Do I have to have hygrometer?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by melpatel, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. melpatel

    melpatel Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    I have a old (20+years) marsh turn-x incubator heats up just fine but there is no way to tell the humidity. It did not come with directions. I know I will need to full the pan with water. I have read every book I could get my hands on but they all say to use a hygrometer well I don't have one. My eggs come today and I don't think a store will have one by me. What should I do?

  2. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    fill the pan with water...check it every few days and refill as needed...that is what I do and I hatch just fine with the sportsman I have...can you get better with more precise measures yes...will this work...yes folks did it this way for a long time
  3. jay1995

    jay1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    St. Augustine, Florida
    Well if there is a walmart, radio shack, or any kind of store with garden areas they should have one. Some feed stores have them.But I dont know anything else to say. Sorry im not much help. [​IMG]
  4. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Quote:You should buy one. You can hatch without, but you will be guessing, and if it goes wrong you will be hampered in trying to find out why.

    Decent RH meters can be had very cheaply from Walmart, etc.
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Some incubators will divide the water tray into sections and tell you how many sections to fill on average. It can work but you will likely drown a few or lose a few (possibly entire hatches) to getting too dry and having extra large air cells or sticking to the inside of the shell when hatching. The humidity around the incubator impacts the inside so it's not always going to take the same amount of water. Doing it this way you will kill more chicks during some parts of the year than others.

    You could also weigh the eggs daily or at least a few times a week and calculate moisture loss. An egg should lose 10% of it's weight during incubation. Done correctly this way is actually one of the most accurate but eggs will lose different amounts of weight on different days so it can be hard to judge if they've lost exactly the right amount and it requires an accurate small scale.

    Finally you can make a wet bulb thermometer. You wrap a thermometer in a wet towel and see how much lower it reads than another dry thermometer. Then you can calculate the humidity from the wet bulb reading.

    Or you could save yourself a lot of trouble, worry, and possibly a few dead chicks and take a few minutes to get a $5-$10 hygrometer from any nearby walmart, hardware store, or pet store.
  6. Darin115

    Darin115 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    I am hatching right now. I am at 50% hatch rate and more are on the way as I type. I think all my eggs have pipped. I don't want to open it up. I did not have a hydrometer. However I will next hatch. Just to make myself feel better.

    I place the incubator in the basement and turned off the dehumidifier. The temp stays around 60 degrees. I kept the incubator at 99.5. I have the older mercury style thermometer. They started hatching on day 19 and are still hatching on day 20.

    You don't have to have one but it would be helpful. The first few looks like they had a hard time so I put a wet papertowel in the bator. The humidity went up but I have no idea how much. Condensation formed on the windows. The rest have pipped, waited a little while and then when they got ready they came right out in the matter of minutes.

  7. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Quote:Did you count the days right?

    The are hatching nearly 2 days early if you did. That means your temp was too high and you should get that thermometer checked.
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I would definitely get a hygrometer. So many places have them - even Home Depot/Lowes. They're not expensive, and could mean the difference in a good or very poor hatch rate.
  9. Darin115

    Darin115 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    I put them in the bator on January 31st at 11:00pm. They started hatching yesterday at 4:00pm. They are still hatching now. Over half of them are out of the shell. The rest are pipping. If Jan 31st was day 0 yesterday was 19 and today is 20. Correct? I am new to this.

    Looks like everything came out well. I think I will get a digital thermometer and a hydrometer.

  10. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Quote:People get confused when counting.

    Under ideal circumstances, a chicken will hatch anytime between 480 and 504 hours from the time the egg reached 99.5F.

    Hours 0 to 24 are Day One. Hours 480 to 504 are Day 21.

    This is because eggs do not hatch after 21 days incubation, they hatch on Day 21.

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