Little Giant still air incubator problem/issues

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jomofo, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Jomofo

    Jomofo New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Mar 8, 2015
    Hi guys. Well I purchased three dozen fertile eggs on Saturday and I'm off on my first egg hatching venture! I've noticed that when I add water to a sponge I have in my incubator, the temperature decreases a couple of degrees as the humidity increases. Is this normal? Also, I have two temperature/humidity gages. The right side of my incubator reads 101-102 while the left side consistently reads 100 degrees. When I add water, the temperatures go down two degrees on each side, to around 98 on the left side and 100 on the right side. Is this normal? I appreciate any help I can get here. Thanks!
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,503
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    It is normal for the temp to drop when the humidity goes up as you will also notice that as the humidity goes down, your temp will start to climb as well. If you put warm water in versus room temp or cool you probably won't see as much as a drop. I don't worry too much about mine as long as it doesn't take that long to come back up.
    Hot spots are normal (I even get them in my forced air LG though you aren't supposed to.) The best thing to do for the eggs is rotate them in the bator so that the same eggs aren't sitting in the cooler spots the entire time. (Or avoid the cooler spots all together if you have room.) This will average out the temp of the individual eggs.
    I have an older model LG, which one do you have?
     
  3. Lamancha

    Lamancha Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    40
    91
    Dec 13, 2014
    Oregon
    Why do you have a sponge in your incubator if you just set your eggs a few days ago? What is your humidity level? I don't add any water to my LG still air until day 18/19. I know everyone's relative humidity is different though.
     
  4. Jomofo

    Jomofo New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Mar 8, 2015
    My humidity will go down to around 22% with no sponge in the bator. This is my first time hatching, so forgive my ignorance, but isn't it supposed to be 40-50%? By all means, if I'm doing something wrong, help me out. :)
     
  5. Jomofo

    Jomofo New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Mar 8, 2015
    I'm not sure on the model. It's an older little giant. Keeps stable temps, just fluctuate when I add water.
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,503
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    That's the way mine is too. I'm not sure what mine is either...lol I stole it from my dear sis and there's no model # on it. I believe it is 9200, as it looks like the ones I've seen on here stated to be that model, but not sure.
     
  7. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,994
    2,182
    336
    Mar 16, 2014
    SE Michigan
    If you add water, be sure to add water that is about 100F. That will help keep temps from fluctuating. Warm tap water is fine.

    If you can maintain humidity of 25-30% without adding water, then you may not want to add water. Check the progress of the air cell at day 7 and at day 14 to be sure it is growing proportionally. It's quicker than weighing (gets the eggs back in the 'bator sooner) and is more reliable.

    I used to follow the 40% guidelines and found that at hatch time, the chicks were often wet when hatched. They should be damp, but there should be no liquid in the egg.

    If I should find that the air cell is not 25-30% of the silhouette of the egg at lockdown, I will stand the eggs upright in a cut down egg carton framework (sides cut down, posts cut out, bottoms cut out) to help the chicks stay out of the liquid while hatching. Once they pip internally, the excess liquid will pour into the air cell, where the chick can drown in it if the egg is on its side and it rolls or is rolled by other chicks.

    If I find at lockdown that the air cell is too large, closer to half, I will boost humidity as much as I can without causing condensation and will leave the incubator tightly shut to improve the odds of hatching successfully.

    But I've found that the 7 day and 14 day checks are indispensable in ensuring that the chicks develop properly and have the right conditions for a successful hatch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,503
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I have a sponge in mine as well, because it is full and easier to get to the sponge than the water wells....lol As for humidity there is no magic number. 40-50 is recommended a lot. I like lower. I do a dry incubation when the season allows. Right now I can't because if I run dry my humidity in the bator is only 16% and that is way too low. I try to keep it above 25%. Let me share my thoughts on humidity with you. This is taken from a blog post that I am working on for a new blog I'd like to start. It's not the entire article just the main thought:

    The biggest thing with these [incubator] manuals that bother me though is the humidity recommendations. How many people know why you regulate humidity as a newbie? I know I didn't. I read in a book it should be between this number and that number. I didn't know why, I just went with it. These manuals either throw out a number, (that in my opinion is usually too high) or tell you how much water to put in the wells (regardless of how much humidity that causes.)

    Ask what your humidity should be on a forum and you will undoubtedly get at least a dozen different opinions. The only thing that is widely agreed upon is that at lockdown and hatch it needs to be higher.
    Why is this?? Because different things work for different people because of various factors that these books and manuals do not take into consideration. The habits of the hatcher, the area that they are in and whether they have a dry or humid atmosphere. The quality of eggs also can play a role. Getting a definite answer is impossible and the issue of humidity can be very confusing. No one is wrong. They have just found what works for them. Some very seasoned hatchers don't even bother with monitoring humidity because they've done it so much they just know what works for them.

