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Need expert help -- What IS the right humidity at lockdown?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've read everything I can find on humidity at lockdown and there is a lot of confusion.  This is my first hatch, so I'm trying to get it "right" as much as possible.

 

The various things I've read have been:  

 

--60 is fine, just don't open the incubator.  

--Between 60-65

--Between 65-70

--75+

 

I've also heard heart breaking tales of overly wet, drowned chicks because the humidity was too high, and shrink-wrapped chicks because the humidity was too low.  I feel like I'm threading a needle!

 

I'm using the Brinsea Oct. Advance 20.  Day 1 thru 18 my humidity ranged from 40-45.  I've now read about the many successes people have had with "dry-hatching" and fear that this may have been too high.  The instructions with the incubator were to set it between 40 and 50, so that's what I did.  Nothing I can do about this now.

 

At the start of day 18 (last night), I filled both water trays and the humidity stabilized around 57%.   This morning I then added a damp sponge and it is now at 62.  I'm reluctant to keep opening things up to fiddle with humidity.   One part of me says to walk away, that low 60s is good enough, the other part worries that I need to keep fiddling to raise the RH.  I've heard or seen no signs of movement yet, so I still have a window to go back in.  

 

I also failed to weigh them or mark changes in air-sac size, as a feared over-handling the eggs.  Probably a mistake in retrospect.

post #2 of 7
My humidity is 67

5 dogs, 4 cats, 15 chickens, a lot of fish, 4 mandarin ducks, 2 parakeets, and 10 baby quail

 

Don't try to rush yours or our lives living is a gift worth enjoying;)

 

I like anime, animals, food, and my life full of mystery and surprises!

 

 

 

 

sounds a little cheesy.... huh :|

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5 dogs, 4 cats, 15 chickens, a lot of fish, 4 mandarin ducks, 2 parakeets, and 10 baby quail

 

Don't try to rush yours or our lives living is a gift worth enjoying;)

 

I like anime, animals, food, and my life full of mystery and surprises!

 

 

 

 

sounds a little cheesy.... huh :|

Reply
post #3 of 7
I've had good luck averaging 40 to 45% first 17 to 18 days.. sometimes I put them in lockdown a day early if I got stuff going on.. 70% last 3 days..
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
 

I've read everything I can find on humidity at lockdown and there is a lot of confusion.  This is my first hatch, so I'm trying to get it "right" as much as possible.

 

The various things I've read have been:  

 

--60 is fine, just don't open the incubator.  

--Between 60-65

--Between 65-70

--75+

 

I've also heard heart breaking tales of overly wet, drowned chicks because the humidity was too high, and shrink-wrapped chicks because the humidity was too low.  I feel like I'm threading a needle!

 

I'm using the Brinsea Oct. Advance 20.  Day 1 thru 18 my humidity ranged from 40-45.  I've now read about the many successes people have had with "dry-hatching" and fear that this may have been too high.  The instructions with the incubator were to set it between 40 and 50, so that's what I did.  Nothing I can do about this now.

 

At the start of day 18 (last night), I filled both water trays and the humidity stabilized around 57%.   This morning I then added a damp sponge and it is now at 62.  I'm reluctant to keep opening things up to fiddle with humidity.   One part of me says to walk away, that low 60s is good enough, the other part worries that I need to keep fiddling to raise the RH.  I've heard or seen no signs of movement yet, so I still have a window to go back in.  

 

I also failed to weigh them or mark changes in air-sac size, as a feared over-handling the eggs.  Probably a mistake in retrospect.

So hatching humidity doesn't drown your chicks. Chicks drown because over the period of incubation they fail to loose enough moisture from the egg becuase the humidity was too high during incubation, not hatch.  People hatch at all different levels. If you see condensation in the bator, it's too much.  If you are hatching around 60-65% I wouldn't open the bator repeatedly and if you do I would toss a crumpled wet paper towel or spritz the inside of the bator to replenish the loss of moisture.

If you want more insight on humidity and using air cells to monitor how to adjust, take a look here: http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com/blog/throw-away-those-incubator-manuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity

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 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyLynn2374 View Post
 

So hatching humidity doesn't drown your chicks. Chicks drown because over the period of incubation they fail to loose enough moisture from the egg becuase the humidity was too high during incubation, not hatch.  People hatch at all different levels. If you see condensation in the bator, it's too much.  If you are hatching around 60-65% I wouldn't open the bator repeatedly and if you do I would toss a crumpled wet paper towel or spritz the inside of the bator to replenish the loss of moisture.

If you want more insight on humidity and using air cells to monitor how to adjust, take a look here: http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com/blog/throw-away-those-incubator-manuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity


Thanks, I didn't know about high hatching humidity not being the culprit.  I don't plan on opening the incubator at all, until all chicks are hatched.  I'm just debating whether I should go in one last time to add a paper towel to help wick some more moisture out of the wells.

 

I marvel more and more about how a good broody manages the whole process. I guess the hen's hatching humidity does not rise until the first chick starts to hatch and extra moisture gets added to the nest.  

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
 


Thanks, I didn't know about high hatching humidity not being the culprit.  I don't plan on opening the incubator at all, until all chicks are hatched.  I'm just debating whether I should go in one last time to add a paper towel to help wick some more moisture out of the wells.

 

I marvel more and more about how a good broody manages the whole process. I guess the hen's hatching humidity does not rise until the first chick starts to hatch and extra moisture gets added to the nest.  

I've heard the old timers talk about how hens actually control temps and humidity with their body and actions, (not that I can remember any examples at the moment for humidity) but it is amazing how these creatures instinctively (well most of them anyway) know what to do. I do know one factor is the hen is sitting tight at hatch so they aren't "in danger" of the air flow hitting them.

 

Now, too low humidity during hatch can cause the membranes drying out and gluing to the chick, many even feel shrink wrapping is a high possibility, (I won't go into my personal philosophy on this, lol). But I do feel low humidity at hatch is a much greater problem than running high, (unless you have a lot of condensation.)

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/

Reply

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/

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Speaking of broodies.  I hope I just didn't mess up nature's incubations system with my broody today.   My broody is a super tight sitter, who refuses to leave the nest at all, so I've been occasionally forcing her off.   When I went to help lift her off the nest this morning (for the last time before hatch, I thought), I immediately saw that one her eggs a hole in it.  It's only day 18.5, but I put her right back down.  She was off the egg for maybe 5 seconds and the outside humidity here today is about 60%.  Hopefully, the chick is still ok in there.

 

Last year, I was trying to adhere to the "broody knows best" school of thought and just left her alone.  I never saw her off the nest and ended up with a fouled nest, rotten exploding eggs and an poo-encrusted emaciated broody that, by the end, couldn't even stand up on her own accord.  She hatched just 3 of 11 eggs and I had to help out of her nest box and give her some serious TLC at end.   She rallied, though and was a great mother, so I wanted to try again with her this year, but with a more hands on approach.  I'm kind of learning that there is no perfect way in all of this.

 

I'm really surprised to see her hatch underway this early.  It's not been particularly warm here.  The egg with the hole, was the very smallest egg -- bigger then a banty, but not by much.  None of the eggs in the incubator -- which were set at the same time --have rocked or vibrated or anything.  


Edited by Morrigan - 5/10/16 at 10:50am
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