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Temperature drop! Freaking out!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 21stCenturyMom, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. 21stCenturyMom

    21stCenturyMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    Feeling seriously freaked out and worried because this morning our termperature in the incubator dropped to something around 80 degrees! What the heck happened?!? [​IMG]

    Last night was Day 18, so we candled the eggs for the last time and weighed them. Everything was looking good, good air cells, appropriate weight loss... so I thought we should increase the humidity and put the eggs on lockdown. We soaked paper towels, tucked them in, put the eggs on their sides and took out the egg turner. Everything seemed hunky-dory.

    Then this morning, we woke up to the incubator being only 80 degrees! Was this because of the increased humidity of the paper towels? We have had quite a sudden turn of weather here recently -- a week ago it was in the 90s, today it is in the 70s.

    Do you think they are lost? What should we do about increasing the temp in there? We are using a still air Little Giant incubator.

    Feeling super worried about our little fluffs... and my son is near tears. [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance for any help and words of wisdom...
     
  2. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WIth still-air incubators the temperature can vary greatly the farther you get from the heating element. I wouldn't of guessed it would be 20 degrees cooler, but it's definitely much cooler when you put the eggs down on the mesh versus having them in the turner. I don't know why more people don't talk about this and warn newbies about it because it is a very real issue.
     
  3. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm assuming you had the thermometer resting on top of the eggs in the turner, correct? And now it's resting on top of the eggs that are laying on their sides on the mesh, correct?

    If it were me, I would very carefully turn the temperature knob up. Be very careful though. Wait an hour to take a reading. Those LG knobs are very touchy.

    Also, make doubly sure the incubator is fully closed, and not propped open on one corner or end. If this spot is near the thermometer this could be all it is, and you'd only need to turn the temperature knob slightly to compensate for the eggs being fatrther from the element.

    Also, is there any chance the knob got bumped yesterday?

    Fingers crossed you'll get a good hatch anyway. I can definitely understand the stress you're going through. Honestly, one of the best decisions I've ever made was to buy a used Genesis 1588. I used Little Giant 9200s a bunch, and every time was stressed out, especially the last few days. Sometimes I got great hatches, other times I didn't. With the Genesis it's practically set it and forget it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  4. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where do you have the incubator? It should be in a place with a fairly constant temperature (i.e. indoors, not in a barn for example) and not in direct sunlight. For me, I've learned that I get my best hatches by keeping my incubators in the basement.

    If your incubator is outside, yes, this could cause the temperature drop.
     
  5. 21stCenturyMom

    21stCenturyMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2014
    Thanks for the reply!

    We do have the incubator indoors, so the weather might not be as much of an issue. But our house definitely got quite a bit colder over the last couple of days! Have had to break out the jackets and jeans for the humans...

    Ack! I forgot to put the thermometers on top of the eggs on the mesh! They are laying right on the mesh. When we were incubating earlier, I did have the thermometers on top of the eggs. So hopefully the internal temps of the eggs didn't drop quite as much... but they probably still did drop [​IMG]

    Have adjusted the knob a little bit and we are checking every 15 mins to see if it is going up, which it appears to be.

    There definitely is a temp difference within the incubator for sure. We had one thermometer on the mesh and one on top of the eggs earlier and there was always a temp difference of 4-6 degrees between the two.
     
  6. 21stCenturyMom

    21stCenturyMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2014
    Looks like temps are getting back to where they should be... over the past 90 mins, they have risen to 95 degrees, as measured on the mesh. Going to keep an eye on them over the next few hours now to make sure they don't get TOO hot due to our knob adjustments. Ugh, I have barely had to adjust the temp control knob this entire time and now I feel like I am completely guessing at random!

    I just hope we get even a few chicks to hatch. [​IMG]

    They were really looking good and we could even see the shadows of chicks last night [​IMG]
     
  7. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At this point the chicks are capable of producing a fair ammount of body heat, so they could very well be just fine.


    Yes, I'd keep a VERY close eye on it. If it were me, I'd even check during the night every 3-4 hours. I've gotten lulled before into thinking the temp was stable when it wasn't. When it remains stable for minimum 6 hours straight then it's stable. The temp should be measured with the thermometer resting on top of the eggs, just FYI. If it's 95 on the mesh it's likely within 2 degrees of perfect.

    As far as the temp knob goes, for next time, try looking up a BYCer's solution that involved glueing a milk jug cap to the knob, which makes the knob way bigger and so gives much more control.

    Also, just FYI, as far as humidity, I figured out that the sweet spot for me with the Little Giant 9200s was 30-50% condensation on the windows. This will increase when they start hatching, which is fine, just keep it no more than 90% condensation on the windows (just to be clear, I'm not talking 90% humidity, I'm referring to what percentage of the windows is covered in water drops/mist). If the humidity is too high they'll drown, to low and the egg shell membrane will dry onto the chick preventing it from hatching. For me, the humidity for the last three days is commonlly what made or break my hatch. No pressure, LOL.

    If it's any consolation, it's pretty rare not to get any chicks. You'll likely get some, just not as many as you were originally hoping for.
     
  8. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This could very well be part of the problem. I believe it says in the manual to run the incubator in a room with a stable temperature.
     
  9. 21stCenturyMom

    21stCenturyMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2014
    HOPE!!!!

    We just heard some peeps! And one of the eggs is rocking!

    Omg, I am so nervous and excited!!! We can't stop staring at the eggs!

    [​IMG]

    I know this is crazy, but my son has a laptop and we put it near the eggs and are playing broody hen sounds to encourage the chicks! We just youtubed some broody hen videos and are playing them over and over. I feel certain they can hear it through their shells. In case any that have made it this far are thinking of quitting!

    C'mon little chickies!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    Having them listen to a broody hen is actually not a bad idea. Like you say, it could help motivate any quitters. I might try that my next hatch.
     

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