Question re: hovabators...having bad hatches..

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Three Cedars Silkies, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    Well, I used to be a great hatcher until I bought a forced-air Hovabator. I used a homemade Miss Prissy bator with a hot-water heater thermostat which I hated because the air temp swings were 4-6 degrees with occasional spikes to 107 for no apparent reason. BUT...I still had 80-90% hatches.

    Imagine my excitement [​IMG] when the new Hovabator came...along with the automatic turner. The temp stayed EXACTLY 100 degrees all the time. No issues with humidity...stayed 28-30% first 18 days (remember, I'm in Florida and the ambient humidity in my house with the a/c on 78 is 48%) ...besides, I have had great luck "dry hatching". Kept the vent plugs out because I really believe in lots of ventilation. No opening the bator to hand turn the eggs 3 times a day. [​IMG]

    I really wondered why I hadn't bought it earlier...until now. [​IMG]

    I'm on day 22 of my 3rd hatch. I have one live chick out of 8 eggs. [​IMG] I did the "bob" test this morning and didn't see any movement so I am assuming dead chicks. [​IMG] The one chick that hatch was covered in albumen and had wiry down, so I'm assuming too much humidity...or too low temps...or both. Most likely both.

    I agree with Walkswith dog that each environment is different and you have to adjust your bator for those differences. But WHAT THE HELL ?????????????????...... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Edited to spell HELL correctly [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2009
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    I'm so sorry about your crummy hatch. [​IMG]

    Could it be that your measuring instruments are wrong? Maybe your temp wasn't what you thought? Or humidity?

    I hope you figure it out. My hovabator, like yours, keeps things very steady, and I've had good success with it. But your situation is obviously different. Good luck figuring it out--I hope your next hatch is awesome. [​IMG]
     
  3. chick-a-bone2

    chick-a-bone2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Were the eggs shipped? That seems to be an "x-factor" in explaining a lot of bad hatches, due to the fact that you don't really know how the eggs were handled or stored by the seller or the post office.
    BTW - what is the "bob test?"
     
  4. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    Could be the therm/hygr...but I have 3 of them in there and they all read within a few points of each other. I guess it's possible for all of them to be off. [​IMG]

    I have 30 eggs to set tonight when I get home. My game plan is this. Stop on the way home and get 2 new therm/hygr. Clean the incubator and disinfect. Set the temp to 101. This is the temp that I normally incubate at in my homemade incubator with great hatches. Keep my humidity down at 28%...like I did in my old bator....and PRAY!!!!
     
  5. chick-a-bone2

    chick-a-bone2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh and just my two cents - I tried "dry incubation" several times with my hovabator and had disasterous results (I'm in coastal SoCal, so my humidity isn't far off from yours). Maybe hovabators don't accomodate dry incubation well?
     
  6. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    Quote:Glad to know this...I'll take this into consideration. The reason I said it is because the one chick that hatched was sticky with albumen and that's usually from a low temp, high humidity hatch.
     
  7. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    Quote:Yes, all the eggs were shipped....but I've always been able to hatch shipped eggs with pretty good hatches. I'm trying to take all that into consideration...[​IMG]
     
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Hmmm. That is very strange. I wouldn't think you would need more measuring instruments--if they all agree, that seems a pretty good indicator. Could it have been the eggs rather than the incubator? Of course, three hatches is a pretty good sampling to rule that out, unless they were all shipped eggs.

    I have thought about buying one of these:

    http://hoeggergoatsupply.com/xcart/product.php?productid=3271&cat=0&page=1

    It measures air, liquid, or food solids with gauranteed accuracy within 0.1 degrees, and has a nice long probe that you could stick through a vent hole to measure the inside temp. For the price of three walmart variety thermometers, you could have that accuracy & functionality instead, and use it to calibrate the rest of your thermometers.
     
  9. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,033
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    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    Oh yeah...I have one of those too but I used to use it inside my water wiggler. I didn't put the wiggler in the hovabator....hhmmmmm!!

    Add that to my list of things to pick up on the way home. I'll try that too.

    If I do get chicks to hatch, there won't be any room for them because of all the equipment inside the incubator!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:Glad to know this...I'll take this into consideration. The reason I said it is because the one chick that hatched was sticky with albumen and that's usually from a low temp, high humidity hatch.

    I do nothing but dry hatches in my 4 hovabators and have good hatches, so I don't think that's the problem.....sorry, I don't know what to suggest other than using your own eggs if these have been shipped eggs and trying to tweek things a bit at a time.
     

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