Styrofoam Incubators Club

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by beetandsteet, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Hovabator

    42 vote(s)
    34.4%
  2. Little Giant--manual controls

    14 vote(s)
    11.5%
  3. Little Giant--digital controls

    38 vote(s)
    31.1%
  4. Farm innovators

    28 vote(s)
    23.0%
  1. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
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    So maybe you bought it because of the attractive price. Or maybe you got it as a gift from a kind relative. Or perhaps you got it online without reading the reviews! Either way, you may have realized now you have an incubator "everyone loves to hate." Yes, that's right, I'm talking about Styrofoam Incubators, especially the Farm Innovators and Little Giant models. People complain about every aspect of these, from the quirky temperature controls, the inaccurate gauges, and their tendency to temperature spikes and frying eggs.

    I have had my Little Giant 9200 (with an added fan) for over 2 years and done 6 hatches in it. Messed up some hatches really bad, and had good success with others. I have found a few tips and tricks to using mine, and I'm sure there are a lot of people out there with their own methods.

    I've noticed that there are lots of new hatchers with these Styrofoam incubators, who are just now reading about how "bad" their bator is. There are also hatchers who have figured out a way to "make peace" with their Styro-bator, and have fantastic hatches. This thread is for asking questions about your Styrofoam incubator, and for all y'all experienced hatchers to give advice. I'd love to eventually compile everyone's Styro-bator hatching secrets, and put them in an article. I'm open to learning new methods to increase hatch rate in my own incubator.
    Make sure to respect everyone's opinions--for every hatcher, there are at least a dozen different methods! :)

    Things I've learned from experience about incubating in my LG:
    • A steady room temperature is very important in keeping the temperature inside your incubator constant
    • Hasty temperature adjustments always lead to stress on your part, wild temperature fluctuations, and possible embryo deaths
    • Do not trust the little thermometer that comes with your incubator
    • Always always always use more than 1 calibrated thermometer. Always use an analog thermometer with a digital in case of battery failure
    • Don't mess with the humidity until day 18. Adjusting humidity too much can create temperature swings. I hatch using the "dry hatching" method and monitor air cells
    • Always have the incubator up and running at least a few days before setting eggs so you can get the correct temperature set and holding steady
    • Don't use the water wells in your styro-bator for humidity. Use small wet rags, sponges, or cups.
    • Don't follow the instructions that come with your incubator
    Those are just a few things I've observed. Please feel free to comment on my methods. Welcome to the Styro-Bators Club!
    [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  2. RitzHomestead

    RitzHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 19, 2015
    Marble Hill, GA
    I have the Little Giant 9300 with the automatic egg turner as well. I have put in a trusted and proven digital thermometer that reads humidity levels as well in there and yes the degrees is always off by about 2 degrees. So I base it off the digital thermometer and I have to have the thermostat set on the little giant at about 101.8 or so to get the perfect 99.5 degrees. They can be a useful bator as long as you have a thermostat to check the real temp in the bator.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Coreenelane

    Coreenelane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2016
    Had my styro little giant 1 week and the humidity is always above 40% and low 50's . My directions clearly state that any humidity under60% will not be accurate, should I be concerned? I am diong the candleing also
     
  4. heatherledet

    heatherledet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 19, 2016
    Following!
     
  5. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    When you're candling, check and mark the air cells. They should look something like this. Some people (including myself) find that a lower incubation humidity (in the 30's) produces a better hatch rate. As long as your air cells are growing proportionately, your humidity is good.
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    Thank you! Feel free to share any wisdom you have on styrofoam incubators, or just incubation in general :)
     
  7. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    Awesome! Thanks for sharing! That is precisely what I have observed. I have 3 thermometers in mine (sometimes I do think it's a little overkill!). You do have to take 2 of the turner racks out to fit the thermometers in there I've noticed
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Go Habs Go Premium Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Howdy all,

    I have a 2nd hand LG 9200 and have been very pleased, with temps staying at a perfect 101.5 so far. This is my second attempt at hatching, 1st one failed due to user error and not by any fault of the 'bator!
    As of day 10, 11/12 eggs I set are doing great, only 1 clear and no quitters so far.
    Along with all the tips mentioned above, (I agree 100%) here are some more tips I have learned:

    • Hot gluing a lego to the control stick of a manual styro makes it MUCH less fiddly.
    • Make sure you measure temp at the correct level, (in still air styros especially!) just below the top, not at egg turner level. This was why my hatch failed, I had it at 101.5 egg turner level and it was 105 at the embryo level!
    -Banti
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Go Habs Go Premium Member

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    Aug 1, 2015

    X2! I have 3 thermometers in mine, and 1 hygrometer.
    -Banti
     
  10. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    Thanks for sharing! And welcome to the styro-bators club! [​IMG] I am keeping all this incubating wisdom in a document so that I can post it for the novices :)
    I've heard about the lego idea before. I need to do this, because even the slightest turn of the knob can change it 3 or more degrees.
    Hope you have a fantastic hatch! What breeds do you have in?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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