URGENT - Incubator help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BackyardDove, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Exactly, opening the incubator on any day does no harm in itself, same with candling and even handling or turning the egg...

    The so called 'lock down' enigma has grown to a black and white set of rules well beyond it's purpose...

    Lock down servers two purposes...

    One it's a mental minder to remove or turn off any automatic egg turners that could injure or harm a newly hatched chick...
    Two it's a mental minder to potentially increase the humidity for an easier hatch with less risk of shrink wrap...

    Beyond that all the black and white don't do this or that during lock down is almost entirely hyperbole nonsense...

    Fact is a bird sitting on the eggs can't count, she doesn't know day one from day 21 or day 28, her only real sense of time passing is when the first chick hatches... But, she does nothing different day 1 through the end, she does the same thing in the same way... Also birds can't really control humidity, in a real dry climate they have been seen drooling/spitting on eggs, but this is rare, they have no way to lower humidity... Thus if it's a 95° day and 100% humidity that is what it is that day, just like if it was a 95° day and 30% humidity it it what it is...

    If you open your incubator during 'lock down' and are concerned the humidity won't go back up get yourself a cheap spray bottle and mist the walls of the incubator before closing it up or simply spray a few misting in the incubator, that will easily replace and lost humidity...

    In short don't dread some long list of black and white lock down rules, most are nonsense...

    To the OP, have you verified you temp with multiple thermometers in different locations inside the incubator? It's also best to simulate the internal egg temp vs air temp, there are multiple ways to do this, some buy 'fake eggs' with thermometers built in, others use those little dollar store water snake tube toys, I prefer using 2oz preemie baby bottles... With the thermometer in water it's a much more accurate representation of the internal egg temp...

    This is a 4oz one that I have used for larger eggs like Peafowl, thermometer is just an example, I have a digital one with a probe in there when it's in the incubator...

    [​IMG]

    Beyond that start a log of your incubations, if you hand turn log that, long them temp and humidity each day or multiple times each day... Note the source (local, mail order what hen/rooster combos, brand of feed the hen was given) and cleanliness of egg prior to incubation, were they washed or unwashed? How were they washed, log all that and more then try to see if there is pattern to your bad hatches... If you log all this you might start to see a pattern of what is working and what is not...
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Farm Innovators model? Do you keep at least one vent open for the incubation period?
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    [​IMG] It's always nice to have other's that don't think lockdown is anything more than a time guidline.
     
  4. MoriahQuilts

    MoriahQuilts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use two incubators... Because I have two. I first got Farm Innov, was not happy with its lack of consistency, but it was not expensive, and was available locally. When I got Hovabator, it was very easy to keep on temp and regulate humidity. Now I use Hovabator for the first 18 days, and keep the mess of hatching in the FI. Then I can have several hatches in the Hovabator with the turner, and add more eggs after candling and discarding those that don't progress. I did not intend to have two, but couldn't recommend the FI to sell it.

    MoriahQuilts
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    This is why a lot of people have 2 incubators or an incubator and a hatcher, keeps the mess and fuzz out of the primary incubator and allows the primary incubator to keep running with other clutches of eggs without cleaning after every hatch...

    My main incubator is deep enough that I can hang a 'hatching basket' in my incubator, doesn't fully contain the fuzz but it does contain the egg shells and whatever else from hatching as well as keeping th new hatches from bothering due later eggs in the turner bellow...
     
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    I would love to slap the people that spun 'lockdown' into the enigma creature it is today that many believe is gospel, and I would love to slap the incubator companies for perpetuating it as some kind of black and white set of rules that causes nothing but stress and grief for many...

    Instead of the last few days of incubation being fun and filled with anticipation, so many people are afraid to even open the incubator for any reason, for fear that it will let in the mythical grim reaper and wipe out the entire clutch of eggs in an instant...
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    And mess....I forgot that one....

    [​IMG] Me too!!! I cringe everytime I see someone freaking out about opening the bator or someone with low humidity that doesn't want to open the bator to add water because they are so scared. It p*sses me off that people are so scared they can't enjoy the hatch or the experience of candling and seeing the growth. I wouldn't want to hatch if I couldn't see that development and truely experience my hatches. I tell people, "How do you think these "experts" learned what they did? Not by putting the egg in the incubator and never touching it." The more you know and learn about the process the better you can become and the more you can enjoy it and to do that you have to experience it.

    One of my friends on here had wanted to know so badly what it looked like when a chick had internally pipped, but was scared to open the bator. I finally convinced her that the next time she heard peeping to candle the egg. She did and she was so glad she did and got to see and learn. It would come in handy later on knowing what an internal pip looked like and what to look for if she needed to.

