Need help with incubator setup

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Happy
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Happy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:58 pm

Jaye do you have any buns in the oven?
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Jaye
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Jaye » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:45 am

I do, but I'm not holding out much hope for anything to come of them. I have had a lot of difficulty maintaining temperature in the incubator, and humidity in the room. I tried regulating the humidity inside the incubator, but it didn't work: I think the room temperature and humidity made it too difficult to for the incubator to stabilize internal temperature and humidity. I know humidity isn't so critical at first, but I couldn't even get it anywhere close to within acceptable range (50-75%). The highest it got to, where the temperature could also be maintained, was 45%. I installed a flat panel heater to try to keep the room a bit warmer and bought a humidifier to try to fix that, so maybe ... that's about all I can think of doing to increase the chances of a better outcome. I welcome any suggestions, though. :-)
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Ontario Chick
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Ontario Chick » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:52 am

Jay humidity of 45% iis fine
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Kbr42
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Kbr42 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:23 am

Yes, humidity at 45% during the first 0 to 18 days works! Anything less you risk splay legs anything more you risk the air sac not being large enough. At lockdown you might need to put a sponge in the incubator and make sure you can easily add water without opening the incubator. Good luck!
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Jaye
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Jaye » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:14 am

Thanks for confirming what I had hoped: that 45% humidity is good enough to be okay to set eggs, @Ontario Chick and @Kbr42 . I'm just concerned about raising it on day 18, because it took quite a while to stabilize temperature when I fiddled with getting the humidity up to acceptable. 25% humidity was where I started. I know, our house is very dry at the moment because we heat with a pellet stove. We really should have bought a humidifier long ago. But now we have one. :-) I will pop a sponge into the incubator as you suggested, right under one of the vent holes, so that I can syringe water onto it as needed without opening the incubator.
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Kbr42 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:38 pm

I have to say, it is always a challenge keeping the humidity at 65 during lockdown.. I have developed a system of drawing where the water channels are on my shelve liner. I have multiple straws attached together so I can add water as needed . My house is also very dry. My hatching room is in the basement near the wood stove. So, I got dry. Lol

I have lots of trial and error with my current incubator so I know what to expect when I add water. Good luck and happy hatching...Where are you in the process?
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Jaye » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:09 pm

Thanks! I'm just starting out in the process - it took almost a two weeks to get the little darling (incubator) stabilized to where I felt comfortable setting the eggs. I figured that it was critical to have steady-ish temperature for the first week that the eggs are set, so I wanted to make sure they got a good start. The trade-off is that egg viability goes down after 10 days and some of mine were collected two weeks ago.
I have some clear plastic aquarium tubing that I plan to stick down one of the air vents and use a baster to add water to the sponge through that. I wish these eggs weren't so special to me. If nothing comes of them, I will be just a tad disappointed.
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windwalkingwolf
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by windwalkingwolf » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:32 am

Jaye wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:01 pm
I had to rehome my Brabanter cockerel, Charlie. Regretting it already but I keep telling myself that it had to be done: he was putting the rest of our flock in jeopardy with his crowing. I miss him. A lot. Anyway, there are a number (9) of collected eggs here that are potentially fertile (cracked one open and it was), so I would like to be able to incubate them. Problem is, I have a Little Giant incubator that was bought for quail incubation, which we aren't ready to start just yet, but I really don't want to blow the chance to hatch out some of Charlie's offspring. However, I have no clue how to set up, and I'm guessing this is time-sensitive. The oldest egg is about a week old now.
I guess what I'm asking for is an "emergency" list of what needs to be done to get this incubator up and running ASAP. Any input would be much appreciated!
Oh, boy.
Incubator should be in an area or room away from drafts, windows, doors, or anything that might cause sudden temperature changes. A hallway closet is ideal.
1.) Keep eggs cool until you're ready. Above 3 degrees Celsius but below 10 degrees if you can. Fridge works great for this. Cold storage in a stone cellar is what I used to use until I found the fridge worked better for me. Cooling and humidity containment all in one, as long as the fridge isn't too cold and doesn't get opened 10 times a day. Flip/turn the eggs once a day or once every two days. You will still have some fertile, hatchable eggs in 4 weeks, or possibly longer depending on evaporation and bacterial infiltration. I have hatched an egg that was 60 days old, but that's a very rare exception. 1-2 weeks is best, but some will still hatch much older than that if clean and kept cool.
2.) Plug in your incubator, let it get up to pre-set temperature. Buy other thermometers, even just a good meat probe, or a cheapie Chinese weather station. Find out if they're accurate by placing the probes in boiling water (100 C) or in ice slush (O C) and then place in the center and edge in your empty incubator and adjust heat controls accordingly after 1/2 hour. Set at 37-38 C if you have a fan, or 38-39 if you don't. Watch like a hawk all night and day to make sure temperatures stay reasonably steady.
3. WASH YOUR HANDS. Put in eggs. WASH YOUR HANDS before turning eggs (if hand turning), turn them twice or three times a day. If you have a turner, WASH YOUR HANDS and move eggs around the incubator once a day. I take the top left four out, move the rest all left/up, and put the first 4 back in bottom right. Even a fan incubator has hot and cold spots. Bald styrofoam isn't really that great for insulation, so if eggs aren't in a turner, ideally don't let them stay in contact with it for long.
4.) Check temperature often. CANDLE often. Daily if you can. Candling is your best friend. It will teach you what eggs are doing and why, and when. If you have an old egg, or a dirty one, or forget to wash your hands, or have illness in one bird or your entire flock, or there was a temperature spike or prolonged dip, or if humidity is way too high, or too dry, you will see the results in the egg within a DAY with experience.
5.) You hatched chicks with an oven, this is the same principle, except the incubator companies promise (and fail) to do all the hard OCD work for you :laugh: . If I can hatch chicks with fire, you absolutely got this.
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windwalkingwolf
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by windwalkingwolf » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:52 am

P.S. Stop worrying about humidity. Just don't worry about it at all. Don't worry about your heat source, or how dry your house is. If you get static when taking off a coat, it's a little too dry. Open a window or make a cup of tea. DON'T add water to the incubator. South Eastern Ontario is too humid 10 months of the year to worry about incubator humidity no matter your heat source. If you have static, just simply put a pan of water on top of your pellet stove. Or cook a meal without the range hood fan on. Easy as that. This time of the year is PERFECT and I wouldn't sweat it. Trust me, low humidity when you're incubating is much better than high, and it's easier to keep temps stable too.
In a closed, stable temp room, humidity won't fluctuate catastrophically anyway. You DO. NOT. EVER. WANT. condensation on your incubator windows before a chick pips. Some may still hatch, but heartbreak lies that way. Once a chick pips the shell, a *little* condensation is normal, and ok, but the instructions that come with incubators to keep the channels full of water is just WRONG for the area we live in. We don't live in Arizona. The air is wet here, this time of the year. Wet babies are guaranteed heartbreaks. Dry babies can be saved if you know what you're looking for. 9 years incubating with ZERO, ZILCH, never any water added to my incubators, and I've only ever seen TWO shrinkwrapped babies, and they were my fault.
Heat plus eggs equals chicks. You can DO this.
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Re: Need help with incubator setup

Post by Ontario Chick » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:18 am

I could offer my recently flooded basement the humidity is 60%
If I turn off the furnace and open windows it goes down to 58%,
Sounds like the train A and train B question, how long is it going to take to dry out my basement and is it going to happen before the summer humidity hits and I will be growing mushrooms in there?
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