Which incubator to use in the uk?

penkwolf

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2011
69
11
104
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...
Thanks for your response again!

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.
 

als77

Chirping
Jan 31, 2021
145
83
91
Europe
No problem :) Without this forum I would have had 9 quail chicks now and not 11, so I'm happy if I can help others like others helped me.

Yes, mine too seems to be quite good at keeping the temperature stable, BUT wait till you get those thermometers so that you can check for cold spots! Cfr my first picture in this thread; with the incubator set at 38.0 the thermometer closest to the sensor read 37.7 (slightly lower than the sensor, so the sensor seems accurate), but across the bator I had 37.1 (acceptable I believe) and in the middle I had 35.1! This did not fluctuate; the 35.1C spot was 35.1 (+/- 0.2 or whatnot) all the time, while the other spots was 37.7 and 37.1 all the time... [until I removed the styrofoam and covered the lid that is - then the spot with 35.1 went up to 37.2 or whatnot, while the others remained ish the same]

hmm I'm surprised with your humidity results. I have only hatched one time though, but if you added a total of 4 bottles that would be 600, i.e almost three chambres full. It could of course be right, or the hygrometer might be off (they normally are). Mine seemed to be accurate-ish around 50%, but when humidity rose it would read too low, and when humidity fell it would read too high :th

Did you notice any condensation/fog? I believe (...) condensation is supposed to start at 70% (or slightly above?) at 37.5C, so if you saw that then the reader is certainly off (if you didn't then maybe you should keep adding water till you see condensation and check what the bator says -although the best thing would be an external hygrometer that you calibrate).

And yes; things can change a lot when you add eggs, so don't poor in all the water in one go - just in case (also, add luke-warm water; adding cold water might give some temperature-fluctuations, but will also take more time to raise and stabilise humidity at the new level)
 

penkwolf

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2011
69
11
104
No problem :) Without this forum I would have had 9 quail chicks now and not 11, so I'm happy if I can help others like others helped me.

Yes, mine too seems to be quite good at keeping the temperature stable, BUT wait till you get those thermometers so that you can check for cold spots! Cfr my first picture in this thread; with the incubator set at 38.0 the thermometer closest to the sensor read 37.7 (slightly lower than the sensor, so the sensor seems accurate), but across the bator I had 37.1 (acceptable I believe) and in the middle I had 35.1! This did not fluctuate; the 35.1C spot was 35.1 (+/- 0.2 or whatnot) all the time, while the other spots was 37.7 and 37.1 all the time... [until I removed the styrofoam and covered the lid that is - then the spot with 35.1 went up to 37.2 or whatnot, while the others remained ish the same]

hmm I'm surprised with your humidity results. I have only hatched one time though, but if you added a total of 4 bottles that would be 600, i.e almost three chambres full. It could of course be right, or the hygrometer might be off (they normally are). Mine seemed to be accurate-ish around 50%, but when humidity rose it would read too low, and when humidity fell it would read too high :th

Did you notice any condensation/fog? I believe (...) condensation is supposed to start at 70% (or slightly above?) at 37.5C, so if you saw that then the reader is certainly off (if you didn't then maybe you should keep adding water till you see condensation and check what the bator says -although the best thing would be an external hygrometer that you calibrate).

And yes; things can change a lot when you add eggs, so don't poor in all the water in one go - just in case (also, add luke-warm water; adding cold water might give some temperature-fluctuations, but will also take more time to raise and stabilise humidity at the new level)
You were bang on! The thermometers have come today and its interesting. Ive set the temp as 37.5 on the bator but my thermometers show this:

36.9 top left
37.8 middle right
36.2 middle left
36.3 bottom right

Need to now try it without the polystyrene casing over it i rekon after you said it helped. I might up my temp on the bator a little too.

Did your eggs hatch from all over or certain places?
 

als77

Chirping
Jan 31, 2021
145
83
91
Europe
You were bang on! The thermometers have come today and its interesting. Ive set the temp as 37.5 on the bator but my thermometers show this:

36.9 top left
37.8 middle right
36.2 middle left
36.3 bottom right

Need to now try it without the polystyrene casing over it i rekon after you said it helped. I might up my temp on the bator a little too.

