Day 18 - Paper towels are wet?????

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by YonkFarm, May 15, 2009.

  1. YonkFarm

    YonkFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2009
    Sutton, Nebraska
    Hi to everyone...I'm fairly new to this list, and I have 30 chicken eggs that are on day 18 today. I have a Hovabator 1588. I removed the auto egg turner this morning, filled both wells with water, and apparently filled them too full. When I replaced the wire mesh and put paper towels on top followed by eggs (which I candled first), a few minutes later the paper towels are wet!!! Do I leave it as is, or remove all the eggs again and some of the water and put in fresh towels?

    By the time I had done all of the above activities, the temp in the bator was 84, and 30 minutes later it's up to 96.8. I'm using an indoor/outdoor electronic thermometer that shows humidity percentage. Up to today it's pretty much stayed at 32%, and that reading hasn't changed yet with the extra water and wet towels. I realize this probably isn't a very accurate way to gauge humidity, but for my first time that's what I'm using. I'm getting nervous about my babies and just want to do what will disturb them the least!!!

    Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
  2. needtohatch

    needtohatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
    Hart Co
    Take the wet paper towels out. You can lay the eggs right on the wire. If the wells are so full that they got the towels wet take some of that out also. You can use another towel to draw it up through the wire. Remember it is surface area and not depth that creates humidity. I made the same mistake my first hatch.
    Good luck!
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Yup, eggs go right on the wire no paper towels. Use a new wet sponge, wet washcloth folded up and place in the bator to help with humidity.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Remove them. The eggs will absorb any moisture they are touching and drown the chicks even if you keep the humidity in the air lower. Don't use paper towels. They can easily cause problems. Not only will they pull up moisture from the water troughs but also from the air and the eggs. There have been a few people that had pipping or zipping eggs touch the paper towels wrong and all the moisture gets sucked out so the chick gets stuck. If you don't catch it and help the chicks will die. There's no reason they can't hatch on the mesh. Even my tiny seramas hatch fine on the mesh. The only ones I do anything differently for are button quail and I just lay down a smaller layer of mesh over the one that came with the bator.
  5. YonkFarm

    YonkFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2009
    Sutton, Nebraska
    I removed the wet paper towels as quickly as I could, and temp is holding at just under 99 degrees now. Before, with the auto turner in there it was showing 100.7 consistently, but since this is my first attempt, I haven't made any adjustments. I found another humidity meter that shows 65% humidity, while the other one still reads 32% - guess it probably wasn't working correctly from the start. Next time, I plan to use a calibrated hygrometer.

    Now, I guess it's just a wait and see thing! I was sure I heard little cheeps this morning! Actually, I hope it was just a) my imagination, b) my canary upstairs or c) the baby swallows in the nest on the side of the house! My husband has had fun cheeping at me whenever he walks by today [​IMG]

    Thanks for the quick replies! It gives me peace of mind to know so many helpful and experienced people are willing to help out newbies like me! I look forward to being able to return the favor!

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