Temp at 99 - 100, but the eggs dont feel warm?

Anthony-Smith

Chirping
Apr 16, 2019
39
34
64
Hey yall! I just made a DIY styrofoam incubator. I would upload pics, but I don't have any yet. Maybe I will tomorrow. That being said, I got the temp just right at 99 -100 degrees. I have the temp/humidity thermometer towards the back of the cooler, furthest from the bulb. Im using a 40 watt incandescent (its what I could find that would actually put off some heat).

Here is my problem. I got it set up and put the eggs in. I got the temp just right, and its sitting at 99 - 100 degrees consistently, with about 35% humidity on average. I put the eggs in and let them sit over night. When I checked on them this morning, the temp stayed the same all night, and the humidity dropped to 31%. I figured that it wasn't too big of a deal, as I would just make my sponge damp again. What worries me is that the eggs barely felt warm at all. I've felt eggs that were under a broody hen before, and they were pretty warm. These are nothing close to that temp.

I've been struggling with the humidity, as its been around 31% -36%. I've read a bit about dry hatching, and figured this range was okay, as long as I figured out how to raise the humidity level to roughly 65% a few days before the hatch date.


I have a few theories. Maybe yall can help decipher whats going on.

Again, I'm using a 40 watt bulb. It puts off some heat. To compensate, I had to make some very large holes at the top of the styrofoam box. The temp at the back of the box says its at the appropriate levels, but maybe the eggs feel cooler because the humidity is so low? I'm wondering if the larger holes at the top of the box are causing the humidity to escape too quickly, and not surround the egg to help heat it up? My science theory could be off because, well, I'm not a scientist. Its just a guess, lol. Are dry incubated eggs not that warm?

I'm thinking maybe I should completely remove the styrofoam lid, and replace it with aluminum foil covered in vent holes? Would that help keep the humidity up and the temperature roughly the same (by reducing the very large hole at the top, and at the same time removing whats left of the insulating foam, and in turn providing more coverage)?

Thanks for any advice/help in advance!
 

MGG

Freezing 🙄🤚
Premium Feather Member
Feb 7, 2020
11,771
42,759
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Hey yall! I just made a DIY styrofoam incubator. I would upload pics, but I don't have any yet. Maybe I will tomorrow. That being said, I got the temp just right at 99 -100 degrees. I have the temp/humidity thermometer towards the back of the cooler, furthest from the bulb. Im using a 40 watt incandescent (its what I could find that would actually put off some heat).

Here is my problem. I got it set up and put the eggs in. I got the temp just right, and its sitting at 99 - 100 degrees consistently, with about 35% humidity on average. I put the eggs in and let them sit over night. When I checked on them this morning, the temp stayed the same all night, and the humidity dropped to 31%. I figured that it wasn't too big of a deal, as I would just make my sponge damp again. What worries me is that the eggs barely felt warm at all. I've felt eggs that were under a broody hen before, and they were pretty warm. These are nothing close to that temp.

I've been struggling with the humidity, as its been around 31% -36%. I've read a bit about dry hatching, and figured this range was okay, as long as I figured out how to raise the humidity level to roughly 65% a few days before the hatch date.


I have a few theories. Maybe yall can help decipher whats going on.

Again, I'm using a 40 watt bulb. It puts off some heat. To compensate, I had to make some very large holes at the top of the styrofoam box. The temp at the back of the box says its at the appropriate levels, but maybe the eggs feel cooler because the humidity is so low? I'm wondering if the larger holes at the top of the box are causing the humidity to escape too quickly, and not surround the egg to help heat it up? My science theory could be off because, well, I'm not a scientist. Its just a guess, lol. Are dry incubated eggs not that warm?

I'm thinking maybe I should completely remove the styrofoam lid, and replace it with aluminum foil covered in vent holes? Would that help keep the humidity up and the temperature roughly the same (by reducing the very large hole at the top, and at the same time removing whats left of the insulating foam, and in turn providing more coverage)?

Thanks for any advice/help in advance!
Your temp should actually be 102. Since its a still air incubator. That should help. Also, the eggs in my DIY still air incuvator never feel warm either. All 4 are still alive and are right on track though. Get your temp at 102 and we'll go from there.
 

Anthony-Smith

Chirping
Apr 16, 2019
39
34
64
Your temp should actually be 102. Since its a still air incubator. That should help. Also, the eggs in my DIY still air incuvator never feel warm either. All 4 are still alive and are right on track though. Get your temp at 102 and we'll go from there.
Good to know! And thanks! It shouldn't be too hard. It was sitting at around 102 earlier. I took out a chunk to bring it down. Ill just add it back.
 

Anthony-Smith

Chirping
Apr 16, 2019
39
34
64
Sounds good.


