new at incubating, with homemade bator questions

momofchicks

Songster
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
431
0
149
Kentucky
Okay, so we made an incubator for the fun of it. Last time we had 3 chicks die at different stages. Many posters said could be from distance to heat source etc. This time I am rotating eggs around. My question is this....I don't have an enclosed bator. Mine is a box with a heat lamp and a bowl of water (which I will switch to a sponge the last few days) and the lid is just pieces of box covering the sides with the middle open for the heat lamp to shine in. So with all that said, will my chicks even survive at all. I read that sometimes they die because the bator keeps being opened. My temp is right at 100 but I don't know about humidity. Is the problem with a lided bator that the temp drops? Mine stays the same all day even though it has an opening, it is a still air bator. Should we put a humidifier in the room the last 3 days to help with humidity or might it make them drown (like I have read)? I know for sure I have 3 chicks we saw them move during candeling. 4 are big blobs but didn't see movement (darker shell) and 1 was a probably not. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Goose and Fig

Grateful Geese
10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
8,603
63
308
Fall Creek Falls TN
Get a hygrometer from your hardware store. You'll need the humidity up around 70% those last few days. With the hygrometer you'll know if you need to add more wet towels and such. If your chicks start pipping and it's been over 24 hours you can wrap them in a wet paper towel to keep them damp.

If you have the humidity at about 40% the first 18 days you shouldn't have to worry about anyone drowning. You might not need any water in there during that time- that's why it's so important to make that little addition of a hygrometer to your bator.
 

taraann81

Songster
10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
1,490
5
171
Ontario
I doubt you would get anything to hatch in that. Humidity is important and your porous box will soak up humidity not keep it in the box. I would say your water dish in there is probably useless.

Good luck but I doubt it will work.

Perhaps you could line it with plastic? If you do this though remember that ventilation is still very important.
 

catwalk

Songster
10 Years
May 19, 2009
2,063
13
173
Read the post about the kid who incubated an egg using a desk lamp and a minnow bucket. I don't know how to link you or I would. I am humbled by the simplicity and success of his setup. I have found that a bowl of water doesn't raise my humidity enough. I use sponges, and upon lockdown, I just add more sponges. You can have them sticking out of your bowl; they make good wicks. Good luck!
 

momofchicks

Songster
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
431
0
149
Kentucky
Quote:
Okay, what about adding the humidifier in the room, or move everything to a plastic container? Do I need to drill holes in the container or just leave the top area open like I have it now for ventilation?
 

catwalk

Songster
10 Years
May 19, 2009
2,063
13
173
Humidifier might make you miserable, and the effect on the incubator will be minimal. The box really will wick away a lot of the moisture you will want to stay in there. Or it will just get mushy. lining the box with shower curtain, plastic tablecloth, etc will help. If you want tho move the whole setup to a plastic tote, be sure the temp and RH are where you want it to be before moving them. You will need ventilation, though, whether you cut holes or crack the lid. If fire isn't a concern, cover it with a blanket to keep the environment more stable. I do use a blanket on mine, and uncover a corner of the bator if it gets too hot. The rest is speculation. Being cheap, I "rig" things a lot. The advice I give is just what my brain thinks might work. I do know that if you reach into the incubator to turn your eggs, and it's not so hot and humid that you think," I'm glad it's not me in there," it isn't hot or humid enough.

Good luck
 

taraann81

Songster
10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
1,490
5
171
Ontario
There is a search engine at the top of every page. Just put some key words in there.

You would have better luck building one of those Styrofoam cooler incubators some people make. I think they cost like 20$ to make and there are good directions on this site, again use the search at the top right of the screen.

Good luck!
 

catwalk

Songster
10 Years
May 19, 2009
2,063
13
173
THAT'S IT! Thank you; I will figure this out someday. I made an incubator for $1. I work at Dannon making yogurt, and I can take home the styrofoam coolers that the culture comes in. I installed a florescent light from my kitchen remodel, threw in some sponges that I already had, and glued a picture frame to the window I cut out in the top. The thermometer/ hydrometer was my only expense, found at a rummage sale. It has a base unit/ remote sensor setup so I don't even have to get out of bed to check on it. I made a turner out of a Swiffer handle and an egg carton, but I took that out. I think that if you follow some suggestions, don't fiddle with the eggs too much (over-candling), and play nonstop techno music, you may have luck. How long have they been incubating, by the way?
 

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