Let's talk Ventilation, Co2 and oxygen levels in the incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jmagill, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    I am wondering how to gage how the level of ventilation during incubation effects the hatch rate.

    I know that we have to balance humidity temp. and ventilation to get a great hatch. I can't afford a CO2 meter at this point but I am wondering if anyone uses
    one as part of their hatching strategy?

    Do you adjust your ventilation depending on altitude as well?
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    IS this a homemade incubator?

    not having any trouble with my used manufactured incubator.
  3. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    Not homemade, GFQ Sportsman.

    I am not having trouble. I am trying to fine tune my results and get the best hatch possible.
    Just as I am weighing my eggs to get the best possible results and adjusting my humidity to get the proper weight loss.
    I want to know that I am not sacrificing proper ventilation to get the proper humidity level.

    It's a fine dance and I would like to know how others are approaching it. I could just sit back and follow the directions but that is not
    how I like to operate.
    1 person likes this.
  4. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I'm curious about this too. I feel like I have to close up my Brinsea Ova Easy too much to get humidity up for hatching. Otherwise, I can keep the vents wide open, and still maintain 45-50% humidity the rest of the time.

    I've heard from some people that the increased CO2 helps the chicks to hatch? Does that make any sense? I don't know if it makes them more desperate to get out of their shell, or what. I'm not sure I buy that theory either.
  5. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    Here is a quote from an article I have read. it seems that ventilation can play a very important part in the first few days.

    "Carbon Dioxide Tolerance
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a natural by-product of metabolic processes during embryonic development. In fact, CO2 is released through the shell from the time the egg is laid. Carbon dioxide levels increase in the air within the setter and hatcher when there is insufficient air exchange. Younger embryos have a lower tolerance level to CO2 than older ones. The tolerance level seems to be linear from the first day of incubation through the 21st day. During the first 4 days in the setter, the tolerance level to CO2 is about 0.3%.

    Carbon dioxide levels above 0.5% in the setter reduce hatchability, with significant reductions at 1.0%. Total embryo mortality occurs at 5.0% CO2. Hatching chicks give off more CO2 than embryos in eggs, and the tolerance level in the hatcher is about 0.75%. Recording devices are available for measuring the CO2 content of the air, and some incubators have them as standard equipment. The best place to measure the CO2 is in the exhaust duct coming out of the setter or hatcher. Measurements taken inside the machines are not as accurate because opening the doors will change the environment in the machine."
  6. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    Trenton, FL
    I do dry hatch and get close to a 100% hatch rate on my own eggs all the time. I run my vents open 24/7. I have never put water in my incubator except when hatching ducks. My humidity runs about 50% from beginning to end. I have never thought of using a monitor in my incubator.....
  7. Baralak

    Baralak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:For you this is correct. You are in a costal region with High ambient humidity, as am I. However the futher inland you go, the lower the RH will be. I would still use a hygrometer.

    As for the Co2, I don't, but I'm not hatching as many as you are in a sportsman.
  8. Taco

    Taco Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2013
    I know this is an old thread but I don't know if you ever got your answer. I started a tread on this very subject, it's in the incubating and hatching section now with the title "Has anybody used a CO2 monitor in their incubator?"
  9. Toirxon

    Toirxon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2012
    You say that you are weighing the eggs. And can you tell me? Do the eggs loose their weight or get havier? I have hatched several times but I haven`t weighed them. While I was hatching I felt that eggs became havier, but feeling can deceive.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  10. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2012
    Liberty, TX
    The eggs should lose about 13% of their weight during incubation as moiture evaproates from the egg, and the air space grows larger.

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