Did the humidity drop kill them?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tlouiselle, May 11, 2016.

  1. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    I have been keeping the humidity levels between mid 55%-60% (one person told me they hatch at 55% someone else said 60%)...

    This is day 9. I checked the levels last night before I went to bed and it was 57%...

    When I woke up this morning the humidity had dropped to 37%. I don't know that the heck happened! I added water asap and brought it back up...

    Are they most likely dead?
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Your humidity is pretty high. I keep mine around 40. That drop didn't hurt, but keeping the humidity too high might.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    xs2 Unless the air cells say different, I would never run that high humidity for the first 17 days. I run 30% humidity days 1-17 and raise it to 70-75% day 18 in preparation for hatch.

    Rises and drops in humidity does not kill chicks. Humidity is important over the average of the incubation to allow for proper moisture loss so that the air cells can grow.

    High humidity over the first 18 days will not allow the egg to loose enough moisture, the air cell will not grow properly and the chick can grow too big preventing it from being able to turn when it positions for hatch. At hatch time the chick can drown in the excess fluid in the shell.

    I never add water to my wells the first 17 days. If I can't maintain at least 25% running dry, I add a wet sponge to hold it right around 30 and I just monior the air cells.

    If you are not in a high elevation and are using a table top incubator I highly suggest a low humidity incubation and monitoring the air cells. You can take a look at this, it's the method I use: http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com...anuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity It will help understand humidity and how t o find what humidity works for you. I generally have 85-100% hatches using this method in an LG9200. Many people that hatch at the higher humidity have suffered bad hatches and switched to a lower humidity to have their hatch rates greatly improve. It's a matter of finding what works for your eggs and letting the air cells guide you is the best thing I have found to figuring that out.
     
  4. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I hate it because everyone has different methods that works for them. One person told me to hatch dry then crank the humidity before, someone told me the 70% high was too high. Someone else told me they hatch at 55% all throughout. Another person who runs a FB group I joined said 60% the ENTIRE time.

    THEN they say you only have to add water once or twice a week...I have to everyother day bc when I add water like they all say, the humidity skyrockets. I honestly hate incubators LOL. I can't wait until my hens are broody.

    This is the second time I have tried with the incubator. The first batch of eggs were shipped in. Not a single hatch...someone told me I did everything right so something must have happened during shipping.

    This time I have some of my own silkie eggs in there and some oliveeggers that I bought on Ebay...the olive eggers do not look the same at all. I am accuming the worst and they were also damaged in shipping :-(
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Everybody does it different and even hatchers have to change it up with different eggs or breeds. That's why I think it's important to give the hatcher the tools to know what is working for them instead of just giving them a number and no way to tell if it's working. Also your habits and the type of incubator will play a part in the success at different humidity levels as well as high/low altitudes.

    Like I said, I normally run 30%. My last hatch I was doing silkie eggs shipped from a friend. I had to run 40-50% (way outside my comfort level) with them because they were so small and lost moisture so much quicker than my own. Had I hatched them the same way, I probably would not have had 12/14 hatch because they would have lost too much moisture. If I didn't monitor my air cells, I might not have known.

    Shipped are very risky.

    What kind of incubator are you using?
     
  6. shawn54

    shawn54 Out Of The Brooder

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    I incubate in a DIY styrofoam cooler incubator in my basement witch right now is 30%rh but when I turn on the bator inside drops to about 12-15% I add enough water to get it to 30% every 3-4 days then let it drop low again until 3 days before hatch then raise it to 60% worked well on first two hatches I do watch air cells and compare to charts. First hatch 17/20 turkeys second 8/8 chickens.
    The chickens were started by a hen for 3-4 days then put in bator I did not know when she started was guessing by candling when I put them in lockdown they were piped internally was worried I did not get rh up soon enough all hatched in 14 hours no trouble. Humidity seams to be most important to prevent drying out membrane and shrink wrapping chicks. As for what is right or wrong I can't tell you I read up on "dry incubation" and it made sense to me so I ran with it. And will stick with it until it doesn't work. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    As long as you have the humidity up once they externally pip, you are usually ok. It's often recommended when someone gets to day 18 and find out that the air cells are way too small to actually run dry until they hear chicks in the internal pip or see the first signs of external pipping and then up it to improve the air cells and give the chick a better chance. This is why I say, especially if you are just starting out to at least candle and check air cells at days 7/14 and then 18. Because you have more leeway at day 14 to fix things then at day 18 when you are getting ready to "lockdown".
     
  8. Ilovewildlife

    Ilovewildlife Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2016
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    Hi,
    I usually have my humidity level at around 55% until 3 days before hatch where I make it roughly 65%. I have had humidity drops to around 40% and mine haven't died and so I doubt it would kill them, especially as it is only day 9. I have hatched Quail and currently have some Jersey Giant hatching eggs in the incubator. Lots of people hatch chickens with a 40% humidity, so I doubt 3% less than that would make much of a difference. Some people even have success with dry hatching! So no, I doubt that they are dead. Good Luck!
     
  9. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Thank you so much you guys. I really REALLY appreciate all of this :) I am using a Hova Bator. I live in NC outside of Charlotte. I am slightly concerned about air cells. I candled them on Day 7 and the cells were not large. When I let my broody hen hatch (our one and only chick that I have ever hatched LOL) the air cell was larger.

    ...SO, does this mean there may be too much moisture in there then? Should I let it drop a little? You all are saying at this time that you keep the humidity lower.

    Would that fix things?

    Thank you thank you!
     
  10. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, I would recommend dropping it given that your eggs are retaining too much water. Charlotte is relatively humid isn't it? You might be able to get away with dry hatching. That is what I do (it stays in the mid to high 30s without adding water) and I just add water to increase the humidity when hatching starts.
     

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