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Trying to understand incubator temperature... Newbie, please help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SlickChick76, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. SlickChick76

    SlickChick76 In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2015
    Port Orange, Florida

    I am new to incubating.
    I purchased a Hovabator Genesis 1588 with turner and was gifted 26 Serama eggs and all was good in the world.
    This was Monday.
    On Wednesday afternoon, I got a call that the dozen Cream Legbar eggs that I had been waiting for were ready, and so I picked them up (turned out to be 13 eggs) and 48 hours after setting my Serama eggs, they Cream Legbar eggs were added to my incubator.

    Holy cow, now what the heck do I do when the first batch needs to go into lockdown with raised humidity, and the second batch still has two days to go?

    I am far from cheap, but I am not buying another incubator!! Heck, I don't even know if I will want to hatch after this!

    SOOOO, after seeing how simple the concept of an incubator is (As a do-it-yourselfer I was disappointed when I opened the incubator box and realized I essentially paid $150 for a styrofoam box with some accessories) I went to Lowes and $12 later I had the material I needed to build my own.
    I built a well insulated styrofoam box to the size that would accommodate an egg turner if I wanted to add one, and added a thermostat, light bulb with fixture, and a pc fan. I wired this up and well, what do you know, it worked! I also made a hardware cloth platform underneath which I added a tray of water for humidity (with an external filler so that the lid doesn't need to be opened) and a closed container of water to be used as a heat sink. And of course the top has a plexiglass window for my viewing pleasure.

    Although it has only been running for 24 hours, my temperature is fluctuating by a few degrees from 97-101 with four different thermometers placed in close proximity. (I am taking this very seriously)
    I have seen some folks use a water wiggler to monitor the temperature, and my question is, where is it most important to take the temperature: in the egg, or the ambient air inside of the incubator.
    Is three-four degree fluctuation okay as long as hatching humidity is regulated?

    In case it wasn't implied, my homemade box was going to be for the first batch when it comes time for lockdown, while leaving the second alone in the original box.

    I hope this is a relatively straight forward question, but knowing me, it isn't, lol...


  2. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    I would incubate in your Hovabator 1588 and then lockdown and hatch in your DIYbator, as long as you can get the temps a little more regulated. 4 degrees seems like a big swing - measured at egg level.

    If you can get it to hold a steady 70% humidity I think you are good to go.

    I have friends that could answer your questions better though, you might want to post here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...s-right-whos-wrong-no-one/31170#post_16537226 If you go back a few pages on that thread, WalnutHill just posted the coolerbator she made for hatching.

    Good luck!
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    xs 2

    The hovabator 1588 is one of the best of the styros (be glad you didn't purchase an LG. [​IMG]) lol I totally agree with Friday. I'd use the DIY for hatching as the temps don't have to be quite as exact. Walnut has done many of her own DIYs and is very knowledgeable with wiring and tweaking and all that foreign language gibberish....lol There's a couple others on teh she said/he said thread that have done their own bators as well. [​IMG]

    Whatever you decided we wish you the best of luck!
  4. SlickChick76

    SlickChick76 In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2015
    Port Orange, Florida
    Thanks AmyLynn2374 and FridayYet... This was the feedback I was hoping for.
    I am going to play around with getting the temperature more steady- I have a couple of ideas I will play around with and I'd also like to see if my thermometers are all calibrated the same. I feel confident about keeping the humidity where it needs to be.

    And hey, if it works, I'll write a thread with my build, to teach others how simple it is to make your own.

    Can't wait to see what happens!!!

    Thanks again,

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