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Incubating first time and need help

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lloges0127, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. lloges0127

    lloges0127 In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2014
    I have been spending hours searching through posts and can't seem to find what I need, so I decided to start a new thread. This is my first time incubating and really, I'm new to raising chickens (within the last 2 years). My husband has had chickens for years but he's lost on the topic too. Humidity. He got me for christmas a "FarmInnovators" incubator from Tractor Supply. It has auto turner, thermostat, humidity detector, digital countdown. Here's my issue as I see SO MANY different opinions. WE have had problems from day 1 with the humidity. The book it came with says to keep the humidity at 50-60% and when day 18 comes, open the caps off for more air, and raise the humidity to 60-70%.
    We cannot keep the humidity steady. It's all over the place. We can start will the bottom tracks partially full of warm distilled water, and after about 8-10 hours, the humidity starts to drop. It's gone as low as 48%. We will add some water or maybe warm sponge, and then it goes up to the 70's! And the sponge is may 3X4 inch not saturated.
    First off:
    During the beginning, before candling at day 7 to check the air sacs, what does the humidity need to be?
    After candling I'm assuming we go from there but still not sure of what it should be. Do I need to adjust as I go each candling session?
    Day 18 and we take the eggs out of the turner and put them on the wire to hatch and within 4 hours they start hatching. It took 2 days for a total of 17 to hatch. My friend told me the temp was too high, but I never changed it -when the peeps started hatching we were at 68-70% humidity, temp never changes from 99.5 - 100.5 at most, usually 100. So was it too high??
    All was going well, they were hatching and drying, and I was told to keep the incubator on lockdown. Well, the more chick that hatched the higher the humidity got (of course, respirations expel humidity)*I'm a nurse
    So do I leave them in, take them out like 6 at a time, what do I do? I did find 2 that pipped and were alive but I think their eggs got rolled around from so many chicks kicking over them, that it looks like the holes were covered over by a shiny sticky film.
    We had about 7 that fully formed, didn't pip and died. I think it was because the humidity was so high. I feel so bad!

    Any opinions and help i can get is appreciated.!! I tried to attach a picture of the incubator and eggs in the turner and out of the turner. but I can't find the place to do it. Any one ever use this kind? It was like $130 so it's not supposed to be a cheap one.

  2. feedman77

    feedman77 Songster

    Jun 10, 2013
    On the subject of humidity you will get a lot of opinions/suggestions. It is a lot of trial and error to find what works best for you.

    I personally run my humidity between 20 to 35 during incubation. Then raise to 70 plus for lockdown. I found if I tried 45 to 50 I had formed but dead chicks.

    We're they full size chicken eggs or bantams. If they were full size then the temp was too high. That's a possibility for early hatching. Always double check incubator temp with a known to be accurate thermometer. Even some higher end incubators can be off a degree or more.

    As far leaving chicks in is a judgement call. I assist eggs remove chicks when they are dry and remove hatched egg shells. But I'm kinda hands on when hatching. The chicks can be left a couple of days if needed. Their yolk sac will supply all they need for up to 3 days. The other school of hatching is hands off. Once on lockdown you don't remove any hatched chicks until they all hatch or open the incubator.

    You tried this batch of eggs. Since you kept notes. Try another batch make small adjustment to temp. Lower it some see if eggs hatch on day 21. Run humidity lower during incubation and see how they hatch.

    If the changes do good and your happy with the results try to duplicate the results. If your not make another change try again. You will find what works best for you.
    1 person likes this.
  3. lloges0127

    lloges0127 In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2014
    The eggs were a mix. I have top hats but most of them were Rhode Island reds, Black sex links, barred rocks and wyandots. Barnyard mix lol. The roosters are americana, a silkie/auracana mix and a brahma/Wyandot mix. First and third are huge, middle rooster a medium size.
    And thank you so much for your input!!
    The ones that didn't hatch were fully formed but very wet inside when I opened them so I assume they were drowned.
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    1 person likes this.

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