Gonna give it a go but need advise please

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by loupan, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. loupan

    loupan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2011
    Ok so im going to give this dry hatching a go as my last hatch was a disater my eggs have arrived and im just going to let them sit for 24hrs so i need to know exact temps and humidity i need for a homemade styrofoam still air bator also when to candle which days etc please please any help would be great want to get it perfect this time [​IMG]
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm not going to get into the humidity thing. It is so different for each of us that we each need to try different things until we find what works for us. And that can change with the seasons. Good luck with that.

    On the temperature, it depends on your incubator. If you have a forced air, the temperature should be the same throughout. Especially with homemade incubators, it is possible you can have some protected areas where you don't get real good air circulation, so it is reasonable to move them around some when you open it to add water or something like that. The important thing is average incubating temperature. But with a forced air, your target should be 99.5 F. I'll let you convert to C.

    With a still air, hot air rises. You can get quite a bit difference in the temperature in the incubator at different heights. Your target temperature is 101.5 F at the top of the eggs.

    I will mention that unless you calibrate your instruments, you don't know what the temperature or humidity really are. Due to manufacturing tolerances, they can be off. These might interest you.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration

    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Quote:While I'd agree that in general it's not really sensible to advise on humidities, there is a kind of basic starting point that's probably better for beginners than just going at it blind if you really have no idea where to start. While some people do well with 20% and some people do well with 60%, they're the exceptions. Most people seem to do well with humidity that's somewhere between 30-45%.

    Fan assisted bators seem to do best at the higher end of that - I run my Brinsea at 45% humidity and rarely have to adjust it. Still air bators seem to do best with a lower humidity, and some people like to do what's called a 'dry incubation' which usually means keeping the humidity just under 30%.

    The best way to ensure you have the correct humidity is to buy a cheap digital kitchen scale and weigh your eggs. Developing chicken eggs need to lose about 13% of their starting weight by day 18, so if you weigh them and keep tabs on how they're progressing, you'll know whether your humidity needs to be tweaked either up or down a bit in order to get your eggs to the correct weight loss. It's simple and it's precise.

    If I were you, I think I'd start with about 35% humidity and gauge progress after a week. This humidity might be too high and it might be too low, but you need to start somewhere and 35% seems like a sensible starting point to me. But don't just take my word for it! You'll have better hatching results if you read up on the incubation process and understand the purpose of humidity, so that you know why people are recommending certain things instead of just following advice but not really understanding why you're doing what you're doing.

    Brinsea's website has a FREE to download incubation handbook that explains humidity quite well. Have a look for it! And good luck! [​IMG]

    P.S. Still air bator - temp should be 101.5 measured at the level of the tops of the eggs. Like Ridgerunner says, don't rely on what your instruments are telling you till you've checked and calibrated them for yourself. Turn your eggs at least 3 times a day for the first 18 days. Scrub your hands every time before doing this. Hygiene is very important! After 18 days stop turning your eggs and raise your humidity to above 65%. Keep the bator door/lid shut and the humidity up high. If you follow all that, you should have a better result.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    x2 Ridgerunner
    x2 Gypsy07

    Both provided very good info.

    To keep your temps steady : the room the incubator is in must also be a steady temp.

    You are getting shipped eggs--most people have a lower hatch rate than fresh-from the-hen eggs. I just hatched 5 out of about 25 shipped eggs with my own eggs in the incubator at the same time so I know the incubator was functioning well as my chicks keep popping out of their shells. Shipping is hard on the eggs; all the shippers are at their highest rate right now due to the Christmas holidays.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!!!
  5. loupan

    loupan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2011
    Thanks everyone fingers crossed this time i have a little more luck ,didnt think i would want to have another try as the first was so stressfull but i must admit its pretty addictive and i so desperatly want to have a hatch [​IMG] [​IMG]

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