Incubator Temps

Posted By: LisaMix

Incubator Temps - 09/17/10 05:28 PM

What temps do you try to maintain your homemade incubator at? I'm assuming that the most important temp is the bottom surface temp of the incubator rather than the ambient temp. I say this because I know the babies seem to be fine in my shirt against my 98.6 degree skin even though my house is only 74 degrees. When I try to set up my homemade incubator using a plastic shoe box and a human heating pad, I can get a fairly steady ambient temp of 77 - 85 degrees but I can't seem to maintain a steady bottom temp over time. It varies each time I open the lid to check it. How low a surface temp is acceptable and again how high is dangerously high? I have covered the box with t-shirt fabric so that they cannot burrow down and actually touch the plactic bottom where the heat source is. I am just not near a point where I feel comfortable leaving them there for an hour at a time without continuoulsy double checking the temp swing.
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/18/10 12:39 AM

I found the following info on Suz's site:
7) Test the function of the incubator before it is needed to make sure that it heats correctly (to about 95* F) and does not get too humid (over 35%). If too humid, the moisture will gather on the sides and top of the incubator.
I hope that helps a bit. Someone with more knowledge than me should be along shortly.
Posted By: GliderNursery

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/18/10 02:23 AM

The reason for the question, is we found conflicting information regarding the temperatures. The first we read is what you quoted from Suz' site, but then reading Maisie's Portable Incubator, it's a bit different:

The ideal temperature is 95 degrees. Your incubator should be from 95 degrees to 105 degrees.

Suz' site also says:
For the tank-style incubator, attach the small Heat Wave Reptile Heat Pad (follow instructions included in its package) to the bottom, underside (outside) of the aquarium at one end. This will keep the incubator between 85 & 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

This gives a total range of 85-105 degrees F. I realize they say "ideal is 95", but is 85 too cold? Or 105 too hot? That's 20 degrees, which seems to be quite a range.
Posted By: Srlb

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/19/10 02:58 PM

It is best to keep it between 85-90 degrees. The 95-105 is what is recommended for a reptile on the warm side of the tank. I personally would think that 95-105 would be too hot for a glider.
Here is another good read from an Australian site. Their recommendations on temp are 86-88 degrees.
Posted By: Srlb

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/19/10 03:03 PM

Sorry duplicate
Posted By: nancy1202

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/19/10 05:40 PM

I think we have finally figured it out! I put together an incubator for Lisa this weekend and the temps/humidity are right on target.

I used an acrylic cage with a lid, about the size of a 10 gal aquarium laid on its side. The heat mat is underneath one end with a square of fleece right over that area inside the cage. A small covered plastic container, with a hole cut in the center of the lid, is sitting on top of the fleece square. Another fleece square is inside the small container. Surface temp is 95-98, with ambient temp inside the small container pretty close to those in the link above from Peggy. A separate container with damp fleece for humidity is sitting right next to the joey container. A temperature/humidity gauge with min/max readings stays inside the large cage, with the probe on the bottom of the joey container to make sure surface temp doesn't exceed 98 degrees. All temps were confirmed with several spot checks with a temp gun.

Lisa and her daughter Shawna are doing a great job with these joeys! Rocky is eating well, gaining weight and is going to be just fine. Taz, the smaller one, isn't doing quite as well as his brother, but will hopefully turn the corner and catch up soon.

Thank you for any and all suggestions! They were sincerely appreciated, and have helped relieve some of Lisa's anxiety about giving these joeys the best care possible! agree
Posted By: Pockets

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 12:25 AM

Just-furred young require a temperature in the range of 30 to 34 Celsius
As they develop, the temperature can be reduced gradually, until they are left at ambient temperature by about 100 days of age.

From - General Husbandry and Medical Care of Sugar Gliders
Rosemary J. Booth

30 C - 86.0 F
31 - 87.8
32 - 89.6
34 - 93.2

35 - 95.0 See only one Australian publication
'Care of Australian Wildlife' Walraven,
28 C but for tiny joeys and small birds are best kept at 35 C - but need to be able to move away from heat
Posted By: Srlb

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 01:25 AM

Surface temp is 95-98,

That temp is a bit too high. thumb
Posted By: LisaMix

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 01:33 AM

I will add another layer of fleece under our container to reach for the 86-93 degree range. You stated that they need to be able to move away from the heat. Are they able, at 2 weeks oop, to move from a zone below the 86 degrees to a warmer zone on their own if we give them a larger area to roam?
Posted By: Srlb

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 01:40 AM

You stated that they need to be able to move away from the heat.

I dont recall ever saying that. At two weeks old they are NOT able to move away from the heat on their own, nor would they know to. That is why I said the 95-98 was still too warm thumb
Posted By: nancy1202

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 02:13 AM

That was in Debbie/Pockets' post above about the joeys being able to move away from the heat if they got too warm. These joeys move around a lot for as tiny as they are! That's why we used the small container to keep them over the heated area because we weren't sure if they would move BACK to a warmer area if they got too cold.
Posted By: Pockets

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 02:15 AM

Pouch young must be kept at a constant temperature. This can be measured with a thermometer inside the pouch....
Baby animals can easily become overheated which can often be fatal. Temperatures must be monitored at all times.
Taronga Zoo's Guide to Urban Wildlife, also
Erna Walraven

Too young you need to closely monitor!
Posted By: Pockets

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 02:37 AM

Nancy did you get sent pages? Sorry one was upside down (lol)
You two are doing a great job & sometimes there just seems to be much to much information - been dealing with that issue for a few years (lol)
Posted By: nancy1202

Re: Incubator Temps - 09/20/10 03:04 AM

Yes I did - thank you, and no worries ... I just hit my "Rotate Clockwise" button! I already read them and will forward to Lisa.

That is so true about too much information. It gets confusing and overwhelming! Feeding frequency will probably be the next one we tackle. These joeys currently weigh 11+ and 15+ grams at 2 weeks OOP. They have been fed every 1 to 1/1/2 hours with the larger just changed to a 2 hr schedule. One of the pages you sent says every 4 hours for a recently furred joey. That would be MUCH easier for Lisa, who is seriously sleep-deprived, but she will continue to keep trying to do what is best for these babies.
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