Help! High Humidity throughout incubation

Elizabeth777

Chirping
Apr 1, 2018
59
53
78
Barrie, Ontario
Hi everyone
I'm very disheartened at the moment as I believe I have accidentally killed most of our chicks . This is our first time incubating and when I purchased the incubator I made sure to ask the lady at tractor supply lots of questions on how to incubate. She said that she had done it before and that I needed to watch the temperature and make sure that there was always water in the treys. So I have been very diligent to keep the treys full of water. I am on day 18 and just now after reading about lockdown realized that my humidity has been way to high (like 80%) for the whole time. I'm so devastated. I candled the eggs and some are still alive and moving but the air sacks are small. Is there anyway to help these little guys? My children are going to be so disappointed . And what should my humidity be at now considering it has been high the whole time? I can't even sleep thinking about those poor little babies
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,971
832
California's Redwood Coast
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

UGH... I hope next time you get any advice from a feed store employee that you will ALWAYS get a second opinion. :barnie You wouldn't believe some of the awful things I've heard... and this is definitely one of them. :(

I would try not to have it higher than 50% right now... and look into upright hatching. I don't know details.. but it should be a good option for your current concern.

For future reference... I incubate at 35-40% and raise to 65% for hatch. That means sometimes I have ZERO water in my wells. S you should find out where you run completely dry and then add water as needed to reach where you wish to be. The amount of water you add will vary by location because of your ambient humidity... which only effect how much water you need to add to the well to get there. And this can even vary by season. So one season you might need two well full, why another maybe only one.

Also, if you didn't move the eggs to a new location inside the bator, daily... they may not be quite evenly developed due to temp variance throughout, even if circulated air... which would mean the hatch might be long and drawn out.

Did you happen to use a calibrated thermometer or hygrometer? Did you see condensation on your lid through out incubation? Anytime there is condensation it's a sign the humidity it too high, even for hatching.

We all have to start learning somehow... I feel your anxiety! Don't beat yourself up... we all do out best until we learn something new. :)

Hope your babes defy the odds! :fl :jumpy :jumpy
 

Farmer Connie

Gallus gallus domesticus
Feb 28, 2017
17,712
60,785
1,317
Florida Peninsula
My Coop
My Coop
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

UGH... I hope next time you get any advice from a feed store employee that you will ALWAYS get a second opinion. :barnie You wouldn't believe some of the awful things I've heard... and this is definitely one of them. :(

I would try not to have it higher than 50% right now... and look into upright hatching. I don't know details.. but it should be a good option for your current concern.

For future reference... I incubate at 35-40% and raise to 65% for hatch. That means sometimes I have ZERO water in my wells. S you should find out where you run completely dry and then add water as needed to reach where you wish to be. The amount of water you add will vary by location because of your ambient humidity... which only effect how much water you need to add to the well to get there. And this can even vary by season. So one season you might need two well full, why another maybe only one.

Also, if you didn't move the eggs to a new location inside the bator, daily... they may not be quite evenly developed due to temp variance throughout, even if circulated air... which would mean the hatch might be long and drawn out.

Did you happen to use a calibrated thermometer or hygrometer? Did you see condensation on your lid through out incubation? Anytime there is condensation it's a sign the humidity it too high, even for hatching.

We all have to start learning somehow... I feel your anxiety! Don't beat yourself up... we all do out best until we learn something new. :)

Hope your babes defy the odds! :fl :jumpy :jumpy
:goodpost::thumbsup:bun
 

Elizabeth777

Chirping
Apr 1, 2018
59
53
78
Barrie, Ontario
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

UGH... I hope next time you get any advice from a feed store employee that you will ALWAYS get a second opinion. :barnie You wouldn't believe some of the awful things I've heard... and this is definitely one of them. :(

I would try not to have it higher than 50% right now... and look into upright hatching. I don't know details.. but it should be a good option for your current concern.

For future reference... I incubate at 35-40% and raise to 65% for hatch. That means sometimes I have ZERO water in my wells. S you should find out where you run completely dry and then add water as needed to reach where you wish to be. The amount of water you add will vary by location because of your ambient humidity... which only effect how much water you need to add to the well to get there. And this can even vary by season. So one season you might need two well full, why another maybe only one.

Also, if you didn't move the eggs to a new location inside the bator, daily... they may not be quite evenly developed due to temp variance throughout, even if circulated air... which would mean the hatch might be long and drawn out.

Did you happen to use a calibrated thermometer or hygrometer? Did you see condensation on your lid through out incubation? Anytime there is condensation it's a sign the humidity it too high, even for hatching.

We all have to start learning somehow... I feel your anxiety! Don't beat yourself up... we all do out best until we learn something new. :)

Hope your babes defy the odds! :fl :jumpy :jumpy
Thank you for your reply :hugs. Yes I have definitely learned my lesson! I will go and look into upright hatching right now. I have noticed condensation on the glass at times :(. I have taken out all of the water and am just waiting for the humidity to go down in there. I did not have a thermometer other than the digital one that the incubator comes with. I hope some of these guys make it too:fl
 

oregonkat

Crowing
7 Years
Oct 5, 2012
2,003
2,829
377
Southern Oregon
This kind of thing makes me so cross, I am really sorry. If you are feeling like it, you might go back to the store and educate the woman so she does not do this to some one else. Here is the link to some of the best information on incubating and hatching: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-sunshine-hosts-bantychooks-and-more.1137467/

The hygrometer on your incubator may take a while to adjust after having been run so high for so long. Do not trust the thermometer or the hygrometer that your incubator came with, they are unreliable. Please get an independent one of each and calibrate them both. As to how to help now, I guess you could put the eggs that you know are viable into egg cartons so they are upright. Fat end up, sorry if thats obvious. Try to maintain an approx. 40% humidity level, this may require covering a portion of one of the outer grooves on your humidity tray as humidity depends on surface area. Wait till your first pip, and see where on the egg the chick is trying to pip. My guess is that these chicks are going to be malpositioned but you never know. @WVduckchick, should the OP raise the humidity after the first pip even though the air cells on the others are so small? I wish you luck! :fl
 

Elizabeth777

Chirping
Apr 1, 2018
59
53
78
Barrie, Ontario
Thank you:) I feel pretty dumb about the whole thing and so guilty that now all these little chicks might drown:( I did as you suggested and put a sock with rice in and covered one of the grooves. Right now humidity is at 57% and hopefully it will come down more!

Fat end up, sorry if thats obvious

I appreciate the clarity. I might have figured it out but given my track record who knows:rolleyes:;)
 

WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Feb 9, 2015
48,536
129,196
1,692
West Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
So sorry Elizabeth. It happens, so don't think you are alone. You are not!

Did you by chance candle the eggs and trace the air cells? I'd like to see just how small they are. Also, what breed are they? Some breeds react better under these circumstances, so just maybe. :fl
 

MINDANAO DAVE

Songster
5 Years
Hey it is what it is. You should be at about 70 percent and you are at 80. If you're sure it is 80 with no doubt open the incubator a tad until the humidity goes down a bit. You might still be OK. If you can get it down to about 70 you will be OK. Relax take a deep breath and hatch some eggs they might just surprise you. Let us know.
 

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