Did your eggs hatch from all over or certain places?
Well, you're on top of it already, so that's a very good sign :)

Yes, they sort of did. I didn't mark those I assisted, but if I include those (plus the one that I were too late to assist, but probably died because of me messing up air-flow and hence probably doing a "dry" lock-down/hatch), then that looks like this (bold = hatched and/or assisted);
1a b c d e f
2a b c d e f
3a b c d e f
4a b c d e f

These were quail eggs, but it shows that we do have some wiggle-room regarding temperature :)
 

Mellowmalt

Chirping
Jan 24, 2021
309
415
98
UK
Need to now try it without the polystyrene casing over it i rekon after you said it helped. I might up my temp on the bator a little too.

listen to als, he is giving you invaluable advice to help you get the best chances out your incubator.

He had really bad temp distribution with the polystyrene because it was keeping the corners hot and the middle too cold, only once he removed the polystyrene and placed a thick insulating material like a jumper on top of the incubator in the middle did it distribute temps evenly keeping the middle as warm as the corners.

In the first week the embrios will be most heat tolerant but anything over 38 degrees will start to affect them.

Aim to never go above 37.5 degrees C after the first week. In the thrd week they even start to produce a tiny bit of body heat themselves so it is better to aim for a slightly lower temp later on - not higher. I aim for 37-37.5 for the last week now
 

penkwolf

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2011
69
11
104
Well, you're on top of it already, so that's a very good sign :)

Yes, they sort of did. I didn't mark those I assisted, but if I include those (plus the one that I were too late to assist, but probably died because of me messing up air-flow and hence probably doing a "dry" lock-down/hatch), then that looks like this (bold = hatched and/or assisted);
1a b c d e f
2a b c d e f
3a b c d e f
4a b c d e f

These were quail eggs, but it shows that we do have some wiggle-room regarding temperature :)
Ok great! That really shows when the hatches were.

I have been playing around with it all day and still struggling to find a way to get most of it in a good temperature range. I will try put below what i have tried:

I put 4 little thermostats in the incubator in the top left, upper middle right, lower middle left and bottom right.

1. First try was with the polystyrene casing on and temperature on incubator set at 38:
TL - 36.9
UMR - 37.3
LML -35.8
BR - 36.3

2. I now took off the polystyrene casing and left it for an hour. Temp increased to 38.3:
TL - 36.3
UMR - 38.1
LML -36.8
BR - 35.6

3. I now added a hoody over the incubator for an hour. Temp set at 38.3:
TL - 36.8
UMR - 38.1
LML -36.8
BR - 36.4

4. Finally i moved the hoody so it didnt cover the UMR area. Temp set at 38.3:
TL - 36.9
UMR - 37.5 * not sure if ive mixed up this reading and the one below
LML -38.5 *
BR - 36.4


Anyway as you can see.... i still cant get all 4 areas at a similar temperature :( !
 

penkwolf

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2011
69
11
104

Mellowmalt

Chirping
Jan 24, 2021
309
415
98
UK
I wanted to find out a bit more about this incubator - so far I have found out it has a 60watt heater and uses two fans. The description on the pages is so vague as to what one actually receives though, I have no clue if I will get the polystyrene cover or a power cable looking over it.
Also there seems to be an upgraded model, the old model has one lcd display as seen on the pictures by als, the upgraded model has 3 lcd displays as seen on the pictures of the latest ebay listings.
The upgraded model loses the candling lights though but upgraded sounds better and I don't need the candling lights, I think but am not sure that the upgraded model gains a warning alarm. I hate guessing on ebay.
 
Last edited:

als77

Chirping
Jan 31, 2021
145
83
91
Europe
I wanted to find out a bit more about this incubator - so far I have found out it has a 60watt heater and uses two fans. The description on the pages is so vague as to what one actually receives though, I have no clue if I will get the polystyrene cover or a power cable looking over it.
Also there seems to be an upgraded model, the old model has one lcd display as seen on the pictures by als, the upgraded model has 3 lcd displays as seen on the pictures of the latest ebay listings.
The upgraded model loses the candling lights though but upgraded sounds better and I don't need the candling lights, I think but am not sure that the upgraded model gains a warning alarm. I hate guessing on ebay.
I believe the candling lights model (24S) is the upgraded one, but I believe that (besides the display) the candling lights is the only difference and they are way to weak to candle quail eggs anyways... :th

PS. Mine do have warning alarms both for low humidity and low temperature.

10 pounds seems like a steal of a deal, even if you have to buy a seperate power cable (I can't see what shipping is though)
 

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