New washingtonian :) needs some guidance

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sweetsam, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. sweetsam

    sweetsam Out Of The Brooder

    Hi! I became a member a few months ago, but just now started to use the forum. It is time for an introduction. I am just starting with backyard chickens -my dad used to have them and I would avoid them at all cost! Times change! Now I got some fertilized blue eggs (legbar creams) from Craig'slist on Sunday and set them in my homemade incubator today. I am a little conflicted about the temp - there is no fan in my little styrofoam incubator and I am using a 25 watt bulb. The temperature has been around 99.5 to 100.5. I am reading conflicting info about what the temperature should be between 99.5-100 or at 101.5. Please help! If IF I need to increase it, how can I do that so I only increase 1 degree? Also turn every 8 hours would be okay or is that too often? Thank you so much! I am excited!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  2. Bradfordj

    Bradfordj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Turning every 8 hours is fine. The different temps are the difference between forced air incubators( fan installed) or still air (no fan). The still air incubators run slightly higher temperature measured from the top of the eggs. Adjusting temps can be done many ways. Installing a dimmer switch for your light, higher or lower watt bulbs, and opening or closing air vents. I personally like the idea of going with a bulb slightly bigger than what's needed and using a dimmer switch and air vents to bring it down to where you want it. If your bulb is full power and you cant achieve your desired temps your sol. If you know you have more than what you need its simple to bring it. I would also recommend letting those eggs sit while you get your bator temps figured, but hopefully not too long as it can reduce fertility of the eggs. Hope this helps! Good luck!
     
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  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    It may take quite a few hours to get your temp stable after putting in your eggs. Does your bator have a thermostat? Or is it just controlled by the light bulb? If that is the case, is your house temp stable both day and night? Without a thermostat, you'll need to rely on your house temp being stable, and the incubator being located away from direct sunlight and drafts. PP mention of a dimmer as a second choice to take place of the thermostat. W/O a thermostat, you'll also need to rely on use of vents to control temp. W/O a fan, your goal is 101 - 102* measured with a calibrated thermometer at the top of the eggs. Beware, your box will have warm and cold spots. 103* will kill your embryos. 98* will most likely promote birth defects. One other thing you can do to help control temp is to provide external insulation for your box. Mine is wrapped in towels, and has pillows on 2 sides, and a jacket in the front. I can open or close this insulation layer to help even things out in my home (wood stove heat, therefore uneven temp) My bator does have a thermostat, but needs all the help it can get. You can also fill any un-used space with water bottles to act as a heat sink. All this being said, it's best to use a thermostat, and get your temp stabalized for at least 24 hours, (using water bottles to mimic the volume of eggs you'll be putting in) before committing eggs to the bator.
     
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  4. sweetsam

    sweetsam Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you! Your tips really helped! I have since used a blanket to bring the temperature up quicker after I open to turn the eggs. I also got a dimmer, upgraded the bulb from 25 to 45 and with the use of the dimmer, brought the temperature to 99.5-100. I will candle them in a few days to see how they are doing. Thank you sooooooo much for your feedback! It helped a lot!
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Remember, w/o a fan you need the temps 101-102F (taken near the top of the eggs) to promote proper development and an on time hatch. :) Good luck!!
     
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  6. sweetsam

    sweetsam Out Of The Brooder

    I just want to say thank you to everyone for all the tips and support. I was nervous because of the earlier temperature fluctuations -I still am, but last night I saw the chick move inside the egg when I spot candled one of the eggs while turning. So exciting!

    @AmyLynn2374 -Thank you for the tip. I ended up buying a small PC fan from the computer store and mounted it inside the incubator. Now I don't have to worry about heat spots.

    Saturday is lock down so I will see if they make it.

    Which day should I cull any clears? I suspect there is *one* that is not developing, but nothing smells.
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I remove my clears at day 10. Having a fan does not eliminate all hot spots. You still want to spot check around the bator. The fan mainly keeps the air circulated so you do not have temp layers. Even with a fan, the center of my bator is cooler than the perimenter, where my heating elements run. Wish you lots of luck!
     
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