1. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    This isn't coop design, but it doesn't fit under "incubation" either....so if someone knows a better place for my question, please let me know.

    My wonderful husband built me a new incubator from an old office size refrigerator. He had it finished; sitting on the workbench; plugged in to make sure everything worked properly.

    I went to check it out, opened the door, and had my breathe taken away by the smell of silicone!! I know if it bothered me, it would probably kill any embryos.

    Will the silicone fumes disipate as it "ages"? Should I remove all of the silicone? Am I correct in my assumption that the silicone fumes would kill the embryos?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Prospector

    Prospector Songster

    Are you sure the fumes are silicone and not from another solvent (glue) Or from the materials the fridge is made of?

    If so, try googling "off-gassing" adn th ename of the silicone he used. The different caulks and sealants are made with different chemical compositions. Some are pretty benign while others have a strong scent. Some off-gass (give off chemicals to teh atmosphere) for a long time, some for only a short time.

    I would leave the incubator door propped ope for a week or two with a small fan (computer fan size) running in it and see if the smell goes away at all.
  3. DaveBeaty

    DaveBeaty In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2010
    New Mexico
    As an old aquarium hobbyist, I have some experience with silicone off-gassing. [​IMG]

    When silicone cures, it exudes acetic acid (the active ingredient in vinegar). One can surmise that vinegar fumes would etch eggshells and make them thinner and more fragile. Fortunately, the acetic acid fumes will fade away if you let the incubator air in the open for about a week.

    This next bit of advice is coming a little late in the project: Aquarium builders and repairers make sure to use Type I silicone without mold inhibitors so that the anti-mold chemicals do not leach into the aquarium water. I don't know if the chemicals would have any effect in an incubator, as I presume the eggs would never come in contact with the silicone itself.

    Have fun hatching eggs!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, if it's normal silicone caulk then the fumes are just acetic acid (what vinegar is). You still probably don't want to expose the eggs to that, of course, but still. If you used something else, e.g. a siliconized latex caulk, some of those can have NASTY solvent fumes though, and for a rather long time too IME.

    No matter WHAT the fumes are, the solution is simple. Take the thing outdoors or to garage. Open its door. Aim a fan at it. Leave it that way for a day or two. When you think it might be aired enough, turn off the fan and close the door. Check again in a few hours. Smells ok? It's ok. Smells fumey? Needs more open-door-and-fan treatment [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,


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