Humidity surface area


13 Years
Jan 24, 2009
Saint James/ Comfrey MN
I have been building a antique incubator (1894) into a modern 'bator.

I have a phenomenal control on heat, a beautiful cabinet but absolutely no control on my humidity.

As you can see from the thread I am trying to take some of the work out of incubating. I tried a air pump and stone, didn't quite do it. I tried a mister, works good however I think I have no control over it.

These problems may be from my humistat. It was a $15.00 Ebag purchase.

But I have tried dishes of water, trays of water, spraying water... How the heck do you control humidity???

I keep hearing about surface area using sponges. Makes sence, but how do you control a cabinet that doesn't want to be controlled?

If I open up that mister I get 99% humidity. If I idle it, it is all over the map depending on the water level in my cup.

I think I should have just put a hinge on the top and set another styro bator inside of it. Would have been alot cheaper.

OK, any ideas? I only have about 4 inches around the turner to set anything. If I put the tray in (the original one), the turner is less than an inch from the element. Obviously the original design was a hand turn only.

What in the world did they do in 1894 for humidity? I have modern equipment in operation and I wouldn't dare put an egg in this thing. That would be murder.

Maybe I should re-name this thread. REALLY, how the heck did they incubate eggs in the late 1800's early 1900's before the wonders of electricity and this forum that argues the importance of humidity???? (and the different levels of humidity

-Frustrated in MN


Crossing the Road
14 Years
Oct 16, 2008
they just did not worry that much about it..
and most of your hatching way back was done by chickens..

you don't say, is your humidity too high? too low?

one thing to keep in mind.. you should not try to set your temp and humidity at the same time..

first stabilize your temp.. then add water and raise the hum..

Your temp will fall at this point..
when the hum gets as high as you figure it is going to go.. raise the temp to where it should be.. 99.5F

keep doing this procedure..

I just received a couple of hum pads from gqf today.. it seems to add more hum from what I can tell so far.. still air LG is at 99.6F 68% hum..


Mosquito Beach Poultry
11 Years
May 24, 2008
Southeast Arkansas
For one thing, if that's been sitting in a barn for a long time, it is probably really dried out and absorbing water like crazy. I would start it up and run it with a lot of humidity for a bout a week then see if it will stabilize at a lower humidity level.


10 Years
Feb 1, 2009
i belive that could be your problem only other thing to check and im sure you have is your meter. Hatches at that time were about 40 to 55% rate. Now we may know why.

Looked at your pics. knowing a little about wood it will take a long time to get the wood stable. thats my thoughts
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13 Years
Jan 24, 2009
Saint James/ Comfrey MN
Alright. I will leave the heat off for the weekend for sure and load it up water. I'll run my mister and add a cake pan of water on top of the turner for added moisture. Once I get the humidity stabilized, I will then add heat and continue with wide open humidity. I may spray water on the walls once in a while to help out.

Thanks for the help everyone!

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