Operation Dry Hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickensInMyYard, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. I anyone trying the Dry Hatch Method right now? [​IMG] I had the best luck before I started using a hydrometer. I'm using a styro with fan and egg turner as well as a reptipro with two fans and two turners. The first time I tryed my old second hand styro I had my best hatch. Reason being I think was because I kept forgetting to add water.[​IMG] My next hatch was a disaster. I had two hydrometers and kept them at 60% throughout the incubation period until lock up when I raised the humidity to 70% and again same thing, bad hatch. [​IMG] So when I heard about this "Dry Hatch Method" I researched it and thought I'd give it a whirl. I set up both incubators and after a 10 days I candeled the eggs and all but 2 looked great!.The eggs in my bators were started at three different dates so the early ones are hatching right now and so far out of 8 eggs it looks like I'll have 7 chicks! [​IMG] Two Buttercups and five Orps. My next hatch date is due on the 6th and the third is due on the 12th.

    I'll keep you all posted, is anyone with me? I'd love to hear from you.[​IMG]

    Ttys

    [​IMG]
     
  2. chickensNpoodles

    chickensNpoodles Out Of The Brooder

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    So what was your incubating humidity at this time? Did you add any moisture during the 18 days? What did you do for lock down? Do tell. Oh and also what about your climate? Are you in a humid climate or dry?

    60 is way to high of humidity during the 18 days. I keep mine at 35 - 40 and then up it on day 18 to about 75.


    Good luck and keep us updated.
     
  3. My humidity is between 20 and 30 percent. And I would only have to add a few tablespoons of water if it went any lower than 15 percent maybe twice a week. In Story's Guide to Raising Chickens, under humidity control (pages 207 and 208) it says, The typical hydrometer for a still-air incubator measures relative humidity, usually 60 to 62 percent during incubation, raised to 70 percent during the hatch. I live in Alberta Canada so we have a pretty dry climate. But to me 60 percent seems very high. I had to fill the water grooves in the styro more that a few times a week to keep the humidity that high.

    [​IMG]

    Confusing
     
  4. Another thing I forgot to mention is.....I use a separate incubator as the hatcher and I just heard from lady who uses the bottom of a styrofoam egg carton for the hatch. This keeps the new chicks from rolling around and knocking the other eggs everywhere! Great idea! I'm going to try that. I myself, if i happen to be there at the right time, whip the new wet baby chick out of the hatcher a.s.a.p. and put the little guy right into my brooder under the light. Where he's so wiped out by then that he falls into a nice long chick nap.

    Anyway keep the ideas coming!!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. wholewheatchicken

    wholewheatchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, congragulations. I just tried the dry hatch method on two hatches and it went awful. I kept my humidity in the range that you're using and on the second one I kept the vents open and turned off the dehumidifier in the house so the air around the incubator was humid since it's in the basement. My second batch went worse than my first batch. I had 12 eggs on lockdown with one uncertain. It ended up 10 chicks were alive and they were all shrink wrapped beyond help and died. I use a styro with a fan. My temps are perfect, just can't figure out the humidity. I was using bantam eggs and I did read somewhere to up the humidity for them so maybe that is the difference. As we speak I am firing up the bator to try again and think I will go around 40% this time. And I bumped both the hatches last time to around 60 -65% for lockdown.
     
  6. Did you candle at 10 days? And were they doing alright then? I havent tried Bantams but my Buttercups have hatched better than ever so I dont know what happened there, so sorry to hear. Were these 2 hatches at the same time in different incubators? And what are you using styros? How long were youreggs in lock down? And yes try it again and stay here with us so we can help you along. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    I use Dry Incubation and it works great! I don't have to worry about having a certain humidity in my incubator it stays around 16-18% and then in my hatcher I have the humidity around 25-27%. I haven't had hardly any problems with the chicks hatching!

