Day 19 Saturday and terrified about humidity levels.


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
My first hatch......when I got the still air the directions clearly stated to keep water in the channels. So, I did. But now after reading all of you professionals posts I worry if it was too high during the early stages. After reading more and more, probably day 13-17 I didn't add water and kept the levels low as i could. Here in florida, I finally got the hydrometer and it said about 48% humidity those days 13-17. So since I was keeping water in the channels during those first 13 days, it was probably higher. Yesterday when I put them on lockdown, I added water to all the channels and also put a wet sponge. My humidity level now is about 74% and has stayed that way since yesterday. What do you all think? Am I driving myself crazy for nothing? Do I even have a chance at successful hatching. When I candled before lockdown I had movement in all of my eggs. Thank You
Well there is certainly no sense in worrying about it, at this point it is what it is, the only thing at this point you could have really changed is to wait until you get a pip to add your lockdown water which would maybe give your eggs another day to lose moisture but at that stage of the game I don't know how much benefit it would give. You always have a chance at hatching, everyone's results seem to differ with different methods. One question I would have is did you notice the size of the air cell when you candled last? If you had large air cells then you shouldn't have an issue where humidity levels are concerned. The thing is you really can't take my word on how I do it or anyone else's or the directions that came with your incubator for how much humidity you use, it is a trial and error thing. Just start out with your first hatch and note how you did everything and see what the results were, you may have a decent hatch you may not, next time try doing things differently, you will find a good method for your operation. One thing is the humidity isn't really about the number it is more about how much your air cell is growing, you can monitor the air cell growth and adjust the humidity accordingly. If your air cell is not growing then you need less humidity, if your air cell seems to be getting to large then you can add humidity to slow it down. You can also go by weight but I don't remember what the method is for that. There are many places where it is referenced on this sight as far as weigh and candling results for the air cells at different stages during incubation.

My personal opinion on incubation and what is working for me so far is dryer is better, I try to run in the 20s, 35 at the highest and I have had decent hatch rates, I am starting another batch in a day or so whenever I get enough eggs gathered up. I have a Farm Innovators fan model with turner. I have not had a still air but I have read many opinions that the hatch rate with them can generally be expected to be somewhat lower. If you open up some of your eggs after your hatch is over and see how the development was with the unhatched chicks and find that they are fully developed but didn't hatch then it was likely a humidity issue, either they grew too large and couldn't move about and pip or they drowned. If the chicks are under developled or "quitters" then it could be a heat issue or really anything.
Thank you so much for the information and the link. I have already locked them down yesterday, and now after reading your post i'm not REALLY sure about the air cell size, i'm drawing a blank. Is it ok to go ahead and candle in a couple hours when i get home from work? ( i work nights), no pip has started in any. I guess it is a learning experience and trial and error to figure it out. Thanks for the help.
If it were me I wouldn't candle right now since its too late to fix the problem if there is one. I would just let them go a few days in lockdown and see if any hatch. After 24 or 25 days any that don't hatch likely won't, at that point you could candle or if were me I'd put each egg in a sandwich bag to contain the mess and break them each open and see if they are developed or not. If you keep your humidity high during lockdown your air cell shouldn't grow anymore and you can candle and check them after the hatch to get an idea of whether to lower humidity next time

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