Can't get my humidity up, and they are piping. HELP!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TripMomma, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. TripMomma

    TripMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2015
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    This is my first time incubating. I'm using a Hova-Bator. I set 17 eggs, 1 ended up being not fertile...the other 16 had movement on lock down day (which was Monday). Started hearing little cheeps from inside the eggs last night. This morning half of them have a little hole pecked, still hearing cheeps. The problem is I can't get my humidity over 50-55%...sometimes not even that high. I have damp paper towels, damp sponges (which are probably dry by now I didn't want to open the bator), a damp wash cloth and have pushed 4 warm water 60ML syringes in through the turner cord hole. The dang thing just won't go up. Can these chicks hatch if the humidity is only around 50%? It is hard to see these pics but the membrane looks white and dry. What should I do?
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  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Why do you trust your hygrometer reading?

    What else did you put in there for water? If you only used a damp sponge and paper towel then it could be a little dry. Fill a small bowl with 100F water and quickly set it in there. If you don't take the lid all the way off, lift one side just enough to get the bowl in there, you'll be OK. Sponges do have a lot of surface area but if no other water source in there they dry out quick. There should have been mini spikes of humidity readings after each time you put water down the vent onto the paper towel. More information of hygrometer and what you do have for water in incubator would be helpful. If nothing else definitely put a bowl of water in there. Make sure it's short enough to fit, put it in an empty corner and use 100F water.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Chicks can hatch at low humidity. The thing is if they don't pop right out of the shell they can get stuck in there. Humidity gets high enough once they all start to pip and zip to gum up the inside of egg then when moisture subsides back under 70% the gum thickens and starts to harden. The chicks can get stuck fast and are unable to get out if they didn't jump out of shell beforehand. Something to look out for, look for crusty stuff at the pip hole. Means it's drying out. Those chicks usually need assistance. If you get the humidity up over 70% nothing dries out so chicks can move in shell to unzip it.

    Put the bowl of water in and you should be good. If you didn't calibrate the hygrometer then how much can it be trusted? It will tell you if humidity is going up and down but actual readings are questionable. As in if it reads 65% after the bowl is in you could really be over 70%. You just don't know and don't sweat it. Your hatch looks like it's going very well. If even with the bowl of water the humidity is a tad low worse case scenario is you'll have to assist a few birds in a day or two from now.
     
  4. TripMomma

    TripMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2015
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    Thanks for the reply! I did have a little sandwich box lid with water in it too. 2 chicks just hatched, so hopefully they will help the humidity rise. They are a day early...one has a little yolk not absorbed yet, hopefully it can as it dries and it will be OK. The other one is perfect.
     
  5. rlhagan56

    rlhagan56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad I found this thread! I am on exactly the same day as you in this hatch. My first time in 25 years, and I am living in VERY dry Nevada. I too have a new HovaBator, I calibrated and am having problems getting the humidity up. I have been able to keep it up to 60% since day 18 Monday, but even a humidifier in the room doesn't help. I don't hear peeps and hope to see pipping tomorrow.

    How is your hatch doing today?

    Oh, and I bought a recommended hygrometer but it doesn't work and I sent it back.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Did you fill all the troughs in bottom? I've never come close to that kind of surface are needed for water and my house humidity is around 30% Rh this time of year. I realize that's not Nevada or Arizona but it's not Arizona either. With a humidifier in same room as incubator you should have no problem getting RH up. With house RH of 30 I only need two coffee cups filled with water of surface area to achieve 70%.
     
  7. rlhagan56

    rlhagan56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually I moved here from southern Arizona, believe me when they say it is dry here thery mean it! Annual precipitation is only 9 inches and we get into the 100's in summer. Southern AZ is humid 4 months out of the year.
    I filled trough #1 and then had to add #2. Humidity stayed at between 35% and $41% for setting. To lockdown and 60% I had to add a sponge in the middle. It would drop overnight so I plugged the vent and now it is steady at 61% so I leave it at that. I sure hope I see pipping tomorrow..
     
  8. TripMomma

    TripMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is going good so far. 5 have hatched, with at least 6 more pipped. My humidity still reads 45%, but all the towels are wet and I have condensation on the lid, so I'm pretty sure my gauge is wrong.
     
  9. rlhagan56

    rlhagan56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so glad! I'm excited, 4 pm started day 21 and at 8pm two of the Silkie eggs are pipped. One I can see moving in the little hole. Now if my Ameraucana eggs would start.
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh yeah, that hygrometer is WAY OFF. It's over 80% RH for condensation to form on lid. Congrats on a good hatch!

    After hatch is over calibrate the hygrometer with a salt test. If the gauge is part of incubator than just get an inexpensive Accurite combo unit at Walmart and calibrate that for future hatches. Use an oral thermometer to calibrate temp.

    Salt test:

    Milk, juice or soda cap filled with table salt. Add drops of water until saturated. I pour off standing water.

    Put cap and hygrometer in zip seal bag for at least 4 hours. I provide small pillow of air in it.

    Take the reading after 4 hours and subtract that from 75 for calibration #. A salt environment at room temp is 75% RH +/- fraction %.

    Ex. your reading is 84. 75-84= -9. Write that on masking tape and afix to incubator to remind you to subtract 9 from all readings for true RH.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016

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