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#105143 - 08/08/12 03:43 PM still air V air bator
C5 Offline
Feather

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 33
Loc: MD, Talbot
I am wondering what is the best type of bator to use for the best hatch rate. Still air or one with a fan. I am new to incubation - got my eggs from e bay and hatch rate was low.
Appreciate any advice.

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#105147 - 08/08/12 10:00 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: C5]
Maria Ricardo Offline
Past Moderator
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 434
Loc: Hawaii
I use an incubator with a fan, it works well.

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#105149 - 08/09/12 06:55 AM Re: still air V air bator [Re: C5]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
I think you should describe more details : what was the kind of incubator you had and what were the details about the hatch.
Did the unhatched eggs begin to develop at all? Or did the chicks die at some point and when? Was it the process of hatching itself that went wrong(chicks died in the last days of incubation?)?

If it is just a simple incubator with a single layer of eggs, then I do not think it matters whether it is with a fan or not. I do not have a fan and I have excellent hatches. No broody in the world has a fan running under her. You cannot expect the same hatch rate from the eggs sent with post.You can be lucky but there are no guarantees.

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#105167 - 08/10/12 11:32 AM Re: still air V air bator [Re: Wieslaw]
C5 Offline
Feather

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 33
Loc: MD, Talbot
To discribe my hatch - the eggs came from an e-bay sale which took 6 days to come in very hot weather through the mail. Out of 11 eggs, 2 hatched, (one of them with help) The first chick that hatched kept moving the eggs around and 3 piped but didn't hatch-died in shells. That is when I decided to help the last one. I have no idea how old the eggs were when shipped. the other 6 either didn't develop or had an early death. The other clutch had 8 eggs, 4 broken upon arrival 1 hatched with head twisted and was culled the other 3 didn't develope. The incubator used was a hovabator thermal air which doesn't have a fan. The temp was kept constant at 100. I was just wondering if an incubator with a fan helped with a better hatch rate. I do see what you mean about a fan under the Mother Hen. I did have another clutch that out of 12 eggs, 9 hatched with no help. I am going to purchase another incubator hence the question about the fan. Thank you for your advice.

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#105168 - 08/10/12 01:28 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: C5]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
What was the breed? Some are said to hatch poorly(Marans). The hatch which hatched well - what was the difference? What about humidity? Some people have very bad results with humid air, that's why they change to dry hatching.

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#105169 - 08/10/12 04:17 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: Wieslaw]
C5 Offline
Feather

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 33
Loc: MD, Talbot
The 2 that lived were barred rocks, the 4 from the broken eggs with the one that hatched with the twisted neck were easter eggers, the 9 that was the best hatch were Australorps. I think that the Australorps were more fresh than the other eggs because they came so fast in the mail, they were also packed so tight that they couldn't move around in the box. I also had some speckled sussex 4 hatched out of 10. The rest either didn't develope or were early death.
I just ordered a meter for humidity so I don't know what the level was for the 1st hatch. I followed the incubator directions of keeping the first trench full of water from day one to hatch and filled the 2nd trench on day 19 when I took the eggs out of the auto turner. The temp was 100 throughout. I live in a humid state so I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not. My house has A/C and the unit usually takes the humidty out of the house but not completely of course. I like to incubate eggs but am new to this. I have always purchased chicks prior to this year. I have ordered more eggs which are easter eggers, Marans and Barnevelders. This will be my last hatch of this year. I would like to have a better rate if possible. I didn't know that Marans were harder to hatch out than other breeds. Any help I could get is greatly appreciated. I don't want them to die bacause of something I did or didn't do. Thanks lots. PS: I was reading other posts about dry hatches and my chicks never dried. I had to remove them to the brooder box to completely dry so maybe the bator was to wet. I don't know to let the water dry out and not replace it or add some the last 3 days. Hope the meter will help with that.


Edited by C5 (08/10/12 04:41 PM)

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#105353 - 08/19/12 07:56 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: C5]
Angela Stanley Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 10/19/05
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
Forced air (with fan)incubators always perform better. They keep the air circulating and therefore negate hot and cold spots. It's just very important to maintain your temperature and humidity properly.

Eggs are a totally different issue. You have only a 7-10 day window of acceptable viability. Shipping and rough handling affect viability as well as temperature extremes. Try hatching local eggs until you get the hang of your bator.

Good luck!
_________________________
Angela Stanley

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#105391 - 08/20/12 06:00 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: Angela Stanley]
C5 Offline
Feather

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 33
Loc: MD, Talbot
I ordered a fan and it was broken - had a vibration that shook the entire bator. (lucky no eggs in at the time) The company was nice said to trash it and are sending me out another one. So maybe next year I will have it all together. Eggs that travel in the mail must really be shaken because I candled eggs and cracked one that was clear - the yoke was completely broken. It looked like scrambled eggs. I wish I knew where to get some local eggs. I think I am going to check with the local extention office to see if they have a list of flock owners. Maybe I will get luckey. If not, I am going to buy chicks and incubate my own eggs after they start to produce.
Thanks for the advice about the forced air bator. Very much appreciated.

