Brinsea owners and duck hatchers - some advice please!


9 Years
Feb 4, 2010
Glasgow, Scotland
So I've just gone into lockdown with three duck eggs in my Brinsea. I'm not all that hopeful for them cause when last candled only one showed any movement and they haven't lost nearly enough moisture. My own fault; I was so busy with chicks etc that I just didn't check my eggs carefully enough. But that's not what I'm wondering about.

I usually run chicken lockdowns at 70%+ humidity, and the one time before that I incubated ducks (in my other bator), I had a good hatch with 80% humidity through lockdown. So that's what I've set my Brinsea at. And the condensation is unbelievable and there are actually big drips of water running down the inside of the bator. My other bator you can get up past 85% without seeing any condensation at all. And I think the readout on the Brinsea is accurate; they're pretty reliable.

So should I turn down the humidity a bit? Or just leave it where it is? I mean, I know ducklings need high humidity to hatch, but tropical rainforest high?
That's too funny!

Well I've never tried to incubate ducks before, but I have one of the mini advanced ones, and I know what you mean about the condensation. I usually run it somewhat dry before lockdown, I get a better hatch that way, but when I turn the turner off and set to lockdown, I will usually jack the humidity up to about 70-80 % depending on how close they are to optimal wt loss of 13%. When one of the chicks hatch, it really starts condensing in there, making it hard to see what's going on.
Mine's an Octagon 20 with the humidity pump. It was set for 80% cause that's how I successfully hatched ducks before, then I came in last night to a giant puddle underneath it! The water had dripped and dripped, through the humidity pad to the floor of the bator. It had filled up the two wells and overflowed them, and the pump was still running cause the humidity in the bator wasn't going above 75%.

I've now turned it down to 70% (just to stop the puddle spreading any further!) but I'm not too happy about not being able to get it up to 80%. I was wanting to try hatching turkeys soon, and I know they need a really high lockdown humidity. I may just go back to using my Lincu bator as a hatcher. But it's pretty small, it only holds 15 chicken eggs max.
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Well, I've got one pip now. I think I'm maybe going to have one lonely little duckling...
He pipped about 28 hours ago; no movement since and I'm just leaving him alone to get on with things.
I have a hovabator so different from yours, but I've found that the more important thing is a constant level of humidity rather than the actual level. For instance, if I forget to move eggs to the hatcher, they hatch just fine in the incubator @30% humidity, but when I do forget and catch myself after they've started hatching I get a lot that get stuck. I usually keep my hatcher between 70% and 80% but I don't always remember to move the eggs.
I've hatched chicks, not ducklings, in both the Brinsea and the Hovabator. Here are my thoughts, FWIW:

I've never had good luck with lots of humidity except right at hatch. I've lost embryos at a late time that I think had to do with too much. If it's the way you say it is, I think it's too much. I think you really only need to boost the humidity for the first egg to hatch and then the rest end up being soaked from the new chick/duckling.

I would contact Brinsea and ask what they recommend for optimal hatching humidity for ducklings in their incubator.
When your hatching ducks is recomended that you lower the temperature , high temp and high humidity is bad conbination
might sufocate the babys

I always lower the temp to 97ºF and increase humidity to 75 -80 %
Thanks everyone for the advice and thoughts, it's appreciated. I guess I didn't word my questions very well though, and that's my own fault.

What I was really wondering about was:

If my EX humidity pump is running full steam and constantly pumping, pushing through so much water that the bator overflows, yet the humidity is still only reaching 74%, how am I supposed to get it up to 80% when it really needs to be there?

My one little duckling has now started to zip out, and I've found a woman nearby who can sell me another single duckling to keep it company. Hers are 3 weeks old, but I imagine it's better to be pushed around a bit by a bigger baby than to have to be on your own all the time...
is your hygrometer accurate?.. cause i can get to 80% and still not have condensation or fogging (course you may have AC running which might make a difference)... the only time I've ever had mine drip out of the bottom is when i poured in a ton of water while cleaning it.. lol.. I get to 90% with a few crumpled wet paper towels and both channels full
The hygrometer is part of the incubator, with a readout on the digital display that also shows the temperature. Brinsea's own instructions that come with their bators say not to calibrate them yourself using your own thermometers/hygrometers, as they're calibrated in the factory and are guaranteed accurate. And the bator's less than 6 months old...

So I haven't calibrated it, but I've done a couple of hatches in it already with it set to the humidities I prefer in my other bator, and I had good hatch results, so I can safely assume it's pretty much accurate. And no, I don't have air conditioning.

Maybe for my next lockdown I will fill the water trays and spread out some paper towels like you say, and that'll keep the humidity high enough that the water pump won't need to work as much and maybe it won't overflow!

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