What is the ideal humidity for hatching in an incubator?


10 Years
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.
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.
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.
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.

Hope this helps!
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.

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!

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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.
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..

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.

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..

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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