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4 Dead in Shell Humidity too high or too low?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Frizzle Farmer, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Frizzle Farmer

    Frizzle Farmer Chirping

    Mar 5, 2011
    Calhan, CO
    Out of 8 that made it to lock down, 4 chicks are out and doing fine (and are very cute!), the other 4, when I opened their shells after I gave up, were fully formed, but dead. Based on this, was my humidity too high or too low. Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. what was your humidity during incubation and during hatch?
  3. trkcChick

    trkcChick In the Brooder

    Oct 19, 2009
    Culloden, GA
    same thing happened to me, but my hens were sitting on them. very upset
  4. Frizzle Farmer

    Frizzle Farmer Chirping

    Mar 5, 2011
    Calhan, CO
    65% 1-17, 75% from 18 to 22, in dry dry Colorado
    Eggs were my own and shipped in
  5. your humidity was too high during incubation.. some people do a dry incubation.. I usually keep my humidity around 45% for chickens during incubation.. then I bump it up during lockdown
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    People on this forum have reported excellent hatch rates with humidities varying from below 20% to above 60%. I don't think, from the information given so far, that anyone can be 100% sure that the humidity was too high. HutsonHeritage has not said, and nobody has yet asked, whether the dead chicks were floating in excess liquid, or whether the live chicks hatched were large and soggy. For a very very dry area 65% humidity for the first 18 days might have been just fine. I agree that it is likely that the humidity was too high, but I would state it as no more than that: a likelihood or an opinion, not a certainty.

    HutsonHeritage: If you want to figure out your ideal humidity, get a cheap digital kitchen scale and weigh your eggs to determine their moisture loss. It's the most accurate way to figure out what humidity to run your incubations at. Eggs need to lose roughly 13% of their starting weight by the time they get to lockdown, so if you weigh your eggs at the start you can figure out how much they need to lose. I like to weigh mine at days 6 and 12, that gives me a chance to assess the humidity and decide if I need to adjust it up or down...
  7. classicsredone

    classicsredone Songster

    Jan 6, 2011
    Crunchy California
    Dry incubation is probably too dry for most of us on this side of the country, unless you live on the coast. I tried it after reading about it, and the humidity with forced air dipped too quickly, even with a room humidifier.

    Were the dead in shell birds the shipped eggs, yours, or both?

  8. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    How about, just a thought here, check the size of the air cell during candling. IMO that is the purpose of the humidity during days 1-18 (chickens): to provide enough moisture to have the correct air cell size at hatch. Try this pic. http://www.poultryconnection.com/quackers/aircell.html
  9. I'm in "dry dry dry dry we're having another darn drought Texas".. 45% during incubation works great for me... and i get 90 to 100% hatch rates on my own eggs..
    our outdoor humidity where I live was 10% yesterday.. ugh.. we need rain.. no AC.. with windows open... no humidifier.. no aquariums.. nothing to add extra humidity to the dining room where the incubators are located... if I ran my incubator under the same conditions with 65% humidity during incubation.. i would have drowned birds
  10. Frizzle Farmer

    Frizzle Farmer Chirping

    Mar 5, 2011
    Calhan, CO
    Thanks everyone for helping. Let me try to answer all these questions. They were my eggs and shipped eggs that had fully formed dead chicks. The only four that did fine were all mine. The chicks dead in the eggs had a lot of water in their eggs. The ones that came out seemed normal, and still doing great. Air cells were about 1/6th of the egg. Tries dry incubating once too, all died. Just not a good method for land locked chicken lovers.

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