Just got all the eggs started in both incubators!
by surrounding the eggs in moist, warm air. There is a heat unit in
the lid and you add water to wells in the base of the incubator. The
eggs rest on a wire mesh tray.
My original Miller Little Giant
Still Air incubator, the old school version that we got back in about
2003, still goin' strong! While the original thermometer is still in
there just because, there is another, more accurate thermometer we added
in the lid. The little hygrometer works just dandy.
newer incubator, exact same model that we later added a forced air fan
kit to so that is circulates the air better. Unfortunately this also
makes holding humidity more difficult since it speeds evaporation.
Fancier digital hygrometer/thermometer is JUST for reading humidity
(thermometer isn't accurate enough). The blue thing is a child's toy
called a Water Weasel--basically a plastic sleeve filled with liquid
that is shaped like a doughnut. A digital thermometer is outside the
incubator, it's probe goes in the doughnut hole of the Water Weasel.
This slick arrangement gives you a MUCH more accurate reading of what
the temperature is inside an egg, which is what you want--makes for a better hatch!
need to maintain a temperature of 99.5 degrees and a humidity level of
50% for the first 18 days, and 65% the last three. I've split up the 56
eggs equally so that 28 are in each incubator, the various breeds
equally divided to kinda hedge our bets a bit in case anything goes
wrong during incubation...and there are only about 900 things that CAN
go wrong during incubation!
The eggs will get turned, by hand,
three times a day for the next 18 days. During that time we'll top off
the water in the wells as needed, usually every three days or so. The
eggs are marked with an 'X' on one side and an 'O' on the other so you
can tell which ones have been turned at each turn. The eggs are marked
for breed, we've also numbered them so people can choose their egg to
cheer on during the Chickam web broadcast of the hatch. :) We'll
candle the eggs (shine a bright light through each one in a darkened
room) to check for development of the embryo at around 10-12 days into
incubation and remove any eggs that haven't developed. On day 19 you
top off the water in the wells, close up the incubators and wait for the
next three days...this sends a signal to the chicks that it's time to
hatch, and they rotate into hatching position.
If all goes well, on day 21 you see eggs rocking back and forth and hear the chicks peeping just before they begin to hatch!