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Humidity Question - Dry Incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Reyvaughn, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2011
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    Yeah, I'm a first timer. Yes I read up, but I am still a hair concerned about my humidity. I am setting my eggs at some point next week (they are in the mail)!

    My incubator is running between 30-32% humidity. Is that okay for bantam breeds or should I try to up it some? Yes, the dry incubation page says 50%, but then later on it says 25% is low and not to add water unless it gets below that. That's why I am a hair confused.

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  2. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    I fall into the camp of people that think humidity doesn't matter until lock down, so I wouldn't worry about it until you get to day 18. Temp is the main thing and everything else is a distant 2nd.
  3. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2011
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    That's good to know! 70% at lock down?
    It's still air, so I'm trying to get 101 degrees - I am having issues getting 101. I've been adjusting it and the closest I was at is 100.
  4. jm93030

    jm93030 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    Sorry guys but humidity is very important.
    first of all make sure your hydrometer is calibrated , i use the satl method to calibrate my hydrometers

    Temperature, humidity and ventilation of incubator (set stage)

    Temperature in the incubator should be 99.5 degrees F to 100 degrees F (37.5 degrees C). If the temperature deviates more than degree from 100 degrees F, a poor hatch is likely. Temperature should be checked at least twice a day.

    Relative humidity should be set at 86 degrees F to 88 degrees F (30 degrees C) wet bulb temperature. Humidity should not fluctuate more than 1 wet bulb degree. If the incubator uses a passive humidity control system, water should be added daily to the water pan or trough to ensure correct humidity levels.

    If the humidity in the incubator is too low or too high, the hatch will fail. When humidity is too low during incubation, the air cell will be too large at the time of hatch. The contents of the egg will be too thick and sticky for the chick to turn. The membranes will be too tough to break. The navel will not close properly.

    If the humidity in the incubator is too high during incubation, too little water will evaporate from the egg. The air cell will be too small for the chick to reach during the hatching process. The chick will either drown or the chick will be too swollen with water to turn itself within the egg. The yolk sac will also be too large for the navel to completely close. These problems will cause the hatch to fail.

    The air cell of the egg should become larger as incubation progresses. Chicken eggs will lose 12 percent to 14 percent of their total weight by evaporation during incubation. The growth of this air cell is a balance between temperature and humidity during the incubation. Racks of eggs can be weighed during incubation to detect problems with humidity and evaporative loss before a hatch is destroyed.

    The chick embryo uses oxygen and produces carbon dioxide. This gas exchange is insignificant during the early period of incubation or when a small number of eggs are incubated. However, recommendations of the incubator manufacturer should be followed to assure that adequate oxygen is available to the developing chicks. Near the end of the incubation period, the eggs are nearly filled with the embryo. An incubator filled with eggs contains a large animal mass that requires large amounts of oxygen. Adequate ventilation is needed during the end of the incubation period. Particular attention should be focused on air vent settings, and wet and dry bulb temperatures during the last third of incubation.

    Record keeping

    Keep a daily record of the incubator environment. This sample record is designed for use with eggs that hatch after 21 days of incubation. Record keeping can be used to detect mal- functions before a disaster develops. Also, records of fertility and embryo deaths alert the hatchery manager to production, storage, or incubator problems so that adjustments can be corrected before major losses occur.

    Proper records call attention to deviations that could destroy a producer's profits. A 5 percent loss of hatchability can go unnoticed. However, a 5 percent loss is 100 percent profit, and conditions that cause a 5 percent reduction in hatchability also contribute to health problems in successfully hatched chicks.

    read more information in this link

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  5. jm93030

    jm93030 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    Quote:Best humidity is 45 %

    Dry incubation is not actually dry

    If you read more about it

    it is a lot more work because you have to control humidity in the room were the incubator is set.

    so this means that your incubator is dry , but the ambient humidity around your incubator needs to be controlled.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  6. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    My incubators naturally run at 45% and then add water for lock down to bring it up to 75%. I am mostly hatching ducks, some peafowl, and chickens at times between 4 bators.
  7. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2011
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    See, that's the other thing... Everyone has their own way and method. I can't totally control the humidity of the room in the house, but as I said, it's been 30-32% for the last 24hrs and I've been checking it hourly. I'll get the humidity up to 45% and watch it again and play with the temps. I was going to keep it at 100 degrees - I should have.

    I don't understand the hydrometer calibration, but I have a digital and a coil one. They are both reading the same, so I am assuming they are right - I took the coil one out because the thermometer was wrong. I also didn't see needing three thermometers in the incubator.

    Good thing I set this all up now so I have 3-4 days to get everything right.
  8. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    My room humidity is about 50%. My incubator wants to run at 20% unless I add about a teaspoon of water every morning. I think the heater must burn up some natural moisture in the air. I am trying to keep my incubator humidity just a hair above 30%.
  9. CatDaddyAlbert

    CatDaddyAlbert NoFeathersRuffled

    Apr 22, 2011
    Gumboro, Delaware
    Quote:I happen to be one of those that agrees with Cole for the most part. I do not use still airs any longer because after trying them for almost 10 years I found my hatches were not the best. I now use GQF 1588's. This is NOT saying still airs do not work because a lot of people use them, they have been around forever, and there is a GREAT article here on BYC about how to set one up and use it. It is saying I did not have much luck.

    This last hatch of 21 Guinea eggs and 21 chicken eggs in one 1588 with a couple of teaspoons of water (wet bulb stayed around 36% give or take a couple of percent) and 21 Guinea Eggs and 21 chicken eggs in the other with the center tray on the 1588 filled with water as GQF says...and this is what I got. Web bulbs in both by the way. All eggs were placed the same day and the humidity was brought up on day 18 in both machines.

    In the dry incubation machine I had a hatch of 38 out of 42. In the wet incubation machine I had a hatch of 16. I will let you do the math. I have NEVER and I mean NEVER had as good a hatch as this one in the 1588 with what I will call somewhat dry.

    I was frustrated with what I was getting which is what lead me to try this experiment. One thing I will add. My incubators are in a 8X8 insulated room inside of a finished and sealed pole barn with the temp controlled at 70 degrees, plus or minus 2 degrees.

    I am just of the opinion, and it is just that, that the styro incubators with water in the compartments as GQF and LG state you should put it DO NOT remove enough moisture from the eggs.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  10. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I'm going to throw yet another opinion into the mix- don't add water until day 18 and don't even look at what the humidity is until then.

    My cheat sheet is in my sig. I hatch a LOT!!!

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