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Please help me =[ First incubator attempt failed.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by marcuscarr, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. marcuscarr

    marcuscarr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The incubator was all set, I had monitored the temp for days and it was really close to 99.5. I put the eggs in last night and this morning the temp in the water snake was 106. I read that 103 if lethal. So I killed all my babies before they even started developing.

    Here is the help I really need.

    I was using a thermostat from a water heater and I believe it only cycles every 5 degrees. What thermostat should I get to make it cycle properly?

    Will the wafer type be appropriate?

    What is the safe temp range for inside the eggs? 98-102?

    Thank you for your help. This is so frustrating.

    Marcus
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Im saddened that 30 people so far have viewed your post and no one even commented. Tsk tsk.

    I agree that water heater thermos don't give enough resolution, as you suspect. You had a pretty drastic overshoot, by the sound of it. If you got them cooled off in time, you might have a few hatch.
    Dont give up completely, at least not yet.

    In my experience, you need to sneak up on the correct temps. The very best to use for the workshop builder are the wafer types. They are dead simple, reliable and spare parts are easy to come by. They have been sufficient for years, long before the electronic controls came along. No sense in reinventing the wheel in the most important part of the process. I have made bators out of all sorts of things, but I always use the simple wafer type controller - and I have spare discs.

    Something else I've done once a new bator is up and running is put a 20 oz. soda bottle full of water for every dozen eggs I plan to hatch - before I set ANY eggs. This puts a load on the system and challenges the controls. This way, you'll find out if there will be any glitches ahead of time.

    Most commercial tabletop bators use a lo-wattage heater in the 40-50W range, depending on the size. This means about 50W/ft3. This low power means you will run more getting up to and holding temps, but you wont run the risk of burn ups if the heat stays on a little longer than expected. I have never seen the need to go much beyond that wattage. I also use thermal buffers to help offset heat losses and large excursions in temps.

    The temp you are shooting for is 100 degrees. The "recommended" temps are 100.5 for still air bators and 99.5 if you have a fan in there. But, that's lab stuff. Without serious development work and a science lab in the basement, I challenge any benchtop builder to maintain a half a degree stability - make it simple on yourself and shoot for 100.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2007
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Do listen to David on bator issues. He's been very helpful with suggestions in tweaking our own homemade one. Somehow, I missed that you were using a water heater thermostat. David is also right that the wafers are the simplest, although they do need replacing often. They are pretty cheap and it pays to have a couple extra on hand for temp malfunctions. And, yes, don't get nuts about a half a degree. I've stopped obsessing over that and had good hatches anyway. An acceptable range is really what you're aiming for here, even though it's a fairly tight one.
    David, good idea on the water bottle! Excellent advice there.
    You never know what can happen-if you still have the eggs in the bator, they may have survived. It's amazing what those little chickies go through sometimes and make it.
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Leesville, SC
    "..the wafers are the simplest, although they do need replacing often. They are pretty cheap and it pays to have a couple extra on hand for temp malfunctions."

    I replace them every season. Good insurance and anything less is false economy, IMO.​
     
  5. marcuscarr

    marcuscarr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went ahead an purchase a reptile thermostat that plugs into the wall and stays outside the incubator. It has a sensor that I put in the water snake. I will check it tonight, but it was ranging from 99.2 to 99.7 while I was watching it last night. Humidity was 58 to 60.

    The thermometer I am using saves the high/low, so I will check it this afternoon and see if things are stable.

    The thermostat was $50, but it will money well spent if I can maintain the internal egg temp within a degree.

    Thank you for your help.

    Marcus
     
  6. marcuscarr

    marcuscarr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, 4 days have gone by and my temp has stayed at 99.3-99.8.

    I am putting the eggs in tonight =]

    Marcus
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Excellent! Please keep us all posted, okay? Now the hard part-waiting...waiting....waiting....LOL. Just remember that when you put in the eggs, the temps will go down temporarily for maybe 12 -24 hours till the internal egg temps all come back up, so don't make any hasty adjustments. Good luck!
     
  8. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    From what I can gather you disposed of those eggs that went through the temp spike?

    I had mine go up to 106 for a short period of time near the beginning (not sure how long though) and thought I had killed them, but they all made it!
     

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