Why are there so many different humidity suggestions?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kaolru, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Kaolru

    Kaolru Chillin' With My Peeps

    40
    5
    94
    Jun 20, 2011
    I've hatched quail and turkey eggs before, but never ducks. Humidity was never something we needed to keep track of. Now that I'm trying to hatch duck eggs, I can't seem to find a consistent source for what the temperature and humidity should be.

    Right now my humidity is at 75% and my temperature is about 95 at the bottom of the bator. Probably around 96 or 97 at the top of the egg.

    So I've heard humidity levels anywhere from 50% to 86% all for the 25 day period. Then up to 94% for the days before hatching!

    As far as temperature I've pretty much heard anywhere in the nineties.

    I'm pretty confused at this point. So instead of relying on varying sources on the internet, I once again come back to you guys. I know many of you have already hatched little ducklings on several occasions, so what do you all recommend as a range for temperature and humidity both during the 25 days and hatching period?

    Thanks to everyone who's been helping me with all of my questions so far. It's definitely appreciated. :)

    Also, if it matters, I only have a couple of eggs.
     
  2. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

    7,100
    185
    256
    Dec 17, 2011
    Let's see if I can help clarify the confusion. There are two types of humidity gauges, actual and relative. The high % is using a wet bulb, whereas the 50% range is relative and that is what most store-bought gauges measure. Then, there is a range within those types of gauges, as there is no magic fixed humidity % that works. What may work in an arid climate will not necessarily work in a humid environment. What is important is the amount of weight loss for the egg during incubation. Ideal weight loss range is 14-16%. Too little loss and there will be moisture problems and challenges with baby internally pipping. Too much loss, the baby may have trouble moving into hatching position. The best method to determine what humidity works for your area is to weigh egg before setting. Multiply the weight by 15%, divide by 4, and that number is the amount of weight it should lose each week. Weigh the egg on day 7, 14, and 21 to monitor weight loss. Adjust humidity to reach target weight loss number, ie if not losing enough weight then lower humidity... if losing too much weight, then raise humidity.

    As for temperature, it makes a difference if your incubator is still or forced air. Forced air cooking temp is 99.5, but still air is 101.5.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  3. Kaolru

    Kaolru Chillin' With My Peeps

    40
    5
    94
    Jun 20, 2011
    That does help, thank you. You've cleared up some of the mystery. :)

    What I have to measure humidity is just a dial with a thermometer as well. I wanted a digital hygrometer, but couldn't find one without having to order online, and it wouldn't have arrived in time.
    Also, the bator I have is a styrofoam still air. It's a cheap one, but I can't afford a new one right now.

    Now I need to get a scale...
     
  4. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

    7,100
    185
    256
    Dec 17, 2011
    I use the accurite digital combo that is sold at home depot and a digital kitchen scale to weigh eggs. I write weight on egg using pencil.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by