatching eggs produced from a lower level. Could altitude be playing a part in this??

    Sorry this isn't working out yet. I would be very frustrated too.
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I don't know where you got the 60% for the humidity. Originally I incubated around 50% and 65% to 70% at lockdown and my hatches were around 60%. After doing a lot of research and reading a lot of posts from other BYC members, I decided to try different things with my own eggs and shipped eggs. What eventually worked for me was to incubate around 35% which allowed the eggs to loose the moisture they need to loose during incubation, (there are a lot of posts on this) then when I put the eggs into lockdown the last 3 day, I raise the humidity to around 75% to keep the chicks from sticking in the shells. You have to do what works best for you and your climate and the environment you have the incubator in. I have friends who put their incubators in closets where there is less outside influences. A basement probably is ok, but tend to be damp and cooler. I have a room I keep my incubators in and the door closed to keep the temp and humidity stay more constant.

    Like my brother says "different strokes for different folks". What works for me and others may not necessarily works the same for you and where you are. You have to experiment and find what works best for you and how you can get the best results. Shipped eggs are always a gamble. I have had some good and bad hatches with shipped eggs but never as good as hatches as I had had with my own eggs. I am working with specific breeds where I am breeding for specific traits in my birds as I am planning on showing them. I go to several shows every year.
     
  6. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, 60% was only for lockdown.

    But none of these shipped eggs hatched, unlike local eggs. I used the exact same conditions and got 90% off my local eggs last week in this hatcher; the only one that didn't hatch had a very thick and odd shell. The shipping seems to be the deciding factor. My local eggs have done great every time.

    My basement is actually extremely dry and is heated. It's extremely stable down there. Way better than anywhere else in this house. The temp never varied. I had more trouble keeping RH up than temp, to be honest.

    But I'm done hatching. I'm tired of killing off viable eggs. These babies were perfect and died at lockdown. Again. They aren't shrink wrapped, nor do they look too wet. I'm not going to try hatching more Swedish Flower Hens. I'll order chicks or pray I have a roo and a hen and hatch my own next year. The nearest person with them is in PA, a good 3 hour drive one way. Ugh. So frustrated.

    But it is not the bator. I can successfully hatch with it, just not shipped eggs.
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    You get an A+ for effort. Often you can get 10-15 chicks shipped to you. I'm not sure about the 25 chick minimum and why that is the so called minumum. I won 8 chicks in an auction and 11 were shipped, all in great condition. Perhaps you can get your order in NOW before the spring rush.
     
  8. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that's what I'm thinking. And they might be ready to lay in the spring too if I got chicks soon. We miss having farm fresh eggs. We have been buying eggs from a farm stand, but they sure don't look like the free range eggs we were getting before we moved!
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I like the dark orange-yellow yolks too. Makes for a nice yellow cake!
     
  10. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Getting time to fire up the LG-- who is using one?
     

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