Trouble with the humidity for my duck egg!

JessicaB721

Chirping
Apr 12, 2020
52
98
83
Please help! I made it to day 14 of my 28 day duck egg incubation period and my humidity level is completely off!! 😣



It seems to hold at 50% for a while, but then after I get home from work, typically late at night, I notice that the humidity tends to drop down between 20% - 30%! I first noticed this happening around day 11 or 12, but it wasn't quite as often. Now it seems to be happening a lot more. And since I work 8 to 9 hours, sometimes more, I have no idea how many hours my incubators humidity level is that low for. I'm worried, mostly, because there is definitely sign of life in this egg! I've seen a very tiny bit of movement the last few times I have candled the egg. But when I candled it last night, after getting home from work at midnight, the movement seems to have slowed drastically. I'm afraid to take it out to look at it right now, because I do not want to handle it a whole lot, especially considering I just got home, again, at midnight, and it was at 24%. I was just able to get it back up to 50%. But I was just wondering if there is any advice on what I can do to stabilize my humidity level since there is definitely life in the egg, and I am halfway through my duck egg incubation period! It's in a room that's really not used, it's not super close to a window, it's not in direct sunlight, and it's not directly over or under an AC vent. So I'm just not sure what my options are at this point. At one point yesterday, it had gotten up to 58 degrees. I'm trying to keep it around 50 degrees since that is what the directions for my Nurture Right 360 incubator said to set it at. Any advice or suggestions are very much appreciated! Thanks!
 
What sort of water trays are you using? Humidity is determined by surface area, so if you can get a consistent surface area (i.e. don't let your pans run dry) humidity SHOULD be fairly consistent. Temperature fluctuations are the other thing that can cause relative humidity to change, though it'd have to be fairly massive to cause the sort of drop you're seeing. I'd look into using deeper water pans that take longer to evaporate.
 
What sort of water trays are you using? Humidity is determined by surface area, so if you can get a consistent surface area (i.e. don't let your pans run dry) humidity SHOULD be fairly consistent. Temperature fluctuations are the other thing that can cause relative humidity to change, though it'd have to be fairly massive to cause the sort of drop you're seeing. I'd look into using deeper water pans that take longer to evaporate.
Thank you for your response. The water tray is a pretty decent size and I make sure there's constant water in it every day. I always make sure the water level on the little square part sticking out is halfway full. I suck at describing things. But the part where you actually pour the water into, I always make sure that it's halfway full of water so I can be sure that there is water still in the tray. I pretty much put water in this constantly throughout the day, and especially when I wake up and just get home from work. I'm really thinking that I'm going to lose this little baby, though, because even when I wake up and come upstairs it seems to always drop down to the low 20's. As far as temperature, it pretty much stays the same in here. I keep it at 75°. It does actually get pretty cold in my house, especially at night sometimes, even with keeping my thermostat the same all of the time. In fact, now that I think about it, the one time that it got up to 58 degrees, was because I turn my thermostat up a little bit trying to see if that would help stabilize the humidity. So I just put it back to 75°, where I usually keep it. It just stinks, because when I'm home, I obviously cannot observe it throughout the day.
( I posted a picture so you could see the tray)
 

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Thank you for your response. The water tray is a pretty decent size and I make sure there's constant water in it every day. I always make sure the water level on the little square part sticking out is halfway full. I suck at describing things. But the part where you actually pour the water into, I always make sure that it's halfway full of water so I can be sure that there is water still in the tray. I pretty much put water in this constantly throughout the day, and especially when I wake up and just get home from work. I'm really thinking that I'm going to lose this little baby, though, because even when I wake up and come upstairs it seems to always drop down to the low 20's. As far as temperature, it pretty much stays the same in here. I keep it at 75°. It does actually get pretty cold in my house, especially at night sometimes, even with keeping my thermostat the same all of the time. In fact, now that I think about it, the one time that it got up to 58 degrees, was because I turn my thermostat up a little bit trying to see if that would help stabilize the humidity. So I just put it back to 75°, where I usually keep it. It just stinks, because when I'm home, I obviously cannot observe it throughout the day.
( I posted a picture so you could see the tray)
Wait, you keep your incubator at 75*F? Or the house?
 
Honestly, humidity fluctuations are less worrisome than temp as long as they don't last for too long. I wouldn't think the changes you're describing would kill an egg. I incubate my duck eggs at around 30% and mist them daily if needed to encourage water loss through evaporation.
 
