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ideal temperature and humidity for chicken eggs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!  I am having trouble discerning what settings to use for hatching chicken eggs.  At first I read to use settings of 99.5 degrees and 55-60% humidity, but after doing reading I have read to use anywhere 45-55% humidity and also 55-60% humidity, so I don't know which one is ideal.  Right now I am maintaining 99.0 to 99.5 degrees and humidity right at 60%.  Then at day18 I planned to stop turning and raise humidity from 60% to 65% and to lower the temperature (still haven't found a definite temp to lower it to,but I believe I read 98.5, I have to double check that).  I'm just looking to see if these settings worked for anyone or if I need to be doing something else?  I also have goose eggs in there as well, which are supposed to be at 99.5 degrees and 60-65% humidity for days 1-25 and then they go down to 99 degrees and up to 80% humidity (I used these settings last year for ducks and geese with great success), which is why I have a second incubator to use as a "hatcher" so I can adjust that one to the correct humidity and temp. for whatever is getting ready to hatch, so I'm just wondering if the 60% humidity and 99.5 would work until day 18  like I planned and then move them to the other incubator and go to hatching settings or if I should go to the 45-50% humidity and just start up my other incubator and just have them both running?  The downside to my second incubator is that it doesn't have automatic turners and it's just a flat surface, nothing to actually hold the eggs, which is why I planned on using that one just as a hatcher.  I was hoping that the chicken egg settings I had read to begin with were ideal (99.5 and 55-60%, then up to 65%), but then after seeing other suggested settings I started to second guess myself.  Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!!!

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Here is the chart that I found to base this information off of...  http://www.poultryhelp.com/hatch.html

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 6

I find (unless you are in a high elevation or are using a cabinet incubator) that low humidity incubation (especially in styro bators) work best for chicken eggs. There is no "ideal" humidity for everyone, key is to finding the ideal humidity for your particular eggs and the best way to do this is by monitoring the air cells or weighing the eggs.  I use this method:  http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com/blog/throw-away-those-incubator-manuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity

 

I run about 30% the first 17 days and then 75% at hatch. Normal rates 90-100% It's been a long time since I had a hatch under 80%

I also hand turn and my eggs lay down for the entire incubation. Up to now I have only done local or my own eggs. Getting ready to go for shipped eggs. I've held off a long time, but I think the time has come. ;)

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate your advise.  I think I'm going to check my air cell on day 7, see where I'm at and go from there.  I definitely appreciate all the information, I don't want to lose any chicks!  Thank you!!!

post #6 of 6

In my styrofoam incubators, I run at 99.5% and about 50% humidity through the whole time. In the 1502, I run at about 100 with 45 to 55 humidity. 

I like to bump the humidity up some in the cabinet bator to 65% during the hatch for the Pilgrim Goslings. 

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