no water in incubator, humidity near 60% - HELP!

technodoll

Songster
10 Years
Aug 25, 2009
2,265
28
191
Quebec, Canada
I am 5 days into my first hatch and have run into some problems...

My brand-new forced-air Hovabator has 30 eggs in it, here are my problems:

The mercury thermometer that came with the unit, which sits on top of the eggs, shows 100F.

I purchased a digital thermometer/hygrometer, which shows 96.2 F.

Which temperature should I believe??


Also:

The digital hygrometer shows 46% humidity, and I purchased another small needle-type hygrometer and it shows 60% humidity -

again, which one is right??


Both are on the automatic turner egg tray, in an empty spot.

There is NO WATER in the 'bator, why is it so humid??

Help! Am I drowning the eggs? Are they too cold?

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Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
I'm not sure about the thermometer, but for the hygrometer you need to calibrate it. Do a search on here and you'll get step by step instructions, if I remember right it takes 8-12 hours. They can be off by a lot though so it's worth doing.
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VredenburgS

In the Brooder
10 Years
Nov 15, 2009
99
0
39
Reed City, MI.
I had the same problem ! I bought a digital therm/ hygrometer.....it NEVER read anything right...I stuck with the thermometer that came with my bater and made sure I had water in the channels of incubater..added wet sponges the last 3 days ..Had temp spikes up to 106 and as low as 80 while incubating.... They still hatched just fine..wish I had a better answer for ya though. AMAZING how much Thermometers vary...Where's the QC for that? lol ! Good Luck !
 

babsbag

Songster
10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
729
9
169
Anderson, CA
I am no expert on incubators, I am setting my first eggs tomorrow, but I can help you out with the hygrometer. There is a test you do. I did both of my digital ones and they are both 8% low. There is no way to adjust the digital ones so you need to factor that in. If you have no water in your incubator or there vents you can open? That seems like really high humidity. I know your temp might fluctuate if you open the vents, but in my mind (again, a total newbie) that would be easier to adjust and not so crititcal as drowning the chicks.

As far as the thermometer, I would trust the mercury one provided the back plate with the temps on it cannot move around. Do you have another one, like a human fever thermometer, that you could put in there as a test? They are usually pretty acurate.

Here are the directions to calibrate your hygrometer. I know it takes about 6 hours, so hang in there.


To calibrate your hygrometer you will need table salt, a see through container such as a Ziplock baggie, and a small shallow open container, like a bottle cap.

Place a teaspoon or so of salt in the shallow container and add a few drops of water to get it wet. You don't want to dissolve it, just get a good damp pile of salt in your container. Remember, you don't want a salt water solution, just damp salt. Place the shallow container in the baggie along with the hygrometer.

Seal the baggie with some air trapped inside (so it is not tight against the hygrometer) and let it sit. Allow this to stabilize for at least 6 hours (don't rush it). After it has stabilized, check the hygrometer reading without opening up the baggie. It should be exactly 75%.

If your hygrometer doesn't read 75% after calibration then you have 2 choices. First you can remember the deviation of y our hygrometer. If it read 80% then you are 5% off and have to subtract 5% from whatever it reads. The second option is to adjust the hygrometer if your model allows for this. Some hygrometers have a dial on the back or side that can be turned to adjust the unit to 75%. If yours doesn't have this, then go with option 1.
 

brendapa

Songster
9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
482
3
119
Chester County, PA
I'm no expert but the relative humdity in the room does have an effect on the humidity in the incubator.
In the beginning of my incubation the humidity went up to 48%. I had been trying to do a "drier incubaion" staying at 40%-42% and only adding water at about 32%. I went to bed, it was 40% and when I got up in te AM it was 48%. What the heck???
Well, it was raining. The relative humidity outside was 80%. I checked the weather underground for my town. The humidity inside my house was 50%. It only makes sense the incubator humidity would rise eventhough I did not add water.
Your relative humidity today in Quebec is 39% and cloudy. Are you expecting rain?
What is the humidity in the room you are incubating? Does your heating system have a humidifier hooked on to it?

I'm not saying this is the answer but room humidity can effect the incubator.

Of course, you need to find a hygrometer you trust.

Brenda
 

technodoll

Songster
10 Years
Aug 25, 2009
2,265
28
191
Quebec, Canada
Thanks so much everyone!

As a test, I emptied out all the water in the incubator (there was only about a tablespoon in the water channel), waited an hour and now both the mercury thermometer and the digital one read just above 100F - so that's good, right?

The digital hygrometer however reads 30%, and the cheapy needle hygrometer around 38%.

So at least we're getting somewhere...

Funny how the numbers seem to change about 453 times a day!
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babsbag

Songster
10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
729
9
169
Anderson, CA
I would still take one of the hygrometers and do the calibration test. Both of my digital ones were reading 8% low. I would have drowned those poor chickies if I trusted those things.

I am glad that things are looking better for you.
 

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