Styrofoam Incubator Cold Spots
by Cal Walsh
(Hermosa, South Dakota)
I purchased an electronic digital thermometer to check the temp in my incubator and found considerable variation from spot to spot in my incubator, which explains why some hatch a day early and some a day or 2 late. These variations would be less if I kept it warmer in my house, but the thermostat is set on 68 and is 5 Ft. from the floor, so the temp at TV tray height is less.
I took a Planters Pride heat mat designed to put seed trays on for faster seed germination and put it on the TV tray. They are designed to increase the seed tray temp by 10 - 20 degrees. This keeps the BOTTOM of the incubator warmer just like keeping it 85 in my house would. Now the variations in temp are almost nonexistent. Since my 1588 genesis takes the temp at the top, I lowered the set temp from 100 to 95, and it is 95-98 at all parts of the incubator all the time. I just candled the first time (at 10 days)and the results look encouraging. I was concerned that the seed mat was narrower than the incubator but testing showed a big improvement anyhow.