Question about humidity for chicken eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lyss, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Lyss

    Lyss Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2015
    Australia, NSW
    Hi all I've incubated lots of duck eggs but next Friday will be picking up some local fertile chickens eggs to give them a crack so to speak lol. I was just wondering what peoples opinions were on what humidity level to keep the incubator at as I've heard a little about dry hatches with chicken eggs?
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I do the dry now and I really like it so much better. I just keep an eye on the egg's air cells to make sure we are on track. My bator holds 40% w/o water added. (I haven't done a winter hatch yet so I don't know how different it would be.) I up my humidity to at least 75% at lockdown though. It seems like 40-50% is a favorite range.
     
  3. Lyss

    Lyss Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2015
    Australia, NSW
    Thanks for getting back to me [​IMG]. I'm pretty excited to give chickens a try hopefully its no harder then ducklings. At least the waiting times a b it shorter [​IMG].
     
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  4. dorpersheep

    dorpersheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2014
    I used to aim for 45% through incubation then 65% or more at lockdown. Am now getting much better hatching rates and chicks are dryer and livelier if I work on 35% through incubation. Good luck with your chickie eggs!
    AmyLynn - what do you look for in the air cells? Are you checking they don't get too big or is there something else you are checking for? I am still working out this dry incubation thing but it seems to be working - can you do any harm if the humidity gets too low? Thanks, Cate
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Yes, the size of the air cell. The biggest reason that we control our humidity is so the egg looses enough moisture. The best/easiest way to keep track is by monitoring the air cells. (Some people weigh their eggs.) At key days your air cells should be (close) to certain sizes:
    [​IMG]
    Comparing your eggs you can tell which way your humidity needs to be adjusted. If your humidity is too high the egg will not release enough moisture and your air cell will not grow big enough. This can cause your chick to drown. If the air cell is too small you want to DECREASE your humidity so that the egg can loose more moisture. If the air cell is too large you know that your humidity is too low and too much moisture is escaping too fast. This can cause the chicks to become shrink wrapped by the membrane. If the air cell is too big, you know you need to increase your humidity to slow down/stop the release of moisture.

    When I candle (on day 7/14/18) I use a pencil to mark my air cells. (Basically you just trace them.) That way you can keep an eye on the progress and it also helps you to determine how to lay them in the bator at lockdown (if you are laying them flat) as you want the low end of the air cell facing up as generally that's where you will see your pips. (Except for those rebels that just have to be different.)

    I believe monitoring air cells is the key to better humidity control.

    With dry incubation you don't want no humidity, you still want at least 25%, but a good majority can manage 25% with no/very little water in the wells. I had a great hatch with no water in the bator first 17 days and my (uncalibrated) hygrometer read 40%. (The hygrometer reads fairly accurate ambient humidity so I somewhat trust it. I'm just not worried because I monitor the cells..lol)
     
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  6. Lyss

    Lyss Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2015
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    Wow thanks for sharing very helpful :).
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    You're welcome.
     

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