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Humidity spike before lockdown

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Oftwife03, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Oftwife03

    Oftwife03 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2016
    So Saturday was day 14 and I was down with a migraine. My 2 year old added water and the humidity got up to 69 before I knew what he did. I had to keep opening it to lower the humidity. I was just wondering if I should be worried. I go on lock down tomorrow. Well I do have one more question. One egg was added about 15 hours after the rest. So even though today is day 17 its only day 16 for it. Will it hurt it to go on lock down with the rest or should I wait and do lock down on day 19?? I am already surprised all 11 I started with are still growing and moving. If they all hatch that would be amazing!!!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What’s important is average humidity during incubation. What you are after is losing the right amount of moisture from inside the egg through the porous shell. An instantaneous humidity spike or drop isn’t going to affect that very much.

    Humidity is one of those things that you don’t have to be really precise with. Each egg is unique. Some are more porous than others so they lose more moisture than others. Some are stored longer than others so they probably start out with different moisture. Some egg whites are thicker than others which can affect how fast they lose moisture. As long as your average humidity is in the general area of where it should be all these eggs could hatch.

    Different humidities work for different ones of us. There is no one set humidity that is perfect for each of us. Even the same make and model of incubator can work better with different humidities for different ones of us. Height above sea level, temperature and humidity of the air entering the incubator, still air or forced air, whether the plugs are in or out, a lot of different things can affect what humidity works best of each of us.

    The good news is that a wide range of humidities can work, even if you are not precisely where it works best for you, there is a great chance some will hatch. Often a lot will hatch. I’m pulling for you and hoping for your 100%. That would be great.

    If some don’t hatch I suggest opening them and see if you can determine if you might want to try a higher or lower humidity next time, but right now I would not be concerned about that spike. In the overall scheme of things it should not be significant.

    I would not worry that much about that egg being late either. The main purpose of lockdown is to raise the humidity during hatch to help stop shrink-wrap. We stop turning them during lockdown but it doesn’t matter if you stop turning early. After about 14 days for chicken eggs turning doesn’t matter, you can stop if you want. Turning has already served its purpose. It doesn’t hurt to turn them after 14 days but it no longer helps. The main reason we stop turning them at lockdown and not earlier is because it is a convenient time.

    Because of the wide range of moisture loss in an egg the precise instant you raise the humidity for lockdown isn’t all that important. Many people actually miscount the days and lock down a full day early. An egg does not have a day’s worth of development two seconds or two minutes after it goes in the incubator. It takes 24 hours of incubation before it has a day’s worth of development and you say “1” when counting the days. An easy way to check this is that the day of the week you set them is the day the 21 days are up. If you set them on a Friday they should hatch on a Friday. The people that miscount like this and lock down a full day early still often get great hatches. That shows how wide the acceptable humidity range is. Starting that one egg late is not a good thing, but it’s not a reason to worry.

    Something else. That 21 days to hatch is not a law of nature. Lots of different things can cause an egg to hatch a day or even two days early or late. A common one is average incubating temperature. If the incubator is a touch warm the eggs can be early, cool and they can be late. Heredity, humidity, how and how long the eggs were stored before incubation, and just basic differences in individual eggs can all make a difference. So don’t be shocked if you see eggs hatch a day or even two early, don’t panic if you don’t get a chick at exactly 21 days. The 21 days is a target so if you consistently get hatches early or late you might want to tweak your incubating temperature a bit. It’s possible that late egg will hatch later than the others, it’s also possible it will not be the last one to hatch.

    I don’t see anything in your post that would cause me to worry, though I do start all the eggs at the same time. The development you are seeing looks really promising. I wish you luck.
  3. Oftwife03

    Oftwife03 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2016

    Thank you so much. This is my first hatch so I am nervous. I added the one egg because of the chicken it's from. We have 2 Easter eggers and I only had 2 eggs to put in there from them and the next morning got another so I added it. It's not a full day behind the other. Less then 15 hours. When candling it it looks the same as all my others. The temp has been great. So far I haven't had any major issues with it. It's been running at 100. I really do hope they all hatch. I am also thankful I found this forum. It's been a great help.

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