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#78051 - 11/02/06 02:21 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Confession: I never measure humidity. Don't have a humidity measurer (hygrometer?). I just pour some water in the tray when I remember, and am sure to definitely add water, lots, for the last three days. Damp sponge, all that, and I have had good luck with my hatches.

What frustrated me was the variability in thermometers. They are often cheap and crappy and not accurate. But I got one of those thermoms that attach inside fish tanks with a suction cup. The bottom is filled with tiny pellets of some kind. I tuck that end between two eggs and get a VERY accurate reading of egg temperature. Also putting the incubator in a room with even room temp, no wild heat / cool fluctuations made a big difference.

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#78052 - 11/04/06 05:27 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Jo Jo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 309
Loc: Massachusetts
I had dreadful success with my hovabator until I got a very good thermometer. I had the chicks alive right up to the end, just like you, but had only 3 hatch, one okay, one with a limp and one with spraddle, from several dozen of eggs, over 6 different sets. Some of my problem was the eggs, since I got them all mailorder, but once I got the Brinsea Thermometer, and the water weasel, I have hatched twice, and a friend used it and hatched once, and we only lost 2 eggs out of 3-4 dozen total. The good thermometer made the difference for me.
Good luck! -jo

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#78053 - 11/05/06 02:51 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Vesper 35 Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 243
Loc: Canada
Where did you get your Brinsea thermometer? Hope it was from a store that we have in Canada. I am going to Chicago soon so may be able to get one there.

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#78054 - 11/05/06 04:47 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Sarah B. Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 78
Loc: Wyoming
DavidW, My sisters and I use the Brinsea Octagon incubator. We have had great success with it. Last year we only had two hatches and both had 100% hatch rate. Plus it regulates the tempeture so you don't have to. Good Luck!

Sarah ~:>
_________________________
4B's Bantams

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#78055 - 12/08/06 04:49 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Freaking out now! I have my eggs in a hovabator! Everyone looks fine-- even my 14 day old chick! Air-pocket looks right-- will I have a problem?
I have two thermometers and the temperature has never went over 101, or below 99 (except for a few seconds when I pull one out to candle). I'm still waiting for my hygrometer in the mail, but judging by the chicks, I've done a good job with the humidity and temperature. I think everything is functioning correctly, and I've read some old forums, so I'm not going to wrry. Like a broody hen, I have been in that room staring into my automatic egg turner 5 times a day, minmimum. I candle for a few seconds almost every day-- (can't help it, embrology). I saw my seven day old Partridge cochin doing the funky chicken smile He's really much more hyper than his brood mates.

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#78056 - 12/09/06 05:26 AM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
You know the old sayig, "do't count your chickens before they hatch"...it's still true. Most deaths happen during the first third and the last third of incubation...not so much in the middle. So, you have gotten past the first third already and the odds are in your favour. Watch for the temperature during the last few days as it often rises as the chciks get more active...and you may need to turn it down a little. Make sure the air cell does grow...a third of the egg by hatch time or the chick can't breath at pip. You don't have to turn them as much at the end either...and they will hatch just fine if you forget a time or two. Once they get to day 21 type back and tell us what is happening and we can give pointers from there.

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#78057 - 12/09/06 11:01 AM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Anonymous
Unregistered


My setup is mixed, and highly irregular and I know I will get fussed as just for that. I put my "Stats" in my signature: but I am going to include a picture of my incubator setup here:

Right now, my hygrometer says 100 degrees, and 53 percent humidity. I've been watching for the "animal heat" problem, and it has went up 1/2 a degree, and I've turned it down.

Also, I have a small 3 egg incubator (still air, light bulb run). I have one chick (in egg) that is 14 days old because I started it in that incubator. When it gets to day 18 or 19 and I don't have to turn the egg, can I put it back in that incubator if I set it up and get it stable first without problems?
That particular egg is also very loooong. Many of my full size chicken eggs are. I candle it and the air sac looked a little too small.
Then I have the bobwhites and Seramas with their tiny eggs, which seem to have the right sized ari sac, but it might be suffocating my others. I have all sorts of hatching days, as you can see. The mystery eggs are 7 day olds.
For this setup, does anyone have advice (other than seperate the batches)?
Do I need to make any adjustments to temp/humdiity, etc?

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#78058 - 12/09/06 03:05 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
A little dry is best, so that the ones that need a bigger air cell can hatch. Slightly larger air cells don't lower the hatch, so if some are too small, let them all dry out a bit.

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#78059 - 12/09/06 05:52 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Anonymous
Unregistered


By a little dry, do you mean in the 40% range? Because that's what I keep my house humidity because we grow orchids and bromeliads, too.
The incubator's humidity fluxuates between 49-67% during the day. Should I drain some water then? confused

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#78060 - 12/09/06 08:19 PM Re: Incubator is crap! Any suggestions?
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
Just let it run dry of water for a day before refilling it. Check the aircells, especially on the seramas, as they seem to have a hard time losing enough water. Seramas that are incubated too wet grow to day 19 or 20 and drown....so make sure you let the water pans run empty enough that they have a full one third of the egg as air cell by day 19. An egg that loses a bit too much water will have a small weak chick that may need you to put a few drops of water on the shell membrane as it is hatching. It may need help to drink for the first 2 or 3 hours, but will grow strong shortly....better than a drowned, too wet, chick, which is dead. Don't worry about the humidity fluctuating, this happens every time you open it. Just keep an eye on the air cell sizes...big as a dime at newlaid...big as one quarter of the egg at day 14 for chickens, big as one third of the egg at hatch for all species.

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