1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Experts, can we talk humidity and general hatching rate improvement?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by muddipuppy, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. muddipuppy

    muddipuppy Songster

    Jul 22, 2009
    Mountain View, CA
    I just had my first hatch in my humidaire with a 25% yield. I'm ok with that but I'd love to bump it up of course. I'd like to hear people's thoughts on humidity and where it should be throughout and then during lockdown. I've heard so many different numbers, but I believe my humidaire ought to be able to do better than 25%, even with shipped eggs! So, I'm trying to squeeze all the knowledge you pro's out there have. Thx!

  2. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    If your eggs were shipped, I wouldn't be so quick to blame humidity.
    I have had 90% hatches with shipped eggs.
    I have also had hatches below 20% with shipped eggs.
    The last bad hatch, I had 6/20 shipped eggs hatch. (I lost a chick after hatch, lowering my live chick count to 5.)
    At the same time, I had set 2 other batches of shipped eggs that I had 24/32 hatch.
    They were all set in a GQF cabinet 'bator with steady temps & humidity.
    Try some local eggs. I can get better than 90% hatches with my own eggs.
    Good Luck!
  3. Keri78

    Keri78 Songster

    Oct 17, 2009
    I've NEVER yet hatched an egg(still really new) but I did read the two articles on the BYC homepage about incubating and one is on "Dry Incubation"(which techniquely isn't really dry at all just less humid than normal) That may help? My shipped eggs just arrived and one of my girls decided to go broody on the same day sooo you betcha I'm going to let her do her thang and not even temp fate with the bator!!! But with that being said, my girlfriend had an EE hen sit on eggs this fall (15 eggs) and only 4 hatched and one died right afterwards sooo who's to say? Blessings,Keri
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I think we all have to find what works best with our incubators in the area and conditions we each live in. I've found that 30% humidity for the first 18 days and then 60% the last 3 days work well for me.....but for the next person that might not work as well.
  5. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Quote:That's exactly what worked for me--the best hatch I ever had!
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:Exactly! There is no right or wrong, just what works for you, the bator you have, in the room in your house you are using it in.

    I personally don't check, and just judge if I need to add water or not based on air cell size.
  7. lildinkem

    lildinkem Songster

    Feb 4, 2009
    IF you hatched someone else's eggs, 25% isn't all too bad. I had bought 4 dozen Orp eggs last spring flown from the West coast, and I was only able to get only 11 to hatch. And outta those only 6 are going to be worthy of breeding. Something about the elevation popping the air sack in the eggs.
    I do use a dry incubation method. I start out at 65% humidity, let it drop down to 35% or abouts. Then add water and get it back to over 65% and repeat process. Let it fall back down till the 18th day, then keep it over 65%. I have good hatches using that method for large fowl birds.

  8. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Using a Hovabator 1588 with circulated air
    Days 1-18 50-55% humidity Temperature 99-100
    Days 19-21 60-70% humidity (will get higher once the hatching begins) Remove a red plug if moisture forms on top of incubator
  9. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    Murphy NC
    Rebel, you make some good points about ventilation and air exchange. One thing you might want to add is air speed. Everybody wants to try and keep the temps even thoughout the incubator. One way to do this is by using a fan. Most figureing that the more air movement the better. This is not true. As the air moves across the eggs, it will have a evaporative effect that pulls moisture out of the egg. This is similar to being all sweaty and standing in front of a fan, as the air moves across your skin you feel a cooling effect as the sweat drys from your body. The same thing occurs with the eggs. Even tho the hygrometer might say you have a 50% humidity, this moisture most likely came from inside the eggs and you can endup with dry, stuck chicks. The key is to create air movement without creating a wind. This is one thing I just dont like about the Dickey and Sportsman cabinet style incubators. They use a large fan to circulate the warm air, across a pan of water to create humidity. All the while, this same fan is blowing that air with a big windspeed that also drys out the eggs that are in the incubator. Yes you have high humidity but where is the moisture coming from. Not all of it is coming from the pan of water at the top of the incubator, some is pulling from the eggs themselfs.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by