Fluctuating Temperature In Egg Hatching Incubator

I have received an email from Jenny asking for help regarding the temperature fluctuating in her incubator.

Hello,

My name is Jenny, I have an incubutor.. but I can not get it to hold it’s temperature… it’s up and down like a yo yo..

Can you help? I have now tried it twice and got nothing each time.

Regards Jenny

Hi Jenny,

Sorry to hear that your incubator temperature is fluctuating. Where do you have your incubator positioned? Incubators are most reliable if kept in a room with a constant temperature. The kitchen is not a good place fot an incubator as the fluctuating heat as the oven is used can affect the incubator. The incubator needs to be kept away from draughts and also away from a window where the sunlight can warm up the incubator in the day and then the incubator will get colder at night.

I have read that “The bulb of the thermometer may be placed inside a blob of Plasticine or similar to reduce changes in readings due to minor fluctuations and give an average reading.”

Is the thermometer working correctly? Can you check it against another thermometer? New thermometers should be checked against one known to be accurate.

Do you have the thermometer placed near the eggs? In a still air incubator the temperature varies vertically within the incubator and there may be a difference of several degrees between the bottom and the top of the incubator. The temperature should be kept at that required by the eggs at the level at which the eggs are kept. In order to monitor this, a thermometer should be placed at the same level as the eggs.

I am sure that you are aware that the temperature will alter when you open up the incubator, the temperature will fall when the door is opened to add, remove or manipulate eggs. So turning the eggs needs to be done quickly and carefully.

For normal development and good hatchability, eggs must be maintained within a narrow temperature range. Both too high and too low temperatures maycause problems with the hatch.

Here are some useful links regarding reasons for problems with hatching:
Reasons for a poor hatch rate or no hatching eggs in an incubator
Reasons for eggs hatching late
Reasons for pipped eggs but chicks not hatched
Reasons why fully formed chicks may not hatch out

Hope you can get your incubator to give you good results. Good luck with future hatching.
Kind regards
sara @ farmingfriends

Do you have any tips for Jenny to help her regulate the temperature in her incubator?

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Duckling Hatched Early And Yolk Sac Not Absorbed

Had an email on Friday night letting me know that a duckling was hatching early and then this morning I heard that the yolk sac hadn’t been absorbed.

Hi Sara, just to update you on our eggs. It is not due to hatch until Wednesday next week but it actually started to break the shell yesterday at 5pm and now (26 hours later) his beak has come out completely – he doesn’t seem to be doing much more, as of yet, so we are keeping our fingers crossed he is strong enough with hatching early. Will keep you updated and send you photos when he has hatched completely.
Chantelle

Thanks for your speedy reply! I can see this being a long night Im so excited I wont be able to sleep! I have helped him a little by breaking off some of the hard shell but he is still very ‘gooey’ inside so don’t wanna break too much off incase it bleeds. Been reading things on the internet about how they can bleed to death if you break a vein so need to be careful. The children did see him popping his beak out today and opening and closing it- they were amazed! The are so excited for Monday morning when I take him back into school!
Thanks again for being so helpful and kind!
Kind regards
Chantelle

Hi sara, our little duck finally came out completely about an hour ago after I used some damp cotton wool to moisten the egg. He has a huge yellow lump attatched to his tummy with a gooey piece of string going from the lump to his back. I’m guessing this is the yolk still attatched to him but it is really big :( poor little thing. He’s warm in his incubator and occasionally trying to move so it’s just a case of waiting now to see what happens to this lump. I’ll keep you updated
Kind regards
Chantelle

Does anyone have any advice for Chantelle?

This was the advice I gave to Chantelle

I hope your duckling is ok. Yes it sounds like the yolk sac as the duckling is early. It’s now important that the duckling doesn’t get an infection via the yolk sac.

I have read that , “when a bird hatches with a yolk sac still outside the body, it is usually due to one or two things. Too-high humidity during brooding will cause this, as will an e.coli or staphylococcus infection during incubation. Sometimes the duckling will survive, but more often than not, bacteria gets into the sac through the duckling’s bellbutton and the infection gives the duckling septicemia, a body wide acute infection, and they die. Giving very potent antibiotics, like baytril, will help ward off infection, but it won’t necessarily save the bird.”

