My incubator has 2 water troughs, why?


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 24, 2014
Hello I recently hatched quails first time and it was a poor hatch. This time I'm going to try again and achieve it better. Just a quick question, I have a jonoel-10 incubator. It has 2 troughs for war. 1 little one then a bigger 1 around it. Why's this?
Humidity is achieved by evaporation of water. The more surface area of the water, the more evaporation. Sounds to me like your large ring is for incubation. Then three days before hatch you stop turning eggs and put water into the small ring as well. This raises the humidity for hatch, also called lockdown by many people. Basically you do not want to open the incubator until the majority of your chicks have hatched. I know its tempting, but the chicks can survive 36 hours or so in the incubator. So just let them complete the hatch before you open the incubator up.
Humidity during incubation should be about 50%. Humidity during hatch should be about 70%

Because during lockdown you have to raise your humidity to 70% +/- and in certain climates you may not be able to achieve that without increasing the evaporative surface area.
You fill the smaller one for Day 1-18 to achieve about 50% humidity. Then you keep that filled and add water to the other one to raise humidity to about 70% at lockdown for Day 18+ through hatch.

Good luck!
You really need to get yourself a hydrometer. Or a wetbulb thermometer. Your hatches will improve dramatically. They dont cost very much.
Too much humidity during incubation will drown your chicks because the egg needs to loose moisture towards the large end of the egg prior to hatch. This forms the air pocket that keeps the chicks alive while they are trying to hatch. If the air pocket does not form then when the chick breakes the membrane they suck in fluid instead of air.
On the same token too little humidity during hatch can trap the chick in the egg. The chick has to be able to turn around inside the egg and peck around the egg like a can opener. Its a balancing act.

Coturnix quail only take 17 days to hatch. Day 1-15 50% humidity, temp of 99.8 and turn several times a day. Day 15- hatch stop turning eggs, raise humidity to 70% and do not open incubator again until hatch is done
One more thing is to be sure and leave hatched chicks in the incubator for 16-24 hours. I personally don't open it until they've been in the bator for 24 hours. If you open the bator while eggs are pipped you will shrink wrap those chicks and they will most likely die.

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