First Hatch Questions - Dry Incubating

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SesameSt.Chicks, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2009
    I own a small flock -1 hen, 1 rooster - and I want to hatch an egg from them. So, I am borrowing a still-air incubator, and plan to set the next 1-3 eggs my hen lays. (Up to 3 because I know that fertility, incubating, and hatching are all very chancy).

    I read about still air incubation and that sounds GREAT! I didn't, to be honest, understand entirely what I need to do, though. So I wanted to clarify it with the panel of experts! [​IMG]

    1. Don't put any water in the incubator, right?

    2. Have a draft and stable-temp place for the incubator and make the humidity _____ %. How humid? It is currently 39% humidity in my house, in TX, with the heat running often. Does the desired humidity change depending on what stage of incubating it's in?

    3. "Candling the eggs - be very gentle." Using an automatic egg turner, do I need to make sure I rotate the egg back to the way it was when I took it from the incubator before candling? Is it okay to rotate the egg to candle it?
    Is there really NO hope if there is no sign of embryo-age?[​IMG]

    4. What is the desired humidity INSIDE the incubator to be for dry incubating?

    Thanks for your help!

    P.S. I read at my local feed store that December 11th is the day to set eggs -- why that day?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  2. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    Ok so basicly a dry hatch is when you do it without adding water. So if you are doing a dry hatch then no, dont add any water. Keep it in a draft free area with a stable temp. If the humidity is 39% in your house then it will be fine in the bator. When you are not doing a dry hatch yes the humidity does matter at what stage but for me i dont add water the last three days. For i dry hatch i would say it would be about 20-35% but you should be fine with what its at. I would say, yes, make sure you place it back in the spot it was in when you take it out to candle, cause if you dont then that would meen its staying on the same side that it was on before it rotated and you want to keep it from staying on the same side. If its after 10 days i would say that if there is no development i would say it wont develop. As for the only putting 1-3 eggs in cause of fertility, you can put more than that in. Most people will say that fertility doesn't start to decrease until 2 weeks. I like to stop at 7 days old. Hope this helps.
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Do you have a turner or will you be hand turning the eggs?
  4. suntex01

    suntex01 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2011
    I don't really think dry hatching is just not adding water. Its more flexible than that. It usually means keeping your humidity around 25~40%.

    Which means, if you don't already have a hygrometer for use inside your incubator, you should get one.
    Also, get one for the room where the incubator is. This will help you determine if adding water is necessary.
    Because if your surrounding is humid enough, you can probably get away with opening the incubator and turning eggs. That is, if you're hand turning your eggs.

    So it really depends on your environment to determine whether or not you need to add water. Because even under a brooding Hen, there's still humidity coming from its butt.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  5. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    I LOVE dry incubation. Add NO water until lockdown (last 3 days). You'll have way less to worry about. Just keep your temps around 100 degrees for a forced-air incubator and 101.5 for still air. Your humidity will probably be 30% during the first 18 days and for the last 3 days, it should be about 60%.
  6. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2009

    As to fertility and amount of eggs .... I only want 1 more chicken -- if all 3 hatch, I will have to adopt out 2 of them so I plan on only trying to incubate 1-3 eggs.
  7. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2009
    Quote:I have a turner.
  8. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2009
    Quote:All right... Very clear, Thanks!
  9. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    It's ok to handle/turn/rotate the eggs while candling. Just be careful not to drop or crack them! You don't need to be sure they go in exactly the same position when you return them to the incubator, just put them back in the turner. It's not all that exact a thing; when hens hatch their own they roll them around and I have a feeling they don't get turned quite so regularly as in an incubator, yet they still have great hatch rates...
    Also don't have it out of the incubator longer than maybe a minute or two at most. You don't want the egg to cool down excessively.

    As for the date...I know there are people who set eggs based on the moon phase. My guess is that's what they're talking about.
  10. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2011
    I hear chicks don't do very well when there is just one. They need a friend or two.

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