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Humidity in a styrofoam still air incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HR Patterson, May 4, 2009.

  1. HR Patterson

    HR Patterson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Gravity, PA
    This is HR's wife, I visit here on and off, trying to learn how best to help our chickens.

    We are on our second attempt using a still air styrofoam incubator that my grandmother gave us when she moved back from Florida. Our last attempt at hatching showed beautiful promise--saw veins and movement in most of the eggs we set, but the last 5 days, try as we might, we couldn't get the humidity up. I believe I've read it's supposed to be around 60%. One hatched but only lived for 3 days; he still had a long string hanging out of him. We kept him in the incubator for 3 days, trying to keep him moist so it would absorb, etc., but it actually dried out. The rest of the eggs dried out, too and they all died. We had filled the channels with water, and added sponges that were wet, too, I even put pots of water, a humidifier, and a crock pot filled with hot water and the lid turned to try to raise the humidity all to no avail. This time, we set fewer eggs, and put it in the basement in a closed in room, so far so good, but day 18 is Thursday and I'm worried about the humidity level. It's in the mid-40s lately, we put the humidifier in there yesterday to see if it would help raise the humidity in the room and thereby help out the incubator. PLEASE, if anyone can give us any tips on what to do, I would SO appreciate it! It will break my heart if we lose this whole batch, too.

    Thank you in advance,
    Sharon
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  2. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I feel for you. I just lost most of my batch of duck eggs. They were due to hatch yesterday, and the only activity I had was on Friday one pipped most of the way around one end, quit, and died.
    My hen that was sitting on a dozen chicken eggs has twice left her eggs and moved to a different nesting box and a different set of eggs, leaving the others behind to ruin.
    The only success I had was the two eggs that turned out to be Pekins, not muscovies, and hatched at day 27 instead of 35 like my Muscovies were expected to do.
    Aren't you supposed to quit spraying the eggs a few days before hatching to lower the humidity? I didn't have a moisture meter, just kept water in the troughs, and it only worked on the first couple. I am guessing the temp and humidity was disturbed toomuch by our early guests hatching.
     
  3. fernandez0067

    fernandez0067 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2008
    Schenectady
    Have you tried a new hygrometer or calibrating the one you have>? sounds like the numbers are off if you've added that much water without any increases.
     
  4. HR Patterson

    HR Patterson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Gravity, PA
    I really don't know. He has a temperature and humidity "sensor" inside the incubator, but what I don't understand is how the eggs would dry out. He says if this one doesn't work, we'll try again, but I don't know what else to do. I told him maybe we ought to get a different kind of incubator (something with bigger windows so we can see better or just buy live chicks. I could understand if we weren't tending it but we're working at trying to "get it right".
     

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