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?

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

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12 Egg Poultry Incubator For Sale

Just wanted to let you know that farmingfriends has now added the 12 egg poultry incubator to the farmingfriends shop.

 WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE INCUBATOR AND READ OUR EXPERIENCES

There is a lower basin within the incubator to hold the  water to control the humidity and the temperature control is fully automatic and contolled by a thermostat. The incubator also has a thermometer attached to read temperature inside the incubator. The light stays on while heating up to 100 deg F. After that the light bulb will flash.  Approximate capacity for the incubator is 12 hen eggs, 6 duck eggs, 4 – 6 turkey or goose, 20+  quail or partridge eggs & 15+ guinea fowl or pheasant eggs.

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Some useful books when starting out with incubating and hatching poultry eggs include Incubation At Home By Michael Roberts and Incubation: A Guide To Hatching And Rearing By Katie Thear.

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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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Should You Add Water To Incubator When Incubating Poultry Eggs

Just recently I have had a number of emails asking if water should be added to the incubator during the hatch or if you should incubate guinea fowl, hen and quail eggs with a dry hatch.

hi, just a quick question, do you put water in your incubator all the way through or just at the end of incubation? i hatched 2 out of 13 bantoms and was told that because i put water in all the time then i drowned them, have you ever heard of that? thanks. Helen.

Hi Helen,

Thanks for your question. Yes I try to keep my incubator with some water in as this is what the instructions say. I have a hovabator incubator. I only keep a small amount in and then top it up when it gets to a few days before the hatch.

I have had a few enquiries about whether to put water in the incubator. Soem one else was advised with guinea fowl eggs to do a dry hatch which I assume means without water. I  have also read that quail do not need so much water until the last few days of the hatch.

I am sorry to hear you only got 2 bantam chicks.
Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

I was just wondering what everyone’s thoughts were on a dry hatch and how much water they add to the incubator for different poultry and water fowl.

I have received this comment from Fred about dry hatching, “I have always dry hatched quail/pheasant/chickens /ducks due to watching others. to much moisture after hatching can make your birds very sick. while still in the egg itself i dont really see how moisture would benefit your chicks. if you do use water in the incubator you should discontinue at least a day before placing your chicks in an outside environment. Fred.”

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

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Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this incubator or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.


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Japanese Quail Eggs In Incubator

I filled my hovabator incubator with 42 Japanese quail eggs about 15 days ago. Japanese quail eggs take approximately 17 days to hatch. This morning I took the automatic egg turner out of the incubator and filled up the water trays to increase the humidity.

42 Japanese Quail Eggs In Incubator

42 Japanese Quail Eggs In Incubator

After lunch I thought I could hear some cheeping coming from the incubator and I even thought one of the eggs had pipped. When I looked later on I couldn’t see any sign of hatching.

I keep thinking I can hear cheeping and I have read that quail are supposed to call to each other whilst still in the egg in order to synchronise the hatch. I’ll keep you posted on the hatch.

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.

If you fancy having ago at incubating and hatching and if you live in the UK then I  have  quail eggs for hatching for sale.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this incubator or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Storing Quail Eggs Before Incubation

It is important for quail eggs that are not incubated straight away, to be stored correctly.
Cracked, poorly shaped, soiled, thin shelled, unusually large or unusually small quail eggs should not be kept for incubation.
Only select clean and undamaged quail eggs for incubation.
Quail eggs should not be washed.
Try not to handle the quail eggs too frequently.
When handling quail eggs make sure that hands are washed to avoid bacterial contamination.
Before incubation, quail eggs can be stored for up to 7 days.
When storing quail eggs before incubating, make sure that they are kept at a constant temperature of 13-18 degrees Celsius or 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not store the quail eggs at ordinary room temperature or in a refrigerator.
Avoid placing the quail eggs in a draft when in storage before incubation.
Store quail eggs with the small end facing down
Try to keep the quail eggs at the correct humidity prior to incubation which is a humidity of 84-88%.
Make sure the stored quail eggs are turned twice daily before they are incubated.
Keep the stored quail eggs in an egg carton and prop up one end at a 35 degree angle.
Hope this information helps. I have followed this information myself and had guinea fowl and quail eggs hatch out.

Candling Quail Eggs

It is difficult to candle quail eggs because of the dark markings on the shell.

