temperature variations in incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Barred Rocker, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    Ok, I'd like some opinions to put my worries to rest. I built my own incubator and have had two hatches so far with some fairly wide swings in temp and humidity. Still got at least 3 to hatch out of a dozen each time. Last Sat I set another batch but this time I tweeked the bator and perfected it to hold a steady 99.5 to 99.9 with 50% humidity constantly, I was so proud, then of course disaster strikes on the fourth day. My AC unit quits working on the second floor of my house and that's where the incubator is. I was up all night making adjustments and trying my best to keep the temp within tolerance. It swung from 99.1 to 101.9 but only for short periods of time. The AC was fixed by late afternoon but then because of my adjustments I was fighting too low temps of 97.9 to 99.7 again for only short periods ( no more than an hour). I've heard that temp variations are a bad thing but does anyone know if it will really seriously affect the hatch over a 12 hour period if it still stayed within the safe zone somewhat?

    P.S. everything is stabilized now holding steady at 99.5 to 99.9 again.
     
  2. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    didn't really want to bump would really appreciate an opinion.
     
  3. mahalo4

    mahalo4 Songster

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    well me and you are in the same boat but my wife turned my a/c down w/out telling woke up to 97.9 in bator then had to tweek it for 3 hours to get it back from what i have read on here that should not kill our hatch broodys get up and eat and so on. lets just keep our fingers crossed i think we where on top of it fast enough to save our hatches. [​IMG] thats what i am betting on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  4. Pick-a-LilyFarm

    Pick-a-LilyFarm Songster

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    New Boston, NH
    It's a bummer to have to tweek the temp so often, but all of your temp variations sound like they were in the safe range. I have had ranges from 95 to 103 without a problem. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised with a good hatch!!
     
  5. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    King and Queen Co, Va
    Thanks, I think I can breathe easier now although I fought hard to keep the temp under control during that time. It was just so aggravating it happened when I finally got everything perfect.
     
  6. Grillo

    Grillo In the Brooder

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    I recently made an experiment where I drilled a hole in one of my hens' eggs and put one dial thermometer that I trust a lot, all the way down to the yolk, this one came in a "twin set" with another identical twin, I've observed them carefully and they always mark the same temperature. Anyway, when I put the "theggmometer" inside the bator, the "cold" temp in the egg was 90F, I put it in the bator and it took it two hours to reach 100F. I then realized that the internal egg temperature WILL eventually be the same as the AIR temp in the incubator, OF COURSE you need an incubator that will hold the temp rock solid on 100F. Another thing I observed, it went from 90F to 94F in 15 minutes (10F differential) By the time it reached 99F, it took it 40min to finally go up the last degree to reach 100F. What does this mean? Well, if your temp spikes to say 103, and doesn't go over it, then it'll take the eggs about an hour to go up to 103 (from 100F), so really small (+- 1F) deviations have no real effect on the eggs if the deviation occurs for just a few hours and the AIR temp returns to normal (99.5-100F) for most of the incubation. Hope that helps, it certainly cleared a lot of doubts I had when I was starting. I sort of knew all this just by experience, but seeing it in numbers really puts everything on a clearer light.
     
  7. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    King and Queen Co, Va
    Wow thanks Grillo. That's exactly what I was looking for. Glad you did that experiment, I was always wondering how long it took the interior of the egg to respond to a temperature change. So it looks like as long as the temp variation is short term (an hour or less) it shouldn't have much of an impact on the development of the embryo. I guess I took those university parameters too seriously. They stated that if the temp goes above 102 a poor hatch is likely but they don't say for how long. I'm going to candle the eggs in a few more days but I think I out of the woods for now as long as I don't have any more snafu's.
     
  8. ma hen

    ma hen In the Brooder

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    i feel your pain, my family made our own incubator up two nights this week till 2:00am because of switch in temp here. ugg
     
  9. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    Everything has been stable since that bad day when the AC went out. I candled a few of the eggs last night and 3 out of 3 had veins visible. So I'm really hoping I dodged a bullet and will get a really decent hatch this time.
     

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