What is the ideal humidity for hatching in an incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mom2chicksandpups, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. mom2chicksandpups

    mom2chicksandpups Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Southeast Alabama
    I have read different things, so I wanted to find out what humidity level has worked best for some of you that are more experienced at hatching in an incubator. What humidity is ideal for the first 18 days and after day 18 when they come out of the egg turner?

    I have a Hova Bator with a fan if that makes a difference. We also use an egg turner.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You are going to hear something different from almost every person.

    Most will tell you 35 to 40% days 1-18, 60-70% days 19-end of hatch.

    I would LOVE to know the answer to that question for my 1588. Even though I think my major problem was temperature, I also have no clue if my humidity was every right because I had two gauges and both read differently... my two thermometors were 3 degrees different both times.

    Good luck.
  3. astylishgirl

    astylishgirl Animal Lover Supreme

    Apr 27, 2009
    Beaumont, Texas
    I think humidity is the most difficult thing. And it changes so much! You put water in and it rises and then slowly goes down. And you have to open the bator which everyone says NOT to do.

    My husband made something for me to help with humidity. A funnel with clear tubing attached. I can put it through the hole and add water that way. I am going to try it for my next hatch.

    I hope SOMEONE has some sort of answer for this question on humidity.
  4. wanda047

    wanda047 Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hardy, Arkansas
    I think the reason we get so many different answers is because everyone's situations are different. I think we have to take into consideration our climate, temp., outside and inside humidity, type of incubator and whether or not they are still air or not. I don't know that all these things are actually factors, but I'm learning and believe that what works for me, may NOT work for you.

    According to the "how to" pages, "You want 50% humidity for day 1-18, then 70-80% for the last few days". I had read elsewhere that the humidity during hatching should be between 60-65%. This is NOT working for me and I'm having too many chicks struggling or dying trying to hatch with dry membranes. I have chicks due to hatch in 4 days. My humidity will be between 70-80% this time. [​IMG]

    Hope this helps!
    1 person likes this.
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    My best results have been when I shoot for 45-50 during the first 18 days and around 60-65 the last three. I have tried "dry incubating" with only disastrous results.
    Shannonw1228 and Curnow like this.
  6. Alex Kwong

    Alex Kwong In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2009
    My last hatch was 2 weeks ago, for the first 18 days ~50-55% and last few days ~60-70%. 4 hatched (2 @ day 19, 2 @ day 20) and 6 did not pip the shells out and die inside. I took it out at day 25.
    Now I'm Incubating another 30 eggs (@ day 9 now) and try to control at ~60-70% for the first 18 days.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  7. kelseygirl707

    kelseygirl707 Dances with Chickens

    Mar 3, 2009
    Lakeport, Ca.
    Quote:I agree, this is what I do too, the only time I have had problems is when I couldn't get my humidity above 60% the last 3 days, the chicks would pip, or start to zip but suffocate in the sticky goo.
  8. Grillo

    Grillo In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2009

    I have only hatched 3 batches, but I´ve had very decent hatches. I use 45 - 50 % humidity, so if I may advice, in your case I would lower, not increase the humidity for days 1-18 and I have had no problems hatching in the 60´s (preferably 65) % for days 19-21 Last time out I hatched 17 out of 20. Good luck!

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  9. mom2chicksandpups

    mom2chicksandpups Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Southeast Alabama
    Well, I am just finishing up my own first hatch. I kept the humidity around 45-50% on days 1-18. It dropped a few times, but we tried to check it several times per day so it didn't get too low. After day 18, I kept it between 70-80% because that is what I had read in an incubating guide. Honestly, it usually stayed between 70-75% because I was afraid of getting it TOO high. Out of the 11 eggs that I still had in the incubator, it appears that 9 will hatch. Not too bad for my first try. I will crack open the last 2 if they don't hatch to see if I can guess what happened to them.

    I did take out 6 others during the 1st couple of weeks that weren't fertile. My husband's friend free ranges his chickens and that's who we got those eggs from, so I guess the hens are too fast for the rooster some days. [​IMG]
    Courtneync and Thorn Fulford like this.
  10. LoveMyBirds

    LoveMyBirds Songster

    Aug 10, 2008
    Quote:On my 1583 Hova, it works good around 35% 45% and I noticed and now try to keep the temp 99.5 or under... if you see 100 degrees turn temp down slightly... This one has fan and turner.. [​IMG]

    I have 2 more hovas which I put fans in, but the 1602N Hova really sux in both the temp and humidity.. I get about 1/2 hatch rate in it. [​IMG]

    The other Hova is a 1582 like the 1583 big window, but without a turner.. It works pretty good, but I have to watch the humidity in it..

    My 1583 is the best one.. The humidity stays pretty constant around 35% where I very seldom have to add water.. The temp also usually stays near the 99.5 degrees.. I usually have pretty good hatch rates in that one.. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    On the last 3 days, I have tried both ways, just let the humidity stay same around 35-45% until eggs start hatching then humidity goes up anyway, and I have added the sponges for higher humidity but didn't really see much better results.. Actually worse results..

    3 incubators times 2 rounds of hatchings this year and on 3rd round on the 1583..

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