Unabsorbed yolk and humidity levels


11 Years
Nov 16, 2008
Champlain Valley, Vermont
Hi all. I have chicks hatching from my first ever experience with incubating. I used a Hovabator Genesis 1588 which has done an awesome job staying at about 99.5 but adding even a little water makes the humidity climb to 50 - 55%. I've got the vent open and I try to just add a little every day; when it drops into the 20's-30's I add a little bit (I have aquarium air tubing and a medication syringe so I don't have to open the incubator to add water). But then it jumps to the 50's and stays there for about 12 hours. As it drops, it spends about 8-10 hours at numbers less than 50%. They hatched in a separate incubator because I had more eggs I wanted to incubate.

The first chick to hatch had a normal belly. The second one had about a quarter teaspoon blob of unabsorbed yolk and its belly appeared to have a herniated area. It didn't look open at all, and nothing appeared to be herniating OUT of it. The blob of yolk came right off as the chick kicked the shell away.

My first question: How likely is it that this herniation/unabsorbed yolk is due to the times of high humidity in the incubator?

My second question: The eggs I have in the Hovabator now have been there for almost 2 weeks now and they have endured the same roller coaster humidity. Ambient humidity in the room where the incubators are now is in the low 50's, but it's a forced air incubator and the humidity in it has dropped to as low as 22%. If I were to change the way I'm doing the humidity in that thing to get it to be more steady (like, use sponges or something) and could keep it at around 35 - 40% from this point until they hatch the first week of May, would those chicks still run the risk of having belly problems?

Oh, I kept track of the air cells on these eggs, but they were wonky because they were shipped from the midwest and were detached. So it was kind of hard to tell how much they were actually shrinking (I had saddle shaped ones, rolling ones... *sigh*). Maybe not really enough...

I have a video of the baby hatching, but no still photos. I'm trying to upload it to YouTube right now so I'll post the link as soon as it it there.
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