Humidity control help

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ACGM, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. ACGM

    ACGM Chirping

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    Aug 25, 2019
    Hello everyone!

    I am letting my daughters preschool class incubate some of my eggs and there are already issues with keeping humidity. I have hatched once before at the end of August and did not have any issues with maintaining a constant humidity so I was hoping to draw on everyone else’s experience to troubleshoot the problem. Here are the variables:

    - They have to move the incubator from class room to office because other people use the building and do not want it being messed with. It is on a rolling cart. when I hatched, it stayed in one place.

    - when I set it up yesterday it was at 50-55% humidity. When they arrived this morning, it dropped to 37.5. We did have a bit of a cold snap come through yesterday. We are in south east Texas.

    -I filled up the middle well completely and added a touch of water to the two next to it. By the morning, it was completely dry. I did this exact thing for my previous hatch and it wouldn’t dry out until a week later. I had the teacher fill up the three middle wells completely and wait 30 minutes for everything to adjust and the reading was still 37.5.

    - I also had one of the teachers take the hygrometer/thermometer out to make sure it was still functioning properly and it successfully adjusted to the external humidity and temperature.

    This is the incubator I use:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WZ89MT7/?tag=backy-20

    I have the bottom styrofoam piece on the bottom which I did not do for my last hatch so was thinking of maybe putting a towel underneath. The air will still be able to flow as the openings go all the way to the front. I was also thinking of putting the top styrofoam piece on the top. I thought of also cutting up a sponge and putting it in the water wells to increase surface area.

    Are there any other tips and tricks I can use to bring the humidity up to at least 50%?

    Also, any suggestions for a temperature/hygrometer gauge that can be used so the sensors are inside but I can read it outside of my incubator would be appreciated

    Thank everyone in advance for your help!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    I like this one. It has a base station and a remote unit. You can put the base station anywhere you want - within range. IMO, the thermometer isn't accurate enough for incubating but the humidity readings are pretty accurate.
    https://www.cigarsinternational.com/p/xikar-purotemp-wireless-hygrometer-hygrometers/1481222/
    I don't think 37 is too low at this stage.
    What day are they on? How many eggs and what species/breed?
    Anything you do to increase surface area will increase humidity.
    Ambient humidity will always have an impact on the whole process.
    I don't think moving the incubator from room to room is a problem.
     
    ACGM likes this.
  3. ACGM

    ACGM Chirping

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    Aug 25, 2019
    This will be day 2. It just concerned me because it dropped from 50-55% to 37% over night and thought that swing was a too much for just one night.

    I have 12 chicken eggs. The rooster is a dark Cornish and the hens are: Rhodes island reds, Easter egger, Delaware cross, wheaten old English game.

    thank you for the suggestions!
     
    RoosterML likes this.
  4. That swing is fine and will happen depending on surrounding conditions and depending on how dry the air is in the school. Humidity range should be in the 35-50 range.
     
    ACGM likes this.
  5. ACGM

    ACGM Chirping

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    Aug 25, 2019

    Thank you! I never had that happen the last time so it worried me a bit.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    In nature, the humidity will be all over the board. There could be arid like weather around a hen's nest, then a rainstorm blows through. Ambient humidity could range from 20% to 80+% in the course of a couple days. A hen plunked down over the nest will keep it more stable but it will still vary.
    Except for pipping, a time when humidity needs to be raised significantly, it really doesn't matter what it is day to day. What matters the most is total weight loss throughout incubation. That's why I don't really pay a great deal of attention to humidity but I weigh eggs at the start of incubation and 2 or 3 times during.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    ACGM likes this.
  7. ACGM

    ACGM Chirping

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    I can’t say I’ve heard too much about the weight loss method. When I was researching, what was mostly discussed was temperature and humidity. Could you explain it a little more? I know the weight itself will vary between the breed of chicken but, overall, what should be happening to the weight of the egg during incubation?
     
  8. I checked weights the first time I incubated eggs. That was it for me.
    It is just a ways of over complicating the process for regular old back yard chicken keeper. The weight of the egg is to change by a certain percentage each time you check them to confirm proper humidity/development of the embryo. Based on your weights you adjust your humidity accordingly. Now I just go with the 35-55 range during incubation and 65-85 during lockdown. Works just fine for me. Keep in mind it’s just an average target humidity. So today your at 60 tomorrow you forgot and your at 30 end result your right in the target range with at average of 45.
     
  9. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

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    it will drop if the heaters are coming on at night and drying the are around it out if I left both pieces of styrafoam off as long as both were on nothing seemed to bother the hatch, I hatched in the same incubator, and didn't have any issues from it dropping when heater came on, but on Day 18 when I locked them down I did put a warm damp paper towel over the tops of the eggs after filling all of the channels
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    Moisture loss from the egg by transpiration (passing through the eggshell pores) happens throughout incubation. Egg shells vary a great deal in density and porosity so some will lose moisture at a faster rate than others.
    Ideal weight loss for almost all species of birds should be about 13% during incubation. Without checking weight loss and only using humidity, it could be way off.
    I did just buy a couple good hygrometers about 6 months ago. It is the first time I've used anything but a scale in several years.

    https://poultrykeeper.com/incubating-and-hatching-eggs/weight-loss-method-forl-incubation/

    https://thepoultrysite.com/articles/investigating-hatchery-practice-monitoring-egg-and-chick-weights

    https://poultryperformanceplus.com/information-database/incubation/283-weight-loss-during-incubation
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    slordaz likes this.

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