Honestly, humidity fluctuations are less worrisome than temp as long as they don't last for too long. I wouldn't think the changes you're describing would kill an egg. I incubate my duck eggs at around 30% and mist them daily if needed to encourage water loss through evaporation.
OK! Thank you for making me feel so much better!! I just got home from work and the humidity was actually at 48%. So it made me happy to see that the humidity pretty much stayed where I wanted it while I was at work today. As for the temperature, it has stayed 99.5 since day one. So I've definitely lucked out with that. It was just the humidity that was fluctuating between 20% to 30% while I was either sleeping or at work, but I've been trying to keep it at 50% since that was what the incubator instructions told me. This is my first time trying to incubate an egg, so I was trying to make sure I was doing everything by the rules! 😋 And I actually did read something last week about misting the egg and letting it sit out for 10 to 30 minutes each day from day 10 through day 25. I did not read that until around day 11 or 12, but I went ahead and started doing that once I read it! Except on the days that the humidity dropped down in the 20s, I freaked out and thought taking it out would be a bad idea. But I typically do try to take the egg out for 10 to 15 minutes each day and mist it a little bit all the way around. So it makes me happy to hear that I may be doing things right and that I do not need to have many heart attacks every day I see my humidity level drop! 😂 I actually did candle the egg when I got home from work, about 15 minutes ago, and looked really carefully and just kept staring into the egg & I actually did see movement. So it made me happy to know that, as of now I still have a baby duckie developing in there! ♥🦆🍼
 
I keep my house thermostat at 75°! I keep my incubator at 99.5° and the humidity at 50%; well I try to keep the humidity at that anyway... 😣
OH, that makes so much more sense. :lau
OK! Thank you for making me feel so much better!! I just got home from work and the humidity was actually at 48%. So it made me happy to see that the humidity pretty much stayed where I wanted it while I was at work today. As for the temperature, it has stayed 99.5 since day one. So I've definitely lucked out with that. It was just the humidity that was fluctuating between 20% to 30% while I was either sleeping or at work, but I've been trying to keep it at 50% since that was what the incubator instructions told me. This is my first time trying to incubate an egg, so I was trying to make sure I was doing everything by the rules! 😋 And I actually did read something last week about misting the egg and letting it sit out for 10 to 30 minutes each day from day 10 through day 25. I did not read that until around day 11 or 12, but I went ahead and started doing that once I read it! Except on the days that the humidity dropped down in the 20s, I freaked out and thought taking it out would be a bad idea. But I typically do try to take the egg out for 10 to 15 minutes each day and mist it a little bit all the way around. So it makes me happy to hear that I may be doing things right and that I do not need to have many heart attacks every day I see my humidity level drop! 😂 I actually did candle the egg when I got home from work, about 15 minutes ago, and looked really carefully and just kept staring into the egg & I actually did see movement. So it made me happy to know that, as of now I still have a baby duckie developing in there! ♥🦆🍼
Having a set humidity level actually isn't great, it's best to adjust humidity as needed to make sure the air cell is the correct size.
1628505539696.png

The diagram on the right shows how big the air cell should be at various days of incubation. If the air cell is too small, lowering the humidity and/or misting the eggs helps with that. If it's too large, raising the humidity will slow the growth. If the air cell isn't approximately the right size, the embryos will run into trouble when it comes time to hatch. I suggest candling the egg at each of the days marked on the chart and comparing them. You can even use a phone flashlight for this if you can find a way to focus it directly on the egg. Good luck!! :fl
 
OH, that makes so much more sense. :lau

Having a set humidity level actually isn't great, it's best to adjust humidity as needed to make sure the air cell is the correct size.
View attachment 2791253
The diagram on the right shows how big the air cell should be at various days of incubation. If the air cell is too small, lowering the humidity and/or misting the eggs helps with that. If it's too large, raising the humidity will slow the growth. If the air cell isn't approximately the right size, the embryos will run into trouble when it comes time to hatch. I suggest candling the egg at each of the days marked on the chart and comparing them. You can even use a phone flashlight for this if you can find a way to focus it directly on the egg. Good luck!! :fl
Thank you so much! I can't believe posting here wasn't my first thought when trying to figure all of this out! 😋 Instead I googled everything under the sun on the internet and went with the directions on my incubator. That is really good to know. I will definitely have to check again in two days. I am day 19 at the moment. Thank you so much for sharing this great information!
 
Thank you so much! I can't believe posting here wasn't my first thought when trying to figure all of this out! 😋 Instead I googled everything under the sun on the internet and went with the directions on my incubator. That is really good to know. I will definitely have to check again in two days. I am day 19 at the moment. Thank you so much for sharing this great information!
Good luck with your hatch!! Let us know how it goes. :fl
 

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