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Humidity level on hatching eggs

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

ok so i have done quite a bit of research on hatching chicken eggs. But my friend s making sure i know stuff before i atually incubate.

Ive looked at quite a few sites and they say to incubate chicken eggs at  60 to 65% humidity for the first 18 days and then 19-21 up it to 65 to 70% humidity. when he asked what the humidity level needed to be i replied saying this and he said no. So what is the actually humidity by what you guys have done?

Which levels have given you the best results.????

post #2 of 10

I asked the same question yesterday and got really great feedback, I don't know how to attach the link to my thread so just go back 2 or 3 pages and look for subject line humidity.  I t really helped me.

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At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. JW
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Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can,
At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. JW
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post #3 of 10

Check out this site maybe it will help you.
http://gallus.tamu.edu/Extension%20publications/b6092.pdf

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Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
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post #4 of 10

Humidity is variable.  The best humidity depends on your incubator and climate.  The generally accepted is somewhere around 50-60% for 18days and then raise it on day 18 to 65-70%.  Some do dry incubation down to as low as 30-40% and some have it as high as 85% when hatching.  In the winter when it's drier I have to run it higher and now in the spring with soaked ground from melting snow and rain storms I've been letting it get a bit lower.  I also occasionally run different humidity for different eggs.  The japanese bantams I try to keep it toward the higher end and the seramas I just incubated I ran it 5% higher on average than I normally do.

post #5 of 10
post #6 of 10

I recently bought a Hova - Bator genesis, and, following instructions with the incubator regarding where/how much to water, my thermometer shows an average humidity of 52 - 55%. I am at 4-5 days into incubation with 36 Red X (dual purpose) brown eggs. (Available thru Frey's Hatchery in Ontario, Canada). I will follow up with what happens in another 2 weeks!
Joe T.
 

post #7 of 10

Ok, so its actually 4 weeks later... |But here it goes! out of the 36 eggs, with 52 to 55% humidity and a temp of 37 degrees C. One day early, they started hatching. In the end (around 24 hours) 28 hatched, 2 died getting stuck in the egg. in the following 3 days, two were put down due to medical reasons.  For a literal "basement" setup, i had good results with the above humidity.

the species of chicken, for the record, has a distinct colour difference between hens and roos, even at hatch day. 13/13!

Joe T

post #8 of 10

I have 2 Bringer 20octo manual turn, so I have to open the incubators 2 to 3 times a day to turn eggs. I find between 40% & 50% works well up to 3days before hatching then between 60% & 65% for the last 3days keep it that high until you feel all eggs are done hatching I say "until you feel all eggs are done" is because I had to/wanted to collect 23egg to hatch and it took about 6 days too make my clutch, when it came time to hatch it too about 2-1/2 to 3 days for all to hatch.

Out of 23 eggs 5 weren't fertile and I got 18 healthy chicks who I didn't help at all so I suppose I can say I had 100%hatch rate.    I do and did use 2 things to check humidity one was a hygrometer I bought at a smoke shop which was inexpensive (about as big as quarter) for about $13.  the other is a digital inside out thermometer with humidity for about $13.

To much humidity the chicks can drown in the shell before they hatch, to little before they hatch they can't break out as easy the shell sticks to them and they can't  move and turn easy which I had that problem last year when I hatched some during the summer and my AC was sucking the humidity out of the air faster than I could but it into the incubator, then when I did get humidity in there it was to much which was awful, so I find 60-65% last 3days best for me.

Hope this helps at least a little bit.

post #9 of 10
The short answer is don't fret over it all that much... The humidity numbers and values you read are just general guidelines, they are in no way black and white rules...

IMO it's best to have a higher humidity of +60% during hatch to avoid shrink wrapping, and I would aim for that but it's not absolutely necessity also as long as the incubator is not dripping wet higher humidity is almost never a problem during hatching... I have pushed my incubator to 90%+ humidity with a mini humidifier inside the incubator if I notice chicks struggling and drying out...

During the incubation period itself, it's much better to actually weigh the eggs going in and weight their weight lose (say every 3 days) over the incubation period to see if you humidity is fine and they are losing weight as they should be, you can also monitor your air-cell development by candling to gauge if the humidity is AOK, if the air-cell is developing to the right size then humidity is fine... Both of these methods will give you a much more accurate idea if humidity is good vs some arbitrary number on a gauge...

As I have said multiple times a broody bird has very limited to no ability to control humidity, it is what it is that day... The only exception is that some have observed chickens 'drooling' or 'spitting' on eggs in very dry climates on occasion, but that is just to raise humidity they have no practical way to lower it, if it's 95°F and raining with 100% humidity that day that is what it is... If it's 95°F and 40% humidity that it what it is that day... Remember chickens don't sweat so the amount of humidity they will contribute by sitting on the eggs is for all intents nothing...

My best advice is to take a lot of notes, document every day of your incubation... If all goes well try to replicate that incubation, if it doesn't work make adjustments and try again... In time you will find what works best for you and your incubator and it might be completely different then what works for someone else...
Edited by MeepBeep - 3/17/16 at 11:37pm
post #10 of 10

I meant I have a  Brinsea 20octo incubator ​

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