The incubator does whatever it wants--Are they toast?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SilkieLover01, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. SilkieLover01

    SilkieLover01 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 18, 2014
    I'm desperately trying to hatch some Trader Joe's fertile eggs in the forced air little giant incubator from %#%^%. Stuck them in there Wednesday morning. Temp had been holding steady at 100 for week beforehand. Put them in there, came back the next morning and discovered it was 84 degrees. Turned it up, everything seemed okay. Then last night it surprised me with 103.5! How nice! Now it's something like 97. Should I just assume they're all dead? Would a day at 84 kill them? Would 103? I was always taught 102 is the killing temp. How would these temps affect them if not? And whens the soonest I can candle? Obviously they're plain white leghorn eggs so they're the easiest eggs you could possibly candle.
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    If it was holding steady for days before you put the eggs in it---I would not have touched it to turn it up a day after adding eggs. The eggs are probably fine, but my concern is the 84. Is this incubator in a cold unheated room? Did the room temp get lower because of getting colder out? These incubators can not heat like they need if the room temp drops low.
  3. coastingangel

    coastingangel Out Of The Brooder

    I had an incubator in our garage overheat on a really hot day. It got up over 40 celsius, which is more than 103. Still had 9 out of 12 hatch. If you don't already have one I would get a small independent thermometer and use that inside the incubator rather than rely on what the incubator is telling you.
  4. gpop1

    gpop1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2015
    I read a university study that showed 106-107 internal egg temp for any length of time is terminal. Depending on the size of egg that doesn't give you very long once a heater runs away as the eggs are already around 99 internal during incubation. 103 steady for a period of time should still be ok.

    On the cold side low 30's for 30 minutes during the first 14 days showed no sign of a lower hatch rate.

    The theory is that during cold exposure the heart rate in the egg drops to conserve energy. This can go incredible low including possibly stopping during the early part of incubation (stopping means unreadable by the selected method of heart rate monitoring). Once rewarmed the egg heart rate will recover. When heated the heart rate will increase, At a certain point it will peg out and quit pumping blood which is terminal.

    If you think of incubation as X amount of heart beats are required between the spark of live and hatch then it makes sense that cold temp incubation results in longer incubation where higher temp result in faster incubation times

    The real question is guessing the internal temp of the egg based on what happened.

    Was 103.5 the real temp (most probes are off a little, If your incubations are normally early or late that should indicate the average temp compared to the sensor). Has the incubator got hot or cold spots e.g any areas hotter than the temperature probe reads.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by