Cannot get my humidity up!

mmjc

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
57
1
29
Woodstock, VA
Hello, please help! I've read EVERYTHING I can possibly find on here and other places online about humidity levels during lockdown and tips on how to increase it, but nothing is working!! I currently have 2 LG incubators going (one with a turner and one without). I made the mistake early on and didn't collect and store all of my eggs to add all at once, so we've added eggs to the bator as we got them. I quickly realized that this is not a good idea since some were about to hit day 18 and needed to stop turning yet others needed to still be turned. I quickly ran out and got another bator to solve that problem.
Now my new problem...incubator #1 holds them from day 1-18 and then bator #2 has them for lockdown. Bator #1 maintains a 99-100 temp with 40-42% humidity, but bator #2 is about the same. I've tried everything possible to raise the levels, but nothing works. Below is what I've tried. I know levels too low can shrink wrap the chicks or make it hard for them to get out, but is 40-42% considered too low? Can I place the egg on a moist towel on the wire rack?

  • Added several small containers throughout the bator with water plus filled the wells in the bottom
  • Added a moist washcloth
  • Added a pint size mason jar with a sponge
 

browning6

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 2, 2012
248
17
93
Winton, California
If your incubator has a fan use this method. Get a wire bent so it will hold a wet paper towel and drape it into the water in front of the fan. This wicks the water up and the fan blows it into the air. Watch the water because it can dry out in a day or so. I raised my humidity from 38% to 59 % overnight.

this is a pic of it on the right side of my incubator right in front of the fan.

 

mmjc

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
57
1
29
Woodstock, VA
Thanks, but I do not have a fan in mine
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. I thought by adding the sponge into the mason jar that it would wick the water up too, but not as much as I had hoped. It did help a little but I cannot possibly add anymore water anywhere in here!! I have a damp cloth laying over the metal rack in the bottom...is it ok to lay the eggs on that during lockdown? I didn't know if having the porous eggs directly on something damp (not soaked) would hurt anything??
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loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
very lightly spray your eggs with water as close to 99 degrees as you can get it. replace the cap. with little giant incubators you will have to open the top during lockdown.

even with the low humidity your chicks will probably make it, if they were destined to.
 

mmjc

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
57
1
29
Woodstock, VA
Thank you! You are right...there is no way around not taking the lid off during lockdown to keep the humidity levels up. That's a great idea of misting the eggs. I had thought about that but didn't know if anyone else had tried that or if it would do any harm.

I did pop one of the windows out and went in that way and that seemed to work a little better then removing the entire lid. I have to keep my cups and wells filled with water and there is no other way to do it. I did place the mason jar with the sponge in it, right under one of the vent holes in the lid so I can just use a baby medicine dropper to fill it and I did read a tip on here about getting a piece of tubing and putting it through one of the smaller vent holes in the bottom and having it feed directly into the wells in the bottom. I did that and am able to replenish the water that way, so just having to pop a window out quickly to fill the other cups I have isn't but for just a minute or two. I have been able to get the humidity up to about 52%!!!
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So I'm super excited about that and I have a sponge cloth on the bottom which I keep moist and the eggs are on that too. Fingers crossed for a good hatch!
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loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
keep me updated on the hatch. I started with little giant incubators. the one you hatch in, keep it as a hatcher after about 10 hatches (maybe less) plan on replacing it. another option depending on your skills, would be to build a wooden cabinet for it. if you bleach it heavily it does help some.

the best method I found to clean it was to take the electronics out rinse (don't scrub) out the top and bottom, then filling them with water. when the water leaks out I would then do light scrubbing to remove what I could get, sometimes you don't get it all. I would then mix a strong bleach solution and soak them overnight. when I rinsed them there was normally nothing left to scrub, if there was it came off easy.

someone else may have better methods.

if this is your first time hatching, you must know; it gets very addictive. I started with 2 little giants, I now have 3 sportsmans, and am thinking about getting a bigger one.
 

my4ladies

Songster
9 Years
Jul 4, 2010
251
1
111
I see that you were able to get your humidity up! Before I read that I was going to caution you that your hygrometer could be incorrect....this happened to me. The temp on the hygrometer/thermometer unit I was using was reading correctly, but the humidity was not...despite that there was obviously more humidity inside the bator (condensation).

Also, I wanted to suggest a larger sponge. The surface area is what is most important.

Good luck!!
 

mmjc

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
57
1
29
Woodstock, VA
my4ladies you were right!!! I have a thermometer/hygrometer in each bator and it just seemed so odd that no matter what I did the humidity never seemed to really increase much. I did finally get it to 52% and it stayed there for almost an entire day and then slowly crept back down to about 45%. I switched the meters in both bators to see if I'd get a different reading and I did. I read online about a salt test you can do to test the accuracy and calibrate your hygrometer so I did it last night....to both. Turns out that one is off by 11% and the other by 5%! Makes a huge difference!! That makes me feel better except still no hatched chicks!
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I have been watching through the window non-stop just anxiously awaiting them to hatch but nothing! I'm getting so disappointed! Today is day 23 for the one egg and only day 21 for the other, but nothing. The last batch (4 eggs) never hatched and I kept them until day 25, candled and then discarded after there was no movement. Cracked them open to see what happened and they died early on....weren't fully developed. These two are different though...candled at day 18 and movement for both and very good veins and movement at each candling. I guess I've got a few more days to wait, but I am worse then a kid on Christmas day at this point!!!
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my4ladies

Songster
9 Years
Jul 4, 2010
251
1
111
I know how you feel "kid at Christmas"... I get the same way. It was just as bad during my pregnancies
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!!!!

I'll have to look into that salt thing. Sounds interesting.

Did they ever hatch?
 

MANNA-PRO

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