I was able to switch off the Hexabator today, for the first time in 3 weeks. So how did it perform in the end? I'm happy to report, of the 17 eggs left, after I candled them at day 10 - all 17 chicks have hatched successfully. And may I add, they all managed it by day 21 too.
The fact they all hatched on their due date, gives an indication I had the temperature set correctly. It's always an anxious time when using an incubator for the first time, because you need to test how it performs. Well, now I know to set the temperature around 37.7 degrees celcius according to the digital thermometer - and have the sensor (of the thermometer) at egg level.
And here are all 17 chicks, squeezing into a girls' size beanie. I put the beanie in, because I wasn't happy with the temperature inside the brooder. It should be around 35 degrees celcius, but it was more like 30 degrees instead. When I noticed the chicks were all stumbling over each other, huddling for more warmth, I went looking for a stuffed toy. I couldn't find any that were the right size and wasn't my daughter's favourite, so then I saw the beanie she'd left laying on the ground.
Her messiness turned out to be a blessing as the little chicks love to sleep in it together. I'm going to look at buying a ceramic light-bulb in future too, as it seems the energy-saver isn't quite warm enough in the brooder. The old incandescent bulbs used to work a treat, but I blew my last one and you can't buy them any more. Se la vie, as they say, but there are other alternatives, thankfully.
As for the Hexabator incubator, I'm really happy with the choice I made. You could say it was a 100% success rate, of the eggs which managed to develop by day 10. I was expecting a few eggs not to be fertile, as my Gold Lace Wyandottes had only been breeding for a few weeks before I started collecting the eggs.
Well, now I'm off to find a good beanie knitting pattern, so I can make a few more!