Humidity % in incubators???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by afishel, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. afishel

    afishel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen a few different % on humidity ranging from 30-60%. This will be my first time incubating!!!!! [​IMG] and i am not for sure which % works best??

    Can anyone help!!?? [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think alot of it depends on what type you have...I started with a Little Giant styrofoam and struggle getting up to 60 %, about 35% hatch rate....I upgraded to a sportmans homemade bator and try to keep it at a minimum of 80% being sure to allow fresh air in from the rear of the cabinet...My hatch rate SOARED once I kept the humidity up...well over 85% hatch rate....I sure there will be others thinking im crazy but that works for me having it that high. Best of Luck hatching!
     
  3. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally agree with chickencop. I had a homemade incubator that struggled with getting to 60% and my hatch rate sucked.Now my new homemade incubator is set at 75% humidity.I know I will have success this time.Don't believe all the disinformation when people tell you to set your humidity at 30-45%.That percentage is ONLY for hatching reptiles.Very different from Poultry.

    temp for hatching with a forced air incubator = 99%
    Humidity = 75%

    Heres a look at my homemade incubator.Enjoy and happy hatching![​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, and welcome!

    Unfortunately, the humidity question does not have an easy answer, and that's why you'll see so many opinions on it. What works in one incubator in one location, won't work in another incubator or a different location. The ambient humidity and many other factors come into play.

    My recommendation for your first hatch, is to follow the instructions that came with your incubator. Whatever it says, do that.

    During the course of the incubation, candle your eggs every week or so. At first, you won't know what you're looking for, but you'll start to get a feel for it. Pay special attention to the size of the air cell--it's the bright area at the large end of the egg. It should grow steadily over the course of incubation and reach about 1/3 the volume of the egg by the time you lock the eggs down for hatching.

    If the air cell doesn't look the right size, don't fret too much. Most of the time, most of the eggs will hatch just fine anyway. But make a note of the humidity you were using and the size of the air cells. If they air cells were too large, you'll know to raise your humidity the next time you hatch. If the air cells were too small, you'll lower your humidity the next time. Properly sized air cells will raise your hatch rate.

    During the hatch itself you will raise the humidity significantly. But you can cross that bridge when you get a little closer to it.

    Good luck, and have fun!!!
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with the last post. For your first hatch, follow the instructions that came with your incubator. Keep good records of humidity and temperature. Candle as you go and open any unhatched eggs to determine what went wrong with them. This way, you have a base to change from and an idea of what you need to change. Each incubator seems to be unique, even if they came off the same assembly line. More importantly, each of us have their own environment. I think elevation may affect incubation and desired humidity quite a bit. Someone on a mountain top may need higher humidity than someone at sea level. I don't know that but I think that. But until you try it at your location, you don't know what will happen.
     
  6. afishel

    afishel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickencop we are not to far from each other!!

    Everyone had some great tips on this post thank u very MUCH!!!!

    gmendoza
    that is a pretty nifty incubator that is AWESOME!!!

    thank u all
    I bought my production reds when they were a week old I have 7 hens & I believe 1 roo!! I am wanting more ! I love watchin them they give me less headache than my dogs!! LOL MY dad has RIR and has fertile eggs and since mine aren't I will b getting eggs from him. AT what age do roos start to fertilize eggs?? MY chixs were born beginning of March so they are almost 5months. I do have a few that are laying but my roo is not crowing yet!
     
  7. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Chillin' With My Peeps

    You will find out soon enough once they start mounting your pullets you will start to get fertile eggs. For what its worth next time you crack open your eggs take at look at those yolks if you see a "bullseye" (small white kind of spot) in that yolk then you know your roosters(cockerels) have been busy. Keep an eye on those yolks and that will probably be the easiest way to see they are fertile, unless they start becoming more prolific.
     
  8. Fourgirlsoneboy

    Fourgirlsoneboy Pullus Parvus

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    Well, we set ours at 45% till day 19, then up it to 65% and we have a 90-100% hatch rate. So I guess it depends on a lot of things-lol! The posts above are great advice, for us there was a learning curve to get to this point (and we are still learning every day [​IMG] )! Good luck!
     
  9. afishel

    afishel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:NOPE I haven't noticed any of the above!! my 7 RIR pullets and 1 ROO was born the 2nd week in March. So that would make him (all them) around 18 weeks . I do have 2 or 3 pullets that are laying already!!!! for almost 2 weeks now!![​IMG]
    When will he HIT puberty LOL!! pretty soon right??? [​IMG]

    here is MY ROO!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    This link helps you recognize the bullseye. Sometimes you have to gently turn the egg over to look at the other side of the yolk to find it.

    Fertile Egg Pictures
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008

    Like the pullets starting to lay, the roosters mature at different ages. I have had 15 week old roosters successfully mounting hens and pullets. At 18 weeks, I'd expect yours to be trying but maybe the pullets won't let him yet. You should still see him chasing them.

    It is best not to incubate the small pullet eggs anyway. Some of them will probably hatch, but the hatch rate is not as good with the small pullet eggs as with eggs from older hens. It is not that the eggs won't develop. They will. Some will also hatch. But in some of them, the chick will be too big for the egg and will not have enough room to position itself for hatch so they die during hatch. The chicks that do hatch are more prone to have deformities or injuries. You'll notice your eggs getting bigger over the next few months. The longer you can make yourself wait the better the odds of an improved hatch rate. I made it to 9 months before I set my first eggs and they did OK.

    Good luck with it.
     

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