A reader of my website a year ago had a duckling hatch with the yolk sac still attached.
“His yolk sack was not quite absorbed. I am sure we panicked and were too quick to
intervene. We have raised the humidity level in the incubator (70%) and keep a wet paper towel wrapped loosely around him.”

Click on this link to read more about this duckling.

Hope he is ok.
Kind regards
Sara

Sarah one of the farmingfriends forum members said,

“The duckling sounds a little premature. Keep it warm and dry and encourage it to drink and have wet mash. it will soon dry out. It may have a herniated umbilica, which should be ok and still heal on its own if it is hardy enough. Sarah”

I am very sad to say that as of Sunday afternoon the little duckling passed away. It is always really sad when a duckling doesn’t make it. This duckling did well to survive as long as he did as his yolk sac was still so big and he was nearly 6 days early.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Should You Wash Eggs Before Incubating?

I am often asked if you should wash eggs before incubating and there is a debate as to whether you should or not.

Many poultry/waterfowl/gamebird breeders don’t think you should wash them:

* If you wash them you can wash bacteria into the egg as the shells are porous. It is not advisable to wash eggs before incubating as bacteria can be transferred into the egg which can affect the growth and development of the chick/duckling, cause illness, defects in the chicks or even chicks not hatching.

Eggs have a protective coating and if you wash them or rub them then you may remove the protective coating.

Here are some tips on storing and choosing eggs before incubation http://farmingfriends.com/choosing-and-storing-eggs-before-incubation/

http://farmingfriends.com/cleaning-eggs-for-the-incubator/

Some people do say that you can wash eggs and they say if cleaning eggs then use water that is warmer than the egg.

I have had a look in my copy of incubation at home by Micheal Roberts. http://farmingfriends.com/shop/poultry-books/incubation-at-home-by-michael-roberts/ He is an advocate of not washing, but says if you have dirty eggs then you could scrape off the soil/muck with a clean kitchen scourer. He also mentions Virkon which I believe is a sanitiser and washing in water that is 35 degrees..

I have had a look at my copy of Incubation: A Guide To Hatching & Rearing by Katie Thear http://farmingfriends.com/shop/poultry-books/incubation-a-guide-to-hatching-and-rearing-book-by-katie-thear/ and she suggests brushing them clean with a dry nail brush. She also mentions washing the eggs in water warmer than the egg which has had a sanitiser added.

Some people do wash eggs before incubation.
If you are going to wash the eggs then wash them in warm water, dry, then wipe with a special disinfectant. The water needs to be warmer than the egg so that the dirt doesn’t get through the porous shell and don’t rub too hard as this will rub off the protective layer on the shell.

What is your opinion? Can eggs be washed before incubation?

If you keep poultry or are interested in keeping poultry then visit the farmingfriends forum for the latest chat.

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Water In Incubator

I have been asked about water in an incubator.

“Hi there I was wondering if you put water in the incubator when eggs are incubating ? Thanks write back asap. Ekram”

When incubating eggs the eggs need to have a level of humidity in the incubator in order to hatch. One way to attain the correct humidity levels for the eggs is to put water in the incubator during the incubation. Click on this link to learn about the different humidity levels for different types of eggs.

You can raise the humidity levels in an incubator by adding more water to the water trays in the incubator. You can also try to increase the humidity levels in the room in which the incubator is.

Other ways to increase the humidity levels in an incubator include:

* add a jar or tray of water
* add a wet towel

I believe that low humidity is caused by high temperatures which dry out the water trays in the incubator and help the humidity in the atmosphere evaporate.

Some people will do a dry incubation or dry hatch which means that they don’t put water in the incubator or put very little water in.

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Incubating Blue Scaled Quail Eggs

Blue scale quail eggs have light or dark brown spots on them.

Incubating Blue Scaled Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 22-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = Humidity: 82 to 84 degrees F wet bulb.

