What temperature to use in incubator?? Please!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by fluharty, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. fluharty

    fluharty In the Brooder

    Dec 28, 2016
    So I am new to incubating chicks our first time. I am wondering if I should use the thermometer that I have on the wire part of the incubator or whether I should use the number on the thermometer that is on top of my eggs? I have one that reads on the wire at @ 99' and then the one on my eggs reads 102'. When I started it looked like it was right on 100' for the past day when they were on the wire but now that I have put my eggs in the two readings are off. Should I be concerned and should I lower the heat? Should I go by what the thermometer says on the wire or the one on the egg?

    Thanks so much for your help!!

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing 7 Years

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I believe your using a still air incubator- no fan. In such those are exactly the numbers you should be seeing. Air temperature is layered in still air incubators. The recommended method for temp in still air is to measure at top of eggs and incubate 101.5F. If your first hatch is sooner than 21 days, like starting day 19 and ending day 21 or late day 20 then the temp is too high and go with 100.5F measured at top of eggs.

    It's easy to tweak your settings once you get to know the equipment you have. Taking measurements in same spot, same thermometer and so on goes a long way to zeroing in on a perfect hatch.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You should calibrate the thermometers so you know which one is correct.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration

    It’s a very common question and can be a problem. Many thermometers just don’t read correctly.

    That said, is sounds like you may have a still air (thermal air) incubator. In a forced air, one with a fan, the temperature should be about the same anywhere inside. Your goal for a forced air is to get a reading of about 99.5 F.

    But warm air rises. In a still air the temperature will vary depending on how high you take that temperature. In a still air you want the temperature at the top of the eggs to be about 101.5 F. From what you are saying, that sounds like what is going on.
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    With still air incubators, hot and cool spots are all just a part of that type of incubator. To reduce the effects, you need to make sure you are moving the eggs to a different spot every couple of days.

  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing 7 Years

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Also keep in mind that now that eggs are in the incubator any changes to temp must be minute and wait a very long time to see the effect. Eggs have mass and depending on how many eggs you have in can take until next morning to show what change you made. Many want to keep tweaking the thermostat before waiting for the mass of eggs to get to new setting....you start chasing temp and have no idea what's what then you get a huge temp spike by morning. Just a reminder to wait for any effect before making more adjustments.

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