HELP! Loosing humidity in Hoba-vator (first time hatching)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by acbunker, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. acbunker

    acbunker Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2012
    Bristol, FL
    I got a hoba-vator 1602 as my early Valentine's Day present from my hubby. Let it stabilize for 48 hours, had temperature at 99.8F and humidity oscillating between 49.8% and 50.1%

    Last Sunday I put 40 chicken eggs in it. The temperature is stable, at 100F, but the humidity keeps dropping drastically every day, and it's now at only 30%!!! [​IMG]

    I've read the article about dry hatching, but also read a lot of other articles and threads, so I decided to follow the incubator's instructions.

    Can anyone help me? I'm totally 100% newbie and would love to hatch a few chicks from my first attempt ever... I'm very conscious about the trial and error process, but I also know that we have several very knowledgeable people in this site that could share some of their experiences. (although I don't post a lot, almost nothing at all actually, I read the threads a lot and find my answers most of the time).

    Any help/input/advice is appreciated! Hopefully sooner than later, so I can do something tonight if necessary.[​IMG]

    PS: I already have a gadget made and ready to go if the answer is to add more water: a little funnel attached to a flexible thin tube, just like the ones used in fish tanks, that can go in it straight to the water container, through one of the holes on top, without having to open it.
     
  2. Rockashelle

    Rockashelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Snohomish, WA
    Acbunker... No worries! I have the same incubator and I dry hatch. I aim to keep my humidity for the first 18 days between 35-40% and then up to 60-65% for the last 3 days. I notice that I need to refill the selected water reservoirs about every 3 days and I pour 100 degree water into a little pitcher and then refill the reservoir. I don't panic about humidity unless it goes below 25%. I've even had it drop to 17% by accident and still all hatched and survived. Don't panic! Temperature is most important! Shoot for 99.5 degrees. I have an alarm set on my thermometer so if it drops below 98 or higher than 101 it will go off. You don't need to worry about opening it until the last 3 days.

    I'll forward you done great info ok!
     
  3. acbunker

    acbunker Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2012
    Bristol, FL
    Thank you so so SO much for your reply!!! It was driving me nuts to watch humidity dropping more and more every day.

    Do you keep the big holes unplugged as well?

    When I was stabilizing the temperature/humidity before I put the eggs, I had 4 thermometers and 2 hygrometers in it. A bit paranoid, I know, but it was the only way to know how accurate the thermo/hygro that came with was. It's good on the temperature - about .2 off compared to the rest of them, but the humidity was... ok I guess. The difference between both was about 5%.

    Btw, NICE article!! Thanks for the link! [​IMG]
     
  4. Rockashelle

    Rockashelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Snohomish, WA
    You know... I keep my red plugs in. I know people are back and forth on this issue. They are great to pop out for quick humidity release or heat release. Ventilation is super important as well but there are actually four holes right above your fan that release O2 intake CO2 has12 holes under the bottom rim to exit. (I wrote it wrong the first time and will try to explain this better. CO2 is heavier than O2) I haven't had a problem with leaving the plugs in. I keep several thermometers around as well!

    :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  5. Rockashelle

    Rockashelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Snohomish, WA
    Ps - if your temperature is stable.... Leave the plugs how you have them. Re-plugging the holes now will increase the temp and its no fun to play the temperature yo-yo!
     
  6. acbunker

    acbunker Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2012
    Bristol, FL
    Well, I screwed up... Last night after reading the article, I unplugged it because of the oxygen issue. But, I checked this morning and the temperature was still at 100 F. Humidity is definitively getting even lower, 28%, but the humidity in the room where I have it is actually pretty high: 67% so I thought that opting the holes would actually compensate that. Doesn't look like it though...

    Anyway, I hope this doesn't mess with my hatching plans. I'll take a look at it this evening.

    PS: the fact that I work during the day doesn't help at all! Can I quit my job to work full time on my chickens and chicks?? If there some sort of grant for that???? :p
     
  7. Rockashelle

    Rockashelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Snohomish, WA
    You're fine. I just realized that you live in Washington too. I fill just the center of the plastic tray and have to refill it every 3 days. I take a thermometer and make sure the water is about 100 degrees the lift the front of the lid and egg turner and pour the water from a shallow pitcher. It's also a good time to candle the eggs and check for veining. Our humidity should be about the same, I'm in Snohomish. During the freeze, I had to fill the second reservoir next to the center on to hit 35%. Now that things are swampy wet again, just the center should work. Make sure to fill it again on day 15 and then let it run dry because when you go into lockdown you will want to fill the two outer ring reservoirs #1 & #2. This will give you 60-65% humidity. Around day 10, you may see the temps rise (my experience) only very small adjustments if you have to at all.

    What day are you on? Ps-I would much rather watch the. Incubator than head in to work. Lol! I know the feeling.

    ***Just a side note to anyone else in different areas outside of Wa State, these methods may & may not work for you as our humidity levels in the environment will differ. We just happen to live 2 hours apart.***
     
  8. acbunker

    acbunker Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Apr 23, 2012
    Bristol, FL
    Thank you so much for your advices... I'm keeping them in my pump house, with a heater on 24/7 because of our well. The room temperature itself is about 63 F, but humidity is high because some of our chickens are living in there as well - we had an accident with a foster dog breaking into our chicken area. He got 5 out of 6, and 4 out of 5 made it (after surgery, of course).

    With everybody breathing in the small pump house, and windows cracked opened enough to let some moisture out, humidity level fluctuate between 67% and 71%.

    This Sunday will be day 7, I'm dying to candle my eggs, but I have to be patience (SO HARD!!!!)

    I filled out reservoir #1 per instructions. This Sunday I'll do all necessary adjustments on it when I open it to perform my candling, so should I put water on #2 instead then??

    The 2 holes are still unplugged, and inside temperature is just around 100 F. Humidity is still 28%, but I think I'll buy another hygrometer just to be safe - comparing the 2 ones that I have, the difference is about 5 to 6%!!! Not sure which one I should trust on.

    Should I plug them again? I hate to be messing with it, but I'm just so paranoid right now... [​IMG]
     
  9. Rockashelle

    Rockashelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Snohomish, WA
    Hmmm... I'd just leave it be. It seems to be holding temp & humidity fine. You could try plugging just one of the holes and see if it raises the humidity between 30-35% without raising the temp. If the temp raises then I would just leave both unplugged. I'd just leave #1 filled if thats how you have it. 28% shouldn't make that much of a difference as some people.don't use water at all the first 18 days. I do understand paranoid!

    Does your water tray have areas in the center you can fill besides #1 & #2? (not this hatch but the next hatch).

    When you candle on day 7, take note of the air cell. On the article I sent you there's a diagram that give you a good idea of where your eggs should be at. If your eggs look close to the same then your right on. I'm guessing they will. If not, i'd be happy to offer more advice then. Candleing is awesome! It's amazing to see what happens in there.

    Have a good night!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013

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