Help with preparing for lockdown in Hovabator Genesis


7 Years
May 7, 2012
This is my first hatch, and I'm on day 16 preparing to lockdown on Saturday. I have a Hovabotor 1588 with egg turner. Just wondering if someone could give me a step by step guide to this phase. I know I'm supposed to remove eggs from turner, lay them down on mesh wire.
But do you fill all the trays at this point??
(I ditched the instructions that came with the bator after a while up to this point, because when I filled tray #1 as instructed the humidity went up to 58%. So I started to just add a bit at a time, but I have to be constantly on it. Keeping it between 42 - 52%)

There seems to be a lot of opinions on humidity range at lockdown. Some have said not over 55%, some 62 - 65, some 65 to 70%. What's a good middle range to shoot for, and how do I get there, by filling which trays?

Important also is that there is only one Red Vent you keep this closed or opened during lockdown? What about during hatch...when do you open it??

Thanks for any help you can offer.
It depends on how the environmental humidity is where you are. I'm in Florida, and filling #1 and #2 proved to be WAY too much humidity. If you are staying at 58% (which is kinda high for the first 18 days-I keep around 40%) with just #1 filled, then try to fill in that center-most well. Give it a little bit to stabilize. If that doesn't do it, add to another one of the small wells. On the Genesis, it says don't operate over 65%...and it means it!!! lol Once the chicks start hatching, the humidity will raise on it's own. I screwed up and had the humidity at a nice 70% for lockdown, then 6 chicks hatched and it went to 88%. The humidity made the controls go crazy and the preset temp changed itself to 85 degrees, then changed itself to Celsius!! I had to take all my wet chicks out (all were fine and growing up healthy lol), put a warm towel over the eggs, and dry up all the condensation that was on the inside near the motor boxes. It did go back to normal after I reset the temp, but it could have fried it and I would have been up the creek without a paddle. :/ Leave the red plug out the whole time you are in lockdown. Chicks need Oxygen. If you find that you are in trouble and the humidity is too high, raise the lid on one of the corners and stick a pencil in there, then let if fall closed. It will let some escape and the Genesis will still hold the temps.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
Thanks for your input. I'm in Austin Texas, and we have naturally high humidity here, which could be why it went up to 58% with just the first tray filled. But since day 6 I dropped it to 42 - 52% by just adding a bit of water through a straw pretty regularly as it dries up fast. It's a bit of a chore.
So I was concerned about filling all the trays for lockdown like the instructions say. But if it goes over 65% you mentioned you could crack it? I thought it was not advised to open it during this time. Did you say to just do this momentarily or until you see it drop?

I have 23 eggs in there, so not sure what a good starting humidity would be...'cause if they all hatch I'm in trouble. What would you advise?

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