Lockdown in AZ, I knew this was gonna be tough

Joplus

Songster
5 Years
Apr 15, 2014
516
36
136
Well the incubator is pretty packed at this point. All three wells are filled, plus 3 baby food jars, two with a sponge stuffed in them plus two scraps of wet sponge laying on the mesh screen. And I'm getting up to 50% with the vents in. I literally have no room with the 34 eggs to add more water. I have a vaporizer running in the room and hopefully I can take the vents out soon and hopefully the humidity will spike with the first hatch? And as luck will have it its supposed to rain tomorrow which happens about twice a year so maybe that will help. I am almost positive an egg moved. I'm getting super excited. Just worried about the humidity at this point.
 

runswithchicken

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 11, 2012
35
1
34
Sussex County Delaware
I am in no way an expert, but from experiencing problems myself that seem to have been caused by too high humidity, (it ran in the high 60's) I would try not to stress too much. Misting the incubator with warm water is a good way to boost humidity. And from what I read it will increase a bit as well as they start to hatch. Good luck!
 

Joplus

Songster
5 Years
Apr 15, 2014
516
36
136
How would I mist with the lid closed? Like through the vent holes? Is it ok if I inadvertently mist the heating element? Also my thermometer rests on the eggs is that bad during hatching? If I rest it on the mesh it reads way lower. I don't want to open the lid now but I can probably shake it off but then no thermometer.
 

dretd

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 14, 2009
2,141
239
251
Ft Collins, CO
Hi Joplus!

Running the humidifier in the room is an excellent idea and really your best bet for getting good humidity stability in the 'bator. When the chicks start hatching, the humidity will really go up, probably to the point of getting condensation on the inside of the incubator.

I have a quick question for you. Is this incubator a still air or does it have a fan? How are you measuring the humidity and the tmep? Do you know what the humidity is in the room vs the incubator? How did you calibrate the hygrometer/s or is it calibrated?

Try not to stress too much!
 

Joplus

Songster
5 Years
Apr 15, 2014
516
36
136
I have a still air. I have calibrated the thermometers but not the hydrometers. But I have 3 of them and they all range +/- 5° so if anything I'm off by no morethan 5° which I read was ok. Ya I'm living in a sweat lodge now, anything for my babies. The humidity in the room ranges 10°-20°. I know super dry, desert living plus the a/c running. I'll check again now that the vaporizer is running, it feels **** sweaty. Thanks everyone. My husband says never again because I'm too anxious but I'm pregnant and would much rather focus on chick worry than baby worry, its a great way to pass the time.
 

dretd

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 14, 2009
2,141
239
251
Ft Collins, CO
How would I mist with the lid closed? Like through the vent holes? Is it ok if I inadvertently mist the heating element? Also my thermometer rests on the eggs is that bad during hatching? If I rest it on the mesh it reads way lower. I don't want to open the lid now but I can probably shake it off but then no thermometer.
OK, take a deep breath. Chickens have been hatching for millenia, even if you have not


I think the biggest reason they invented lockdown was so that it made a firm rule for us owners to keep out grubby mitts of the process and let nature take its course. It is unbelievably hard to sit on your hands and not fret, isn't it?

As for the thermometer, if you know how much lower it is when you put it on the mesh then use that as your guide and don't mess with the thermostat. SO for instance, if the thermo stablilizes at 96 degrees while on the mesh, then that is your new normal and what you go by. When the chicks start hatching, the thermometer will get bumped off anyway. I would perch it off to the side resting on an outside wall and just note the new normal temp so you don't worry.

You have my permission to open the incubator this one time and reposition the thermometer as long as there are no external pips that you can see. You can mist the chamber right before you close the lid back to bump that humidity up.

Remember that a broody hen does not have a squirt bottle or fan mounted on her fluffy butt and the chicks seems to hatch out fine
 

dretd

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 14, 2009
2,141
239
251
Ft Collins, CO
I have a still air. I have calibrated the thermometers but not the hydrometers. But I have 3 of them and they all range +/- 5° so if anything I'm off by no morethan 5° which I read was ok. Ya I'm living in a sweat lodge now, anything for my babies. The humidity in the room ranges 10°-20°. I know super dry, desert living plus the a/c running. I'll check again now that the vaporizer is running, it feels **** sweaty. Thanks everyone. My husband says never again because I'm too anxious but I'm pregnant and would much rather focus on chick worry than baby worry, its a great way to pass the time.
Ok, I am going to assume the hygrometers you have are digital as they are the most common. Since you have 3 of them, take one out when you move the thermometer and place that hygrometer in your room. If you think it is really damp in your room and the hygrometer says it is not, then there is a problem with your hygrometers. In my experience, after calibrating both analogue and digital hygrometers, the digital ones read artificially low and by a lot. I calibrate and then write how much the hygrometer is off on the hygrometer with a sharpy for easy reference. Using the salt method, the relative humidity is known to be 75% but my hygrometers said otherwise and in one instance read 40%, a full 35% lower than it should. So there is a potential that your hygrometers may be saying 50% but they are really at 75%. You do not want to have too high a humidity, either so just remember that the numbers on the hygrometers are just numbers and without calibration they may not be accurate.

TO calibrate a hygrometer in the future, I have used both the wet bulb and the salt method and found the salt method much easier to used. Here is a link to directions: http://www.neptunecigar.com/co/faq-how_to_calibrate_your_hygrometer.aspx If these are not clear, then just google calibrating a hygrometer and pick another one. I found using a gallon zip top bag worked well and I used a shot-glass for the salt as it kept the salt from the electronics and was more stable (did not tend to tip over in the bag).
 
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Joplus

Songster
5 Years
Apr 15, 2014
516
36
136
Thanks a million. I took the digital out and with the vaporizer running in my room, a/c off for now, it reads 42%. The digital reads about 5° higher than my other one, the one in the lid reads 5° higher and I read others with this incubator (farm innovator) saw the same and not to trust it. So I moved the thermometer to the mesh. And here's a pic at Lockdown and I'm not touching it again.
 

Joplus

Songster
5 Years
Apr 15, 2014
516
36
136
Ok everything is perfect. So far 7 eggs have pipped (oddly enough all on the right side). Humidity spiked to 70° a few times but hovers around 60°. Temp 99° (its a still air so I was higher through the first 18 days). Chirping like crazy but never when my husband listens so he thinks I'm crazy but my dog heard it. I have my room at 81° and 40% humidity which is disgusting so its keeping me out and I actually cleaned (I'm the worst housewife, lol). So I hope everything is ok and I guess hatching tonight or tomorrow? That would be day 21. Here's the first pip
 
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