Preschool teacher- first time egg hatcher- questions on equipment.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kupi99, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. kupi99

    kupi99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    Hello, I am preschool teacher in the Dallas area. One of our school benifactors donated an incubator to our school this year, so for the first time ever, I am going to attempt raising chicks in the classroom! However, my incubator did not come with directions, and so I am hoping that there may be some people on here that are fimilar with my incubator type, so I can make sure that I operate it properly. I have a young class of kiddos, so I would really like to do everything possible to make sure we get at least a few hatches.

    My incubator is a little Giant 40 WATT 110VOLT AC. I am not sure if it is still air or forced air incubator. One sign on it says it is a still air incubator, the other says "This is a forced air fan... circulated air incubator." Here is a pic of it:


    And here is it is opened:

    I am mostly concerned with tempature fluxs with this model incubator. Is this something I am going to need to come up to the school over the weekends to check on? I am also lost as to what to put the water in and where to put the water in my bator. Also, what do I use to measure humidty and where can I get it? I've seen online how to make one of your own, but I'd rather buy one so I can be sure of the accuracy. Also, do I need to worry about refilling/moistening the water source once the eggs are set? And how often does it need to be done, if so (again, I'm mostly concerned about the weekends)? I'm confused about how safe it is to open to bator once the eggs get going.

    I am also concerned about the themorater it came with, and how accurately it measures tempts. It measures clearly what 99.5 is, but not past that:


    I'm worried, b/c as you can see form the pic, there's no easy way to tell if the temp has gone up up one degree, or if the temp is at the dangerous 102 range. What sort of thermoater do y'all use, and where can I find one if this one won't work? I also just placed mine inside the bator where I could see it through the window, is that right place to put it to measure the temp?

    I've tested everything out, and it seems to be working. Just want to be sure I have everything set right before I begin! Thanks!

  2. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Well I dont really know the answer to your question as I have never owned an incubator, but I think it is a great Idea. In second grade we hatched chicks, and I thought it was great!
    Good Luck, and I know theres someone here to answer your questions!
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If there is a fan in the bator, set temps to be for "forced air". Else set temps to be still air. There should be a knob to change temps. As for thermometer, a quality medical one or ones calibrated in ice water would work just fine.

    As for temps, as long as your school doesn't shut heat off at night and on weekends, the incubator thermostat should be able to kick in and keep it warm enough. If the school does shut heating on weekends, and room temps drop into the 50's, it might not be able to keep up.
  4. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    1.Ok look under the top part and you will see a box type thing screwed to the top of the bator if it has a fan , you may even see the fan blades. If you are not shure post a pic of the inside top of the bator .
    2.Go to pet co and get a digital thermometer and a digital humidity guage (sometimes come to gether sometimes you can get seperate, when you have them calabrate them to see if they read under or above what they should then write down the diffrence so you know what the bator is really doing insdie.
    Some people find some kind at walmart , i didnt have any luck
    Also you can order them on line at petco if you dont have one at yorue local pet store.
    <<<<Acurate humidity and temp are vital to sucsess, so this part is important.>>>>
    3.Ok you will want to clean the screen and the bottom part of the bator with warm soapy water and rinse it very very well, you can then use a dilutted bleach sulotion (not strong ) to clean it with to kill any extra germs then rinse it very well and let air dry, Someone else will have to tell you how to wipe down / clean the egg turner or lid or such.
    4. After its all cleaned and dry and everthing find a nice temperture controled spot away from the windows (drafts and sunlight) away from heatsources , These little bators can do good but there pretty dependent on stable eviroments, if the room temp swings its temp will swing. Plug in and run it for awhile with the big middle well in the bottom with about a 1/4 cup or less of water in it.
    Then we will go from there
  5. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens


    I'm in Fort Worth and used one of these for years. Go to the pharmacy and get a regular mercury thermometer and tape it to a card. The other option is to go to PetSmart and get one of the digital thermometers made by XTerra. They are on the reptile isle and have a high/low memory.

    That little "square" in the middle of the bottom part with the groove like trays around is where the water goes. You can also get a digital hydrometer on the reptile isle at PetSmart, thats made by Xterra as well. It also has a high/low memory and is extremely accurate.

    If you'd like to call me, or email me privately I also have access to about 277 people in the DFW area that can probably help you out obtaining eggs of any breed. I'd be more than happy to help out any way that I can. (And I work for a local police dept, so I'm rather trustworthy)
  6. wolfie

    wolfie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    Fort Worth
    [​IMG] looks like everyone already gave you great advice. Good Job everyone this site is awesome [​IMG]!
  7. byrandom

    byrandom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2008
    Terrell, TX

    I am located in Terrell, but I work in Downtown Dallas. I'd be more than happy to help you out in any way that I could.

    BYC is full of helpful people, but I do have to say, Texas folks are the best! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Crockett

    Crockett Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2009
    North Central - IA
    To make life easier, go to Walmart and get an ACURITE Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer with Humidity. It should be with other Thermometers. Next, get a round nob that fits on a dimmer switch for lights. This you will put on the adjustment nob. It makes it much easier to adjust. While you are there, go to the toy section and get a Water Wiggler. You will put the outdoor thermometer probe in this and place it on the wire next to where the eggs go. Once you have these PM me and I will explain how to use them.

    Good Luck!
  9. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I'll second that, but I'm not hiding under a chair... LOL

    PDC (PROUD way of Louisiana...LOL)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2009
  10. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    I found my accurite therm and humidity gauge at home depot. Be sure to run the bator for a couple of days to make sure the temp stabalizes. I had a 112% spike because I was rushing things.

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