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#45103 - 07/22/02 07:05 PM Incubators
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have Little Giant incubators, with the thermal airflow fan and turning racks. My hatch percentage is low, yet fertility is almost 100%. I'm at the point where I really need a professional cabinet type incubator, but dont know what brand to get. Does anyone know what the best one is out there. I dont mind spending the money for a good one. Any suggestions?? confused

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#45104 - 07/22/02 07:49 PM Re: Incubators
Graciel Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 423
Loc: New York
Not sure what other people like, but my GQF Sportsman does the job quite nicely for me. I had a Little Giant before and it would not do turkey eggs worth spit. The turner couldn't even handle the eggs. So I recommend the Sportsman without hesitation. Oh, and order the plexiglass door if you do go with the GQF. You can see everything that goes on inside with that door. Costs more but well worth it.

Jennifer

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#45105 - 07/22/02 10:17 PM Re: Incubators
Anonymous
Unregistered


See I have a complete opposite experience with my little Giant laugh Just last week we hatched 5 out of 7 eggs and those I believe came from my hatch from Easter(yup they are laying already) I just did another 24 eggs last night so in 3 weeks I will certainly see quite a few more chicks ready to go to a broody momma or three(hoping the three are still broody in that time) I keep my incubator in my family room where the a/c keeps it at a constant 72 degrees and I didn't have a turner until this past week, so I was turning them by hand. Now I have the turner and only have to add water every 3 days or so and at the last 3 days I take 4 extra absorbent paper towels and saturate them and then put the wad in the corner of the incubator. I did remove the little red caps and left them out the whole time maybe that makes a big difference. Give yourself plenty of time to practice before giving up. Good luck no matter what you do. cool

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#45106 - 07/26/02 09:33 AM Re: Incubators
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
I have a LG of exactly the same shape, form and functionality as you. So let me give you instructions on how to make it work. They were written to someone else before, the wording might be a little hocky, but hey, whatever helps you get more pips, right? Ready?... go smile

Get a good "human body" thermometer and a hydrometer. These are really quite essential to successfull incubation. Human thermometer has a smaller temperature range but it is a lot more precise, so you know exactly where the temperature is.

1. Keep the humidity between 40 and 45%. These wet buls measurements are kinda tricky, so just get an actual hydrometer. You can get them at the pet store in the reptile section. They are only $8 or so.

2. Measure the temperature in the upper half of the egg where the embrio is developing. It should be around 99.5. Sure, still air incubators have to be at 102 F, but that is so that after layering of air takes affect, the embrio ends up getting about 99.5-100. By the way, turbo fan does not get rid of layering air effect completely, so when you take the eggs of the rack 3 days before they hatch, you might have to increase the temperature so that it is warm enough on the bottom of the incubator.

3. In the last three days, increase the humidity to 65-70%. Try not to open an incubator, especially if it is still air, because humidity in those decreases in an instant, where in forced air, the humidy stabilization happens much quicker.

4. I do not know where you live, but I live in WA where natural humidy is at 30-35%, which is too low for eggs. The way you can control humidity in your incubator, is you take out red plugs, flip them over and them partially close the holes at the top of the incubator. The more you close, the more humid it is.

5. Once every week, candle the eggs and see if they embrios are alive and what is the size of the air hole at the top. If the hole is not getting any bigger, then your humidity is too high for some reason. If it is gettig too large, then the humidity is too low. I think if you do a web search, you will find pictures that show how big the air pocket should be. By the end of incubation, something close to quarter inch height should be sufficient enough.

6. People say do not do this, but if you actually let your eggs cool down for up to 15 minutes/week, nothing is going to happen to them. Hens have to go and eat, so cooling down is not as detrimental to eggs as heating up. In fact they did measurements and found that on rare occasions, even after a full day of cooling down, the eggs were still alive. (just in case the hens gets attacked by the predator and need a little longer to get back to the nest)

7. Go to yahoo.com and search for "Dry incubation". You will find a lot of similar points that will help you with your next hatch.

