Incubating chicks with Farm Innovator 4200 and I don't understand hygrometer vs humidity

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by karensklucks, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. karensklucks

    karensklucks Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Apr 8, 2012
    I have now incubated 2 sets of chicks with my Farm Innovator 4200. My overall stats are really good, yet I am having an issue with sticky chicks and have lost a few because of it. I am so confused about the thermometer and hygrometer, on the top of this unit. I don't know how to properly figure out the actual humidity and I end up using the hygrometer, as the humidity number. How do you determine the appropriate humidity? I have purchased two other thermometer/humidity sets, but, of course, nothing shows the same percentage or temperature. I hope this makes sense. My husband wants me to incubate duck eggs, but until I get this figured out, I am a worried about ruining their ability to hatch. I love my Farm Innovator unit, I am just confused and have read so much, that I am totally confused. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP.
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I use three thermometers in mine and as long as they are all within 1 degree I'm happy. You can calibrate them. if they are digital you'd have to have a calibrated standard thermometer to compare them too. As for hygrometer, (I use a seperate one inside my bator) search 'calibrating hygrometer' on here and you'll find threads to do that too.
    The best way to judge if your humidity is good is to keep an eye on the air cells and make sure they are loosing the correct amount of moisture over the incubation process. There are multiple sources on line with the egg graph showing how big the air cell should be at key days of incubation. The hatching 101 page right on here has one. Compare the air cell to where it should be and this will help to know wether you need to up or drop humidity. It's all about the air cells.
    If you are having a problem with sticky chicks, have you considered maybe doing a dry incubation? I switched to dry method and am happy with the results. It will be the method I continue to use.
    The farm Innovator is forced air, correct?
     
  3. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

    3,443
    1,432
    291
    Jun 12, 2014
    Colorado
    My Coop
    I have not hatched yet with this incubator, just fired it up and it seems to be holding temp just fine. After all the reading I have done on hatching and I am considering the dry hatch method. I like the idea of being able to adjust to more humidity as you go. A lot of people have preferred the dry hatching method. Can you give me some pro's and con's to the dry hatch method? Please
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I honestly can not come up with cons as long as it's done correctly and the air cells are being monitored for growth. If I had to name a con it would be the possibility of someone not being able to correctly judge the air cell size. As long as my bator stays above 25% w/o water I prefer to run completely dry and just let the air cell growth guide me...after all, that's the whole reason we control humidity if for air cell growth. If I see that my air cells are growing too fast, I can up my humidity. But this way I am not relying on a number someone threw at me. I am relying on the eggs to tell me what they need. I could not run completely dry for this hatch because we have lower humidity with it STILL being winter (despite the calendar saying spring) and using wood pellet for heating. So instead of worrying about getting to my water wells, since I only need a small amount of added moisture to bring me to the 30% ish mark I have a sponge in the corner that I wet. Half the time I don't even worry about humidity as long as my air cells are looking good. And I don't have to worry about chicks drowning. It's less stressful and I firmly believe a better guide to making sure the eggs are at the proper humidity.
     
  5. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

    3,443
    1,432
    291
    Jun 12, 2014
    Colorado
    My Coop
    Thanks for that insight, just not sure about here in Coloado as we are pretty dry. I don't have a designated room for incubation so I was thinking about the living room area, that being said, I understand the room should have humidity in it. Without a humidifier running right now, our living room is at 55%. Would I be better off incubating in a smaller room where if needed I could close the door and put a humidifier in the room?
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I'd set up the incubator and run it dry w/o eggs and see what it holds. My fall hatch I went completely dry because my bator held an average of 40%. For the hatch I am doing now I've had to add water (I just wet a sponge and keep in there) in order to keep the humidity around 30% because with the pellet stove it's really dry in here. It's still technically considered a "dry" incubation because of the low amount of humidity, but it's not a true dry incubation in my mind...lol
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,839
    6,222
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    You don't need to humidify the room. But, if you were having to add a lot of water to your bator, and couldn't get the humidity up to 25 - 35% for the first 18 days, or couldn't get it up above 65% for lock down, that would be a perfect time to humidify the ROOM as well as adding water/sponge to the bator. Amy is right, the term "dry incubation" is a mis-nomer. It should be called "lower humidity incubation" or some such thing.
     
  8. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

    3,443
    1,432
    291
    Jun 12, 2014
    Colorado
    My Coop
    Yes, I did run the incubators for the last three days and it held steady temp but humidity was low under 25%, no water in the bator. Would you rerun it with ni eggs and a sponge to see what it hold.

    Ok yes I have read a few threads where people have argued if you are in a humid climate the. It can't be considered a true dry hatch. Anyway, thanks for the insight.
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    That's what I have right now, so I am just keeping a damp/wet sponge in mine in the corner and it's keeping it right around 30% (with my vent plugs out-I don't use the vent plugs). You can start your incubation and regulate the humidity over the first 24-48 hours and it won't harm the eggs. Just remember once you adjust your humidity it will change your temps, so don't freak out too bad. If you wanted to go ahead and get your eggs in there (because that will also affect the temp and humidity) and get the temp regulated w/the eggs then you can work on the humidity. I find it easier just to use the sponge to keep it at 30% than to fill water wells and try to figure out how much. Also if you put a damp/wet sponge with water in there and the humdity shoots up higher than you want, it's ok. Just let it naturally come back down. The average of the humidity over the period of the incubation and growth of air cells is what is important not what the humidity is at any given time.
     
  10. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,990
    2,157
    336
    Mar 16, 2014
    SE Michigan
    My incubator ran 18% empty, 25% with 40 eggs, and 44% with 60 eggs without altering the humidistat. Eggs give off a good deal of moisture, but if the incubator retains it, then the eggs won't lose much moisture. Every time you open the incubator and the room temp and humidity are lower, then warm, moist air will leave the incubator and cooler, drier air will enter.

    When my eggs start pipping I expect the humidity to go up more on its own, but the water pan and air stone are on standby if needed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by