carton incubating humidity?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by fowlwoman1, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. fowlwoman1

    fowlwoman1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Wenatchee, WA
    I've been incubating in a cabinet incubator. I've been setting the eggs in egg cartons and tipping up one end to turn them. I thought that having the lid on the carton would keep in too much moisture, so I cut the tops of the cartons off and nested the cartons inside the tops for extra stability. I am having mushy chicks with lots of water under their skins, rough navels plus high mortality the day before they are supposed to hatch and after hatch. The humidity gauge has read 30-40% during incubation, but apparently that is too high. Also, I was thinking that the eggs may be too dry around the air sac and the membranes don't soften up quickly enough from higher humidity in the hatcher, making it impossible for some of the chicks to get out. I was thinking that with the hatch coming up in the next few days I would put a wet paper towel on top of the eggs on day 17 in the hatcher and then take the towel off for the remaining days, in hopes of softening up that membrane. I can see in the eggs that not enough fluid has evaporated. I wonder if I could puncture the egg somehow and get out some of that liquid, maybe with a needle and syringe? I probably won't try that this time, though. It is so sad to have 22 eggs develop until day 16-19 and then only end up with 3 live chicks at the end of it all. I should have a very noisy hatching room today, but only one of them makes much noise. And I think that's because he lost his entire yolk sac due to a rough navel, so he's hungry. He's doing okay, though. I think he'll make it. At 3 days old he's running around and eating. This just sucks though. I thought I would be making money at hatching, but I"m just killing chicks. I'm not near ready to give up, though. I will figure this out.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I say it's time to check/calibrate your hydrometer. Sometimes they can be pretty far off. Best of luck.
     
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    What's the humidity in your hatcher and when do you increase it? 30-40% is low. Even those doing dry incubation prefer not to get down to 30%. If they are getting water in the air cell of the eggs it sounds like your trying to make up for low moisture during incubating by having extreme humidity during hatching which would lead to the water in the shells. You might need to lessen the extreme between the 2. Keep the incubating humidity slightly higher and lower the hatcher humidity so the membrane stays soft without suddenly collecting water right before they hatch. I had good luck with 40-45% during incubating and 70-75% during hatching this time. I don't think any of chicks that didn't hatch were due to humidity this time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  4. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    Actually I dry incubate and don't worry unless my humidity gets to the 20's, the 30's work for me. My current hatch right now is hatching in the 50's, anytime I have tried going higher my chicks drown, and I have 2 hygrometers. I also cut holes in my cartons to allow air flow.
    Krista
     
  5. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    Agree with klf73. I don't add water unless the humidity goes below 30%. Mushy chicks is usually from too much humidity and poor ventilation. I would add a second and maybe even a third hygrometer. Also, make sure you have LOTS of ventilation holes. Rough navels is also from too much humidity.

    The carton shouldn't have anything to do with it. I do stab a hole in the bottom of each egg section of the carton to increase ventilation.

    This is what I would do. Take all your water out of the incubator. Don't add any water unless the humidity gets below 30%. (Get a new hygrometer too) After your first pip, then add water until the humidity is around 60-65%...no more. Your eggs should feel as light as picking up a chick by hatching day. If they are still heavy, then that's another sign your humidity is too high.

    Don't puncture the egg and don't use the wet papertowel. It sounds like you have too much humidity already. I think you probably have a bad humidity gauge.
     
  6. fowlwoman1

    fowlwoman1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Wenatchee, WA
    I THINK MY PROBLEM HAS BEEN SOLVED!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I had enough ventilation, but I probably don't. My cabinet bator is homemade and I figured that since it wasn't airtight that it would be good enough with a good fan pushing the air around. I am going to go drill some holes now.....
     
  7. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    Yes, holes are a good thing [​IMG] . without proper air exchange they suffocate [​IMG]
    Good luck!
    Krista
     

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