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Temperature and humidity query

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Poultry parent, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Hello!
    I've never hatched eggs in an incubator, and it turns out that some of my eggs (duck and chicken) got too cold outside before I collected them, so I'm down to 2 duck eggs, and 7 chicken eggs.
    I know that on hatch day you turn the heat down a degree, and up the humidity, I wanted to know if it was ok to add more eggs, would they be ok with the lower temp, and higher humidity? I'm 10 days into incubation already

  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    You don't need to turn the temperature down, and yes, you do need to up the humidity.

    From the sounds of things you only have one incubator? I wouldn't be adding more eggs and running a staggered hatch, that's always a pain. For one you'd still need to be opening the incubator constantly to turn the new eggs, and that would be letting the humidity out for the ones that need it to hatch.

    Did you wait a week after setting your duck eggs to set your chicken eggs?
  3. I did make sure to add the chicken eggs a week after the duck eggs.
    That's what I thought, I didn't know how much damage it would do to still be opening it to turn them.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Also, those hatching chicks will be dragging their dirty wet little bodies all over your new eggs. Perfect set up for bacterial contamination of the new eggs. And, you'll want to disinfect the bator before setting new eggs.
  5. GaryDean26

    GaryDean26 Chicken Czar

    Dec 22, 2011
    McAlester, OK
    My Coop

    How cold did they get, and how long were thy in the cold? If they were in less than 40 deg F. for more than about 8 hours then yes that would probably be less than ideal, but if the eggs aren't frozen, are collected from the coop regularly, and stored between 45-65 deg F. then you couldn't ask for anything better.

    You can turn down the temperature a few degrees on hatch day. I have done it both ways and always have better success if I don't turn down the temperature.

    I wouldn't add more eggs mid-hatch unless you have a separate hatcher to move the first batch of eggs in to hatch. IF you can wait 2 weeks to add more eggs that would be best. If not divide the incubator up into sections. I found some plastic baskets that come right up to the lid of my incubator that work well and also have made dividers with cardboard and tape. You will need to keep the chicks separate from the 2nd batch of eggs so they do not disturb them. If you add a 2nd batch and divided the incubator so the chicks that hatch out can't disturb the 2nd batch of egg leave the temperature up (don't lower it for hatch). Don't worry about the high humidity on the 2nd set of eggs during hatch. Just drop it after the hatch to lower than the normal level to allow evaporation from the eggs before they hatch. The air sac at the top of the egg grows as the egg loses water from evaporation. If the humidity is too high the air sac won't grow enough for the chick to get the air it needs before hatch. Usually going dry is better for the hatch than going too humid.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  6. The duck eggs are the ones that I've lost the most of, my ducks lay wherever they want including a slightly muddy area.

    Thank you for saying that you have better luck with leaving the temp as it is. I won't turn it down now.

    I don't have a second incubator, so I guess I'll just wait till these hatch

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