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Ventilation Holes....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jimandkira2002, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. jimandkira2002

    jimandkira2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    I know it is very important to have adequate air flow, so the unborn chicks don't sufficient but how do you know you have enough before its to late? I just finished putting my "Coolabator" together and I drilled 15 - 1/4 inch ventilation holes all over it. Does anyone else have a incubator like this and if you do how many vent holes do you have in yours? Here "she" is! lol What do you all think?!? Please be gentle she is my very first venture into building an incubator! [​IMG] I just hope we have some success with our first batch of eggs!
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  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    It looks to me like you did a great job!!!

    When it comes to ventilation, its probably not quite accurate to say "you can't have too much" [​IMG] but its close. If you are interested, here is a link to the incubator I built: https://selfsufficiencyandotherassortedhijinks.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/building-an-incubator/. Unfortunately the first time I used it, I had turkey eggs that developed and got all the way to hatch day before dying. I hadn't put in enough ventilation!!! I corrected that and my next hatch was 100%. So I am now a huge believer in the importance of ventilation during incubation and especially hatch.

    Do you have a fan in your coolabator? If so, that will help to keep the temperature stable even with a lot of ventilation holes. I would also say that rather than have the holes randomly around it, you'll get better results by placing the holes across from each other so that the air can be drawn in on one side and expelled on the other, by the fan.

    Fifteen ΒΌ" holes *should* be enough (I think, though I'm no expert). What I would do.....put a dozen of my own eggs in there that aren't that important to me. Monitor their progress and see how many hatch. If everything that develops hatches, I'm good to go. If I have a bunch develop to full-term but not hatch, drill a few more holes. Sorry - not an exact science, I know.

    Good luck!
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Personally, I think I'd make my holes a bit larger. I can tell you that when I made my styrofoam incubator, I used a very scientific process and formula to come up with the right amount of ventilation. To start, I put a 1/2" hole behind where the fan was mounted. There was also a 1/2" hole in the back where the electrical cords came through. Then, I put a 1/2" hole in the center of the top, so I could stick a digital medical thermometer in the hole (dual purpose: temp control and plug all wrapped up in one slick little unit). Then, I plugged it in, and let it run for a bit, fiddling with the thermostat. It was still running a bit high. So, this is where the application of highly scientific data and training comes into play: I took a sharp pencil, and poked a hole in the sides, where ever I thought there should be a hole. So far, so good! IMO, ventilation is key. Better to have your heat source cycling more often than air stagnating in there. Sometimes, I'll just lift the lid a bit just to get some air exchange in there!

    I do wish there was some formula out there to guage the amount of ventilation to match the bator size and number of eggs being incubated. Any readers with "store bought" incubators care to weigh in with this information? Size of incubator box, egg capacity, number, size, and location of ventilation holes. Also pertinent would be location of heat source, and if there is a fan or not. Perhaps we can come up with our own ventilation formula that may be a bit more specific than my pencil.
     
  4. jimandkira2002

    jimandkira2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the reply's! There is a fan in the incubator :) I got this nifty incubator kit from IncubatorWearhouse.com and its the thermostat, heat and fan all in one! On the digital display is a thermometer, hatch count down and all cool stuff! The holes are all along the top and bottom of the back and on both sides top and along the bottom. The fan is attached under the heating element and blows down :) Maybe I will widen some of the holes to be on the safe side! Its staying up in temp pretty nicely as long as I don't open it! lol Now I just need to figure out how to keep the temp at the bottom the same as the top. It seems to be getting warmer down there, unless the thermometer and humidity thing is running high :/
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Is it possible to mount the fan on one of the sides instead? My concern with it blowing from above is that any egg directly below it will have a difficult time hatching as the fan could dry out the membrane faster than the chick can zip and hatch.

    The kit sounds like a neat idea - I haven't heard of that before.
     

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