Alright, I think I've got it set to a consistent 102. This time I removed the lid completely and wrapped the top in aluminum foil, and put a punch of holes in it. I had to add a roughly 3.5" - 4" hole to keep it from getting too hot.

I also added some rags to the walls of the box. The bottom of the rags are in contact with the water at the bottom of the cooler. This seemed to have really helped get the humidity level up. I got it all the way up to 67%. The problem is that humidity level is dropping too fast. It went from 67% to 49% in roughly an hour.

Maybe I need a bigger box? The temp is easy to manage, but man that humidity is a beating.

(Side note. I came home after work yesterday, and my son got a hold of this incubator and managed to raise the temp to 109 degrees. My wife said it must have been that hot for two hours. The eggs felt a litte warm, but not as warm as it would feel if a hen were sitting on it. I know you said that still air incubators don't really heat up the eggs the same way. Do you think these eggs are bad? If so that's okay. I have a rooster and a bunch of hens, lol)
 

MGG

Freezing 🙄🤚
Premium Feather Member
Feb 7, 2020
11,771
42,759
1,006
Alright, I think I've got it set to a consistent 102. This time I removed the lid completely and wrapped the top in aluminum foil, and put a punch of holes in it. I had to add a roughly 3.5" - 4" hole to keep it from getting too hot.

I also added some rags to the walls of the box. The bottom of the rags are in contact with the water at the bottom of the cooler. This seemed to have really helped get the humidity level up. I got it all the way up to 67%. The problem is that humidity level is dropping too fast. It went from 67% to 49% in roughly an hour.

Maybe I need a bigger box? The temp is easy to manage, but man that humidity is a beating.

(Side note. I came home after work yesterday, and my son got a hold of this incubator and managed to raise the temp to 109 degrees. My wife said it must have been that hot for two hours. The eggs felt a litte warm, but not as warm as it would feel if a hen were sitting on it. I know you said that still air incubators don't really heat up the eggs the same way. Do you think these eggs are bad? If so that's okay. I have a rooster and a bunch of hens, lol)
I would fill the bottom of the box with water maybe, or put in a cookie sheet full of water. 109? That's pretty high. Have you candled to see if they're still alive? I think they'll be ok. Ours used to spike sometimes too. Keep them in for a while longer.
 

Anthony-Smith

Chirping
Apr 16, 2019
39
34
64
I would fill the bottom of the box with water maybe, or put in a cookie sheet full of water. 109? That's pretty high. Have you candled to see if they're still alive? I think they'll be ok. Ours used to spike sometimes too. Keep them in for a while longer.

I have water at the bottom, and two damp rags in there as well on the walls. The humidity is still leaving so fast.
What purpose would a cookie sheet serve for a styrofoam incubator?

And they came from my hens fresh, so I don't even know if the eggs are fertilized yet. Should be able to tell here in a few days.
 

Tonyroo

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2020
2,720
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N. California
If your temperature on your egg are close to 109 F you might have killed it.

As far as DIY incubator, you shouldn't have any holes on top of the incubator. They need to be on each side near the lower part of the box. When the heat occurs from the bulb it will draw outside air and the moisture from your sponge and swirl it on top of the box. As warm air slightly cools it falls back down and cycles again. So the air interaction is slowly cycling around the eggs. Hope that makes since.

40 Watt bulb are standard for diy bators, helps to prevent over heating.
Place your temp/hygrometer close to eggs for accurate readings.
 

MGG

Freezing 🙄🤚
Premium Feather Member
Feb 7, 2020
11,771
42,759
1,006
I have water at the bottom, and two damp rags in there as well on the walls. The humidity is still leaving so fast.
What purpose would a cookie sheet serve for a styrofoam incubator?

And they came from my hens fresh, so I don't even know if the eggs are fertilized yet. Should be able to tell here in a few days.
If your box is big enough you could put a cookie sheet under the eggs, a wire rack on top, and the eggs on the rack. Then as water evaporates it will raise the humidity. What day are your eggs on? The humidity should be 35-40% until lockdown.
 

Anthony-Smith

Chirping
Apr 16, 2019
39
34
64
If your temperature on your egg are close to 109 F you might have killed it.

As far as DIY incubator, you shouldn't have any holes on top of the incubator. They need to be on each side near the lower part of the box. When the heat occurs from the bulb it will draw outside air and the moisture from your sponge and swirl it on top of the box. As warm air slightly cools it falls back down and cycles again. So the air interaction is slowly cycling around the eggs. Hope that makes since.

40 Watt bulb are standard for diy bators, helps to prevent over heating.
Place your temp/hygrometer close to eggs for accurate readings.

Thats super helpful Tonyroo, Ill give that a shot! I may need a bigger styrofoam cooler then. I started by putting holes in the sides, but it didn't drop the temperature enough with that bulb, so I started putting big holes in the top to compensate.
 

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