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Posted by Mic on October 30, 2002 at 16:55:02:
In Reply to: incubation temps and much more....... posted by mikecoscia on October 30, 2002 at 14:05:39:
I'm definitely a newbie with crested eggs, so my nerves have been shot since yesterday morning! I was off work and had no class yesterday, so I scrambled all day to find info and incubation devices. Now, with the abundance of info you've provided I think I'm gonna make it after all! lol
You're right about the incubator, I bought a poultry incubator and a dimmer switch last night, the lowest setting on the incubator kept the temps at around 100 degrees! I fiddled with it for over four hours, and still couldn't get anywhere near optimal temps. Those incubators run at forty watts or not at all! My idiotimeter was registering pretty high last night! Needless to say, I've returned those items. Guess I'll just wait it out and hope for the best.
I'm glad you said that the perlite should be packed in, because that's about how I've arranged it. The only thing that I did differently is that I placed the eggs on a small bed of sphagnum in a divet I made in the substrate. Do you foresee this set up keeping them too moist?
I was able to have the Southern States that sold me the incubator order some Profile ceramics today, so I'm thinking about switching the substrates when I can get my hands on the ceramics.
The only item that I've been unable to locate is a surgical marker. Is there a retail chain that would probably carry such a thing?
Thank you in all respects, Mike, with the imformation you've given me, you've totally boosted my knowledge and confidence level! I owe ya one! =)
:I am still unsure about the whole sex determined by temp thing with cresties. However this past season i did experiment a bit. In the beginning i put all the eggs in a hovabator set at 77-78F, with highs sometimes into 79-80F. The hatchlings were pretty much a mixed bag getting both males and females. Towards the end of the season (summer) the basement was getting to hot, so i incubated them at room temp in my bedroom. (Temps ranged between 72-76F, occasionally hitting 78-80F). Again the cresties were pretty much a mixed bag, but i still have some eggs incubating. This really wasn't an all out experiment, but it something to think about. If i were to do it properly i would need four setups, one in the low 70s, one in the mid, one in the high, and one that fluctuates. So from my experience i really don't see any change in sex ratio according to temp, then again there is a good possibility im wrong, because more testing needs to be done.
:Okay, yeah there is an easy way to make an incubator with an aquarium heater, though it would cost you the same to go out and buy another hovabator. But if you want to make your own, grab a spare ten gallon tank. Place two bricks at each end, and place a board or dish on top of them. Fill the tank with water till its almost to the top of the bricks, then place your heater in the water. Use an all glass lid, or just use plastic wrap for the top. Now just play around with the thermostat on the heater till the air temp is right, then place your incubation container with the eggs on the dish or board. Easy to do, but a pain in the butt to get the right temp. I would personally just incubate them at room temp till your incubator comes. However if cresties are temp sex dependent, their sex is going to happen within the first couple of weeks of development. SO if you leave them at room temp for too long you might miss your chance to make them male or female if that is what your trying to do, otherwise, just leave them in your room.
:Porous ceramics?, you mean ceramic granules. There as easy to find as perlite. Check out any local home and garden store that sells ponds. The granules are used as a planting medium for aquatic plants. It usually comes in 10 and 20 pound bags and it is fairly cheap (20 pound bags are about 18 bucks).
:I am not a fan of perlite, but i have used it before with cresties no problem. I usually mix it 1:1 with water by weight, it is vermiculite that is mixed 1:2 with water by weight (because vermiculite sucks up waaay to much water). I find perlite not the easiest thing to use for beginners, as its hard to tell if it is moist enough. The best way to tell is to stick your finger in it and move the medium a bit. If the perilte sticks together, then its moist enough, if it doesn't add a little water around the edges (never on the eggs). And of course if water pools at the bottom of the container you put to much in.
:As for the eggs, i always half bury them in the medium. Just make a depression with your thumb and lie them in. Perlite tends to be more airy and open then vermiculite, so there is good air flow and no worries about placing the eggs directly on the medium. The main reason why you want some air flow is to keep the eggs from being wet all the time, which will allow mold to grow. But i would recommend holding off on the perlite and see if you can find some of the ceramic granules. I have used all kinds of medium, and after using the ceramic granules i would never use anything else.
:Anyway i thinks that's about it. Good luck!