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#105399 - 08/21/12 12:24 AM Re: still air V air bator [Re: C5]
Maria Ricardo Offline
Past Moderator
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 434
Loc: Hawaii
Try posting on Craig's List locally for fertile eggs.

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#105415 - 08/21/12 04:12 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: Maria Ricardo]
Angela Stanley Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 10/19/05
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
And, if that doesn't work, look up the NPIP flock listing for your state. That's always a good lead.
_________________________
Angela Stanley

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#105603 - 08/30/12 08:29 AM Re: still air V air bator [Re: Angela Stanley]
jonnydot Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 298
Loc: australia
Statified air works exceedinly well under a broody..but an incbator is not a hen and it is an unatural process ,what we have to do is get things as close as we can to "natural" ;..with most bators latural flow or laminar is not possiable without a fan and cold spots occur whilst this also occurs under a broody the fact is that they turn and move their eggs more times in a day than I could spit so the cold areas are not a concern in an incubator they are ,as most turn once over 4 hrs and not 10 times or more IN an hour ,based on this I would go for an auto turn that allows a programmeing for a turn that takes an hour every hour and fan forced

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#105736 - 09/11/12 11:51 AM Re: still air V air bator [Re: jonnydot]
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Hatching eggs in an incubator is like playing poker. Sometimes you get a good hand, many times you don't. It's a gamble. Poultry enthusiasts are always trying to increase their chances by building (or buying) a better bator. OR fiddling with humidity, or pondering the age and genetics of the eggs they put in the bator. There are so many things that can go wrong, and only a few of them are in your control.

While the failures are upsetting and costly and frustrating, they are also a valuable way to LEARN. Never throw out an egg without opening it to see what you can find out. Even when you candle and decide one is dead, open it and see if your judgement was right or not. This is how you get better, by finding out everything you can.

I use a still air Hovabator that I put a teeny computer fan into. It does not work very well. No matter how I position that fan, there are hot spots and cold spots. The hot air in a bator is NOT the same as egg-to-chest contact provided by a hen. It is my opinion that believing a fan makes that much of a difference is not completely accurate. A GOOD fan, WELL placed, working properly might make a bator evenly heated. BUt it is often the interior shape of a bator that makes cold spots. People who build houses will tell you, square houses have cold corners and that is just the problem with a box. A bator with a poor fan, poorly placed is not going to make that big a difference. So do not place all your faith in a fan, they are not always the magic bullet. It will require fiddling and frequent checking to see if the fan is doing what you expect it to. You will need to use more than one thermometer, to get different readings from different spots in the bator before you can judge the success or failure of your fan.

After I had many chicks drown in their shells, I threw the water tray humidity instructions right out the window. While my hatches are not perfect, I get fewer drowned chicks. I am a dedicated dry hatcher and have found out over and over again, FAST chicks get out and SLOW chicks get stuck in their shell even if the incubator is dripping with humidity. After reading over and over that a dry bator causes stuckage I can say with 100 percent certainty that has NEVER BEEN MY EXPERIENCE. Speed of hatching determines getting stuck or not. Break an egg on your counter, smear it around. Leave it for a few hours. Wheter your house is dry or very humid, that egg is STICKY! That's just what happens no matter what the humidity.

Good luck wiht your hatches. There is more to say but I have been too long already. Do not get discouraged. Byt like many others have said, closer eggs, fresher, not shaken, might improve your chances even more than a fan.

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#105737 - 09/11/12 01:38 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: Uno]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
With Hovabator and later several Turn X bators, with fans, I learned to move the eggs positions during the weeks. Found one position always hatched earlier and a few, well developed, failed at the last days if left in the position opposite those earliest hatched. Quarter changes at several times in the round TurnX worked well!
I candled, maybe at least 6 x during the 21 days. (You may be able to identify breech positions that might need help hatching near the end. ) Could not tell any difference in hatch rate, no matter how often I opened the incubators. Hens get off the nest during the day, sometimes for quite a while. More care opening during the last few days, but if I color marked some chicks during the hatch day--it certainly did not make any difference to those still hatching.

Now, hatching fewer birds, I use only hens--they are still the easiest and you can candle, look (for mites or rare cracks) and the hen can't say "no". If she is angry and bites, I wear a glove and may take her chicks at hatch and raise them myself. However, I have enough sweet hens that are so dependable (2 are 10 years old, 2 more are 8 years old,several are 6) . and I seldom hatch their eggs.) AND they haven't a clue whether the eggs they set were theirs or even whether they are fertile. Some hens are so motherly, that I try to have the overprotective hens hatch about the same time and give the chicks to just one hen who is patient with my feeding, water, and changing bedding of their pens. Mine are bantams--5-6 eggs is a hatch. Right now one hens has 9 babies-she only hatched 3 special ones--=loves them all!
Yes, GOOD Luck and listen to Uno--she knows some good stuff! CJR

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#105759 - 09/12/12 09:40 PM Re: still air V air bator [Re: CJR]
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
CJR, hi and how are you keeping? Ready for winter in your neck of the woods?

Your kind words are high praise indeed. I will wear your words with pride. You put a smile on my face!

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