Hatching duck eggs - temperature and humidity question - what should it be really?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Karen09, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2009
    Wyoming, New York
    I hatched cayuga duck eggs last year and had 100% fertility but only about 60% hatch rate. They all developed until the end but most of those that did not hatch never pipped. I had the temperature at 99.5 degrees F to 101 degrees F with 50% - 65% humidity until lock-down and then I raised it to 70% - 75%. I had a brand-new Hova Bator with the circulated air and the automatic egg-turner. What did I do wrong - I did mist the eggs everyday. They also started hatching at day 25 when I increased the humidity.

    I just read the Wikipedia and it says " When using an incubator the temperature should be 99.5 °F at 86% humidity for days 1-25, and 98.5 °F at 94% humidity for days 26-28." From all I have read, this seems really high. Most people here do around what I did.

    Please help me as I have some more eggs I want to hatch this week and so I am going to get my incubator warmed up today so I can set them by hopefully Tuesday.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  2. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2011
    There are two humidity readings.... a wet bulb vs. dry bulb. The 86% range would be if you are using a wet bulb. Otherwise keep it between 45-55% for incubation, 70-75% for hatching.

    101 temp is for still air, 99.5 is for forced air bators. If you had your temp ranging up to 101 with a fan in your bator, that sounds a bit high.
  3. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2009
    Wyoming, New York
    Thank you for your response. I have 2 thermometers in the incubator with the eggs (one that has the humidity reading in it) and I had the incubator set from the factory settings. I will try again trying to keep these numbers and I will let you know how it goes.
  4. My Henny Hens

    My Henny Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2009
    Oneida, NY
    I just ran across this thread. I'm getting some duck hatching eggs this weekend and hope to get them in my "little giant" still air incubator by Monday. [​IMG] I've been doing a lot of research about what the right temp and humidity is for ducks and I, too, am confused!

    Could you please clarify what a wet bulb is? or a dry bulb for that matter? THANK YOU!
  5. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2009
    Wyoming, New York
    So far so good. I have kept the humidity between 45% to 55% and temperature is 99.5 degrees. 26 of the 27 are definitely developing! I did not get rid of the one yet until I can tell for sure. It is a dark green/almost black cayuga egg so it is hard to see through. Here is a web-site that describes the difference between wet bulb and dry bulb with step by step information for incubating:


    I hope that helps [​IMG]
  6. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    Never refer to Wikipedia for something like this since it is an open source of info that anyone can edit. Some will edit info just to malicious.

    Good luck with the new readings and this hatch.
  7. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2009
    Wyoming, New York
  8. carousel86

    carousel86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2013
    Ulster park N.Y.
    I'm very upset that my post office didn't call me to tell me that my hatching egg were here. I call them this morning and they were going to call me back and never did. I got home and there was a post card in my mailbox, telling me they were here. Now the eggs are going to be sitting in the post office all weekend long. Does any body know how long the eggs will last without being in a incubator?
  9. UtahWelshie

    UtahWelshie Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2013
    For forced air incubators the ideal temperature is considered to be 99.25 to 99.5 through the 24th day. (Still air 102-102.5 with thermometer level with the top of eggs, not resting on top.) After the 24th day the temperature may need to be DECREASED because the embryos are generating their own heat. You may have been overheating your birds if your forced air was 101. Humidity as measured by a hygometer should be 55-60% (80-84 F wet bulb) until hatching, when you may increase humidity the last several days to 62-70% relative humidity (about 88-94 F on a wet bulb). I got this information from "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks". This takes practice and it isn't easy. We all have our challenges.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  10. Gregvf

    Gregvf New Egg

    Nov 26, 2014
    I have a forced air incubator and have a bowl of water in there but can't seem to get humidity up above 35 or so using hygrometer to measure, suggestions please? I'm gonna but a washcloth in the bowl to see if that helps?

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