Hi Sara,

This is my first time trying to hatch eggs. It seems to be going good but I can not candle the speckled eggs. It is almost hatch time and it seems the eggs weigh more. Can you tell by weight if the eggs have grown embryos in them? It is only 3 days from hatch day. Thanks

Denver

Hi Denver,
I don’t usually candle my eggs and didn’t candle the quail which are hard to do anyway. I have done a bit of research after receiving your comment and have found that Katie Thear who has written Keeping Quail doesn’t bother candling quail eggs as they are difficult to candle and have a short incubation period so that it is hardly worthwhile candling the eggs. Michael Roberts author of Quail, Past & Present says that alot of commercial quail farmers don’t bother to candle the eggs. Michael’s book also states that if candling it is important to be careful not to overheat the egg.
You also mention the weight of your eggs feel heavier. I noticed when I hatched duck eggs and guinea fowl eggs that the eggs which are heavier generally have a chick inside. This is a comparison of weight between the eggs.
I have also read that an egg usually has a weight loss during incubation so if you weigh your eggs at the start of incubation and then throughout and the eggs are losing weight this is often a sign that the air sac is increasing as the chick develops. This is a comparison of a particular eggs weight.
I hope that your chicks have successfully hatched out by now and are doing well.
Let me know how you are getting on.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

If you have any tips on candling quail eggs then please leave a comment.

Can Geese Incubate & Hatch Rhea Eggs Successfully?

Does anyone know if geese can incubate and hatch rhea eggs successfully as Rick would like to know?

Hello this is Rick from Wisconsin….I have three rheas for about three years… this is first year they are laying eggs good… I have two grey females and one 4 year old Male breeding with them…eggs in incubator look fertile and are developing….for a week i found no eggs and now found five of them under one of my Big White embem goose hen in her nest..the rhea was laying them next to the goose and goes in by the goose like they are friends…. do you think the goose will incubate those eggs or will the eggs get too Hot??? what do you think ..ever here of a goose hatching rhea or emu eggs??? just curious to leave them or put them in incubator,,, or will male take them over..he seems like hes protecting the shelter but has made no real nest…he kinda tried making a nest last week by moving straw around but now hes just protecting the gooses nest…what is your thoughts??? any one think they can help me feel better about her being on the eggs?? thank you

Hi Rick,

Thanks for visiting the farmingfriends website and getting in touch. I hope all is well with your rhea eggs and the goose and male rhea.

I have never heard of a goose incubating rhea eggs although I am sure it may occur. The temperature and humidity levels are different for goose and rhea eggs so this could be a cause for concern, particularly the humidity levels as the rhea eggs need a humidity of 35% until day 33 whilst goose eggs need a humidity of 55% until day 27. If the goose gets off the nest the male rhea may get on.

As you say that you have eggs in the incubator, I think if the eggs were mine I would leave the other eggs under the goose and see what happens. I know that the success rate for brrody hens hatching eggs is much better than eggs hatching in an incubator, so maybe it is the same for the goose.
I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful but I will post your question onto my website and if I get any advice I will let you know.
I would be interested to hear how the eggs get on.
Best of luck.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

I am pleased to say that Rick emailed back;

Thank you…. my female rhea tried pulling eggs out from the gooses nest today but after 5 days under goose i wasnt going to let her so I confined the goose now so rhea cannot take eggs she is still laying more…In incubator it seems like 30 % are showing fertility… thank you for your reply i will keep you informed on ending.. thank you
Rick

If anyone has had any experience of geese incubating and hatching rhea eggs then please leave a comment.

Useful books for a goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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If you keep geese or are thinking of keeping geese then join the free farmingfriends geese forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about geese and geese related issues.

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Incubating Chicken Eggs

Incubation Period

The incubation period for chicken eggs is 21 days.

Incubation Temperature

The temperature in the incubator for chicken eggs is 99.5 degrees fahrenheit.

Humidity Levels

The humidity level (wet bulb thermometer) for chicken eggs is 85-87 degrees fahrenheit.

Final Day Of Egg Rotation

The final day of egg rotation for chicken eggs is day 19.

Please note that all of this information is only a guide and that this information may differ according to the incubator manufacturer’s guide.

Always consult the manufacturer’s guide when using an incubator and automatic egg turner.

Visit Wells Poultry For All Your Poultry Equipment & Housing

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If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.

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Incubator Hygiene

Incubator hygiene is very important for the success rate of the hatching eggs.

I have finished using the incubator this year so it is important that I make sure that the incubator is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before it is stored away.

This is one job I never really enjoy. I try to do it as soon as the last set of chicks are taken from the incubator as any remaining water begins to stagnate and smell if not cleaned out quickly.

Putting the incubator away clean makes the job of cleaning and disinfecting the incubator alot easier when it is time to prepare the incubator for incubation.