correct humidity for incubator? HELP!!


8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
West Texas
Hello all -- I am incubating my first batch of eggs (on day 2) & am curious what the best humidity level for the eggs is. I am using a Hova-Bator I borrowed from a friend, and the instructions included only a very generic discussion of humidity, with no actual setting or percentage recommended. The temperature in the incubator is right at 99 - 100 degrees F.

I live in far West TX, and it is super duper dry out here. I filled the tray in the incubator and the humidity level is hovering right at 60%, is this good? or too high?

I know that when lockdown occurs, the humidity needs to be raised, but by how much?

Any other incubator temp/humidity things I should be aware of?

Thank y'all in advance!
That is a little high. You can just take one of the vent plugs out. I go by the instructions even if they don't give an actual % I've had better hatches by doing so. If your hydrometer is calibrated then I would get it somewhere around 40-50%. You will get all kinds of different answers too. It is trial and error. Some will be doing dry hatches, it never worked for me.
Good luck with your hatch.
45% to 50% yeah. Many websites say 55-60% but that's way too high. Better hatch rates with 50% and then 65-70% last 3 days
Hi there

Here is a link to a thread I did earlier which explains about the humidity in more detail and may help you a little more

For further links and information on incubation please check out my website;

I hope it helps you.

If it's as dry in west Texas as it is here.. you don't want to do a dry incubation..
I run right around 45% for chickens.. you may want to bump it a little closer to 50.. but I wouldn't go over that for incubation (our relative humidity has been running around 25% here in the house... and I'm pretty much in CenTex).. some days it drops a bit lower.. so you can use that as a guide and adjust it a smidge if you need to... I normally have 90-100% hatch rates with it at 45%
For lockdown I bump it up to 65-75% depending on how they are doing..

turkeys and ducks you would want it a bit higher.. but I'm assuming you're hatching chickens
This is exactly what I needed - thanks, y'all! I'm so very excited about my first hatch, and really appreciate the help

One more question - do I need to account for high elevation? Our house is right at a mile high. I have to change recipes, especially breads, and I was wondering if it had any impact on hatches. Thanks!
One more - how soon do I need to get the humidity down to the 40-50% range? It is down to about 56% just overnight... Do I need to open up the incubator & remove water, or can I let it evaporate over a couple of days then maintain it at 45% from there?

Thanks so much everyone
i would go ahead and pull some of the water out..

as far as high elevation.. I've never heard of anyone having issues with it... not saying there isn't... just that I've never heard about it and I've been hatching out eggs for a very long time..

I do know I'm at a higher elevation here (866 feet) than when I lived in Delaware (23 feet).. and there's been no difference in incubation or hatching.. granted that's not as much elevation as you have.. but I havent had to do anything differently .. maybe someone else at a high elevation like yours can chime in
I think I've read that high elevation affects humidity somewhat, in that it makes your water evaporate faster. But if you just keep an eye on the hygrometer and keep the humidity right where you want, it'll be fine. You'll probably be adding water more often than if you were at a lower altitude, but that shouldn't affect the developing embryos any...
I've heard 45~50

Does anyone know how to get the inhibitor to increase humidity because I tried adding water anf putting sponges in and can't get it over 60 for lockdown. Also I tried putting water in pans. Thanks

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