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Sinking water test for incubated eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by hunter801, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. hunter801

    hunter801 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2016
    Okay here's the deal I'm a first time Do It Yourself incubator I've had my eggs in the incubator for 17 days now I've been reading on doing the water test on your eggs more than half of my eggs sunk and about 6 state floating and jerking around in the water. So I cracked one of my americanas that had sunk and it had a live chicken it. Is this normal and I'm sickened by destroying a healthy baby
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'm not a fan of the water test. I don't see the point until days past due date. Then the wiggle of water will clue you in there is still life. Sorry you lost a chick. Day 18 is when you up humidity to 70% then sit on your hands.
     
  3. hunter801

    hunter801 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2016
    I've been running high humidity at about 59 from day one is that a good number on my humidity?
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Not really. But then if you have not calibrated the hygrometer then who's to say what humidity you've been running? Generally speaking the eggs optimally need to a certain % weight lose through incubation. This is water evaporating from egg. Lower humidity in incubator facilitates this, we can monitor lose and adjust humidity to slow it or speed it up. Easiest way to monitor is to candle the eggs and watch the air sac in fat end of egg grow.

    I need to add here that I don't think your eggs are lost. I'm merely illustrating a method of incubating many find dramatically increases success rate. I've no doubt you'll have chicks hatch. Try this method in future hatches and I'd hazard a guess your rate of hatching dramatically increases.

    This is a general diagram. Not an exacting thing but useful for comparison to your eggs on candle days. I run almost no water, a double shot glass size surface or up to coffee cup sized surface of water container in incubator will get me to around 35% RH (using a calibrated hygrometer) and that keeps me on track with air sac growth.

    [​IMG]
    Day 7 is always smaller for me than the diagram. I don't candle until day 10, get an idea and if very little growth run incubator copletely dry for few days and then candle again day 14. Back on track or never made adjustment and keep whatever sized water container in incubator until day 18 when humidity goes up to 70%. Use what ever size containers to get that. I've never needed the large surface area provided in troughs bottom of incubator. Two coffee cups will get me there. Remember, it's not the volume of water giving humidity it's the surface area of water.

    Calibration of hygrometer using salt test:

    Pour table salt into milk or juice sized cap. Add drops of water until saturated. Pour off standing water.

    Put salt cap and hygrometer into a sealed container. Quart size zip lock bag works well. I provide small pillow of air.

    After at least 4 hours to stable reading, write the reading you have on paper. Subtract it from 70% and write that calibration # on peice of masking tape to afix to incubator as reminder of how much to add or subtract for correct RH.

    Ex- Your hygrometer reads 82. 70-82= -7. You'd always subtract 7 from your readings for true RH.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

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