- May 2, 2011
Thanks for your response again!My plastic lid seems to be a very snug fit (maybe even too snug?). Probably not an issue if is it not very snug (unless we're talking several mm).
The polystyrene casing made things worse for me, but it supposed to help (and is said to help with other bators!), so just experiment with and without it (+with and without a sweater covering the lid) once you get the extra thermometers
Temperature fluctuations of 0.2C is nothing to worry about. Even 0.5C is probably perfectly fine. I believe mine was acceptable stable (within 0.5C total fluctuations, mainly on the downside), but my main issue was that the midle two rows turned out to be a lot colder than the two other rows (the bator showed 37.5C, and that was true for the sensor and the two outer rows, but the midle two rows were in reality 35.5-36.5C...)
The "goal" is 37.5C (on top of the eggs), but we have some wiggling room; there was one article (for quail I believe, but probably same for most birds) which showed that 36.7C worked (with a small 2% reduction in hatch rate), and 38.3C also was doable (but with a 10% loss). That's throughout incubation, so fluctuations of say 0.5C around 37.5C should be perfectly fine. If your temperature is too high they'll hatch early, and if it's too low they will hatch late. From what I understand too high is worse than too low (but I am a beginner), so if you are worried/uncertain then going on the lower side is probably better.
Water; Yes, you can put too much! (ignore what the instruction manual says!) It is surface area (plus what happens to be the humidity in your area at the time) that controls humidity, so too much surface area and your humidity will skyrocket, BUT my model (I don't know if you have the exact same one or if different sellers can have slight variations) has four trays. I assume you also got a bottle with the bator? It has markings; 50/100/150 I believe. This is NOT ml, but just some random scale (I found out when I was trying to add 25 and used ml). In my bator the first tray fits 150 of this whatever scale (so from say 50-150 you will have the same humidity). If you fill more it will overflow into the second tray which holds another 250 (so from 150 to 400 you will have a higher humidity), then that will overflow to the third which holds another 300 (and even higher humidity), which overflows into the forth for another 300 (a total of 1000 whatevers). If the forth one overflows it will drain through the four holes in the bottom of the bator, but your humidity will probably be way too high long before that.
For me (which might be very different than what works for you, I don't know) I used one tray to get to 50%-ish, and then another tray for lock-down (but the second one might have been to much - I don't really know since I messed up at this stage). If your test-run shows that this gives you too much humidity you can either cover part of the second tray (i.e reduce surface area), or (maybe easier) add wet sponges/papertowel to the bator (i.e increase surface area). Or, worst/lazy case (before lockdown) you might consider letting the bator run without water a few hours to compensate if your humidity has been on the high side. For humidity it is the average that counts (until lockdown that is). It is temperature that we really have to "worry" about (but we do have some wiggling room, and it is also the temperature of the egg itself that matters so short-term fluctuations is totaly fine).
This sounds a lot more complicated than it really is though, so I hope I'm not scaring/overwhelming you with too much information...
The temp seems to stay around 37.7 to 37.9 when ive set it at 37.5 so thats not too bad.
1 bottle of water had the humidity in the 50s but then to get it up to 60s and higher it was nearly 3 bottles more. Obviously i know once eggs are in there it should go up quicker.
Mine is the same too. 4 sections for the water. Now ive done my practice lockdown i need to get humidity down ready for some eggs to go in next week.