What happens if humidity is too high?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rhaj, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

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    May 30, 2010
    NE'ern Connecticut
    I have one lonely little egg, laid 6/29, put into the bator 6/30 and locked down today. For the first 10 days or so, I had water in the bottom of the bator and the vent plugs in... with no humidity gauge. Apparently that was a dreadful mistake. I bought a gauge (it was 70%) and then took out the water and vent plugs and tried to keep it as low as I could, around 40%, though sometimes got higher.

    Lockdown today, so I added the water back to the bottom and put the vent plugs back in. So now I wait.

    But, I want to know what I am facing here. Can someone please tell me honestly what happens to a chick with too high humidity? I did read that the air cell can fill with water and chick can drown when trying to take its first breath. But what else can happen? I thought I saw someone elude to disfigurement or something like that from high humidity but they didn't really say.
     
  2. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

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    Did you candle at all?
    with high humidity the chicks grow bigger and it can be hard for them to hatch as it is too hard to move around
    they can also drown in the water that collects inside.
    I try to keep my humidity in the first 17 days at 40-45% and then 55-65% for hatching
    if the eggs have pipped and are not zipping I might raise it some

    You might have to help a stuck chick that pips, then keeps pecking a bigger hole but is not zipping
    the membrane gets dried out due to our imperfections, not the genetics of the chick.

    I helped one out lately because of that.
    Chick is perfect, but was very large for a brand new baby.

    good luck
     
  3. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

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    Thank you very much.

    I did try to candle, just with a flashlight... not very high tech. Earlier on, I did see some veining. Now, I only see the air cell (which *hopefully* is not filled with water) and other than that the rest of the egg just has something dark in it. I am hoping the chick is just so big at this point that I can't see much? I am new to all this though (obviously!)

    I have heard of pipping and zipping but am confused.... pipping is when they break the internal membrane? How do you know they do it? I would think I could only see when they break the external shell? What is zipping?
     
  4. Ms Ellen

    Ms Ellen Songster

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    So how do the broodies do it in this weather? The humidity is about 90 percent out there about every day yet there is a chick hatching? Also the temps are high? Sometimes 100+. I don't get how they do this? I had lots of chicks drown in my bator when I was hatching and the humidity was too high. They pip into water.
     
  5. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

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    What is the chance that turning down the humidity for the last week or so helped? Or is that pretty much irreversible? Is it high now, so hopefully that doesn't add more water too the air cell... not much I can do at this point, it is supposed to be high now.
     
  6. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    I've read so many diff thing's about humidity.Some say up to 70% some site's say 80.I ran my last batch in hatch around 75 only 4 out of 9 egg's have hatched.When I had my Sportsman Inc. I didnt even monitor humidity and I hatched Ton's and Ton's of chicks and duck's. [​IMG].
     
  7. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

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    ok, I am pretty sure I saw my lil egg wiggling around a bit, so it should still be alive atleast. [​IMG]

    I just really hope it doesn't drown, I'll be so sad [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  8. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

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    if you have air humidity that high, you most likely will not need to add a lot of water
    I have a digital temp and humidity gauge in the hatcher so I can see what the internal conditions are.
    Momma hen hatches them at 45% for days 1-18 and 60-65% day 18-21 when she won't move at all.
    I find the humidity can go as low as 35% for short periods with no damage.

    If the chick pips (shows a small crack/hole in the shell) so they have broken through for air, they are also losing internal humidity and the membrane will start drying. This is normal and good if it does not get too dry which is sometimes does with artifical hatching. As the membrane dries, the blood vessels dry up so when the chick breaks the membrane it will not bleed to death. This is an important reason to not take a chick out of the shell ie 'help' too soon, only as a last resort when it is pretty darn dry. If you ever see blood, STOP

    The chick can pip up to 24 hours before zipping
    zipping is the breaking of the shell all the way around so they can push their way out and hatch.
    They need enough humidity to be able to turn in the shell without the membrane drying out so they can stuck to the shell

    One sign of them being stuck to the shell is hours and hours go by and the pip hole gets bigger and bigger instead of them 'unzipping' the egg and moving around.

    This is a personal choice, but if I am incubating, I usually help them at that point because I figure the drying out is my fault for providing bad conditions.

    Running the humidity too high, as I already said, will make the chicks grow too fast, getting too big and having a hard time hatching.
    Try to keep it under 70% when hatching day 18-21 and under 50%, around 45% the first 18 days.
    This is what works very well for me.

    good luck!
     
  9. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

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    Thank you very much. You have been so helpful! [​IMG]
     

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