Humidity in incubator


Aug 2, 2021
Halifax, NS
So I just went in lockdown and my last batch of chicks that hatched, humidity was around 70%. For this batch it’s at 80%. Is that to high? Will these guys hatching go differently?
As long as there's no condensation forming on the inside of the incubator it's fine. If you've just added water that can temporarily raise the humidity but after a few hours (sometimes up to 24 hours) it may stabilise at a lower percentage.
theyll be alright, when they start hatching it will likely go even higher than that .. but the time to worry about humidity is past anyway as far as air cell developement etc .. all you need now is it to not be too dry where they get stuck to the egg on the way out ...
I'm not sure about lockdown humidity but I can tell you what's worked (for me). Im in Portugal in the Alentejo region (south) and it regularly gets above 30C in summer and humidity is quite low at around 20 - 35% during the day. The nights can be around 80-90%) and I'm not even joking. I'm telling you this because you cant just blindly follow the 40 - 60% rule for incubation and 65 - 70% for hatch. The ambient humidity will vary so much you need to compensate for this somehow.

First of all I highly recommend dry incubating and weighing the eggs on a weekly basis to ensure that they will loose 13 - 15% in the three weeks they are in the 'bator. I've lost quite a few eggs because I was told to keep humidity between 40 and 50%. That DID cause them to not loose enough weight and they drowned as SpotTheCat said earlier. If they are under weight you add humidity and if they are over weight you remove humidity or just don't add water. You have to know your eggs. Some are more porous than others. You can see this for yourself when you candle them. I'm currently doing 15 Orpingtons and the guy I bought the eggs from clearly has issues with feed as they were calcium deprived and extremely porous. (I felt so sorry for the hens). For the first time in my life I had to incubate at 50% humidity from week one almost. They are now pipping and I'm keeping the humidity between 65 and 70% but this is because the shells are already so very brittle due to the porousness I mentioned before. If they were "normal I would hatch at 80%

I'm not brave enough to try dry hatching as I've only seen issues if the humidity drops below 60%. This includes eggs not unzipping, getting stuck in the membrane with me trying to save a poor chick with a tweezer and cotton wool before the membrane gets "baked on". On the flip side if the humidity is above 80% I often get the dreaded yellow goo, of which I don't know the actual scientific cause, but it doesn't happen at lower humidity during hatch. This also requires clean up and care and attention. you will notice that none died, it just means different remedies for healthy chicks. So basically you can't go that much wrong in lockdown in my opinion.

1) I dry hatch and add water as needed after they all get weighed.
2) Depending on how much humidity I introduce during incubation, I adjust the humidity level during lockdown / hatch. Less moisture (65 - 70%) for porous eggs and more (<80%) for solid eggs.

Hope this helps although this was some years ago so I assume all went well. Would love to hear your experience.

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