Candling and humidity question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by huntersmoon, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. huntersmoon

    huntersmoon Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2008

    I am incubating my first set of eggs, 11 from our flock of barred rocks.

    1. Today is day 8 and I'm incubating brown shelled eggs so from what I've read today is the day to candle them. I wonder though won't opening the incubator mess up the temp? Shouldn't I not ever open the incubator?

    2. I have them in a Little Giant model 9200. It is what our feed store had. We just moved halfway across the country and couldn't bring our hens with us after all (too hot) so a friend kept them and we brought the eggs. I didn't think to research and order an incubator ahead of time so I bought what they had. It is styrofoam, no fan, with an automatic egg turner. I need to get a hydrometer to measure the humidity and will do that today. Until I do that should I just check and refill the water resevoir today when I candle the eggs?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm not familiar with that model. Did it come with instructions? If it did, I'd follow them, especially for your first hatch with it.

    I agree, you need a hygrometer to see what is going on, but if the instructions tell you to keep a certain reservoir filled, I'd keep it filled, especially for the first hatch. Remember, even if you calibrate the hygrometer (recommended) it may not be exactly 100% accurate. I use my hygrometer more to tell me when the reservoir is empty than what the actual humidity is. I've learned with my 1588 that all I need too do is keep one certain reservoir filled until lockdown.

    It does not bother me at all to open the incubator to candle or especially to add water until lockdown. The hen will leave the nest daily to take her constitutional. The eggs are pretty dense and will hold the heat well. Just do your business and do not keep the eggs in a cool draft when you have them out of the incubator. That said, I don't open the incubator if I don't have to. And I don't like to open it at all after lockdown. I did shrink wrap a chick once opening it during lockdown but I had an urgent need.

    Good luck!
  3. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    Quote:No worries...we have 2 feedstore incubators with turners (no fan). This is what I do...we take 2-3 eggs out at a time and put the top back on in between candling. We never take the top completely off, just pry it up to grab eggs, and set it down.

    You don't have to keep the reservoir full. As long as there is some water they are all set. Sometimes too much water is a bad thing (can drown them in the egg). I agree with that I keep an eye on the humidity percentage to see if it is too low. That's it.

    We candle the eggs at day 4-5 and then at day 18 take the turner out to put them in lockdown. I don't candle them again, because I now know what I'm looking for, and our success rate has been 90% with our own eggs. In the beginning, I candled at day 4, 7, 10, 17...even the brown ones, because I was curious what I could see.

    When your eggs start to hatch (pip), resist the urge to open the incubator to try to help them...for at least 18-24 hours. You may have one or two that hatch instantly, and the others might take a while.

    Good luck with your hatch!
  4. huntersmoon

    huntersmoon Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. I was reading more about the humidity in this forum today and see one article about dry incubating, and the importance as one of you mentioned of it not being too humid or the chicks can drown. I do see conflicting posts - some say it's important to have lower humidity during development and higher at lockdown, and some are posting the reverse. I tend to agree about keeping humidity lower during development and will keep reading through the posts to learn more.


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