Hey guys, a week into my first hatch, and I am having a big issue. I am using a brandless 48 egg automatic incubator. First few days humidity wasnt an issue, it was easy to get the humidity up and keep it there by adding water. But after about 3 days for some reason the humidity would keep dropping. I cannot keep it over 30% for any extended period atm. I have a sponge in there to help but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Why would I only have this issue after a few days? I'm really worried i'm going to ruin this hatch. Has anyone else had this problem??
Help! Humidity keeps dropping in incubator
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
I've successfully hatched quail with 70% (some even at 89%) hatch rate at 16% humidity... otherwise known as dry hatching. You will probably be fine, just check the eggs air sack level. Compare it with development charts to see how your progress is doing.
Remember hatching conditions are never 100% the same or spot on in order for these birds to hatch. based on what your house is, if you had no water in the bator and your house is ruffly 50-60% humidity, you wont drop more than 35%.
I have the HHD brand of Chinese 48 egg incubator, which is probably the same as yours. Do not trust the humidity display. Mine reads about 20% low, and also will not display below 20% (i.e. a real humidity of less than 40% will display 20%). I use 2 additional humidity meters to get a more accurate reading.
Another poster said that the lid of the incubator might not seal well if it is warped. This will make it difficult to keep the humidity and temperature up.
My house humidity is around 40%. If I add water to one of the channels, the incubator humidity rises to above 60%. When the water evaporates, the humidity drops to below 30%.
Ok, I think I may have made a terrible mistake. I haven't seen these comments until now, and I have kept putting hot water into my incubator a few times a day. Water channels have been absolutely full the whole time. I am guessing the unit isn't measuring the humidity correctly, so now I'm worried I have had the humidity wayyy to high, which really sucks as I am on day 14 now. Any chance I may still get some hatch with humidity that high? Also a big thanks to the replies guys.
If you are hatching Coturnix quail, you have just a few more days to go to find out. They are pretty tough and you could have a good hatch. If moisture is condensing on the insides of the incubator, the humidity is too high. You can use the water bottle with nozzle (supplied with the incubator) to suck some water out of the channels when you go into Lock-Down.
Just take this into condensation, if this is your first time hatching, you're going to make mistakes. Just have to write it down and learn from it, then the next time you will know, the humidity becomes an issue if it's hatch day mostly just because the chicks need to be able to breath once they pip, if the air is too dense with water they will drowned. So if you can control it on hatch day that's when it's most important. Again, I don't use humidity anymore and have no issues hatching once piped.