Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lilstar, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. lilstar

    lilstar Songster

    Apr 8, 2011
    I just this morning set some duck eggs in the LG still air. Temp was right around 100 but measured only about halfway up the eggs rather than on top. So I decide to glue it on top of a few cut sheets of cardboard glued togethe, just tall enough to be egg high to see if I might want to lower the temp a smidge. Well, klutz that I am, I snappedthe thermometer. I can't get a new one until Monday. So in my situation, do you think I should just leave it alone, and figure if its too hot its only too hot by a little bit? Or do you think I should try lowering it a hair and hope and pray it didn't go too low? OR is there any possible way to use a fever thermometer to do a few checks per day? Would that work inside a water wiggler?

  2. adrian

    adrian Songster

    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    I don't remember precisely, but I think 100 degrees at mid egg height would be fine in still air incubators because that would probably mean you'd be around 100.5 - 101 at the top and I thought that was recommended for still airs (but don't take my word as law because it has been a long time since I heard anything about how to operate still air incubators). If you feel it will be too hot, a hair lower might be best, and it is better to underheat than overheat until you get a new thermometer.

    With that said, fever thermometers are usually great for getting accurate readings of temperature. However, it is possible in a still air you will find less success, as temperatures will vary depending on where you are taking the temperature.

    What I have done in forced air styrofoam incubators such as Hovabators and LGs is poke a small hole in the side of the incubator and pass the probe of a fever thermometer through it; let it sit for sometime and then take the temperature from there. In my forced air models, particularly my Genesis, it was very accurate, and pretty much identical to temperature readings where the eggs were set. In yours that might not be the best set up, but you could try it, so long as the probe goes in far enough and is at egg height. Putting it inside a water wiggler would be fine, too, but it must still go through the side from my understanding because otherwise you will have to open the lid of the incubator to turn it on and that will render it pretty much useless.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  3. lynn1961

    lynn1961 Songster

    Feb 14, 2011
    south central Oklahoma

    Have you seen the eg shaped therometers that incubator warehouse has? They are realy neat, gets you a more accurate temp at the heigth of the eggs, bought 2 of them last year and just love the way they work.
  4. lilstar

    lilstar Songster

    Apr 8, 2011
    Well, fever thermometer would be a great plan if i'd been able to find one! The joy of life with small children: if it has buttons, its gonna disappear. \i'll keep looking though. I bet if i cleaned my house i'd find one, lol. I rigged up a "water wiggler" out of a ziploc bag filled part way with water and rolled up. Taking a temp inside of that simulates what the temp is inside an egg, right? So I figured it'd be okay to stick the probe of a fever thermometer in there while turning the eggs and it wouldn't matter if the bator was open at the time, since we're taking a water wiggler temp? Ahh well, thats moot until I find a thermometer. I just turned them, and though its been a year since I've done this (and this is only my 2nd hatch) it seems like I remember the eggs feeling warmer than that when I picked them up. Now I'm paranoid it could have gotten too cold.

  5. lilstar

    lilstar Songster

    Apr 8, 2011
    Okay... I knew cleaning would work! Found my fever thermometer. Now, if I'm correct I can't just lay that on top of the eggs, push the buitton, close the bator and watch the reading through the window right? (issues with opening the bator aside) A quick google brought up instructions saying a fever thermometer would read too high. On top of the eggs I got a reading of around 100. Inside my makeshift "water wiggler" (in which I filled a plastic bag partially with water, folded it over to make a water bag taco, and taped it shut) it was only 92. I'm going to assume that inside my wiggler is more reflective of whats going on inside my eggs, as confirmed by the very unscientific method of "last hatch, I remember the eggs feeling warmer than this". So I bumped up the temp. Now, most important question! How long should I wait before taking the wiggler temp again? I'm not sure how long it takes the temperature inside the wiggler to match the actual air temperature in the bator. I don't want to check again too soon, get a too low wiggler temp and bump it up again when in reality the air temp might be perfect but the wiggler is catching up. I am going to be a MUCH happier person once I can get to home depot in the morning! And I'm going to be an even more happier person in a week or so when I can candle and see that they survived my day 1-2 stupidity.
  6. LukeandAli

    LukeandAli Chirping

    Nov 28, 2011
    Carver, Oregon
    We only used a fever thermometer for this round (it's our first time) and I have eggs hatching as we speak. DH just poked a tiny hole in the side of the incubator and we kept the thermometer as a plug in the hole. We'd turn it on to check the temp and just turn it off when we were done.
  7. redwingranch

    redwingranch Hatching

    Feb 19, 2012
    Redmond, WA
    According to the University of Illinois incubation instructions: for a still air incubator you are shooting for a temperature of 100.5 degrees in the air at egg height. Eggs can tolerate lower temperatures better than too high temperatures. A variation of 1/2 of a degree is acceptable.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by