Little Giant Problems

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by marie_martin, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    I am wishing I had not bought the little giant. Or maybe it is they accu-rite thermometer. I don't know. I ran this thing for days before getting my eggs with the therm. that came with it and kept a steady temp. I then go get the accurite so I can check humidity before putting eggs in. I can't get the thing to be steady. First of all, I only had the probe in there and the unit out of the box. The temp was not near as high as what the other therm was saying. It was saying like 88 and the one inside was saying 99.5. So then I figure out there is a sensor also on the back of the unit. I blew on it and the temp and humidity changed dramatically from my hot humid breath? So now I have the whole unit inside and I am having trouble getting the temp steady. I have it pretty close but it is ranging from 98 to 102 and the other therm is always a few degrees highher. I did have to turn the unit over so it is leaning down with the sensor (that iis on the bottom) going upward. It sits about where the eggs are. I just dont know. And the humidity is a little high at 60% instead of 50. But it is not steady and goes down some and back up. I dried up some of the water out of the channel in the bottom because it was higher than that. Anyone who has used a little giant have any suggestions? I don't wnat to lose these eggs. I have it in my bedroom in a dark corner and put a rag over each window so when I do have to go in there the light wont shine in. But it is the least used area of the house. I tried my back bathroom but I think the electricity was not stable in that outlet. It is better now but still not where it needs to be. How forgiving are these eggs?? Thanks for any help.

  2. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Hi, I have the still air Little Giant.
    I am at day 14 with 20 eggs inside. I put my bator in my bedroom closet as these type bators will flucuate more greatly with room temp.

    The closet allows the slowest fluctuations in temp/humidity because it is enclosed and not near drafts, windows, etc. I have found that the humidity in mine stays around 48 to 51% regardless of how much water is in my trays. I did wet a clean childs sox and "test" the humidity level to see if I would be able to bring it up for the last 3 crucial days when higher humididty is required for hatch. And yes, I was able to bring the humidity to almost 70%.

    I have had my temp drop to 91 with a short power outage. And my temp fluctuates between 98 to 102 (using digital thermometer) due to differences in warmer day temps to cooler night temps.

    The eggs have been candled 2 times already and all the chicks are at the right developement stage and moving. So...yes, I am finding that even with the temp and humidity flucuations, that my "babies" are right on target.
  3. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    I have a Little Giant (no egg turner). The tiny thermometer included with it is nearly worthless. I bought a Brinsea Spot Check digital thermometer, a hygrometer, and a water weasel (children's toy). The probe is inserted into the water weasel and the read-out part of the thermometer is outside the incubator, taped to the lid. Since it is humid where I live, I use the dry incubation method and only add water to the incubator on day 18.

    Is the air temperature of the room fluctuating much?...I read that you are covering your windows.

    Eggs can take some temperature changes. I've had a broody hen leave the nest for a couple of hours each day and the eggs hatched just fine.

    The digital thermometer, hygrometer, & water weasel can be found on Here is the dry incubation method:

  4. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    I also have the still air Little Giant. I bought a digital thermometer/hygrometer in addition to the thermometer that came with the unit. My digital until reads slightly higher than the other unit, so I keep the temp so both thermometers register in the good range. I actually have mine on the kitchen table, since it's the room where my house's thermostat is. It is not a drafty room, and it allows me to hover and catch any variances in temperature. I'm afraid if I stuck it in a closet somewhere, I wouldn't check it as often, or I'd miss it if the wafer went bad, if the humidity went haywire or something.

    My eggs were all shipped from quite a ways away, and there were about half that didn't seem to be developing at all. When I checked them, they were addled... from the shipping, I'd guess. The others are all developing on schedule, from what I can tell. Mt temperature seems to be fluctuating a little, but because my unit is in the kitchen, I can catch any changes quickly and make adjustments before anything gets out of hand. I woke up one morning and saw that the temperature had dropped to 99.3, but I'm not too worried because that's not very low at all and it can't have been that way for very long.

