Is a consistent 45% humidity in Hovabator too low?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DanIndiana, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. DanIndiana

    DanIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2010
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    I've searched and read alot of different opinions. It's running a consistent 99.7 F, and 45-50% humidity on a digital combo device. I had it around 60% at first, but I was getting water droplets on the viewing windows so I assumed that was too high. It's day 3.
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'd even go a little lower than that. Firm believer in the dry hatch method. You don't add any moisture in first 18 days if your in a humid environment or add some to get humidity up to 45%-ish then let it dry out completely, add again, let dry out completely. Then run 60% for lock down.
  3. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    I agree this is the system that I use as well. Without water my humidity is only around 17 so when it hits that I add some water to it. I ran two air line tubes for a fish tank to where the power cord for my turner comes out too so I can add water without lifting the lid this helps too. Generally around 20% to 40% first 18 then 60% for hatch
  4. snooptwomey

    snooptwomey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2011
    Newark, DE
    I run a LG still air, my humidity going by a wet bulb method without me putting any water in the incubator was almost 40%. So I only add like a tablespoon of water every other day or so. Typically 12 hours or so after the water drys up I am adding the next teaspoon. Then I add alot at lockdown.
  5. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Yeah it definitely depends on what your starting humidity is before you add water in the summer I run completely dry because it's raining so much my humidity is almost 50% but in the winter it's much dryer so I need to add some water.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I trust you've calibrated your instruments so you know what you are dealing with. Due to manufacturing tolerances, thermometers and hygrometers can be off. I don't worry about my hugrometer being spot one, but the thermometer needs to be. If you are truly getting 99.7 in a forced air model, you are doing great. If it is a still air model, that depends on where you are taking the temperature. In a still air, the temperature can vary quite a bit based on elevation. Hovabator incubators come in both still air and forced air versions. I don't know which one you have.

    The reason you get so many different opinions is that different humidities work for different ones of us. Some people have tried the dry humidity method and get really improved results. Some have tried it and got none to hatch. But the same is true for people trying to keep it at other specific humidities. Due to our each unique circumstances, different things work for different ones of us on humidity. There is no one right answer for all of us. I wish there were. It would take some worry and uncertainty away. But there can be some trial and error involved in getting it right for you.

    The reason you are concerned about humidity is that you want the eggs to lose a certain amount of moisture during the incubation process. Some people weigh their eggs to keep track of how much moisture they are losing so they can adjust the humidity to correct it. Some people candle and see how much the air sac is growing. Many of us do neither but just try it.

    I have the Hovabator 1588, which is a forced air model. When I got it, I read the instructions. They said to fill the center reservoir only during incubation and then fill other certain reservoirs during lockdown. The instructions also said to not use valuable eggs the first try, but do a test run first. I tried what they suggested and got a pretty good hatch, so I've kept doing that. Sometimes my humidity runs 42%, sometimes closer to 50%, depending in what time of year I incubate. I have not noticed a lot of difference in the hatch rate. I don't consider humidity an exact science, but one where you just need to be pretty close. I use my hygrometer more to tell me when I need to add water than worrying about the exact humidity in there.

    What I suggest is that you settle on a specific method or humidity and try that. Try to be pretty consistent throughout the incubation. Then analyze the results and see if you need to adjust. If you bounce all over the place during incubation, how will you know what to adjust next time? I agree that if you were getting water droplets forming, it was too high and needed to come down. I think that was a move in the right direction. I wish I could tell you exactly where to go with humidity, but I can't.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Always calibrate your hygrometer, especially if you've used it for many previous hatches. They can be way off, they can change. I have a digital Flukers thermo/hygro which used to be on the money. Now, the hygro part reads 20% lower than it really is (I calibrated it using the damp salt method last incubation and the other hygrometer confirms it as well).

    The percentages I go by are 30-50% the first 18 days, though I usually add a few drops of water if it goes below 35%. I don't want it higher than 50% the first 18 days. Then I raise it to 65-70% for the last three days, but I don't panic if it dips to near 60%. When they start hatching, the air becomes wet immediately anyway.

    Humidity can vary by a lot and you can have a successful hatch. Temp is much, much more important.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

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