Below is one of our incubation cabinets that we use. The incubator is made out of melamine, with glass front doors for easy viewing. This unit is heated with four 60 watt light bulbs , which are controlled by a Helix thermostat.
The eggs are placed in plastic containers with four parts vermiculite to one part water by volume, burried about two thirds of the way in the medium. The Helix is dialed in at 84-86 degrees, with the probe inside of one of the plastic containers placed in the center of the incubator on the highest shelf. The plastic containers have two one eighth holes for ventilation. We cover the holes with pieces of tape for a few days to a week when first placed in the incubator until we see water condensed on the inside of the lid. Then we pull the tape back.
We never actually spray the eggs, but we do mist the inside of the lid if there is no condensation on the lid. Be careful not to have too much condensation on the lid, or water will fall on the eggs. We usually only have to spray the lids once or twice through the whole incubation process.
At 84 degrees our average hatch date is between 64-67 days. Most eggs hatch over a 1 to 2 day period but some can hatch 4 or 5 days later. In our experience about 10 percent of the eggs fail to hatch. Once they are hatched and moving around in the plastic container they are removed and put in small rearing containers.
**It is important to remember that the incubator heats and does not cool so the incubator should be in a room that is temperature controlled. Exposure to temperatures over 90 degrees can possibly kill developing embryos.
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