Humidity Questions, First hatch, help!

MacCana

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 17, 2014
238
15
98
Hi so I got a brand-new condition Farm Innovators 4200 with the fan & turner, but have read many, many reviews saying to buy your own temp & humidity guages since the ones that come with aren't worth a count. I've marked on incubator where dial reads between 99-100 f. In the room I have it in, according to the stat on the incubator, it never fluctuates more than 2 degrees any time of day. It didn't even come with the humidity thing. So I'm ordering a ThermoPop digital thermometer by Thermoworks. Has had some really good reviews, is guaranteed by co. to be within 2 degrees of the correct temp every time & it's a little less than $30. http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/thermopop.html
Figured I could slide it right between the styrofoam real quick to keep an eye on temp. Just want to make sure my incubator isn't off. But I need a little advice as far as what humidity guages under $40 or $50 you would recommend (preferably one already calibrated) and how to administer water to a dry, already warmed incubator. Do I use just a teaspoon or more? How often do I need to put more water in & how much? I know humidity has to come up towards the end of hatching, and I have read to use cut up sponge for that. I just need to know where to start.
Oh and do more hens hatch if you keep temp at 99 versus getting more roos if its higher like 99.5-100? Or is this an old wive's tale? Thanks so much for any help!
 

nicole camp

Songster
6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
429
30
103
I use the farm innovators as well. The humidity has been off on mine so I just go based on what I think the eggs need. I fill up the two banks on the side until the 18th day I fill in the middle. I have had a very good hatch rate with this, but every household is different. :)
 

MacCana

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 17, 2014
238
15
98
Do you fill two outside dips first, and then fill those and the middle one on day 18? or on day 18 do you fill the middle only? I can't even explain how helpful this is. I'm making a 2.5 hr round trip to pick up some 2 dozen silver-gray Dorking eggs & I can't afford to mess up a batch. So I'm going to have to get some sort of digital hydrometer or I'll worry myself to death! Lol
 

blucoondawg

Songster
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
1,650
203
206
Northern Wisconsin
I have the same one as well. I dry hatch. No water until lockdown, with a full load of eggs they provide plenty of humidity. I prefer a bulb type thermometer that gets left in the incubator at all times laying directly on top of the eggs. My hygrometer is a cheap round one from a pet store that sticks to the side of reptile aquariums, it is a few percent off when I checked the calibration but that is close enough, humidity doesn't require an exact measurement like temperature
 
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MacCana

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 17, 2014
238
15
98
So blucoondawg, you don't use any water until day 18? Is that what lockdown means? I'm not against trying diff methods, I just want to get all the steps right to the one I do go with. Dry hatching sounds easier? And thanks, if that works for you, I'll just go get one myself from Petsmart. Thank you again guys!
 

blucoondawg

Songster
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
1,650
203
206
Northern Wisconsin
Right I don't use any water at all until day 18. All the humidity is doing is regulating how fast the air cell grows. Low humidity will grow the air cell larger than high humidity. I feel high humidity is more touchy because if it is to high the air cell stays small and the chicks could potentially drown while pipping internally. I have good results so far with the dry method. This depends on the humidity in your home too if you live in a desert area you will likely need to add some water to get up around 20% humidity. If you live in tropical area you will have trouble getting the humidity down. I get 25 to 40 percent with a full load of eggs and no added water.
 
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nicole camp

Songster
6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
429
30
103
At lock down I fill the middle and both sides. I have only had two chickens out of 43 not hatch. :)
 

blucoondawg

Songster
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
1,650
203
206
Northern Wisconsin
I filled all the water wells at lockdown too but it was way to much once the hatch started. The added humidity from the eggs fogged up the windows so I could hardly see in. It had to have been in the 90s I'm goin to try less water next time
 
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nicole camp

Songster
6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
429
30
103
If you unplug both of the red plugs you shouldn't have that problem. Humidity is good for the hatch though. :)
 

blucoondawg

Songster
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
1,650
203
206
Northern Wisconsin
I did unplug both plugs, I don't use them at all unless the humidity drops below 20% then I will throw one in for a few hours and the humidity will climb back up to around 30%. My incubator doesn't lose humidity very fast at all in my environment, my house is quite dry to being winter. I wasn't worried about the high humidity it was just a pain not being able to see in at exactly what was happening that is why I lost 3 hatching chicks, I couldn't see the others had pushed shell caps from the other eggs over their pip and zip areas, they dried on and they ended up dying.
 
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