Newbie question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by J and R Farm, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. J and R Farm

    J and R Farm New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2014
    My son's and I are trying to incubate some Americauna eggs in a Hova-Bator 1602N incubator. We've never done this before so we are reading as much as possible. We have lots of questions, but the two most pressing are:

    1. do we need to do anything to create air movement inside the incubator, since it doesn't have a fan?

    2. The humidity gauge never gets above 35 even if we place a wet sponge inside. Do we need to do something specific for this and will it affect the chicks?

    Here is a picture of our rooster that my boys have that is just under a year old. Beardy!

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    Thanks
    Matt
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Verify that your hygrometer is accurate. I put mine outside for about an hour or two and check the reading against Accuweather for your zip code.
    35 isn't bad for most of the incubation but will be too low when the chick pips. The membrane will usually harden and the chick won't be able to move.

    If it is a still air incubator, it is designed not to need air movement.

    You might want to look through this thread. There's a ton of good info.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/835798/5th-annual-byc-new-years-day-2014-hatch-a-long
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The vent plugs you take out last few days of hatch for more air flow for the chicks. You can incubate with one plug out the whole time or both if you choose. With still air incubators you incubate at 101-102F measured at the top of eggs. Lay the thermometer on top of them. as there is no fan to distribute air the temp is very different from top to bottom. No worry as the internal temp of eggs will be constant and by measuring at top of eggs that higher 101.5F assures your internal egg temp is the proper 99.5F.

    35% is not a bad humidity to be at, it takes time to raise the humidity, how long did you wait with the damp sponge in there? The "optimum" humidity you run varies by everyone's individual climate. What the humidity in your house is at. For me, as I use a humidifier when heating the house, my incubating humidity works best at 35-40% then 55-60% during hatching.

    To monitor your humidity candle the eggs. By how fast the air cell in egg growing you'll know if your humidity is too high or too low. Using the diagram below as a model, candle on day and day 14. If the air cell is growing too large the up the humidity some to slow it down and vise versa if not growing enough. It not an exacting science but a good way to monitor humidity control. With a few hatches under your belt you'll know what % works best for you.

    Research salt test and perform on you hygrometer to calibrate it. I calibrate mine before every incubation.

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