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Urgent: temp and egg carton questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jeffross1968, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Ugh, thought I had everything figured out. Today is lockdown, and I'm struggling to get the temp to where it needs to be. I have an LG still air. Using a thermometer/hygrometer I got from incubator warehouse. Why I didn't consider temp change when removing the turner...I have no idea. I never had a problem previously getting the temps back up once the eggs were sitting on the metal grate. I have changed a few things though. I have 3 pint sized glass jars (little jelly jars) full of water, each with half a sponge inside. I've had serious issues with humidity in the past and found myself opening the bator a LOT. So, I asked for ideas and used some. I also have two inch by 4 or so inch metal pans under the grate with water. Still, amazingly, the humidity only seems to settle at around the upper 50's, after starting in the 80's. That's only after an hour or two.

    So...after removing the turner I could not get the temp up to 101. Not sure what is going on, so decided to put the eggs in a cardboard egg carton. Cut it in half, put 4 eggs in one, 5 in the other, bringing the eggs closer up to the heating element. With all that water in there, could the temp be low as it heats up the glass and water? I did use hot water, but I don't know what else could be going on. Still seems like it's struggling. Anyway, since this is the first time using the egg cartons...

    How should the egg sit in the carton? I currently have them sitting across the hole, sideways. Should they be down in the hole instead? If so, what end down? Did this really have to happen now? Grrr....

  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Put 'em in the egg carton pointy end DOWN (fat end UP).

    The change in temp may simply be due to the varying position of your thermometer.

    If you were using an egg turner, the thermometer would be at turner-height.

    When you remove the turner and place the thermometer on top of the wire mesh, it reads the temp from that level/height.

    By putting the eggs into the egg carton, you will be at about the same height the eggs were in while in the turner (which is good).

    Keep monitoring the temp and humidity evey hour to get it stabalized.

  3. joneus

    joneus Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    FWIW- I've had awesome luck using a clean chunk of brick to help stabilize the temp and humidity. You'd need to prewarm it in the oven, but since a brick is porous- it holds water (moisture) just as well as a sponge, but it also holds heat.

    Good luck getting everything sorted out!
  4. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I'm starting to think there is something wrong with my hygrometer. Part of the windows on my LG are fogged, and it's only reading 47%????
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:I think so too especially if your viewing windows are fogged.

    To calibrate a hygrometer you will need:

    1/2 cup table salt
    approximately 1/4 cup water
    coffee cup
    large resealable freezer bag

    Place 1/2 cup of salt in the coffee cup, and add the water. Stir for a bit to totally saturate the salt. The salt won't dissolve in this amount of water; instead, the salt should have the consistency of wet sand.

    Carefully place the cup containing the salt/water mix in a resealable plastic bag. Place the hygrometer in the bag, away from the cup of salt and water. Note: make sure none of the salt/water mix comes in direct contact with the hygrometer, or the hygrometer may be damaged. Completely seal the bag.

    Place the sealed bag aside at room temperature for 8-12 hours. Pick a location free of drafts, out of direct sunlight, and away from heating or cooling vents. The temperature should be fairly constant.

    After being in the sealed bag for 8-12 hours, check the reading of the hygrometer. It is best to read it while still in the bag, since if your house air is dry the reading may go down quickly once you take the hygrometer out of the bag.

    The relative humidity in the sealed bag with the salt/water mix should be 75 percent.

    If yours is the adjustable type, adjust the screw or setting so that it would have read 75 percent. You will have to do this very quickly, or remember how much you need to adjust the setting (e.g. for mine, it read 72 percent when it should have been 75 percent, so I would need to set it ahead by 3 percentage points). You may want to put the hygrometer back in the bag for another 8 hours to double check your adjustment.

    If yours is not adjustable (like mine), simply make a note of how "off" your hygrometer reads. If it reads below 75 percent, you will need to add the difference to your actual readings. If your hygrometer read above 75 percent on the calibration, you will need to subtract the difference from your actual reading. Here are some examples to help:
    Case 1: after sitting in the bag for calibration, my hygrometer read 72 percent. It should have read 75 percent, so the difference is 3 percent. I will now add 3 percent to the readings I take on the hygrometer (e.g. in a tank) to get the actual relative humidity.
    Case 2: after calibrating in the bag, a hygrometer read 80 percent. It should have read 75 percent, a difference of 5 percent. I would have to subtract 5 percent from readings when using the hygrometer to get an accurate relative humidity.

    Remember: always give a hygrometer about 2 hours to stabilize before taking a reading, as changes in the relative humidity may take a while to register accurately on a hygrometer.
  6. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    cmom, what if one is off a whole bunch, by 40% or something. Can I still trust it by just adding the 40%, or should it be totally suspect at that point? I have one that I think is close on temp, one that is close on humidity, and then I have an analog coming. I'm contemplating using all 3, or maybe the analog and one other. I had a very good hatch last time, but I went through lock down totally in the dark about humidity because my "new" hygrometer was reading, most of the time, in the teens or low 20's even though the windows were fogged. Not good...so they are both being tested now, though neither can be tuned afterward.
  7. hamilton3475

    hamilton3475 Songster

    Feb 13, 2011

  8. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:Thanks, maybe I'll give one of those a try.
  9. hamilton3475

    hamilton3475 Songster

    Feb 13, 2011
    Quote:Thanks, maybe I'll give one of those a try.

    No Problem [​IMG]

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