    So how do you make the confusing understandable? In my opinion the first step is to understand why we control the humidity. An egg needs to loose 13/14% of it's weight during incubation. This weight that it is loosing is actually moisture. Moisture leaves the eggs through the pores of the shell. As the moisture leaves, the air cell in the egg grows. This is very important because when your little chick decides it's time to hatch, he/she is going to pip into the area where the air cell should be. If that air cell is not big enough and there is too much moisture there he/she can drown. On the flip side of that if your air cells grow too big the membrane can “shrink wrap” your chick. This can suffocate them if they have not pipped, if they manage to pip they will be stuck and not be able to move to finish the job.

    That's the why of it. Now, the how of it. So how do we know how big the air cells should be? There are many egg pictorials or air cell charts out there. This is the one I use: (I'd give credit to the creator if I knew who that was.)

    [​IMG]
    I believe that there are two ways to go about knowing how to regulate your humidity so that it works for you. Pick a number from 30-50%, (the range you'll find a good majority of hatchers use for the first 17 days.) Start your incubation at that number-but monitor your air cells! Candle your eggs at days 7&14 especially. Mark the air cells with a pencil. If your air cells aren't where they need to be at these times, you still have time to regulate before going into lockdown. Compare what you are seeing to the chart. If your air cells are too small, you know that your humidity is too high. Not enough moisture has left the egg. In this case you need to lower your humidity. (How much depends on the air cell. If it's borderline small, I'd go, 10% less. If it's significantly small, I'd go dry, at least for a couple days and candle after 2 days to see the progress and make the next decision.)

    If the air cells are too big then you need to higher the humidity. This will slow down/stop air cell growth and let the development catch up with the air cell size. (Again, how much is going to depend on the discrepancy. Borderline big, raise it 10%. Significantly large, I'd say raise it TO 60% (not raise it 60% more...just up to 60% total,) for a couple days and check to see progress. If they are still growing raise it a bit more.

    By keeping track of what your percentages are, you'll have a better idea of what percentage of humidity works for you.

    The second way: start with a dry incubation if your incubator holds at least 25% when completely dry. Dry incubation is becoming more and more popular among chicken hatchers. Many people that have had not so great hatches (especially with the cheaper styrofoam incubators) have switched to the dry method and have had better results. I myself run dry when I can. (Seasons have a big impact on humidity levels and running dry. Being in Northern New York with regular below 0 temps and running a pellet stove for heat dries the ambient humidity in my home making it impossible to go completely dry in the winter.)

    If your incubator holds at least 25% dry start your incubation &..... monitor your air cells! As long as your air cells are growing at the proper rate, you don't have anything to worry about. If you find that they are growing to fast, higher it, I'd say in increments of 5-10%. Rarely should you find too small air cells doing a dry incubation, providing you aren't in a tropical region.

    What about lockdown and hatch??

    And there's another question that you are going to get a dozen different answers for. I shoot for 75% many people do prefer a 70-75% range. Many people are happy with the recommended 65% and still there are others that insist 55-60% is perfectly fine for hatching.

    More confusion.

    Here are my thoughts: Are you a meddler? If you have a chick that you feel needs assisting, (There is an awesome thread on BYC on assisted hatching and why it should only be done if you feel it's absolutely necessary and the what happens if you assist too soon.) are you willing to open the incubator to help?

    Many people have a hands off philosophy after lockdown. They will not, for any reason open that incubator until the hatch is complete. If a chick is stuck..so be it. If there are 15 chicks running around and it takes 2 days for the rest to hatch, then those chicks are in there for two days. (There is nothing wrong with their philosophy, but....)

    If you are a hands off hatcher, then you can probably successfully hatch out chicks with 60/65% humidity in your bator.

    If you are anything like me, then a higher humidity is better for you. I like to move my chicks to the brooder once they are active and bouncing off my incubator walls, thermometers the other eggs and each other. I do not leave my chicks in the bator until hatch is over. If I feel it is absolutely necessary I will assist a hatch. To properly assist a hatch you have to take things slow, help a little and replace the chick in the egg for rest and to give them a chance to finish. This constitutes opening the bator periodically. Every time you open the bator humidity slips out. Chicks need that humidity to hatch. If you are a “meddler” or someone who feels it necessary to open the bator, then naturally a higher humidity level is going to help keep adequate humidity in your bator. So take into consideration your actions and you should be able to judge a good humidity range for hatching. I personally believe you can't go wrong having extra humidity at hatch, but you most certainly can by having it too low.

    These are my thoughts and theories of humidity based on research and experience. I by no means am an expert, but I have hatched some adorable little fuzzy butts with this knowledge.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by