The agony of temp drop

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MainerChick, May 27, 2016.

  1. MainerChick

    MainerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just set my very first batch of 21 barnyard mix eggs in a still air hovabator on Sunday. Last night, after the hot day we had, hubby left a window open in the kitchen and it was enough to pull the 101 temp in the incubator down to 98.6 as of this morning. I've bumped the incu back up, but am afraid this may be too late. Argh! I know the eggs can take some variation and I have no way to know how long they were at their lowest temp. So I just have to wait to find out if they make it- such anxiety over eggs!
     
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  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Even a few hours at that low of temp the eggs should be just fine, might delay the hatch just a couple hours or so... just watch that your bump up doesn't cause it to spike the temp when it warms up outside again... too high of temps are much more damaging to eggs...
     
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  3. MainerChick

    MainerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've read in many places that 102 is perfectly appropriate in still air, and we haven't exceeded that yet. So fingers crossed, hopefully it's OK.

    We live in a mobile home so there's no such thing as a truly temp stable room anyway, and on hot days I've had to nudge the thermostat downward to keep it from rising with the day's weather. It is possibly ironic that this makes me want to speed up my house building dreams even more.
     
  4. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Ah, you're already doing the thermostat wiggle, lol... should be just fine then... and yes 102 is in still air range... I was meaning a spike of quite a bit higher... funny how the little things make us look at the bigger things, eh? :D
     
  5. MainerChick

    MainerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Haha, yes! A friend of mine swears after seeing this process start that its a superior reproduction method to pregnancy (she's a nurse). I bet I can change her mind in one weekend of incubator babysitting!
     
  6. MainerChick

    MainerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I finally seem to have stabilized the temperature within a reasonable 'degree'. I've got an a/c unit running during the day, and leave the thermostat for the house at 70 at night, which normally my yankee thriftiness would balk at. However, we're talking chickens, and clearly that's a different set of rules. Not only did I have to learn that paying for more electricity is worth it to warm the place at night, but I had a day where I came home and the thermometer was over 105. It must have JUST hit that though, because not everything is dead!

    The batch of 21 is now at day 11, and candling revealed two early quitters, one clear/infertile, and the rest still showing clearly visible veining. Of those, a majority show active, definite, really awesome movement from the growing embryo, which is incredibly exciting! Not all are candling well of course, the green eggs are hard to see. Three of the ones I can actually candle are dubious and will probably be confirmed dead by a blood ring the next time I look at them. That should leave me with 15 possibly viable eggs at the two week mark though, which for a first timer seems outstanding.

    I did receive my incuturn in the mail from Incubator Warehouse this week, and with a little trimming it fit well into my old square hovabator. I admit, I'm pleased to no longer need to open the 'bator constantly to turn eggs manually. I also feel like I can leave the house a bit longer. Huzzah...
     
  7. Henriettasmum

    Henriettasmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did a stupid thing just before last Christmas. I am reasonably new to this caper but I have incubated quite a few batches of chickens, ending up with roughly half girls, half boys. My husband made the comment that crocodiles hatch males at a higher temperature whereas lower temps produce females. "That should work for chickens, too," he surmised. I was toying with breeding silkies for sale and had some pre-ordered. Naturally, everyone wants girls, not boys (with the occasional exception), so I decided to lower the temperature a bit to see if I could produce more girls than boys. Looking back now, I shouldn't have experimented when I had so many orders but in my desire to have more girls, I felt I didn't want to wait. I can't remember what temperature I dropped it to, but probably over 1 degree C, perhaps closer to 2. The first chick hatched and was so cute. I watched it for the first day in the incubator as it fell over and rolled onto its back kicking its little eggs into the air until it righted itself. When it went into the brooder it kept doing the same thing but didn't appear to be doing it quite so often. I had a buyer who lived 150 kms away who was eager for 2 chicks and she didn't care if they were boys or girls so as we were driving to her to town we delivered "Rolly" to her, promising the next one as soon as it arrived. They were not hatching quickly, but seemed to have a day or two between them. But as each chick hatched, they too had no balance and they began dying after just a couple of days. I immediately removed all the eggs, keeping them warm, while I cleaned the incubator from top to bottom, and replaced the eggs. Every one of that batch died, including the one I had delivered. I agonised over why this had happened and only recently discovered that this was undoubtedly due to the low temperature. That was one experiment that was a total failure.

    Shortly afterwards I set another batch of eggs - 8 of them, at just half a degree C lower than normal. One was infertile; the other 7 hatched with no problems and have all turned out to be girls. My next batch are almost all hatched - still at the half a degree lower than normal and it will be interesting to see if the first batch was just a fluke; or maybe I will be as lucky this time. I now have seven chicks that were incubator hatched; and six came from the broody hen. She hatched two then abandoned them. She had also abandoned the six other eggs so I removed them and the two chicks. I still have two eggs from the silkie in the incubator but I have a feeling that mama hen was stealing eggs from one of the other girls who insisted on laying in the same box. Time will tell with them.

    So, that's the story of my experience with lower temps. Cross your fingers that I am on the right track.
     
  8. MainerChick

    MainerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well today is day 17. Signs of life in some eggs, but some that had been looking good now look defunct. I've tried to segregate good vs bad on left and right sides of the incubator so I can monitor accordingly. Tomorrow will be Day 18, lockdown day. Since I I started the setting at 5pm on a Sunday, I'll start my lockdown after work when I get home, and crank up the humidity then as well.
     
  9. Henriettasmum

    Henriettasmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good luck. It will be interesting to see your results. Being a newbie, and with a Chinese incubator with less than easy to read instructions I can find no information on setting the humidity. My unit just has a little hole in the lid that can be opened and closed. To date I have simply left it half open/half closed. Does anyone have any advice as to the best way to set the humidity on this type of unit?
     
  10. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    You have to add water to up the humidity. But first I would measure it to see what it is at "naturally" using a hygrometer (humidity reader). I cant make suggestions on where to get them or brands since you're in Australia, but maybe someone else will chime in. To change the humidity you add or remove water.
     

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