What happens when temps fluctuate quite a bit?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mama24, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My son wanted to hatch chicks for his science fair project. He waited until too late to get permission to do something with live animals, but we decided to do it anyway, just to see. Anyway, we set 6 eggs last Sunday. I candled them yesterday and 1 was bad, threw it out. Today, I went to turn the eggs and the temp was 114!!! We had been having quite a lot of fluctuation, but the temps were between 93 and 104, so I wasn't overly concerned, figured it was just an experiment anyway. So, b/c the temp was so super high, I decided to break open one of the developing eggs to see if the embryo was still alive. It was a porous egg (I didn't candle before we set, should have done that) and had no air cell, I noticed it yesterday. SO I figured the chick wouldn't make it anyway having no air cell, so I broke it open. Temp was 114, no idea how long. Perfect little 6 day embryo with a still beating heart. I felt bad, but I guess the chick wouldn't have made it anyway.

    So is there anything that I can expect having the temps go up and down so so much? I'm going to switch to a lower wattage bulb asap, but I was wondering if the chicks will have a higher rate of developmental problems b/c of the changing temps? In other news, I think one of my hens is getting broody, she's been spending quite a lot of time sitting in her box. I put some store bought eggs in her nest, and maybe if she gets super broody, I'll switch out the eggs I have in the incubator and let her hatch and raise them so I can forget the headache of using a stupid water heater thermometer!
     
  2. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lets start with: what kind of incubator....is it homemade or one of those mini plastic domes? What wattage bulb do you have now?

    Temp spikes in the beginning seems to do less damage then later in incubation. If the incubator is large enough, you can add jars of warm water to help hold heat, then lower the wattage. Porous eggs do sometimes hatch...though I haven't had it happen often, but don't open more! Do you have a flashlight to candle? You can probably see movement at this point. Is the water heater thermometer the only one you have? Or do you mean thermostat?
     
  3. sonjab314

    sonjab314 Constant State of Confusion

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    Chicks cannot survive very long with temps over 104.
     
  4. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I meant water heater thermostat, not thermometer, that was a typo. It's a 100% homemade incubator using a fish tank, rocks for heat sinks (so I don't need to add water bottles, the rocks work better anyway), and various household items, the only thing we bought was the water heater thermostat. I have it well insulated, but I do think the bulb is too strong. It's a 125W bulb, oops! Just in searching today, I found out I should use a 25W bulb. Well, live and learn. If I ever decide to really hatch eggs, I will buy a real incubator, this is just my son's project really. We live in the city and are only allowed 3 hens and 1 roo. We have 2 hens and 1 roo, and I don't think our neighbors will turn us in if we keep 2 more hens, but we're not going to have more than that.

    As for breaking the eggs, the rest of them look good, so I won't be breaking them. That one had no air cell.
     

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