Humidity question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by huntersmoon, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. huntersmoon

    huntersmoon Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2008
    I'm sorry, I have a humidity question - I have searched the archives and read many pages of posts but haven't seen this particular question posted. This has been our first batch of eggs we've incubated and I'm concerned I've messed up the humidity!

    I have a Little Giant foam incubator. I did not plan ahead very well and did not put in a fan or buy a hygrometer. When I posted about humidity at the beginning of incubation, I was advised to stick with the manufacturer's instructions and keep the wells at the bottom of the incubator filled with water.

    We are two days away from lockdown and I was doing some refresher reading this morning and am worried that I've kept it too humid! The water has run out at least once, and I haven't been checking the water level every day so perhaps it was low enough after all.

    After reading the "dry incubation" article I did remove most of the water I had just filled up, so that for today the wells have just had a tablespoon of water in them. We are in Austin TX and it is very humid here, with daily thunderstorms, so I thought by reducing the water these last two days I might remedy possibly having kept it too humid.

    My main question is, at this point should I go get a hygrometer and try to calibrate it in time for lockdown, or just add water to the wells and do lock down without it?

    Thanks
    Shannon
     
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    [​IMG]

    I would candle an see how your eggs match this picture. The decide what to do. Its always better to stay on the dryer side for the first 18 days. Its easy to keep a chick from drying out while hatching but to much water at hatch is hard to fix.
     
  3. rebel yell

    rebel yell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a lg & havent had to put water in it, humidity running 45%-50% witch is about rite, daY 18 i will bring it up to about 70%, you need to get you a hygrometer, you can get them at the pet shop for about $5-6, its not about what the directions tell you, you have to keep your eye on temp. & humidity, as eggs start to hatch humidity starts climbing cause of the moisture in the egg, mine will go on up to about 85% & they hatch fine, by the way i go in to lock down sun. myself, pm me if you like.
     
  4. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For me, hygrometers have been horribly inaccurate. So, I finally came up with my own little system...

    I have my LG incubators in the basement (humidest place) and fill them with water depending on the condensation on the windows. Day 1 through 18 - windows should have very little to no condensation on them (which generally means filling the middle tray about every five days, letting it run dry for a day or two). And then for lockdown (day 19 - hatching) I fill the other two trays too, making the windows about 25%-50% condensation. If it gets to be 75% condensation I take out the red plugs. Hope this makes sense. [​IMG]

    ETA: Please realize when I talk about 25%, 50%, and 75% condensation I'm not talking about, say 75% humidity. I'm saying that 75% of each window is covered in condensation. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  5. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    The graph is helpful knowing the stage your eggs are at...but not a good indicator of humidity. A simple hydrometer from Walmart cost me $7. It will fluctuate w/ surrounding air humidity. We have 2 of the same incubators without the fans We keep a short level of water in the bator...and the hydrometer reads anywhere between 40% and 60%. We have had a few "quitters" along the way, but our hatch rates have been consistantly 90% for several months now.
     
  6. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Quote:Humidity really doesn't matter as long as your eggs are at the right stage. An ventilation levels are way more important that humidity anyway. Knowing what the air cell looks like tells ya more about the humidity than any humidity guage. If the air cell is wrong then the humidity an ventilation is wrong no matter what your humidity gauge says.
     
  7. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Quote:Humidity really doesn't matter as long as your eggs are at the right stage. An ventilation levels are way more important that humidity anyway. Knowing what the air cell looks like tells ya more about the humidity than any humidity guage. If the air cell is wrong then the humidity an ventilation is wrong no matter what your humidity gauge says.

    Something to think about when candling eggs, it isn't always clear "what stage" the air cell is at. It's fine for white and light brown eggs, but not for Welsummer and BCM eggs. The best thing is to practice hatching and tweak as you go along. Some humidity is better than NO humidity.

    This spring I had 6 Jersey Giant eggs that looked only 1/2 full at day 18...there was no movement, no chirping. I almost threw them away based on that same aircell chart. I thought they were "quitters". A moment of indecision made me put them back into the incubator...they all hatched on day 21 in excellent health!

    Like I said...the graph is helpful...but not a good indicator of humidity. A chick can take up the space in the egg but be "shrink wrapped" with too little humidity. I've been at both spectrums...too much (drowning the chicks and making them "gooey"), and too little humidity (shrink wrapping the chicks and having them stick to the inside of the shell). We now have it down to a science...and after months of practice (and hundreds of hatched chicks), we are around 90% successful. [​IMG]
     
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Quote:Don't know what that chart had to do with weather they were quitters or not. Its only for moisture loss. All it tells you is if your humidity an ventilation is right. Just going by a humidity gauge works fine once you get a few hatches under your belt assuming your weather patterns never change an you never move but that dont help the OP much now. There 6 days (i think) from hatch an wanting to figure out how there eggs are doing. No humidity gauge is going to do that. An its wouldn't have told the OP what humidity to run for the first try anyway.


    Good to know that you have hatching down to a science though. Especially after a few months. Most of us on here are still learning even after doing it our whole life.

    My opinion is that the only time you even need a humidity gauge is as you are learning the basics an later for the last 3 days. Candling is everything. For dark eggs you can weigh them.

    To light or to big of a air cell then you add water an/or close some vents.
    To heavy or to small of a air cell then you run it dry and/or open more vents.
     
  9. franklinstreetwest

    franklinstreetwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there, I have the same bator. First I built my own, but I had mixed results and didn't trust it for an expensive batch of eggs that I purchased.....so I bought the one you have. I did add a fan to mine, but it was one I ripped out of an old computer and wired to a 120/12v plug, because I was to cheap to buy the kit and they were out of stock. If you wire a fan in, think convection oven....you don't want the air to blow right on the eggs in that small of space, you want it to disperse and circulate evenly but that is another topic.

    so the first half of my eggs came in and I cooked them.....they were mainfloor in my house and despite never being in direct sun, we had a hot day and the temp spiked too high. My first suggestion would be to put the bator in the basement.

    I had problems regulating the humidity as well.....I removed the red air caps first thing, made certain my temp was running where I wanted it (placed the thermometer at the middle point of eggs in center of bator not on top of eggs not at bottom) I was probably being over diligent. I didn't use an automatic turner, but I did take an egg carton and cut all the bottoms of the cups off to allow air circulation, and placed the eggs angled in the cups, so they weren't striaght up and down.....keeps them from rolling around on the floor and possibly coming in contact with spilled water.

    to watch the humidity, I found a super cheap meter in the garden department with all the garden thermometers. placed it on the floor away from the water resoviour, filled one channel with water, shut the lid and waited. I was able to keep it at about 50-55% by only filling one or two. You NEED to stay super dilligent about checking the water, it runs out very quickly. Every day or every other day.

    Pay close attention to the thermometer as well.....towards the end of week 2, my temp was spiking higher than it should have been, I needed to re-adjust it.

    When I saw the first pip is when I jacked up the humidity levels. I filled resoviours until I was at 70% or just a little above. I learned from my home-made bator experience, that if the little white sac dries out after they pip, they have a difficult or impossible hatching experience.


    I had 100% hatch, and most required no aid. Some I helped to crack the shell around, but all worked their own way out.

    I would definately recommend reading the threads on aiding a hatch, and what point to step in and help. It would've helped me with a couple other hatches had I been aware that aiding was even an option. I was raised under the old wives tale that "you CANT help them, if you do they will surely die!!"
     
  10. huntersmoon

    huntersmoon Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2008
    Thanks for all of the help!

    Shannon
     

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