Temperature for still air incubator???

Oct 16, 2020
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Okay this is weird... I have a very basic incubator. No fan for air circulation. I’ve been hatching my eggs at 99.5 degrees, with a pretty low success rate. (25%) (Which I chalked up to my high humidity.

Now, I just read that if you are using a still-air incubator, you‘re supposed to incubate the eggs at 102 degrees!!!!

Is this true?

If so, can I raise the temperature on the eggs I’m currently incubating? They’ve been in there a little over a week.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
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I would bump up the temperature and see how you get on. In a still air incubator there are layers of different temperatures, whereas there's less temperature difference in a forced air incubator where the fan is constantly moving the air.

Do rotate the eggs to different positions in the incubator as there are likely warmer and cooler spots (the same thing happens with a forced air incubator too).

:fl for a better hatch this time around.
 

CovidtimeQuail

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
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Honolulu, HI
Aloha, I'm in Hawaii too. I followed the instructions to raise the temperature to 101.5 (not sure where I saw that number) and my hatch rate was even lower. I suspect that a still air incubator is not a good solution for hatching. Temperatures around the incubator ranged from 98 degrees to 102.0 depending on which thermometer corner I looked at. I rotated the eggs around the unit, but that also meant that temperatures dropped when the cover was opened.

This time, I bought an air circulator used for electronics to put inside. Now, the temperature is steady throughout the unit. Will let you know if I have better luck. The birds are expected to hatch just before Christmas. I'm crossing my fingers. Let's compare notes.
 

CovidtimeQuail

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
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Honolulu, HI
Just a FYI, these are the fans I bought to put in the incubator.
Amazon link to fans
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I was able to fit both of them into a Little Giant incubator and have enough room for 50 or so eggs if needed. Anxious to see if this helps.
 
Oct 16, 2020
220
201
108
Aloha, I'm in Hawaii too. I followed the instructions to raise the temperature to 101.5 (not sure where I saw that number) and my hatch rate was even lower. I suspect that a still air incubator is not a good solution for hatching. Temperatures around the incubator ranged from 98 degrees to 102.0 depending on which thermometer corner I looked at. I rotated the eggs around the unit, but that also meant that temperatures dropped when the cover was opened.

This time, I bought an air circulator used for electronics to put inside. Now, the temperature is steady throughout the unit. Will let you know if I have better luck. The birds are expected to hatch just before Christmas. I'm crossing my fingers. Let's compare notes.
Not sure where you are, but I’m on North shore Kauai (aka, the wettest place on earth) and my first hatches were probably, I kid you not, at closer to 100% humidity. LOL. I only just now invested in a dehumidifier. Which I hope helps. But in order to keep my incubator dry (and keep bmy bedroom dark at night) I’ve put a towel over my set up much of the tI’ve. which nakes the air even more still.

I ordered a better incubator, as well as a second dehumidifier. So hopefully that will help. Look forward to finding out!
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,075
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New Zealand
Incubation is very much about experimenting and working out what works for your set-up and climate. Despite high humidity in my climate I still need water in my incubator, otherwise the humidity gets too low.
 

CovidtimeQuail

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
712
1,514
221
Honolulu, HI
Not sure where you are, but I’m on North shore Kauai (aka, the wettest place on earth) and my first hatches were probably, I kid you not, at closer to 100% humidity. LOL. I only just now invested in a dehumidifier. Which I hope helps. But in order to keep my incubator dry (and keep bmy bedroom dark at night) I’ve put a towel over my set up much of the tI’ve. which nakes the air even more still.

I ordered a better incubator, as well as a second dehumidifier. So hopefully that will help. Look forward to finding out!
I was able to bring down the humidity to 35% using a very strong dehumidifier and a closed room. To bring it back up for lockdown, I loaded the incubator with water. If it helps, from my own experience I've eliminated humidity as a potential stumbling block.
 
Oct 16, 2020
220
201
108
I was able to bring down the humidity to 35% using a very strong dehumidifier and a closed room. To bring it back up for lockdown, I loaded the incubator with water. If it helps, from my own experience I've eliminated humidity as a potential stumbling block.
My experience is weird because my first hatch, I actually had 5 out of 10 hatch. Which isn't too bad. Though I think I may have "rescued" one or two of them.

This was with Way Too High humidity, and a 99.5 degree still air incubator.

Unfortunately, I had three of the 5 die within a day or two, which was SUPER frustrating.

Then with my second hatch, I tried 20 eggs, and didn't put any water in during the incubation period until close to the end when my daughter's boyfriend added a bunch of water.

In that case, our hatch was even worse! I only ended up with 7, at least half of which I had to help out of their shells. (And 2 of which I rescued but had terrible inward-turned feet due to humidity and had to be culled.)

I learned my lesson was batch 2, though, and was very careful not to let any of the hatched chicks die unless I chose to cull them. The trick, I learned, was to check on them every 5 minutes, dunk their heads in the water, and basically rouse back to consciousness any chicks trying to escape life. LOL. In retrospect, I may have been too quick to toss out the dead on my first hatch. At least one of them may have only been "mostly dead." I might have been able to revive one or two. And they likely died of dehydration.

So this time, I'm only trying to hatch 10 again. I figure maybe this incubator does better when there is more space between the eggs? I also added a dehumidifier, though my humidity varies from one side of the incubator to the other. I've got hygrometers going outside the set up. Oh, and I turned up the heat to 100 degrees. I may increase it to 100.5, if I'm feeling daring.

Lockdown is Friday, so I have my fingers crossed!

What I have learned this far is:

1. It's okay to rescue chicks from their eggs, so long as they have mostly cut there way out already. I've killed one on a rescue attempt, but saved at least 4 others.

2. The trick to keeping them alive after birth is to not let them die. Force them to drink water and eat food. I have to check the temperature as often as possible, and dry them as fast as possible. And if one looks dead, I pick it up and dunk it's head in the water bowl, then the food bowl. I think my early ones died of dehydration, as I didn't realize how much quail need to be taught to drink water. For 48 hours, they need near constant supervision.

Anyway...dont know if any of this is helpful to you. We'll see what happens this weekend!
 

Nigel27

Crowing
Apr 22, 2020
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I’ve read still air models need to be higher temp because of the different air layers, and if it’s 102 then the embryo (top of egg?) is actually at 99.5. My thermometer is elevated to embryo level. Do I still need to set it at 102?
 

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