hygrometer does not work. how to gauge humidity

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by charid, May 27, 2016.

  1. charid

    charid Out Of The Brooder

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    Cant find my post got an error message. If this is a repeat I apologize.

    I put a coffee cup of water in the wells. I have no way to tell where I am at with humidity as the hygrometer does not work. Any suggestions?

    Also I robbed my hens nest when she abandoned it last night. The neighbor was grating the gravel road all day and she came home sometime while I was gone (and I was gone from 8a to 8p) on the 6th day of sitting. After she went up into the oak tree to roost with the rest of her flock I ran to get her eggs because I knew she couldn't return to her nest until the next morning and that if left for 45 minutes once sitting has begun they will go bad or die. I found the eggs scattered over a 6' spread. Poor girl was only sitting on 3 of 20 eggs. I dont know if something had gotten into the nest or if they really laid them like that.

    The eggs were placed in an egg turner but not incubater as they were cool to touch. I was told to turn them and let them come up to room temperature. I cleaned all the equipment this morning and let it heat for two hrs with a temp range not greater than 100, no less than 96, which seems to be the best I I can manage. Im guessing these eggs will not hatch but will proceed as if the circumstances had been ideal. Basically my greatest concern is guestimating the humidity level within the incubator. Also do I begin my hatching countdown from day 6 or start from the top??
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you think the eggs that were scattered had never been sat on? If they started incubating then abandoned for day or more they will not return to incubating.

    Hygrometers are cheap. Walmart has Accurite for $6. Any that you purchase need to be calibrated via a salt test. Otherwise it merely tells you humidity is going up or down and you've no idea what is actual RH. I've seen units over 10% RH off in reading. You really need to calibrate.

    It's possible to incubate without hygrometers. A drier incubation is typically better then fill most of the troughs in bottom for last few days of hatching. To maintain 30% RH I only need a double shot glass (filled with water) of surface area. It will vary by climate as to how much surface area you need.

    With chicken eggs people candle to watch the air cell growth to gauge proper humidity. I've heard guinea hen eggs are very strong so likely not an option. Can you candle them? Have a feeling you'd not see a thing.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  3. Sfraker

    Sfraker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may be ok to incubate them. I've seen some pretty crazy things happen and still have had eggs hatch. A friend hatched eggs that were under water for a couple days. A mallard started sitting, tons of rain caused the pond to rise so the eggs were under water for a day or two before she realized. She put them in the incubator and 75% hatched. John Metzer tells a story of taking eggs out of an incubator, they sat for two days then got put back in and the hatch rate wasn't too bad.

    You should be able to see veins and signs of life at 7-10 days. It is tough with guinea eggs as the eggs can have speckles and the shells are so thick, but usually by 10 days you can see what's going on.

    Keep us updated!
     
  4. charid

    charid Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok. So i went to get a hygrometer from WalMart which was a great buy. Very accurate. Thank you for calibration reminder. I have left them be for 16 days in incubator. I have been completely hands off but today I chose 3 eggs to candle. The first appeared to be unfertilized. Looked like a store bought egg. The 2nd had growth of a bird. I saw no movement. The 3rd was moving and I could see a heartbeat. It appeared to be less developed than the other so...that seems unusual maybe. I think out of 13 eggs 3-4 might make it. Humidity is 63-68% but has on some days been 73%. Temp has been on 100 as its a still air unit. Thats all I have to report.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Has humidity been that high the whole time or just at lockdown? That is very very high humidity for incubation!

    Still air should be 101-102 degrees.
     
  6. charid

    charid Out Of The Brooder

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    Please help asap. Babies are hatching right now. 2 are zipping. I need to take egg turner out but i know i shouldn't open the incubator. In 10 minutes im opening. I dont want their legs hurt. I can hear 2 making noises. Please help!!!!
     
  7. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Relax. Take the turner out. Be as quick and gentle as you can. If I open the hatcher when eggs are being zipped, I mist the open incubator with warm water. Do not spray the water directly on the eggs.

    Good luck.
     
  8. charid

    charid Out Of The Brooder

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    I took it out. Yes. Humidity was that high the whole time. I read it on another site 58-65%. I then read 35% here but it was too late in the game to change anything. I dont know if any stand a chance. Nothing was ideal. And I am worried that even though the hatching has begun that it may suddenly cease due to unfavorable conditions. We will see.
     
  9. charid

    charid Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a cardboard box with straw and a heat lamp ready. There is a screen just in case the lamp were to fall. How long do I leave babies in the incubator? I read when dry and that drying should take no more than 2 days max. Also when I do move them what temp should they be at in brooder? How long do they stay under the heat lamp? I will look for answers online until then. TIA.
     
  10. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    I remove mine from the hatcher when they are dry.

    Temperature for brooding keets should start at 95°F measured at the bedding level. The temperature can be lowered by 5°F once a week until they are at the ambient temperature.

    The brooder should be big enough so that they can freely come and go between the heated area as needed. The food and water should not be directly in the heated area.

    Straw or wood chips should not be used for bedding for the first couple of weeks since the keets will eat it but cannot digest it without having grit available and will develop intestinal blockage. You can cover the straw with paper towels at first. I use sand for bedding and the sand acts as a very fine grit for the keets. Until they are eating good, I sprinkle the feed on the sand which helps get them started eating.

    Read the Raising Guinea Fowl 101 thread and pay particular attention to posts made by @PeepsCA

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/312682/raising-guinea-fowl-101
     

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