Incubator and Humidity in the South

Deltaj

Chirping
Nov 23, 2020
99
68
81
South Louisiana
I am on my first hatch using an incubator. The instructions calls for humidity level of 48-54%. I am not able to get humidity level lower than 55%. I am adding water as frequently as it allows. What is the danger zone for my chicks? any suggestions?
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,982
832
California's Redwood Coast
I am not able to get humidity level lower than 55%. I am adding water as frequently as it allows. What is the danger zone for my chicks? any suggestions?
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

With our collective experience we should be able to help you along! Please Remove all the water from the bator and run completely dry for several hours to see where your humidity runs. If I read correctly and you wish to LOWER humidity.

Which incubator are you using? With or without a fan? Are you able to post photos?

If the bator has vents.. opening them can reduce humidity slightly. All plugs removed and vents open if featured is my preferred way from the start of incubation.

What type and color of eggs are incubating.. chicken, duck, quail, etc.. white, brown, blue.. large or bantam.. what temperature are you set at and are you using auxiliary thermometer/hygrometer that can be calibrated or relying on built in stuff? Are the eggs from your flock or shipped or stored for how long before setting? Already incubating on what day or just getting set up and dialed in still?

That humidity would be too high long term for darker and or fresher eggs but might be okay for white eggs that are already a week old..

Too high of humidity can diminish air cell growth which in turn could allow the embryo to grow too large that it may not be able to turn into position for pip. A smaller air cell mean more fluid in the egg and may contribute to drowning at internal pip in some cases. There is some room for fudging humidity more so than temperature.

Sometimes the monthly and holiday hatch along or "HAL" threads can be fun and full of helpful information and people to share the experience with, if that might interest you.

Hope this helps some, and happy hatching! :jumpy:jumpy
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 16, 2014
10,482
24,338
916
Hawaii
I live in Hawaii with very high ambient humidty and run my incubators dry. Humidity runs 35-45% this way. Try and see what you get this way. Keep a close eye on your readings. How do the air cells look? You can also search in the threads under dry incubation. I only add water at lockdown. Important also that you have calibrated hygrometers that give you accurate readings. 🙂
 

Deltaj

Chirping
Nov 23, 2020
99
68
81
South Louisiana
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

With our collective experience we should be able to help you along! Please Remove all the water from the bator and run completely dry for several hours to see where your humidity runs. If I read correctly and you wish to LOWER humidity.

Which incubator are you using? With or without a fan? Are you able to post photos?

If the bator has vents.. opening them can reduce humidity slightly. All plugs removed and vents open if featured is my preferred way from the start of incubation.

What type and color of eggs are incubating.. chicken, duck, quail, etc.. white, brown, blue.. large or bantam.. what temperature are you set at and are you using auxiliary thermometer/hygrometer that can be calibrated or relying on built in stuff? Are the eggs from your flock or shipped or stored for how long before setting? Already incubating on what day or just getting set up and dialed in still?

That humidity would be too high long term for darker and or fresher eggs but might be okay for white eggs that are already a week old..

Too high of humidity can diminish air cell growth which in turn could allow the embryo to grow too large that it may not be able to turn into position for pip. A smaller air cell mean more fluid in the egg and may contribute to drowning at internal pip in some cases. There is some room for fudging humidity more so than temperature.

Sometimes the monthly and holiday hatch along or "HAL" threads can be fun and full of helpful information and people to share the experience with, if that might interest you.

Hope this helps some, and happy hatching! :jumpy:jumpy
Thank you. The pic below and with a fan.
 

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JDGreene

Songster
Oct 18, 2018
197
316
156
Tennessee
That humidity would be too high long term for darker and or fresher eggs but might be okay for white eggs that are already a week old..

Where did you read this?

I have white eggs incubating that were stored for 8 days before I started incubating them. I read 30-40% humidity so averaged 37% and my aircells grew too fast. I've had to up my humidity to compensate for the past couple days and looking at my logs I'll have to incubate with a 45% average humidity next time.

I figured it was because my incubator is big and has alot of ventilation but you may be right.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
4,628
13,497
536
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Following - no advice - I'm in FL and normally have too high humidity, but a front went thru and dropped my humidity way too low for days, I was having to supplement with wet paper towels to keep around 50% - ultimately lost all my first hatching.

Currently 14 days into my second effort, all dark tan to downright brown chicken eggs this time (last time, it was ducks) in a similar incubator. Have removed 2 as infertile, 10 eggs still **fingers crossed** going, but the shells are too dark to see movement or distinct features.

Flying blind here, hope your hatch goes better than mine is.
 

Deltaj

Chirping
Nov 23, 2020
99
68
81
South Louisiana
I live in Hawaii with very high ambient humidty and run my incubators dry. Humidity runs 35-45% this way. Try and see what you get this way. Keep a close eye on your readings. How do the air cells look? You can also search in the threads under dry incubation. I only add water at lockdown. Important also that you have calibrated hygrometers that give you accurate readings. 🙂
so, you run the incubator dry until lock down at which time you add water. I will try the dry next time since humidity is so high here in the South. Yesterday humidity reading was at 92%.. Thank you
 

Deltaj

Chirping
Nov 23, 2020
99
68
81
South Louisiana
Following - no advice - I'm in FL and normally have too high humidity, but a front went thru and dropped my humidity way too low for days, I was having to supplement with wet paper towels to keep around 50% - ultimately lost all my first hatching.

Currently 14 days into my second effort, all dark tan to downright brown chicken eggs this time (last time, it was ducks) in a similar incubator. Have removed 2 as infertile, 10 eggs still **fingers crossed** going, but the shells are too dark to see movement or distinct features.

Flying blind here, hope your hatch goes better than mine is.
I'm sorry to here about your loss. Especially it being your first. This is my first too. I did candle a few eggs today and they look great!!! I am so excited. I hope you get your hatch on this time.
 

JDGreene

Songster
Oct 18, 2018
197
316
156
Tennessee
I've literally been sitting here for the past 2 days reading up on incubation humidity so maybe I can explain simply and save you two days. If I'm wrong I hope somebody will correct me.

You want your eggs to loose a certain amount of weight during incubation. They need to loose 11-13% of their weight on day 18. That controls the size of the air cell.

So how do you control the weight loss? With humidity. High humidity slows down the water loss in the egg and low humidity makes it faster.

If you want to know what humidity to use, you weigh them when you start and weigh them again sometime during the incubation period and if they don't loose as much weight as they are supposed to, you lower the humidity and vice versa.

So one person has to run a different humidity than another one because of environmental factors, incubator type, and apparently egg type. Shoot I had to turn the A/C on the other day and my humidtity dropped because the A/C dries out the air so the air venting in my incubator was drier.

Running dry just means you don't add water, but the humidity inside can still be high or it can be in the perfect spot.
 

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