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

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Muscovy Ducklings Struggling To Hatch Out

I have just received an email about muscovy ducklings struggling to hatch out.

Hi Sara I have a muscovy duck that hatched out two of her babies, she still had alot of eggs but did not sit on them for a day so i took them away as they were ice cold. Just before i wanted to throw them away i heard a peep, so i rushed to get them warm, i left them for a day and still peeping. So i then just made a small hole where i know the head is as i dont know if they lost to much energy to break through, the embrio started to dry out a bit so i got their heads out and left them, one is out and doing fine but two others are still half way in their eggs, peeping and moving a little, should i just take them completly out to see if they will survive as i dont know how long they have been struggling to hatch, so far it is their second day with me. Arnold

When I receive an email like this I always try to reply swiftly as this is a matter of urgency whether a duckling will hatch and survive or die in the shell having struggled to get out.

It is always a difficult decicion for the person incubating whether they should intervene and help or let nature takes it’s course, but in this instance I would say that these ducklings deserve a little bit of help.

My advice to Arnold was,

Hi Arnold,

Thanks for visiting farmingfriends website and leaving your comment.

My advice is if after a couple of hours once the eggs have pipped an the ducklings are not hatching out themselves then you I would be inclined to help.

I had to help 6 of the 7 khaki campbell ducklings I have and they are now over a year old and doing very well and all laying eggs of their own!

If you decide to help then you need to work quickly to keep the egg warm. Peel the shell and membrane a little at a time making sure that you don’t make the duckling bleed. I usually try to peel as much of the shell and membrane except for cup shape at the bottom of the shell as this is where the duckling will still be attached.I then put the duckling back into the incubator so that it can wriggle out of the remaining shell in it’s own time. I always make sure before putting back in the incubator that the ducking can get it legs free of the remaing shell and it’s just a case of wriggling out or even just leaving it for the duckling to break the cord that links the duckling to the shell.

It is important not to leave membrane as this will dry onto the duckling and make it hard for the duckling to get out of the shell.

I hope you find this information useful.

Let me know how your ducklings get on and best of luck.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Incubating Mountain Quail Eggs

The Mountain Quail is one of the largest birds of the quail family. The eggs are a plain light beige colour, without any spots or patches.

Incubating Mountain Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 24-28 days – I have read that the eggs can hatch over three days.
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F or 37.5ºC.
Humidity = Wet Bulb of 82 to 84 degrees F or a lowish humidity of about 50%.

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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Enter your email address:

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Incubating Calfornia Valley Quail Eggs

California Valley Quail are also known as Valley Quail and they are the state bird of California.

Incubating California Valley Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 22-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = 84 to 86 degrees F wet bulb

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

If you would like to receive regular information about quail and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Incubating Gambel’s Quail Eggs

Gambel’s Quail are are found in arid areas of the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico. The Gambel quail egg is a pale buff to white colour with moderate pink/brown spots.

Incubating Gambel’s Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 21-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = wet bulb of 83 F

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

If you would like to receive regular information about quail and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.


Incubating Quail Eggs From Different Quail Breeds

I was recently asked about the incubation period and temperature and humidity levels for incubating eggs from different quail breeds.

Japanese Coturnix Quail
Incubation period = 17 days
Temperature = approximately 99.5-99.9º F
Humidity = wet bulb humidity of around 84-88º F

Bobwhite Quail
Incubation period = 21-24 days usually 23-24 days
Temperature = approximately 99.5-99.75º F
Humidity = wet bulb humidity of around 84-86º F

California Valley Quail
Incubation period = 22-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = 84 to 86 degrees F wet bulb

Gambel’s Quail
Incubation period = 21-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = wet bulb of 83 F

Mountain Quail
Incubation period = 24-25 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = Wet Bulb of 82 to 84 degrees F

Blue Scaled Quail
Incubation period = 22-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = Humidity: 82 to 84 degrees F wet bulb.

Harlequin Quail
Incubation period =15-18 days
Temperature = 37.6° Celsius
Humidity = ?

Mearns Quail
Incubation period = 24 – 25 days

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

If you would like to receive regular information about quail and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.