    I hope they all hatch--they're actually due on Easter day!
  5. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    Well, I dried most of the water out. They say to put it in there, but I guess it depends on where you live. And my biggest boo boo was that I did not realize that even though this hygrometer/thermastat has a probe that comes from it on the end of a wire, that the actual unit has an area too that measures humidity and temp. So I just stuck the whole thing in there. The humidity is still about 58% but is coming down some. So maybe now that the temp is staying around 100.2 some of the water will dry on its own. I don't want to have to take all the eggs out and risk them cooling off and so forth. Today is still the first day since I did not put them in until late last night. So as long as it goes down a little more today, i think we will be ok. I covered the windows only for precaution. I put them in a dark corner of my bedroom but I do have to go in there to get things and turn on the light. So I figured that would keep the temp from fluxing too much. And It seems to help keep it steady. I don't know. I can't put it in a closet, there just is not room and they would get smacked around too much. They are in the best place. I do think the outlet in the bathroom that I had them on at first was fluxing too much. So maybe now I have it at the right temp. It is very hard to adjust it just a tiny bit at a time? Do you guys have any of the plugs out? I did at first but the temp was not getting up there so I put it back. I think they are wrong about taking that out. Maybe toward the end. What do you think? I don't think there will be any problem getting the humidity up when it is time. My problem has been keeping it lower. It is very humid here in Mississippi. I will let you know how it goes. Hope all of you have good results.

  6. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    My incubator was in the corner of my bedroom, away from the windows. We have a heat pump/air conditioning so its easy to maintain an even house temperature--I'm sure that helps.

    I didn't put the plugs in until day 18. I forgot to mention that I don't have a fan in my incubator either.

  7. SunChick

    SunChick Songster

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bel Air, Maryland
    I have hova-bators and I ended up replacing my wal-mart hygrometer combo today. It was a springfield and the humidity compared to my other digital (which is very accurate) was way off. So i bought a Lyon thermometer/hygrometer unit that you read manually. It isn't digital, but it is highly accurate. Double R supply is actually right up the road from me and recommended it highly. they are at Lots of Poultry supplies and pretty good deals. [​IMG]

    Hencackle how does dry incubation work for you? I am in FL where it is as humid as it gets and was considering trying the method on my own eggs. My shipped eggs are under normal methods.
  8. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN

    The dry incubation method worked well for me. I incubated 8 shipped eggs last April. 5 out of 8 hatched, 2 others developed but died before hatching and 1 was addled. The seller said that 5 out of 8 was a good rate on shipped eggs. egg needs to lose some moisture in order to have a good egg space for a chick to breathe after the internal pip begins.

    If the egg doesn't lose some water via evaporation, then the pipping chick will drown. It really helps the monitor the air space by candling too. I used the "very high-tech" mini mag light to candle the eggs in a darkened room.

    I'm guessing that the people in the west, with their arid air, will need to have water added earlier on, perhaps from the start.

  9. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    so if I take out the plugs, I assume I will get a better humidity reading but will have to raise the temp again and hope it stays up there, right? It is staying pretty steady right now, around 100.2-100.5 on the digital and about 102 on the one that came with the unit. I don't trust it but left it to compare. The humidity level has not come down past 57% and was back to 58% a little while ago. I guess I can dry all the water out for now and see how that works. Not much in there but it has been raining today so maybe that caused a rise in humidity here. May be better on its own by tomorrow. I will just let it ride tonight since it is so late and check in the am. Thanks for you help and suggestions. I pray these critters hatch. If the humidity being too high causes less evaporation and causes the chick to drown, how come you are suppose to raise humidity at the end? Is it ok at that point because the chick has taken over most of the egg? Thanks again.

  10. JamesC

    JamesC In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2007
    A chicken egg must lose approx. 15% of it's total weight in the form of evaporated moisture by the 18th day. After that the humidity is increased to prevent the chicks from sticking to the shell membrane during the hatching process.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: