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Humidity...Humidity...Humidity...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Phantom_Rooster, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Phantom_Rooster

    Phantom_Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started to leave this on another thread, but, decided not to mess with theirs. So, comments and arguments are welcome. But, no bashing please.

    A lot of people monitor humidity differently and still result in successful hatches. I'm sure some don't worry at all and still have successful hatches. Here is my understanding. It may or may not be fact. But, this is how I understand it. If anyone thinks that I am wrong, just tell me why.

    You've got 18 days to regulate the humidity inside the incubator to increase (or in some cases, decrease) the size of the air cell. Don't trust the pre-measured water channels in the incubator. Outdoor (or indoor) relative humidity affects your incubator's humidity and that varies by location and current weather conditions. I won't go into how to monitor or regulate humidity for achieving the correct size of the air cell. But, I am using the weight loss method and comparing the air cell size to the following diagram. After Day 18, the eggs are in lockdown and you raise the humidity to help soften the shell for pipping. Some people say that if you raise the humidity too high at lockdown, you can drown the chick. How is this possible? High humidity can't drown. Can it? Like I said now, this is only my understanding. But, if the air cell is too small, he/she can drown or even suffocate. Suffocation is only my theory. I could be wrong. But, the little guy has only the air cell to breath until he pips a hole. So, it is the first 18 days that matters most to provide adequate air to the chick at lockdown. The wetness of the egg is controlled during this time. At any point before he breaks into the air cell, the size of the air cell shouldn't matter. But, when he does, the air cell needs to be about the right size. I've read that some people run dry for 18 days then increase to 90% at lockdown. I think most people run at 65% to 70% at lockdown. With that humidity, evaporation surely stops. So, I can't see how a higher humidity after lockdown will hurt anything. Your not changing the air cell and it surely won't deplete the oxygen nor increase the amount of liquid which could drown a chick. My outdoor relative humidity has been running 90% for days and I'm not drowning.

    Here's one more thing to consider. Regardless of the humidity in the incubator, the humidity inside that air cell is 100%. I guarantee it. Now, that is where it matters to the chick. And I really don't think it matters. But, if the shell is too hard to crack because the incubator's humidity is too low to soften the shell, it matters to the chick and he/she dies.

    I'm not trying to recreate the wheel. There's a lot of people who know the truth. But, there's a lot of people confused or don't even care. If I need corrections, please reply. It would be nice if we all understood the truth. I think I'm on the right page, but, I could be wrong. It's the chicks that suffer from the lack of knowledge. There's a lot of good posts explaining this. But, I don't think everyone gets it.

    Edit by Phantom_Rooster: After hearing the response from Gypsy07, I am glad to say that I have learned something new. This means that I am a little less ignorant than before and one step closer to wisdom. His explanation that the humidity to keep the inner membrane moist so that the chick can move easily while pipping makes total sense to me. I hope to hear confirmations on this. I feel more educated now and hope that everyone will share and confirm this information. This is all the more reason to raise that humidity at lockdown and keep the dern door shut. I think I'll try it at least 80%. I can't see any harm whatsoever. Thank you so much Gypsy07 for this valuable input. I really mean it. Phantom_Rooster

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've given an explanation almost exactly like this on a few different threads now. I think it helps to explain it as often as possible to as many people as possible, and hopefully word will get round that if chicks drown, it's NOT because of your high lockdown humidity, it's because of your too-high humidity during days 1 through to 18.

    LOL at your explanation of 'I'm in 90% humidity, and I'm not drowning!' [​IMG]

    The only thing I'd disagree with (and I'm not even sure if I'm right!) is about the humidity softening the shell. I don't think it does. Shrinkwrapped and 'stuck' chicks still manage to pip a hole through their shells just fine. I think the high humidity is more just to help keep the membrane moist so the chick can turn inside the egg more easily and zip its way out. I may of course be wrong though!
     
  3. Phantom_Rooster

    Phantom_Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you so much Gypsyo7, That's exactly the kink of criticism that I was hoping for. That does make a lot of sense. But, I do believe that I am part right on the softening of the shell. I totally understand your reason for the higher humidity. And this may be the only reason. You know, it's like everyone says raise the humidity during lockdown. But, they don't say why. Don't open the bator for any reason to keep the humidity up. Well, again, why? The humidity control during the first 18 days seems like a no brainer to me. Proper evaporation is key.

    Does anyone wish to add to this? Please do.
     
  4. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    I know this thread is on humidity but I was wondering while reading it if it would help or do any harm to run the eggs under warm water just before lockdown? Not to soften the shell but perhaps to help moisten the membrane? Thanks, Sylvia
     
  5. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Ack, I wouldn't!
     
  6. akemp1000

    akemp1000 New Egg

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    This is my first time with hatching chicks and it is just a fluke that I am. I am doing what I can to help them survive and hatch but I don't have an incubator. I have them in a box with a lamp and it must be working because there is a live one actually starting to hatch. I don't know how to raise the humidity level in the box though and I am worried about the humidity level. It isn't very high in there. I did read somewhere to put a cup with water in it which I have but that doesn't seem to help much. I have the eggs sitting in wood shavings bedding material. What is I wet the wood shavings, would that work to create the humidity? Please help as my kids in love with the whole thing and I don't want anything to go wrong.
     
  7. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Wetting the wood shavings WOULD increase the humidity but it can also invite mold and mildew into the enclosure. What I'm baffled by is how you've hatched one without even knowing the temp! :p Or do you have a thermometer in there? Eh.

    What you can do is place a wet sponge in your water bowl. That should help bump up the humidity.
     
  8. akemp1000

    akemp1000 New Egg

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    I do have a thermometer in there. I will put the sponge in the water. Thanks. :) the little guy or girl is still pecking away.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  9. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    EEEE! Please show us pics when he comes out! I hope your other eggs hatch too!
     
  10. akemp1000

    akemp1000 New Egg

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    @Amykins I just put the sponge in and wow the humidity jumped up. Thanks so much.
     

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