Good luck and I hope you get some pips smile

Aram

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#45107 - 07/26/02 06:40 PM Re: Incubators
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the info. My problem is that at the end of the incubation period, most or all the chicks die in the eggs. You can hear them peeping in there, and can feel them moving inside the egg. My last set, I got good success by spritzing the eggs with a squirt bottle several times a day. Due to this, it seems that I cant get it humid enough (I fill it with water, I put wet sponges in there, I squirt water all over the place). 2 sets ago, I had to crack open and pull out 5 chicks from the egg, they all did fine and are alive and well even now. They just cant get out of those eggs. Does this sound like a humidity problem? confused

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#45108 - 07/28/02 09:54 AM Re: Incubators
Clarke Offline
Chick

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Washington
I am interested in getting either a Hova-bator or Little Giant incubator. Can you recommend one over the other? Do you recommend the egg turner or is it not really necessary? I am home during the day to turn eggs, but I am concerned about upsetting the temp/humity balance by opening and closing it 3 times a day. How about the fan, is it necessary or recommended? Thank you!

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#45109 - 07/28/02 09:00 PM Re: Incubators
Graciel Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 423
Loc: New York
Clarke, it's not necessary to open those kinds of incubators to turn the eggs. Just take a short piece of 2 x 4 and put it underneath one side of the incubator, then when you "turn" the eggs the next time, you just slip the 2 x 4 to the other side of the incubator. Just like rocking a cradle in real slow motion. smile Takes only moments to do it, as well, whereas if you opened the incubator to turn everything by hand you'd be standing there for five minutes.

I still have my Little Giant for a back up, and I would definitely get a fan model if I were going to buy one again. I wouldn't fool with the auto turner if I was there to turn the eggs manually. They really aren't that sturdy. Mine wouldn't turn turkey eggs, OR very large (60 gram) chicken eggs, even. Bantam or small eggs would probably be no problem for them. My main beef with these foam incubators is lack of humidity control.

Jennifer

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#45110 - 07/29/02 12:59 PM Re: Incubators
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
Jennifer,

Do you fill the incubator full of eggs? Otherwise, how do you prevent the eggs from rolling all over the bottom of it?

Do you use the 4inch or the 2 inch part of 2X4 when you "roll" the incubator?

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#45111 - 07/29/02 01:34 PM Re: Incubators
Clarke Offline
Chick

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Washington
Thanks for your reply Jennifer, that really helps me make a decision. I have the same questions that Aram has about the 2 x 4 used to roll the eggs. I'll be waiting for your response!
Clarke

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#45112 - 07/29/02 05:12 PM Re: Incubators
Rob Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 783
Loc: Pennsylvania
I use the 2" side, and put the eggs in a egg carton with the bottoms of the egg dents cut out.

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#45113 - 07/30/02 03:09 AM Re: Incubators
Big Boy Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 845
Loc: Kansas
Rob and graciel, that is interesting to know. My #2 son wanted to hatch on 'his own' so he got what he could afford. His hatching rate has been OK (about 60-70%, finally leaving the thing shut after the 18th day and keeping it away from drafts) but he spends alot of time manually rolling the eggs. I'll slip this tip to him and we'll see how it works. Thank you.

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#45114 - 07/31/02 10:20 PM Re: Incubators
Anonymous
Unregistered


The thing I did to "turn" my eggs was to flat palm my hand and after marking x and o on either side of the eggs I just rolled the eggs around. On the 18th day is when I added more paper towels fully saturated with water and if I didn't live in a totally humid climate(Florida) I would have added a sponge or two to the incubator. I think that would help greatly and might I suggest do not keep your incubator in a room where the air conditioner is working overtime. That is one sure way to remove all the moisture from the air. Thats the job of the a/c you know. smile

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#45115 - 08/12/02 11:25 AM Re: Incubators
Graciel Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 423
Loc: New York
Oops! Just saw that people wondered about that turning style with the 2 x 4. I used it so the incubator was elevated with the long side, that is, it rested on the 2" side and went up in the air 4". And Aram, I held the eggs in either the LG turner that had quit working for me or else used a 36 egg plastic egg rack that would go into the larger cabinet incubators. I used both ways to hold the eggs with two different LG incubators. You could probably use this same method without an egg rack if the incubator was full, but it's much easier with a rack of some kind. This essentially is turning the eggs in the same manner the automatic turners turn the eggs. They just tip them from side to side. Hope that helps, and sorry I'm not timely with a response.

Jennifer

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