Setting up my first incubator! (oh so many questions!)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Shayna, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

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    Newbie here.... Sooo stressful!! Hoping I do everything right - especially with the stress of knowing if I don't get these eggs hatched, it's pretty late in the season for do-overs. (no pressure!)

    I have silkie eggs arriving mid next week. LG 9200 set up with a 12v computer fan in it, currently running fluctuating about 99 - 101 degrees over the last 24 hours. I'm currently looking for a water wiggler thing to get a better idea of temperature.

    The humidity is at 16%, and when I add a little water it appears to spike to about 65%. I know that I want the humidity low for the first 17 days, like around 40% I think? How important is it to regulate the humidity in the first couple weeks? I'm trying to figure out how to get it right. I am wondering if I should put a sponge underneath the screen? And on the 18th day, how do I figure out how much more water to add without messing it up terribly bad?

    I'm picking up an egg turner on Friday, and I'll be adding nonslip mat onto the screen when I remove the egg turner and go into lockdown. Is there any special way to arrange the eggs in the turner? I believe the turner holds about 36 eggs and I'll be putting in 2 dozen, so I'm curious if there's a strategy on which spots to leave empty like center, or sides, etc. The eggs go in the turner pointy side down when I receive them, is that right? And I candle at 8 days for the first time? Since the weather is in the 80s, should I just put them right in the incubator when I receive them?

    I'm really hoping for a successful run here, and thank you to anyone to can give me tips or advice to help me get there! Thanks for reading my lengthy post full of quetsions! [​IMG]
     
  2. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    [​IMG] from California. I just finished hatching yesterday, with the same incubaor but no fan. The humidity is not important for the first 17 days, it is good as long as it stays between 30% and 50% but idealy 40%. Make sure the temp never goes above 102 or the eggs will cook. Dont be surprised if some of the eggs you orderd apear empty when you candle them, dring shiping they get tossed around and stuff so they micht not develope, I just learned that lesson yesterday with a couple of eggs I ordered. It is also Important to let the eggs you ordered to settle for a day before you put them in the incubator, so the yolks may settle. You want to place the eggs point down, as near to the termometer as possible so the readings are more acurate.Do not put an egg n the cup rearest to the egg turner motor, because that also creates heat, heating up the egg too much. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  3. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

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    Quote:Thanks very much for the info, I thought I scared everyone away with all the questions! I think having the air running is sucking the humidity out. I'll try to figure out how to get it to at least 30%. Turning off the air and opening the windows should do the trick! Friday I'll test out the egg turner and hopefully have a water wiggler to get a better idea of what an egg temp should run. Today my incubator got up to nearly 101 again, but it never gets over that, or below 99, so I'm glad for no larger variances.
    So, I need to let the eggs set a day, hah? Not what I wanted to hear, I want them in this incubator! [​IMG]
    I'm looking forward to trying out candling eggs, but I'm not sure I'll even know when I see something. I suppose I'll look for pictures at that time to figure out what I'll be looking for.
    Thanks again for the help- this egg thing is nerve wrecking!
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:P.S. Join a hatching thread--it relieves a LOT of stress to talk with others experiencing the same thing.


    GOOD LUCK !
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  5. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

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    Thanks Arielle for taking the time to go through and address each one of my questions! That helps me out a lot. I have been doing a ton of reading, which sometimes makes it worse, because there's so much conflicting information out there! I wish there was just one "right" way. Wishful thinking, hah?

    I'm not using an LG thermometer, so I didn't calibrate anything. I have two digital thermometers I'm using to verify the temperature, and one reads humidity also. I'm going to pick up another humidity gauge (possibly a 2 in 1 with temp) just to double check my humidity reading is right, but I think it is. I have picked up sponges to put at the bottom to increase humidity when I need to.

    I found an awesome link on how to make a water wiggler instead of using a hallowed out egg or buying a wigger - I'll be doing this:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=164639

    I do have one more question: When I open the box to check them over before I let them settle for a day, should I leave them sit how they arrived in the box, or have them settle pointy end down? Can I put them in the egg turner NOT turned on, outside the incubator, and then move that into the incubator after the air cell has settled?

    I'll check out Chookchicks page and keep a notebook when I set my eggs, thanks for the helpful ideas. I'm absolutely joining a thread when I begin incubating my eggs so I have a buddy in this craziness! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  6. skillswife

    skillswife Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  8. rekabnivek

    rekabnivek Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought the LG incubator was pure junk. The temperature varied way too much and actually spiked to 108 at about day 15. We set it up properly away from drafts and extra heat sources. Be careful and use a really good thermometer. I saw a guy on here that used on of those kids wiggly water things and stuck a probe thermometer in it. That may be an option if you can't find the other. Also look for posts on how to calibrate your new thermometer and hygrometer. Good luck with your precious eggies! We're doing either the hova bator or cabinet next time.
     
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Quote:X2 any LG is going to give you fit's for sure and as a 1st timer it will be very stressful using the LG. I wish you luck cause your gonna need it with the LG and I hope you have patients and thick skin. Good luck sending hatching vibes your way.
     
  10. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

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    Yeah, I've read the opinions on the LGs and I would've gone with a Hova Bator if I was buying one, but this one is free! Just had to pull it out of storage and clean off the dust, and I'm getting an egg turner for $10.00 tomorrow. I'm a low budget chicken hatcher! LOL I just hope it works for me. I did have my husband put a fan in it that he pulled out of his computer parts graveyard. I'm doing my best to get everything just right so I've done all I can to make it a success.
    I do have multiple thermometers and I'm watching it carefully. So far I haven't seen a big temp swing in the couple days I've had it going. One of my thermometers records the highs and lows for temp.
    Thanks for the luck, I'll need all I can get! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011

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