dry incubating anyone try it?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jackiedon, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    I was doing research on here last night and found an article from Bill Worrell about increasing the hatch rate by using dry incubating. It was really interesting. Has anyone else tried it? Arkylady didn't I read where you said since the humidity is so high here in Arkansas. I do have a little water in my bator and the humidity is around 35%.

    I would like to hear before I put my eggs in the bator.

  2. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    I beleive the "dry" method means keeping humidity around 40 to 50%. So...35% will probably cause the air cell to enlarge too quickly. I had humidity issues my last hatch and had to help oodles of babies out of their shells because it was so hard to keep humidity up with the a/c running in the house.

    I had successfully used the "dry" method exactly as written previously and had a 99% hatch rate. But it was spring when I did it and the a/c wasn't running to dry the bator out too much.

    I would be very cautious about letting the humidity get too low especially for too long. You may end up with a very dry hatch (membranes shrinking and drying onto the chicks in the shells-making it difficult for them to pip out).

    Best wishes [​IMG]
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I've never done the dry hatch method as described, but I have done it my own way. I basically incubate for the first 14 days or so with very high humidity (whole incubator floor covered in water) and then for the last week, I let it all dry up and don't open the bator. So far 100% hatched! I don't keep track of the humidity at all either so have no idea what it was.

    Edit: As a side note, low humidity at hatch = much easier clean up. No stinky mess of water and chick poo and egg shell. Just crispy dry shells and leftovers!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2007
  4. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    That's really interesting because, from everything I've read, high humidity at the beginning is a bad thing??? It's great that you have gotten 100% hatch rate using that method - who would have thought??

    I have tried the dry incubation method - very low humidity until day 18, then crank it up. I was using shipped eggs, so I don't know how many of them were good to begin with, but I did notice that I had many where the chicks were developed to about day 17 or 18, then died in the shell. Those that hatched were very healthy, but I have to wonder if I just did the dry-hatch method incorrectly, or if I did something else wrong.

    My best hatches have come from using a broody - go figure!!!!!!

    Good luck, Jackie!! Let us know how it turns out.

  5. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks Lori and everyone,

    I had one hen go broody and I had put some eggs under her. Well we went to church camp and a teacher friend who wanted to take care of my animals because she loved animals but didn't know want know anything about them. It was only 2 nights because hubby would be coming home. Well the hen just happened to eat during that time and my friend took the eggs! Her mother-in-law cracked some of them open in a bowl to scramble them and found a baby chick. [​IMG] Hasn't gone been broody since and they other bantam never has been boody this year. Apparentley leghorns don't go broody or mine hasn't.

    I also was having problems having my water weasel themometer being so much lower than my other them. in the bator but them I realized I had the weasel lying on the wire mesh instead on the egg turner rack. Now they are all about the same except my humidity is still 30% on both even after I have added water.

  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Dry incubation works well in areas where the humidity is naturally higher. It is not advisable in the arid deserts in the Southwest or other very dry places.

    All I can say about artificial incubation is that hatcheries have very high hatch rates upward of 95 % and they follow the accepted method of 50-55 % during the first 18 days and 70-75% during the last three days. Their units are preset for just that situation. To much humidity during the first few weeks can cause multiple problems with development of the embryo. Whatever works, I guess.

    The dry incubation method is used particularly in styrofoam incubators. If you have your own eggs that you can experiment with so it does not cost you money to try it on shipped eggs ,

    then experiment. I tried it with my first still air Hova Bator and I hatched one chick out of 12 set. All were non shipped eggs from a neighbor or my own. I sold the Hova Bator after that. It was the third failed hatch I had experienced.

    I have been doing this now for three years and the most important single factor in hatching eggs is a good Thermometer/Hygrometer. Guessing just does not work consistently whether you use Dry or Wet techniques.
  7. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    So what kind of incubator do you use now?


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