    Nate
     
  8. wholewheatchicken

    wholewheatchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:

    I did, although on the second batch I could really tell what I was looking for after having two broody hens and then my first batch I had in the incubator. My first batch I didn't keep good records from the eggtopsy as I was a little freaked out. There were several dead chicks and they had absorbed the egg sac, but did not pip. I had one hatch and two more pip. I think what might have happened, at least to the two pippers, was I didn't have the right kind of floor and the one that hatched was getting very weak because it couldn't get its footing. I opened the incubator to get it out and I think that may be been my troubles on this one. Not sure why the others didn't pip, but they were not shrink wrapped. The humidity was higher for my first batch than the second.
    The second hatch was a little dryer, but not terribly so. I had nine for sure alive on day 18, one that didn't look alive but kept it in and two was worried about because I took them from a broody who didn't appear to be turning them very well and they looked odd at day 5 so I put them in the incubator with the others since they were all set on the same day.
    I kept my humidity roughly between 20 - 30% for the first 15 days. Then after my unsuccessful hatch, I thought maybe the humidity was too low and used the Bill Worrell dry hatch method on BYC and pushed it to 40 - 45% and let it dry down to 25% and pushed it back up.
    On day 18 for both batches I went into lockdown and bumped the humidity to 60 -65%.
    Both batches attempted to hatch on day 21 so I feel like the temps are on spot.
    Now, the first batch I did not open the air vents - didn't know I should - but I do hand turn 3X a day so they were vented. I did not vent during hatch time on hatch 1. Does anyone know if this could be a factor? Please don't ask what the humidity spiked to! The chick was born around 5:00 a.m. and I dragged myself out of bed to see it just after it popped out of the shell. Perhaps if the humidity got too high it harmed the others that were alive?
    ****** would like to know how others vent during days 1- 18 and then on lockdown and hatch time. Since this experience I have read differing ways to vent, not that that comes as a shock!!!!!
    On the second batch, my babies started rocken this past Sunday afternoon, but never pipped. Monday morning I got up and just knew something had gone very wrong because they were very still. I even opened a vent hole and stuck a pencil inside to push the biggest wiggly egg and it didn't make any noise. There was no peeping at all. So I got the eggs out and decided to candle to see if I could tell anything. The inside of the egg was like shrunk way, way down. It hadn't been like that when I candled before lockdown. I did see movement in one egg and decided to gently pip into it. That baby and almost every other one was barely alive still. Some of them you could barely hear peeping inside the egg when I got them out of the incubator. I think I had two or three that I heard and one that I saw moving.
    On eggtopsy there were two that didn't make it to lockdown. The rest were severely shrink wrapped, but alive. The egg sac had been absorbed. None of them made it. By the time I intervened, it was roughly 10:00 Monday morning and I saw them shaking maybe around 2:00 Sunday afternoon.
    When I peeled the shell and outer membrane back, the inner membrane was very dry and white and shriveled. Now that I'm writing this I should have taken pictures, but didn't think of it at the time. When I used some warm water to wet the inner membrane it was very bloody. There was no way to help the baby out without it bleeding to death, although it probably had brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
    I do use a styro incubator. It is homemade. I have no problem holding temps and humidity. It has a fan. I hand turn the eggs 3X a day.
    Let me know what info I'm not thinking to say. I would love some help as I'm getting ready to try it again. Thought I would set a few silkie eggs and some RIR eggs and see if I have the same/different results for both or would I be more/less successful with banty vs. LF or vice versa.
    It is confusing since there seems to be such a wide range of humidity that works for different people, different locations.
    Oh, one last thing. Since I had the air vents open this time, I did turn off the dehumidifier. I have my incubator in the basement so we have to pump out a lot of moisture to keep it dry so the air had to have had enough moisture in it to have helped. I keep the dehumidifier at 45% and it didn't run for over a week. The temps in the house are 68 F, but it is much cooler in the basement. No temperature spikes or humidity spikes during either hatch time.
    Thanks for any input you can provide. Would love to figure this out.

    OKCHICKENS - I grew up in Owasso. I have family that still lives nearby there. I think it's a great town and have very fond memories of being a child there!
     
  9. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    Owasso, Oklahoma
    Wholewheatchicken- you would be surprised how many people I have met that live in Owasso or Collinsville on BYC!

    Nate
     

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