What do you keep your humidity at or around?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cupman, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Before I set my eggs I tried to find a solid guide about what humidity levels you need to try. I found answers from 20% all the way to 65%. That's a gigantic range and I was wondering what you personally kept your levels at and why. Have you had better successes with higher humidity rather than lower? Or vice versa.

    My humidity is jumping between 48-52%. I just stuck with this because it fit into the range I listed above. No other reason. Was considering taking the plug out of the incubator to drop the humidity a bit but was not sure.
  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Consider doing a dry incubation where NO water at all is added until lockdown. This eliminates all the worry with checking humidity during the first 18 days. My humidity during those 18 days stays between 20-25%. At lockdown, I add warm water to let humidity reach 50-60%. I have excellent results with this method and I don't use any other method for hatching chicken eggs. You are going to get a ton of different answers here. How have your hatches been going? If you're getting good results, just keep doing what you're doing. Sending happy hatching vibes your way! [​IMG]
  3. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I have never tried to hatch any eggs before. I had these eggs I discovered in a rogue nest. I put them in the incubator unsure whether they were a day old or three weeks old. Well long story short I filled up the rest of the slots with fresh eggs and I had one left over. I swapped my leftover egg in for one of the eggs I was unsure of. I cracked the egg and saw a mass forming on the yolk, so my incubator is working properly and that got me excited.

    I have heard a little bit about dry incubation but the incubator I bought was the HovaBator 1588 Genesis. I watched some 4 minute clip on YouTube and it explained how it all worked. I think my incubator requires humidity, unless there is a way to do dry hatches with it. I would be open to trying all types of incubation.

    I'm only on day three and man the anticipation is killing me.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You'll get a whole lot of different answers because there are a whole lot of different things that work. We all have different incubators with differnt numbers of vent plugs, some are forced air and some are still air. Even our average atmospheric pressure is different depending in whether we are at sea level or on a mountain top and that can affect how much moisture the eggs lose during incubation. At different times of the year, my relative humidity in my house can vary quite a bit. I think the higher your elevation, the higher your humidity should be because of atmospheric pressure, but that is just me thinking, not anything from actual experience. I also think with a forced air you need a little higher humidity than with a still air since the moving air should dry things out a little easier. Maybe not so much during incubation, but especially during hatch. But again, that is mainly me thinking, not based on actual experience.

    Enough with the theory. That is not what you asked. When I first got my 1588, the instructions said to fill the center water reservoir and go with that during incubation. I did and it worked pretty well. Sometimes that gives me around 42% humidity and sometimes around 50%. I mainly use my hygrometer to tell me when that reservoir is dry instead of worrying about exact humidity. I can't tell a whole lot of difference in my hatches with either humidity.

    During lockdown, I get the humidity up to around 65% to 70%, though the humidity goes up to maybe 85% when they start hatching.

    I'm not saying mine is right or wrong. It is just what I do. I suggest you be fairly consistent with whatever you do and see what results you get. That way you will know what to change for the next time, if you decide to change aything. If you are not consistent through the hatch, what will you adjust next time?
  5. egg-cellent

    egg-cellent Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would like to add my 2 cents. Most houses humidity stays around 45 to 50 percent humidity. If you are running a still air or one with a fan, I think it tends to be lower just because of the heat. I have had a foam bator and now I have cabinet bator. I find that my cabinet runs the best if the humidity stays around 30 percent during incubation, and around 75 the last 2 days. I only put mine on the hatching tray at day 18 instead of 19.. It will take trial and error to get what works best for you.
    Also note if you are trying to hatch any eggs with really dark shells that they need a higher humidity that light colored shells.

    Another thing, is just be careful not to get the humidity over 80 percent, you will have air sacs with water in them and the chicks will/can drown.
    I hope you have a great hatch...
  6. thomp119

    thomp119 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    North Tustin, CA
    What are the humidity levels for button quails? Days 1-13 and 13-16?
  7. egg-cellent

    egg-cellent Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have never hatched the buttone quail. I have hatched quail but they were not the tiny ones. I kept mine all running about the same, because I have a cabinet incubator and I had various differnt eggs in there. I couldn't change it easily to accomidate different types of eggs. They all run very similar. If you hatch out any chicks and their feet are curled, well they all hatch kind of curled, but they will straighten out. But if they stay curled, then the humidity was too low. It helps if they are like this to leave them in the bator and jack up the humidity really high for a day. If they are newly hatched. You can put them some food and water in there for them to eat and drink. But the extra humidity even after hatched is good for them, if they have curled up feet. This is not something anyone has told me, this is something that I experimented with myself and it worked. If their feet are curled extremely bad, this won't work as well.
    Best of luck. I will keep checking in to see how things are going.
  8. whytedragon

    whytedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2009
    Floresville, Texas
    I've always done dry incubation..I never add water until lockdown, day 18..and then I still only worry about eggs getting atleast 60% on day 18..it's day 19 and 20 (or day pipping starts) that it matters most...then I add hot water and get it up to 70%. I don't have any problems with low humidity UNTIL they begin pipping, and its at it's most vital when they start zipping. By the way, I feel free to open my incubator up until pipping starts, but after that it must remain closed and humidity must be kept up. I add water through a funnel.
  9. egg-cellent

    egg-cellent Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a friend that does theirs that way. The dry method. But it also depends on the humidity in your house. Our house stays a little dryer this time of year because, we use wood heat. So I do add some water in mine on a weekly basis. Once a week, my chicks are hatching anyway, so I add the water when I lower them to the hatching tray each week. But the rest of the time, mine runs dry. You have to do alot of trial and error to see what works best for you. I think.
  10. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I have the Hovabator 1588, too, and I start off by filling the center trough and opening the red valve.

    That keeps my humidity at around 45%.

    I do NOT add any water until there is a significant drop in humidity (like down to the low 30's); then I add more water to the center trough.

    I do not keep my humidity at any certain level; just add a little water when there is a big drop (usually every 2-3 days).

    During lockdown, of course, I bump the humidity up to about 65%.

    This seems to work great for me.


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