Proper Humidity for Chicken Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenfarmer96, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. chickenfarmer96

    chickenfarmer96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Should the humidity in a Hova-Bator foam circulated air incubator be 60% for first 18days then 70-80% last 3 days in hatcher? I really need to know EMERGENCY !!, Thank you.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    That's a bit too high. I found if I incubate at 45% or as close as possible to and lockdown on 65%-70%, I get good hatches. But play around with those figures and see how it works for you. You could also "dry hatch" incubation, more info on that here: The "Dry Incubation" Method
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I usually incubate with 45-50% humidity for the first 18 days, and then 65-70% humidity for the last three days. With that humidity, I've had 90-100% hatch rates of fertile eggs. Higher humidity (especially when combined with low temperatures) tends to result in larger, weaker chicks, or chicks that drown in the shell because the air cell isn't large enough. However, low humidity can cause problems, too, as the chicks can become stuck in the egg because the membranes dry out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  4. chickenfarmer96

    chickenfarmer96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much, but as you said " However, love humidity can cause problems too, as the chicks can become stuck in the egg because the membranne dry out. " Does that still mean that the 45-50% humidity for first 18 days is still good for the egg, and 65-70% last three days? Also i was wondering, Do you incubate at 99.5-100 degrees F? Because that is what i was going to incubate at, because i was sure that that is the ideal temperature. Also do you need to turn the eggs? or does it not matter, and if so how many times per day? If you answer back it will really be helpfull.
     
  5. chickenfarmer96

    chickenfarmer96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Also, were i live in Canada, the humidity in the air is allready so high, without any eggs in the incubator it is steady at 99.5-100 degrees but stays at 58% humidity without eggs in and with eggs in it it usually get up to 64%, how could i lower the humidity? Or can i do anything about that at all?
     
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    The humidity should be lower when the embryo is younger because the contents of the egg need to shrink so that a good-sized air cell forms. Otherwise, when the chick hatches, it punches into the air cell, only to find that it the air cell is non-existent, or too small to reach. The process of the contents shrinking must happen before the chick gets ready to hatch, because at that point in its life, it doesn't matter how strong the shell membrane is. However, were that lower humidity to remain during the same during the last three days of incubation, the shell membrane would remain dry and tough. If that were the case, the chick couldn't break through the membrane, and therefore couldn't hatch right.

    In answer to your other question, it depends on the type of incubator that I'm using. Some incubators have fans to circulate warm air, and some don't. Those with fans are called forced-air incubators, and those without fans are called still-air incubators. When using forced-air incubators, the temperature should be kept at 99.5-100 degrees F. However, in still-air incubators, the temperatures should be higher, around 101-103 degrees F. I don't think that I've ever read why the temperatures should be different; I just know that most sources say that they should be.

    As for turning the eggs, I turn mine five times a day. Some people turn theirs 3 times, but I've found that the more you turn, the more vigorous the chicks when they hatch. Just make sure that you turn the eggs an odd number of times each day, so that the egg doesn't rest on the same side each night. If you don't turn the eggs, the embryo gets stuck to one side of the egg. That causes malformations, and often death of the embryo.

    I don't know how to lower the humidity. While I think that 60% humidity is not optimal for incubation, I don't think that it will severely affect your hatch, either.

    Well, I hope that I've helped! Its difficult to explain things like this, so I'm sorry if I didn't answer your questions as well you would like. [​IMG]
     
  7. chickenfarmer96

    chickenfarmer96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much, and yes i do realize how difficult it is to explain something like what you were trying to explain, thank you for your effort, you have been a great help. Now i just have to collect eggs for tommorow then the next day pop them in the incubator and see what happens when it's time for hatching [​IMG].
     
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome! Good luck with your hatch!
     
  9. FarmGirl9494

    FarmGirl9494 Out Of The Brooder

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    I had this problem too!!!! especially in summer it would go from deathly humid to dry as a bone and hot hot hot! so between too high then too low temps to crazy high then crazy low humidity I gave up with it in the barn! I moved my incubator to my basement which is nice and cool and stays around the same temp and humidity all year! especially in the room I keep them in! I may have to fiddle in the summer maybe .2 degrees but it is soooo much better than having to look and fiddle every day! and then in the winter when its gets either wet cold or dry cold... the basement has been a hyperventilation and chick saver year round for me! maybe try a room in your house or garage that doesn't change temps and humidity much all year round! It worked for me!!
     

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