Incubating dilemma by first timer

Hippy Chix

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
Hi all, I have removed my eggs from the turner to the tray as per instructions but the incubator is not maintaining humidity. Instead copious amounts of fluid is leaking from the overflow holes in the base & the humidity won't hold above 50%. It just hit day 18 so I'm unsure how to proceed beyond this point without risking the integrity of the batch. 40/48 eggs were very heavy & warm upon being moved to the hatching tray from the turning baskets the others were considerably lighter & cooler. That being said, they were also bantam eggs! Any advice is appreciated should anyone else have had this experience. I've placed sponges nice & thoroughly wetted, inside the incubator prior to lockdown to ensure humidity is maintained. I've googled every site & set of instructions I can find & nowhere can I find a reason or explanation for leakage. I don't want to jeopardize my hatching so I'm sitting on my hands with everything crossed tight ATM!
I purchased an incubator that's fully automated with temp & humidity readings, alarms & timers etc. The humidity held at 45% the entire time but then when raising up ready for lock down I got it to 75%. Then it started dropping & is now permanently sitting at 50%. Not budging despite plenty of wet sponges, air cells taped off & overflows blocked up. Minimal condensation forming on the inside of the lid is the only change.
If you have condensation forming inside the lid then I would venture to say your humidity is quite high, I would be suspect of your hygrometer's reading. Also you will need to have ventilation points open for lockdown, your chicks are now breathing air and need air to breath. What kind of incubator is this? Even with a good quality trustworthy incubator it is advisable to put in a secondary thermometer and hygrometer just as something to fall back on, you never know when that stuff will fail. I just use a cheap thermometer that seems accurate and a hygrometer for a reptile aquarium from the pet store both for under 5 bucks, non digital, I don't trust that stuff.
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I have one with the built in hygrometer and thermometer also. The thermometer is 8 degrees too high according to my normal thermomeryer I have laying in there. So I at least know that.
I do not have a second hygrometer though, so I assume it is about the same being off, and have always had successful hatches. But mine are off above my other readings.
However if there is condensation I'd say you are at, at least 80%. That's when I've noticed it taking place.
Only slight condensation build up but at least there's some. I've opened one of the air vents & left the other closed to avoid losing whatever humidity HAS been achieved. It's already dropped a little more but we're halfway through lock down now so I'm loathe to risk opening up to place a hydrometer inside & test the reading. I'm hopeful that the incubator is reading less than what has actually been achieved otherwise I'm afraid that the entire 48 eggs are going to fail to hatch.
Leaving any vents closed to maintain humidity during lockdown is a bad idea, have you read the hatching 101 article yet? It explains how important ventilation is and that you should leave all ventilation open and use other methods to raise humidity
Yes, I've read everything & followed everything to the letter!!!!!!! But clearly something is going awry. So now I'm following advice that's outside the guidelines from much more experienced people than myself. It was this advice that suggested I block the air vents to build the humidity. Doing nothing would see my hatch fail, blocking air vents temporarily gave it all a chance. I saw no harm in trying to follow the advice of those with experience.
Currently at day 20 the alarm is sounding every few hours to indicate decreased humidity. I'm adding 1litre of warm water each time. The humidity raises from 43 to 48% Max & the warm fluid applied, seeps immediately out again. This has continued to occur as soon as the air vents were reopened. There is no longer any evidence of condensation whatsoever. I cannot add an independent hydrometer at this late stage without opening the incubator & jeopardizing the hatch. I'm stressed!!!

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