First time using an incubator...humidity question


10 Years
Apr 11, 2009
So I keep reading about this dry method and keeping humidity at 35-40% humidity days 0-18 and 60% for lockdown.
This is my first time with an incubator. Its a hovabator 1602 (I think). Should I just follow hovabator's instructions this first time and fill the middle well 0-18 and both wells 18-21 or shall I go with trying to do the dry method???
Bit confused. Really don't want to mess it up! Eggs arrive tomorrow or Friday.

Also, silly question, but when you candle eggs etc, I take it you sort of open the lid, pop out an egg, put lid back on quickly, candle, put it back, grab the next one etc - ? Or do you take them all out and casually do them?

How long will the inubator take to get back up to temperature after, and how long would be a problem?


12 Years
Jun 20, 2009
Orange County, NY
I'm in the same situation as you, so I will watch this post, the onlny thing I can suggest so far is to get a hydrometer to watch humidity - I candle one at a time after the 10th day, and so far it looks like I will have a LOT of bobwhite quail and maybe one or two chicks................I think if the humidity is too high, the chicks drown


10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
flat rock
with a dry incubation you don't add water unless the humidity gets to around 25%, then you add just a little water. With humidity a little water goes a long way. I just hatched 36 out of 40 orp eggs by dry incubation. I usually only have to add water every 2-3 days and usually its very little. About 1/4 of a kids cup is all it takes. The last 3 days of lockown you MUST raise humidity to at least 60% or chicks will hatch stuck to shell. try both ways and pick which one works best for you. Everybody has a different opinion. I dry hatch chickens "ONLY". My ducks and quail i incubate with 50-60% humidity until lockdown.


Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
Strasburg Ohio
That sounds like a very good idea, considering your hatch was very successful, fishman. I'm incubating some eggs right now in the Hova Bator 1588, and with the middle tray filled, the humidity is around 39-43%. Then filling all the trays really brings it up into the 65% range. I usually add a bit of water about every other day, when it goes down to 39, but maybe I'll wait two days and then fill it until lock down.....

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