Well, I guess I Messed Up

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Orange Ribbon, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Orange Ribbon

    Orange Ribbon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    I feel lower than chicken poop. [​IMG]

    Recently I decided I wanted to get some heritage breeds to raise. I really wanted chicks, and not from a hatchery, but couldn't find any from a breeder. I had several various breeds in mind. But I found two sales in the auction for Speckled Sussex eggs. I've never incubated before so I read up on it, even asked some questions here and felt I could do it if I got the right equipment. If I didn't do it right, well, it would cost me what I paid for eggs, but not the end of the world. Before I bidded on them I checked around for incubators. The only people around here to sell new incubators are Tractor Supply, Southern States, and a family owned feed and seed. All of them sell Little Giant incubators only. Then I found a listing for 2 incubators at the local college for sale. I talked to a man about them and he told me they were poultry incubators with egg turners. He said they were working and easy to use. So I ordered the eggs and went to buy one. Turns out they are not even poultry incubators at all. They are infant incubators. Maybe they could be made to work, but I'm not qualified to figure it out, not to mention the thing had plug ends that evidently fit a special hospital receptacle. Yes, I made a mistake, but the man lied to me.

    So there I was, eggs ordered and no incubator. Nothing to do but get a Little Giant and go with it. So I got one on Saturday. I studied some more, mostly on BYC and came up with a game plan to go with. I've had some help from the good people here answering questions I've had, and I'm so thankful for everyone that has helped me out. I set up the incubator and did according to instructions to be familiar with it and have it ready when the eggs arrive, which will be tomorrow. I do plan to let the eggs sit for a while before I stick them in it.

    Anyway, I've been messing with that thing for the past several days. I bought a hygrometer and a calibrated thermometer. For the life of me I cannot get that incubator to give a steady temperature at all. It ranges all over the place even when I don't mess with the dial. Yes, I have played with the temperature adjustment, but there have been hours of checking on it without doing anything and it the temperature will vary from 96 to 101 degrees. I have it set where the sun can't hit it, and the house has central air so the temps are pretty much even throughout. I'm at my wits end trying to maintain a temp between 99.5 and 100 degrees. It won't do it. At least I can't get it to. I've tried it with the vents plugged and unplugged. I tried it dry and I put water in it. Nothing seems to matter. My understanding is staying within that 1/2 degree is detrimental. But this thing will not stay set on ANY temperature what so ever. If the thing would read 95 one hour and 95 the next then I'd at least know I just need to get the dial figured out. But it will be one thing one time and then off several degrees an hour later. Then it will be different again. And that is without even messing with it.

    I don't know what to do. I read on this forum that many people use this brand and do good with them. Maybe I got a dud. I could take it back and get another, but I don't feel very confident about doing that. I wouldn't have enough time to mess with it anyway and would be flying by the seat of my pants worse than I am now. I've searched all over the area and no one sells anything other than Little Giant, and it isn't feasible for me to buy something else anyway.

    I know I didn't think this thing thru like it should have been. I had open heart surgery a few months back and my brain still isn't back to thinking as clearly as it did before. Nothing serious, but I'm have small issues with trying to think every little detail out on some things before hand. That was why I found a good instruction post on here and printed it out just so I could look at it and go by a procedure all spelled out 1, 2, 3 and not mess up. But I can't get the incubator to stabilize.

    Am I possibly flipping out over something that isn't that big of a deal? I need some help because I don't know. I apologize for the long post. I've had to give up most everything I ever liked to do because of my health, and this just seemed like a good thing to try. I don't mind a challenge, but it seems the cards are stacked against me on this. At least for now maybe. So going with what I have, what chance do I have of getting a hatch of any kind? Anyone got any pointers they would share with me? I sure would appreciate it! [​IMG]
  2. LuvMyBLR

    LuvMyBLR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    New Boston, NH
    Well, I haven't heard good things about LG's that's for sure. I'm using a hova bator 1602N and the temp does great! and the temp in this room is not steady. There's the whole kit on ebay for 109 from a warehouse, but the problem is it takes forever to get to you! i wish I could help more..... what if you wrapped a towel around the sides as extra insulation? that might steady out the temp a little. Where do you live? Maybe someone around you has one for sale or would let you borrow. People on here are great about that. I'm borrowing a 2nd bator because my hatch is staggered.
    Oh, and you're fine having a little rant. I don't blame you at all [​IMG]. I would have about flipped my lid by now...
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. Ceinwyn

    Ceinwyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Southeast Ohio
    I find I need to keep my LG in the closet to keep the temps steady.
    As soon as the airconditioning turns on or off it would change the temperature.
    Its nice and steady in the closet though.
    Takes hours to get to the right temperature.
    Keep in mind when you put the eggs in the temperature will drop.
    Don't be tempted to touch the dial, it will seem to take forever but it will eventually come back up.
    If you turn it up before the eggs heat up fully you'll end up going way over what you intended.
    I agree its very tempermental but if the room is very steady the LG will work quite nicely for the price.
    Just much more hands on than many like.
    I got a new hovabator 1588 for $130 including shipping so I could have more time in the garden and less time staring at the thermometer.
    Now I use the LG for hatching.
    Good luck and hopefully some others will give pointers to help getting the temperature steady.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree...
    When you do adjust them thermostat you only need to turn it a HAIR, too much will make it go way up or down depending on if you are trying to increase or decrease your temp. I know my thermometer/hygrometer is accurate. I calibrated one I use in my other incubator and have had this one in next to it and they agree 100%.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I use the Hovabator 1602N as well. Excellent results with local eggs, mediocre with shipped eggs, but I usually get something. The first time I ever used it, it took me 3 days to get it going correctly. I hear the LG is more temperamental, even though they are the same style.

    It can take HOURS for changes. The first thing I learned, was that if I had a temperature drop, don't go in there and twist the thermostat 3 turns to try and fix it quickly. You'll come back to eggs about being boiled. Little turns, patience. Sometimes even just a 1/4 turn between the lines.

    When you set the eggs in there, you'll get a temperature drop from the cooler eggs going in. Don't touch the dial, it will right itself in several hours. Like overnight.

    The LG can work quite well when you get the hang of it and when you don't rely on the thermometer it came with (same with 1602N). But the odds get a little farther stacked when using shipped eggs too. It's hit or miss with them. You can't always blame the incubator when they don't hatch. Eggs just don't ship very well. I have 1 duck (of 6 eggs) 2 maran hens (from 2 dozen) and the craziest thing... I ordered Light Brahma and Wheaten Penedesenca (sp?) with 4 bonus eggs of Golden Lakenvelder. 3 of those 4 hatched, and nothing from what I actually ordered.

    I have Maran eggs set again, but I drove to pick them up. Wish I could see better through those dark shells, but so far it looks promising.

    Remember to let the eggs rest when they arrive. Some people say 24 hours, others 12. If you get disappointed with this hatch attempt, get some local eggs as practice before trying the shipped again. I had hatched enough eggs (hundreds) before I actually had some shipped to me, so when I got good or bad hatches from them, I knew it wasn't me. I would also add a couple local eggs to the same batch, so that if all of them hatched but nothing from the shipped eggs, I knew it wasn't me. Made me feel better anyways. Blaming the post office.
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    I would follow these instructions...try to find a closet or small room that doesn't get hit by the air...I so hope this goes well for you [​IMG] It seems that life has been dealing you some heavy blows as of late so I am wishing you well with your hatch! Let us know how it goes...also I wouldn't panic too much about flucuating to some degree...because I use an LG and it has fluctuated with chicken eggs in it and I still got 9/13 to hatch....
    OH yeah....the thermometer they come with is TERRIBLE!
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  7. Hummelhill

    Hummelhill Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    Montville, Oh
    Hi, where are you located? I have a spare Brinsea I could loan you for this hatch if you are close enough...
  8. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I have an LG that I have had great hatches with. When you adjust barly turn the temp knob and wait. The temp will not register immediatly. I also have at least 2 thermometers in because I dont trust just one. They can be off. mine stays around 99 it is forced air. It does take a little fidgeting with. I also have a hovabator 1602n that I have used but to me the temp control is even more confusing. Maybe because I had used the LG more and was used to how to control it.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree. A very slight turn will make a big difference. Good luck and have fun!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]

  10. LuvMyBLR

    LuvMyBLR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    New Boston, NH
    Quote:^^^^ See what I mean? People are awesome [​IMG]

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