    We've used following the progress through candling for homeschool projects.

    There's just so much you can experience if you allow yourself.
     
  8. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Between the turner and the eggs, I don't really have enough room for three different thermometers in my incubator... I barely have enough room for my one thermometer. But I do move this thermometer throughout the incubator throughout the incubation. If there is a difference in temp, it'd only be by maybe .1 or .2 degrees, nothing strong enough to kill a hatch. The internal egg temp thing sounds like a good idea, however I'm not sure I could find a meat thermometer that's short enough to fit in my incubator. It's by no means a spacious incubator.

    As for logging, I log when the incubation is started, when day 18 will be, when hatch day is, who the hen/rooster is, but I don't log anything else. It'd be pointless to log anything beyond that, as every day the temperature is 99.5 and for this hatch the humidity was always 34% or one or two percentages higher, the eggs are my own, the brand of feed is the same brand they've always gotten, only clean eggs are placed for incubation(with the exception of rare eggs; they can be a bit dirty), I don't wash incubator eggs, etc.

    I basically do everything the same for incubating as I do when I let my hens sit on eggs, minus of course monitoring the temp and humidity.


    Yes, always.


    That's a great idea, and actually solves another issue I was having. My pheasants only have eggs a couple months a year, and so half of their eggs get wasted because all my broody hens have eggs of their own and my only incubator is already running. If I were to keep my current incubator after buying another, I'd be able to continuously place fresh eggs into the incubator, rather than stockpiling eggs and letting them get old before incubating.


    I don't listen to that 'rule' either. I usually don't need to open it anyways, but I'm not afraid to if I do need to!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    I suspect you have room for something like this can easily be tucked somewhere, even between the eggs or off to the side?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Wa...ure-Glass-Fish-Turtle-Test-Tool-/291780329888

    Or you could a digital one with a probe like this, this can dangle or be tucked just about aywhere..

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-LC...-Terrarium-Black-FREE-Batteries-/221948842437

    I know the above are Celsius but it's easy enough to remember that 99.5°F = 37.5°C and they are only examples...

    I find the little glass aquarium thermometers at Walmart to be very accurate, they are a little bigger as they are designed to float, but still quite small and cheap, under $2...

    https://www.walmart.com/reviews/product/10795052

    When only using one thermometer you have no verification it's reading accurately...

    As for no room for a meat thermometer as I said in that previous post, that was just an example, i use a thermometer with a wired probe when inside the incubator...

    Have you verified your thermometer and hydrometer are accurate?

    If you continue to get bad hatch rates there is something off, you just need to verify your measurements and log it to narrow it down... I easily get 90% hatch rate for my own eggs or locally picked up eggs time and time again, usually I'm near 100% hatch rate once I remove non-fertile ones, and there is little reason why others can't do the same if they narrow down the causes of the problems...
     
  10. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I calibrated the thermometer I use with several other thermometers before I placed it in the incubator. I use to keep two thermometer, my thermo/hygrometer I use and another glass thermometer, but I stopped using the glass thermometer when it became apparent the other thermo/hygrometer was working just fine and I was just taking up space by also using the other one. Now, I don't know if the hygrometer part is correct, since I don't have multiple hygrometers. I have done three batches, the first one with one hen's eggs, the second with a combination of two other hens, and this one with a combination of a previous hen's eggs and pheasant eggs. The first hatch, my temperature was perfect, but I had issues with humidity and the air cell was probably too small. The second, perfect temp again, but again I had issues with humidity and the air cells were probably too big. I had no issues with humidity this hatch, save for the air cells being just a tad bit smaller than the perfect air cell. The whole reason for this post is because there is indeed something wrong, but all of my measurements and everything I've done has been correct. I shouldn't have to log the humidity and temperature several times a day, especially if the temperature is consistent, and the humidity is always between 34-40% up until lockdown. For God's sake, the humidity outside has been jumping around from 30%-100% humidity and 70-103 degrees yet my girls hatched their babies just fine. There is nothing I could possibly be doing that's killing an entire batch, save for one chick that manages to hatch. Just doing the basics should get you a fair hatch rate, yet I've been jumping through hoops for one chick to hatch. I don't know what's wrong with my incubator, but there's something wrong with it that's unrelated to temp and humidity controls. Maybe there's some kind of chemical it was made with that is messing with the chicks, or perhaps a loose wire in there that's causing some kind of resounding electrical shock, I don't know.




    In better news, one chick did hatch! He must've been pipping face down, because I never did see him pip, but now he's running around in the incubator. Which makes this my third incubation where one out of over a dozen eggs hatches!
     

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