Dry Hatch - how low is too low?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by aart, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,798
    6,933
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    So I'm on day 10 of my first hatch...candled tonite and saw my first movement, very exciting considering with brown shelled eggs I didn't think I'd be able to see anything! But I digress....

    Background: Have read a ton on hatching and decided to go with 'dry hatch' low humidity for the first 18 days and will take it up to ~75-80% for lockdown. Humidity has been between ~15% when chambers are dry and ~40% when I add some water. Air cells have reduced pretty good compared to charts. Temps have stayed steady. Using a borrowed LG with fan and turner. Thermometers and hygrometers were 'calibrated' against known parameters before setting eggs.

    So my question is:
    I was just wondering if there is a 'too low' humidity reading for the first 18 days??

    I'm assuming there isn't but thought I'd ask, just to be sure. In all I've read I've never seen any reference to a low humidity for dry hatching.

    TIA
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I also tried dry hatch my first time and still have some now quite old hens who hatched in that first hatch....I believe I read somewhere not to go below 20% but its been awhile. Good luck and congrats on the movement!
     
  3. Avlana

    Avlana Chillin' With My Peeps

    426
    28
    101
    Nov 14, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    I always gauge it by the air cell. Compare it to charts. I've also found that a very large air cell always hatched better than eggs with small air cells. I've been doing dry (mostly dry) hatches successfully for years. I've found hatch rates are way better on the drier side. I don't even bother using a hydrometer. I discovered this early on after like my, 10th hatching in a season. I got lazy and forgetful and forgot to add water to the incubator [​IMG]. And found they hatched just fine if not better.

    So, what I would do. Don't worry too much over the hydrometer. Watch those air cells. You'd rather too big than too small anyways. Throughout incubation, I do add a little water here or there (once a week at most). Or whenever I remember. It evaporates quickly. So every now and then you can add a little, won't hurt. Good luck with your hatch! Seeing movement is a good sign you're doing great so far!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,798
    6,933
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Thanks for your feed back.

    I'll just keep along like I am, marking the air cells, weighing and keeping notes...and see what I will learn along the way.
    You can read tomes, and I think I've avoided making some mistakes from all my reading...but until you actually experience it, well....nothing compares to real experience. It's fascinating.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by