Better humidity control and sanitation methods

WalnutHill

Crowing
5 Years
Mar 16, 2014
7,000
2,235
346
SE Michigan
Like many seasonally dry climate members, I struggle with maintaining sufficient hatcher humidity during lockdown. As I am going to have to have an extended lockdown due to unexpected travel, I have been working on a way to keep the humidity stable for a longer period of time.

In the past, I've tried filling the water channels (foam seems to be porous as water disappears very quickly), adding rags, adding a sponge in a ziplock as a water reservoir.

Thanks to my using the hatcher as a seed starter when not in use as a hatcher, I hit upon using fiber egg cartons. Soak them in water, and they present a large surface area as well as giving consistent humidity output for a long time. Recharge by adding water to the cells, or discard and replace between hatches to avoid mold and mildew which can contaminate the incubator.

Soaking the carton in a very mild bleach/water solution may also be effective in preventing mold/mildew.

I have also started sanitizing my hatcher using a Bissell SteamShot handheld steam cleaner. It is absolutely harmless to the foam and screen. I shake and wash the drawer liner pad, then soak in a mild solution of Quaternary Ammonia compound, commonly used in food service for sanitation. After air drying, the pad is clean and sanitary.
 

Orps

Songster
7 Years
May 25, 2012
997
47
123
Are you talking about the egg carton you get when you buy eggs?

My eggs are on lockdown but can not seem to get hum above 65%(which is the best I got so far). Mostly it stay at 60-62%. I have water on the bottom, sponge and a towel in it already. I think I need to increase the hum before they hatch on Friday
 

WalnutHill

Crowing
5 Years
Mar 16, 2014
7,000
2,235
346
SE Michigan
yup just plain old undyed cardboard egg cartons. I pull of the paper label if there is one, pull off the tab, cut off the lid and put it underneath.

It's also safe for newly hatched chicks, no water to fall into and nothing toxic.

Soak in warm/hot water and put it in place of your rag and sponge and see the difference.

My empty hatcher is at 73% and 99F with both plugs out.
 
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