New to Incubation - Temperature management help needed

uktech

Chirping
May 22, 2020
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This is the first time I have incubated anything.

Picked up some eggs locally yesterday and left them (sat pointy side down) and the incubator ("cheap" chinese version for 16 eggs) to run for 24 hours before adding the eggs. Without the eggs the temperature held perfectly fine and using two quite decent thermometers, determined the temp on the incubator display was only 0.3 degrees out. This was consistent no matter if the lid was on or off.

Today temp was again holding perfectly fine before I added 16 eggs and put the lid back on. Problem is the temperature dropped to around 33 degrees celcius and is now taking a long time to come back up to what's required. By really long time I mean it has taken over an hour to get to 36.8 on my thermometer. Also the difference between my thermometer and the one on the incubator is much larger...about 1.6 degrees out.

I guess it is somewhat normal for the eggs to make temps climb much much slower due to thermal mass of eggs which were much cooler before they went in. Question is how long is normal? and will I have problems maintaining the temperatures if it comes to candling etc? Should I set up some kind of heat lamp to help the incubator do it's job? or am I just worrying for no reason... 😟
 
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igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
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It really depends on the incubator and the temp of the eggs before they went in. Ambient temp in your home can also have an impact. I prefer a regular old outdoor type thermometer to anything digital. I just lay it on top of the eggs and leave it for a while before I check. Wait another hour or two and see what the temp is then.
Forgot to say that a broody gets off her eggs every day to eat and go potty so the temp fluctuations when you candle won't hurt the embryos.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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I don't trust any thermometer unless it has been calibrated. It's pretty common for thermometers and factory presets to be wrong with incubators. Any thermometer you buy can be off due to manufacturing tolerances or other reasons. I use an old-time medical thermometer to verify the thermometers are reading correctly. You don't have to be spot-on with your temperature but you want to be pretty close.

I'm not familiar with that specific incubator but just be patient. It can take time for temperature to stabilize. Depending on how it handles humidity, it can take a while for it to stabilize on humidity too.

But, and this is important, is your incubator a still air or a forced air? Does it have a fan? Warm air rises. If you have a fan then the air should be getting mixed and you should have the same temperature throughout the incubator. But if you don't have a fan the air will be warmer the higher you take that temperature. In a forced air the general recommendation is 37.5 C anywhere in there. In a still air the general recommend is 38.6 C taken at the top of the eggs.
 

uktech

Chirping
May 22, 2020
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Wait another hour or two
Thanks for the advice. I've sat here glued to the incubator watching and making notes for the last 2.5 hours as I'm determined to know where things go wrong if they do. It's sitting in my office which is generally warmer than the rest of the house due to computer always running.

Thankfully after a total of 2.5 hours, the temps are now steady at 38 to 38.1 on both thermometers, meaning the difference between the incubators and my own is now 0.1 degrees if at all. I'm thinking it was exactly as you said, and just needed some extra time to get to required readings. Now dropping the temp on the incubator to 37.7 and will let it remain there.

I don't trust any thermometer
I'm beginning to understand why 😆
Again thank you for the response. I have a ThermoPro TP50 in with the eggs and it's readying quite accurately, I think. Also have a medical one my wife uses for work and on the kids which gave a roughly similar figure. I've now ordered one reptile owners swear by which should arrive tomorrow and has a probes which can remain inside the incubator so will see how that works out. Plan to calibrate that with some ice before using it.

The incubator is off amazon unbranded (pic below) running on 12v. It has automatic rollers programmed to roll the eggs XX amount of times a day like most others I guess. It is forced air, it has a fan which itself has a coil wrapped around just above it. In the 24 hours I spent warming it up, I noted temps were off by about 0.2 degrees depending on where you took the reading from inside the container, but generally acceptable I think. The Thermopro tells me humidity is at 55% although not sure how accurate that is.
 

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igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
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Thanks for the advice. I've sat here glued to the incubator watching and making notes for the last 2.5 hours as I'm determined to where things go wrong if they do. It's sitting in my office which is generally warmer than the rest of the house due to computer always running.

Thankfully after a total of 2.5 hours, the temps are now steady at 38 to 38.1 on both thermometers, meaning the difference between the incubators and my own is now 0.1 degrees if at all. I'm thinking it was exactly as you said, and just needed some extra time to get to required readings. Now dropping the temp on the incubator to 37.7 and will let it remain there.


I'm beginning to understand why 😆
Again thank you for the response. I have a ThermoPro TP50 in with the eggs and it's readying quite accurately, I think. Also have a medical one my wife uses for work and on the kids which gave a roughly similar figure. I've now ordered one reptile owners swear by which should arrive tomorrow and has a probes which can remain inside the incubator so will see how that works out. Plan to calibrate that with some ice before using it.

The incubator is off amazon unbranded (pic below) running on 12v. It has automatic rollers programmed to roll the eggs XX amount of times a day like most others I guess. It is forced air, it has a fan which itself has a coil wrapped around just above it. In the 24 hours I spent warming it up, I noted temps were off by about 0.2 degrees depending on where you took the reading from inside the container, but generally acceptable I think. The Thermopro tells me humidity is at 55% although not sure how accurate that is.
Very good news! Good luck with your hatch :fl
 

uktech

Chirping
May 22, 2020
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Went to bed with humidity at 55% and temps between the two thermometers about 0.2 degrees out. Woke up with humidity at 12% and temps over 1.2 degrees apart 😟

immediately added some water taking humidity back to 50% but temps are just wrong. Incubator shows 37.8 which is where I set it, but my own thermometer now showing 36.5 degrees.
 

uktech

Chirping
May 22, 2020
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ok I had ordered the Zoo Med Thermometer Humidity Gauge, which the posty delivered just over an hour ago.

Calibrated it in a glass of ice which put it 0.1 degree out so not bad (will be calibrating it every few days to make sure it's working as intended).

Mounted both the probes inside the incubator and left them in for 1 hour. These are the results right now:

Incubator: 37.3 °C
Zoo Med: 37.5 °C (+0.2 from incubator)
ThermoPro: 36.2 °C (-1.1 from incubator)

I had no way of calibrating the Thermopro without destroying it (it's not waterproof) but it's clearly the one that furthest from the actual temperature...although humidity is spot on. And I was so sure it was more accurate than the incubator itself 😒

Hopefully no damage was done. Will keep this thread updated for those following.

This entire thing (coop build also) has been a lockdown build project with the kids so made them a calendar (attached) to follow. It's stuck on the fridge and they are following intently. Hopefully I didn't get it wrong 🐤
 

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Tonyroo

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Don't get too technical with the temp measurements on your purchased incubator should be running normally.
Every time you open the incubator your humidity and temp always has to re-adjust, try not to do it too often.
 

uktech

Chirping
May 22, 2020
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You're right. Problem is the incubator had so many negative reviews, I automatically assumed the thermometer built into it was wrong. Turns out I was the one that was wrong.

Really trying not to open it at all. Did so for about 30 seconds today to mount the new probe. Other than that, it remains closed.
 

MANNA-PRO

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