BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Incubating & Hatching Eggs › Humidity levels in Hovabator 1588
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Humidity levels in Hovabator 1588

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I just set up my Hovabator 1588 The instructions say that during the first 17 days the humidity levels should be between 45% and 55%, however I am getting advice from others saying that this is too high. Right now the humidity level is sitting right at 48%. I want to know if 48% is too high or not high enough. And on day 18 what should humidity levels be at for Lock Down?



It's the humidity levels that have me confused. The instructions say one thing , my friends are saying another thing. Experience from people that have done this VS Manufacture recommendations????? what to do?



Temp is Perfect, no concerns about that.



No eggs yet. I want to get it set up right before I add fertile eggs.

Edited by Jewellan - 11/28/15 at 6:00pm
post #2 of 14

If you are in a dry climate it would be good to add some water to get it to around 40% I think, although 48% should be fine. If it is humid where you are then you don't need to add any water for the first 18 days. The instructions that come with the incubator seem to be designed for a super arid climate. There are allot of different opinions about humidity as you know, but in my experience they will do fine as long as the humidity is above 25% and below 55% until day 18. From days 18-21 the humidity should be between 65% and 75% for best hatches.


This is just my opinion though :)

17+ pigeons, about 20 coturnix quail, 10 chickens and 2 angora rabbits
17+ pigeons, about 20 coturnix quail, 10 chickens and 2 angora rabbits
post #3 of 14

Aim for 35%-40% then candle eggs about day 10 and check the size of the air cell. If the air cell is small then drop the humidity (you can add rice in a bag if its still to high). If the air cell is large then increase humidity to 50-55%. Candle a few eggs every 3-4 days to check the air cell size and adjust until you find what works for your environment.


There are charts on the internet that show age verses air cell size. (some people weigh the eggs but that requires a sensitive scale).


A few % either way is no big deal and humidity spikes during incubation have very little affect so don't panic about humidity.


On lock down raise the humidity to 60-75%

post #4 of 14
I have an older version of the 1588. It doesn’t look anything like that. Wow! They have seriously changed things and made it easier.

First I suggest you calibrate both thermometer and hygrometer or get new instruments that you can calibrate. Do not trust any instrument that comes with any incubator of any make or model. They are unreliable. You need to know what you are working with. These might help.

Calibrate a Thermometer
Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration
Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration

You are getting conflicting information on humidity because there is no one perfect humidity that works for all of us. You would think that the conditions inside the incubator at a certain humidity would be the same for all of us but for many different reasons it’s not. You would think that each chicken egg would need the same humidity during incubation, but that’s not true either. The professionals that hatch maybe 1,000,000 a week in incubators that hold 60,000 or more eggs each have to tweak the settings on each incubator to get them at their peak efficiency. If they move one incubator to a different position in the same incubation room the tweaking has to start over. They do that by opening enough unhatched eggs to try to see why those eggs did not hatch and adjust humidity accordingly.

Luckily there is a wide range of humidities that do work, but it may take some trial and error to find your particular sweet spot. For some people that may be below 30%, for some it may be above 50%. Mine is about 39%. I’s not about an instantaneous humidity, it’s about the average over the 18 day incubation period. It’s about the moisture loss over the entire incubation period. I’ve had great hatches where the humidity peaked at 50% for a while and I balanced that with 30% to get an average around 39%.

What I suggest is that you settle on something, either high, low, or in the middle. Keep good notes during incubation. When the hatch is over open the unhatched eggs and try to determine if your humidity should be higher or lower. These troubleshooting guides may help with that. There are a lot of things besides humidity that can affect the hatch, it’s not always easy to figure out what the problem was but we can just do the best we can.

Mississippi State Incubation Troubleshooting

Illinois Incubation troubleshooting

As for humidity during lockdown, again different people have different opinions and have different results. I shoot for somewhere in between 65% and 70% but after the chicks start hatching it’s pretty normal for the humidity to jump up to 85% or even 90%. That difference does not seem to bother the late hatching chicks at all, at least for me. I’m not convinced being precise on this is all that critical as long as it is high enough.

Good luck with it. I sometimes make it sound harder than it is. There is a fairly wide range that you will get chicks to hatch, often a lot of chicks.

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.


 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

post #5 of 14

Ive been looking at the new 1588,they said to only put water in center trough to start with.I have 2 little giants,i keep my huminity around 45 to 50%,i put a little more water in it last few days.I did find out that it doesnt matter how deep the water is,just the surface area.All mine hatch,but different eggs may be different.I have to get me a sponge.Ive only been doing it since sept,kept both incubators going full speed.I have white quail every whereIts been 50 years since I raised birds.

Edited by kyzerc - 11/29/15 at 4:55pm
post #6 of 14

its fine people use different temps also.mine is recommended 101 to 103,but I use 99.8 and 100 in other

post #7 of 14

I just got one,the directions say not to go over about 59,and 46 to start.i plugged mine in with no water and humity was93%

post #8 of 14

I too have the new electronic Genesis 1588 for the time being.  I add a turkey baster full of water (ghetto I know) as needed to the #3 water channel/reservior for the first 18 days.  With the plug in that puts my humidity at about 38% and with the plug out it goes down to 30-32% or so.  Running my incubator dry with the plug in puts it at about 32% and with the plug out it goes down to about 25-27%.  You just have to experiment and tweek the humidity to suit your needs.  I am incubating Black Copper Marans, Cuckoo Marans, and Splash Marans right now alongside my Speckled Sussex.  This is my first time going with a lower humidity and I did it under the advisement of the breeder that sold me the Marans eggs.  I usually aim for around 45% humidity the first 18 days but didn't want to lose any of my chicks due to drowning because I have paid dearly for these eggs.  Best thing to do is monitor your air cells.  Decrease humidity if your air cells are measuring small, and increase it if your air cells are measuring too large.  


Chickens are my hobby, my passion, and my therapy.  


Chickens are my hobby, my passion, and my therapy.  

post #9 of 14

I'm happy with mid forties to start and mid 50,s to 60,s.I haven't used it yet.I keep getting eggs and then sell them.I have too many now.I cant wait to use the new one.I may order some eggs of some I don't have.What temp does yours hold?Empty after 2 days mine was about102.I do have some little giants going.

post #10 of 14

my temp runs 99.8 on incubator,and 102 on theromenter,the instructios on control says not to run humidity above65%

Edited by kyzerc - 1/2/16 at 4:40pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Incubating & Hatching Eggs
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Incubating & Hatching Eggs › Humidity levels in Hovabator 1588