Setting up for a more successful hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wolfandfinch, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm finally able to try again after a dismal hatch last spring. This will bein a preschool I can access 7 days a week. I bought a hygrometer to better measure the humidity. What's the best thermometer situation? Something I can use with an automatic turner... We're using a hovabator. 24 eggs collected by a lady who sells them fir a living. I recognize that at this time of year we will be looking at a decrease in fertility. The eggs will be 4 days from collection. Stored and turned appropriately until being out in the bator. Last batch I got 0/24 so I'm looking for any tips I can get. This is my second hatch. Thanks so much for any advice!
     
  2. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never heard of decreased fertility at certain times of the year.. All i can say it store the eggs pointy end down and "turn" them once or twice a day while they are being stored.. 0/24 is not good.. Perhaps get half your eggs from another source?? Im not sure on humidity
     
  3. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've gone with an entirely new source. She's the one who says she sees decreased fertility heading into winter. My friend is storing the eggs for me until she can bring them into town on thurs and I have her hilariously strict instructions for babysitting them :)

    Thanks very much!
     
  4. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've worked harder at making sure I'm getting the temperature and humidity right. I've used three thermometers but one is a probe so I'm not sure how helpful it is. Am I right in assuming I should be testing the temp at where the eggs sit rather than where I did it last time up against the glass? At the glass was 99.5 and at the turner is a whopping 102-103. Do I average the three thermometers or just keep buying them until I find two that say the same thing?!
     
  5. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh my, yes ma'am you need the temperature where the eggs sit.. If i remember correctly you want 99.5 degrees for a moving air incubator and 100.5 for a still air bator.. A degree or two above suggested temperature for just a couple hours could be devestating.. Temperature lower for a while not so big of a deal as a mother chicken obviously gets down to eat and drink.. 102-103 where the eggs were would probably give you an 0/24 hatch..

    As for the thermometers, i dont know.. I wouldnt over think them too much..l. If it was me and i had 3 thermometers, i guess i would go with an average of the closest 2... Odds that 1 thermometer is off is more likely than 2 being off, so yea, id take an average of the 2 with the closest temp to each other... I assume the probe is the odd man out? If not i would consider another thermometer altogether.. Perhaps find something you know the exact temperature off and see how accurate they are
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  6. sparrow hawk

    sparrow hawk Out Of The Brooder

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    Your thermo is "supposed" to be at the top of the eggs. Most (not all) bator thermo's are a small glass bulb stapled to a thin clear plastic that you simply lay on top of the eggs. Surface temp and air temp will vary slightly so you should just rely on one. I have used the bulb, a thermocouple, and the built in on the hygrometer and all three are off by about 1 degree from each other. Just go with the non-digital.
    As far as temps, 99.5 to 101 for a forced air is fine; 102-103 for still air. RH is usually 45%-55% and then kick it up to 60%-75% for the last 3 days. Also, stop turning your eggs on the 19th day after setting (these are chickens? right?) If not chickens then the stop turning day changes. Pointy end down, and turn a minimum of every 4 hours. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  7. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both so much! I think I've got it at a good place. The thermometer that came with it is just too out. It's a good two degrees lower than the other two. The humidity is all over the place but I'm figuring it out. I just se them today but hope to have it all more settled by tomorrow am. Hope! Last time I had no trouble but I want checking the humidity, just using the troughs. And I only used the thermometer that came with it. All the eggs didn't make it.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    The thing you want to do is check that any of thermometers and hygrometers are correct by testing them against a known criteria.
    Comparing devices is useless unless you know how accurate any of them are.

    I used a glass candy thermometer (only thermometer I have that could get very wet) tested in boiling water and noted how far off 212 degrees it was.
    Then put the candy thermometer and 3 others in the incubator and compared them all, noting any differences.
    I made a chart noting all temps and made notes about 'if this one reads this temp it is actually that temp'.

    You can also use ice cubes just covered with water...depends on the range of temps the thermometer you can get wet reads.



    Hygrometers can be tested by putting 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup water in a dish or jar and mixing it to a slurry.
    Put the salt slurry jar and the hygrometer next to each other in a sealed plastic bag.
    After 8-12 hours the hygrometer should read 75%...again note and differences and you're set.

    Hope that helps. Good Luck.
     
  9. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    wow, I wish I read this before setting the eggs, thank you so much for this info, it's great! I'll try and calibrate them tomorrow if I can. Sunday is the hardest day for me to get at the incubator- it's in the preschool.

    Well, I hoipe it's close enough :O
     

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