Hatching your own eggs is a really fun thing to do because there are some great rewards that come along with it. There are a few things that are key to successfully hatching some eggs. Having the proper temperature is perhaps the number one factor that determines if your eggs are going to hatch. Keep reading and find out everything that you need to know about controlling the temperature in your incubator.
Why Do The Eggs Need To Be At A Certain Temperature?
The eggs need to be at the temperature that they would naturally be at when they are being incubated by the mother hens. The minimum temperature can be no lower than 99 degrees Fahrenheit and the maximum temperature cannot exceed 103 degree Fahrenheit. The reason that the temperature cannot be any lower than 99 is because the embryos in the eggs may not develop properly and may have underdeveloped internal organs when they hatch. Also being too cold may cause the eggs to hatch late or not hatch at all.
That being said, it is a lot more important to not exceed the maximum temperature than it is to not go below the minimum temperature. If the eggs are too hot during the incubation period there is a good chance that they will die from overheating or at the least they will have abnormalities that will cause them to die shortly after birth.
Preparing Your Incubator For Incubation
The first thing that you want to do before incubating your eggs is to check the temperature inside the incubator and to make sure that it holds the temperature steadily. The incubator needs to be able to hold the temperature steadily because large fluctuations, especially when they happen often, will restrict growth and may cause abnormalities in the embryos, resulting in less of them hatching.
Take a bowl of warm water and place a thermometer inside of it. Make sure that the bulb of the thermometer is roughly 1 inch above the screen as this is where the eggs will be sitting. Make sure that your incubator can hold steady to within 2 degree, preferably between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. You will want to make the proper adjustments if your incubator is not holding steady. There may be a problem with the bulbs, the power supply, or the ventilation in the case that temperature is not holding steady.
How To Control Temperature In An Incubator
One of the first things that you want to do is to make sure that your incubator is in one piece and does not have any cracks. Any cracks or damage will have to be repaired or if you are unable to do so you will need a new incubator. Another thing that you want to do if there are any inconsistencies in maintaining temperature is to make sure that your power outlet has a steady supply of electricity.
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The best way to raise or lower the temperature in an incubator is to use the ventilation shafts at the top. If the incubator is too hot you can open the ventilation shafts more and if it is too cold you can close the ventilation shafts more.
The next way that you can control the temperature in your incubator is by using bulbs of different sizes and strength. Different sized incubators will require different sized bulbs to achieve the same temperatures. The strength and size of bulb needed is something that you will have to consult the instruction manual of your particular incubator to figure out.
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Another good way to control temperature is to make sure that the air flows around on the inside. You are going to want to have a little fan to make the temperature distribute evenly around the incubator. Hot air rises and cool air falls and this will cause the temperature at the top of the incubator to be higher than at the bottom.
This can be disastrous for the eggs. To combat this use a small fan that is on the inside of the incubator. If the fan is set too high you may cause the incubator to cool down too much, in which case you will want to turn the fan back. This is something that you might have to figure out through some trial and error.