Question Need help with no name Chinese incubator

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by DarrenP, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi,
    We want to incubate our own chickens, and bought a FHQ-48 incubator from Ebay. Other than the number, there is no brand. The instructions, while in English (barely), don't say how to operate it, other than what the buttons do. A google search led me to this forum.

    So can anyone give a basic rundown on how to operate it for an absolute newbie.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Silver Egg

    Silver Egg Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  3. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks. I'll have a read.
     
  4. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    So I couldn't find any manuals online, but found several good YouTube clips (including one from this site). After watching them, I got enough info to be confident in running the incubator. The girl we bought the fertilised eggs from gave me some good tips too.
     
  5. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Good luck with incubating. I've just started incubating on a cheap chinese one. First batch went very well and we bought another incubator the same. I haven't bought an independent thermometer or hyrdometer as the incubating sites say. As my first hatch started a day late, I think the temperature may have been down, so I've increased it slightly for this batch. I have bought and my own fertile eggs in both of them - some of the eggs were posted, so I'm going to see how they go and won't be too disappointed if they don't turn out.
     
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  6. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    It seems to be going ok. Not sure if I set it up correctly, as I get alarms from time to time, but all the settings look ok. Keeping the humidity up is the thing; I need to check it a few times a day, and add water if needed. Temps seem to hover between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius, so I hope that is ok.
     
  7. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Darren you might want to try to get the temp up a little. Ideally for chickens, from what I've read, it should be around 37.5 for first 18 days. Many people then drop it to about 37.2 or 37.3 for last 3 days, but many don't as well. If you can't adjust up, just see how it goes, they might just hatch later than the 21 days.

    My settings said 37.5 temp for most days, but because it took 22 days for first hatch, I have assumed that it was reading slightly higher than what the real temp was. So for this time around I've set the temp to 37.7. I'm worried about this one for humidity as I wasn't able to keep it low enough this time for the first few days - sometimes over 60% and when I finally got it low enough my husband thought he'd help out and put far too much water in and raised the humidity to high again.

    Oh and another thing I learnt from Marks experience on this site, if you have one of the plastic ones (I do), you need to put something over the top and sides to stop the heat escaping and to help even it out. i've used a couple of old towels.
     
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  8. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Robyn. I trialled it before putting eggs in, and have it at 41.2 on the incubator, but it is only 36-37 inside, according to our infrared temp gun. I'll bump it up.
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Did they hatch out @DarrenP ?

    I've just ditched my second Chinese made incubator after it failed on me. It worked great for about 12 months and then the heating element went crazy getting super hot and couldn't be turned down - it became a fire hazard so I threw it out.

    A few weeks ago, I got myself a Borotto incubator Lumia 8 (Italian made) I haven't used it yet but I'm hoping it will be more reliable than my last two...
     
  10. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    We're at day 18, but I'm not confident. Candling didn't show much movement the other day. Have to say, it took me a while to get the temps right with the eggs in. Now I'm more confident with it, I'll give it another go.
     
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  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Don't necessarily look for "movement" rather look for mass and growth/formation.

    If they don't hatch out be sure to do an autopsy on several eggs to see development and if you can find out any signs of why they didn't get to full term.
     
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  12. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    How did it go Darren, did you get a few babies
     
  13. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    No unfortunately. It seems I didn't have the settings right on the incubator, even though the internal temp was ok. We had a brief flicker of a power outage one day, and even though the settings were the same, inside the temp was fluctuating. Took me a couple of days, but finally got it sorted, changing the settings and getting the correct temp inside.
    The resident forensic pathologist in our house (also known as my wife) had a look at the eggs. They varied from virtually no form to half formed chicks.
    I'm confident I've got it sorted, so we are going to try again.
     
  14. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Sorry to hear that Darren. Hope it works out next time.

    I've actually got 2 incubators hatching now - didn't get my timing right. One of them I accidentally pulled the power plug out on day 21 during hatching. I think I've lost all the pekin eggs. But luckily a few of the isa browns and australorps seem to have held on. Fortunately a lot had already hatched too.

    My experiment with upping the temperature in my other incubator meant that I had 4 hatch and 4 pip on day 19 - some before we'd even put them into lockdown. I'm hoping to get a few interesting ones from this incubator as I have some posted eggs and a lot of them have already been born possibly silkies, and fingers crossed on the others too which are aruacana and road island reds.

    To be honest I'm not totally convinced on posted eggs yet. My own eggs seem to have a much better hatch rate (which I know makes sense) and the posted ones sometimes sometimes don't seem to work out. We have a good poultry market in a nearby town and buying live birds might actually be cheaper than trying to hatch our own. Especially when you add the postage costs in. But the market might not always have the breeds we are after (but so far they have, ha ha). But I'd love to get a french maran for the dark eggs.
     
  15. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    We've found someone with light Sussex eggs not far from us, my wife has made arrangements for after Xmas to pick some up. There's also some bantam eggs available in the nearby regional centre.
     
  16. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    that's the way to go, something local. I'm not having a great hatch rate this time - with the power going on one and in the other not even half have pipped. I've even had a muted one born - I helped it get out of its shell last night. But unfortunately its head is a weird shape and too big and it seems to have a long neck, so it can't stand as it can't carry the weight of its head.
     
  17. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    A belated update on the incubator. We bought 11 light Sussex eggs, and last Wednesday 6 hatched out. Two others died trying to get out of the eggs, 2 were infertile, and one died in the egg not fully formed.
    I'm pretty stoked with that success rate. Because of the warm (stinking hot) weather, I only have a light bulb for warmth. The six are going well, even one that looked like the runt of the "litter".
     
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