A bit about natural humidity and air cells

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by davemonkey, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today is Day 21, and not a single pip (internal or otherwise), but all is NOT lost, and I'll tell you why. But first, a rant on natural humidity.

    I live in SE Texas where water is apparently born. It is SO HUMID here, even in the winter, that even a "Dry Incubation" method is difficult to manage. This year we decided to do another hatch after taking a long break from chicks. We started when the humidity finally let up a bit (it's been a really wet year for us) and that was about 3 weeks ago. Shortly after setting the eggs, rain set in again. Days have been in the upper 50-60% range, except when it's raining...when it's 80-100%. Nights have been above 80%. That's not quite as bad as Florida, but it's yuck-fest humid. [​IMG]

    We did the dry method with a stryrofoam incubator, fully automated except for water, and the humidity in the incubator never went below 33% after Day 4...not a single drop of water in the incubator during that time. By lockdown, the air cells on almost ALL of the eggs were right about where I'd expect them on Day 7. DAY 7 air cells at lockdown!! In other words, I figured that, out of 21 eggs with active and living embryos, we'd get maybe 5 chicks to hatch because the rest would be pipping into water.

    So, we counted our losses and decided to manage the rest of the hatch for the 5 that we figured would make it.

    Now, our normal experience has been (this is our 5th 'bator hatch, and 8th overall) internal pips Days 19-20, with audible chirps and rocking eggs, and external pips between Days 20-21, hatching from Day 21-22. Tonight was the end of a long Day 21, and not a chirp to be heard, no rocking...nothing.

    Well, I threw caution to the wind and pulled a few to candle. I figured with humidity as high as it is (now 69% in the bator and at least 30-50% in the house) I could take the risk. I pulled some of the tiny air cell eggs, and a couple larger ones that I thought would make it. ALL had 1) kicking embryos and 2) major air cell development.

    Somehow, nature took control in the worst of circumstances, the chicks knew not to pip just yet, and now things are just about right for a successful hatch. It may still be a couple of days because there were still no internal pips that I saw (and we hear nothing), but I think most of these chicks will end up making it after all.

    So, for all you who, at some point in the future, will be getting anxious about not getting a hatch on Day 21 and smaller air cells at lockdown despite your best efforts for a dry hatch: don't worry. It may not turn out the best, but be patient and nature will run its course. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Usually late hatches are related to slightly lower temperatures, and not humidity. Hope your hatch goes well.
     
  3. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Liberty, TX
    Well, the hatch DID go well! [​IMG] Yes, late hatches are typically due to low temps. As little as 1 degree off could make a day difference or more.
    So, what ended up happening is that our first hatch (with this batch) was on Day 22 in the evening. Today is Day 23 and all but 3 of the pipped eggs have hatched (so we are nearly 2 days behind). But, we have 18 out of 21 (assuming the pips will hatch out), so a successful hatch!
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Oct 11, 2014
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    That's pretty good.
     
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Excellent [​IMG]
     

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