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#108578 - 02/19/13 07:14 PM Vagaries of hatching
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
I incubate chicken eggs in Hovabators. A few years ago I read posts here advising that the inside of styrofoam incubators be painted so as to seal off the crevices in which bacteria could survive and then flourish in the lovely warm moist conditions of incubation.

My Hovators were new and I didn't paint them. I've generally had reasonable hatches (50-65%).

After the 2011 hatching season I washed my unpainted Hovabators with soap and water and then let oxined water stand in them for some days. Then I stored them. When I started using the bators in 2012, I could smell the oxine. My first hatches were extremely good, 83% - they were mostly Chantecler/Buckeye crosses. Later hatches (mostly Wyandottes and Dorkings) were my worst ever with many chicks dead in shell. I wondered if I had gassed the poor things to death but then I wondered about the early good hatches. Hybrid vigor?

This year I have washed the bators with soap and water and I have painted the insides. I'll start setting eggs in March.

Anybody have experience with cleaning styrofoam incubators with oxine? with painting them? I would like to hear about how folks have cared for their bators and after how many seasons you've replaced them.

#108624 - 02/22/13 12:48 PM Re: Vagaries of hatching [Re: Kathy W.]
Wieslaw Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: Denmark
I do not know hovabators or oxine, but I have styrofoam incubators(2 of them). Contrary to what people write on the internet, they are the best incubators I have ever had(100 % hatch from fertilized eggs). They are so easy to make clean and desinfect.
Firstly, I can't recognize the danger of all those 'contaminations with bacteria or other horrors'. The inner surface is smooth in mine. Secondly, what kind of bacteria are we talking about here? Sitting for a whole year in a dry styrofoam just waiting to attack hatching eggs?? Eggs have shells, which are relatively hard to conquer for bacteria(unless your eggs are soiled to begin with)
Nevertheless, I just desinfect them with virkon and I works for me. I live in a country with a very high air humidity (30 km from the North Sea), so I do not use any additional moisture at all.
As far as painting is concerned, I do not think anybody here would have an idea what kind of paint would work in such a kind of environment.

#108630 - 02/22/13 04:08 PM Re: Vagaries of hatching [Re: Wieslaw]
Murray Offline

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Western Australia
I would have thought that a clear sealent would have been suficent to use.

#108856 - 03/10/13 01:48 PM Re: Vagaries of hatching [Re: Murray]
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
Opps - been away for awhile. Thank you for your replies. Just read about Virkon which I hadn't heard of before. Oxine is a chlorine compound, sort of a very high power bleach. I use it "unactivated" but it is still supposed to have many times the sterilizing power of bleach.

- Kathy


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