Dry Incubation is scaring me- Return to normal humidity?

Griffin Nest

9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
I've been doing dry incubation on my 6 eggs and its only day 11 today and the air cells are SUPER BIG!! They are as big as they should be on day 18! Is this normal for dry incubation? I'm worried that the eggs will dry up so much that the embryos die. Should I just go back to a normal humidity of 60%? (maybe 70% for a few days just to recover) I don't get how a bunch of people have success with dry incubation. Is there something I'm not getting?
I had an old friend who never put water in his incubator until the last 3 days and never got a single one hatch. Was HE doing something wrong?
Dry hatching is a very good method and if done correctly can give much better hatch rates, perhaps you are overlooking some other problem. I would give it a chance otherwise you will never know for sure what is best for you.
Definitely raise the humidity if the air cells are looking advanced for the day that you are on.
Relative humidity is just a number, the air cells are telling what's really going on in your incubator.

I've been dry hatching for some time now and I find that at the last three days ( day 18) I will up the humidity to about 65% and then leave it ,once they start hatching they keep it there with the humidity that comes from the newly hatched chick .Up till then it stays at 30% to 35% ? I find that the chicks get out easier ( I'm also useing the egg cartoon method instead of laying them down ) and seem to be more active if that makes sense ? I have heard of some people who tried it ,but they live in a very dry area and it was just to dry so I guess there are limitaions as to climate etc ?? I guess it isn't quite "" dry "" but it made a differance in my hatch rates .My thoughts
I would go for a happy medium. Put a small container of H2O in. Soda caps or petri dish. Try ro get the humidity to 30% or so. Where are you? I just hatched 23 of 29 with dry incubation. We have had LOTS of rain in NJ and bator humidity was b/w 30- 50 with NO water added. Room humidity is about 55- 60. Best hatch Ive had- I will do again!!!
Godd Luck!!
What are you judging the air cell size against? If you're comparing them to the size you were used to seeing with a "wet" hatch, don't. The whole point of a dry hatch is to get a larger air cell and AVOID chicks drowning because the air cell is too small. I have switched to dry hatching, and my humidity stays around 30 to 35%. By day 11 or 12 the air cell is just under or at 1/4 of the egg, which is what I was used to seeing at day 16 to 18 in a "wet" hatch. By lockdown in a dry hatch, the air cells are between 1/4 and 1/3 of the egg, and my hatches have been WAY better than before. The air cell "dips" toward the chick's head like it should toward the end of the hatch much better now, and as long as I boost the humidity to around 65% during lockdown I have no trouble with dry membranes.

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