WHY does the humidity need to be raised in the last 3 days?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Guitartists, May 15, 2008.

  1. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    So, I am trying my best to understand the entirety of the incubation and hatching process, and when we incubate eggs we are attempting to mimic the conditions as closely as possible that a hen provides, while keeping it in a large and controled environment.

    So then why the humidity boost? I understand the humidity part, as being stuck under a broody hen, it's bound to get warm and humid [​IMG] But why the boost? Is there something that the hen does in the last 3 days? Is it because the space in which we have placed them is soooooo large and vast compared to a natural setting that we must boost it up in order for them to hatch? Is it just because it has been helpful in bringing about better hatch numbers?

    Just curious, hoping some of you pros will have the answers I seek [​IMG] (Of course, in layman's terms [​IMG] lol)
     
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Since broodys usually set pretty tight those 3 or 4 days I've always figured that her just not getting up makes the humidity higher since none escapes when they don't leave the nest.
     
  3. yellowdragon

    yellowdragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Springville, Indiana
    so they don't stick to or dry to the egg
     
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    The extra humidity keeps the membranes in the egg moist so the chick can move easily in the egg to pip and then zip all the way around.

    Too high, and the chicks can drown as they pip into the air cell. Too low, and the chicks will pip and then die in the egg as they can't maneuver well enough to finish the hatch.

    Mama chicken regulates humidity and temp by how high or low she sets on the eggs, how often she takes a break and how close to the skin she keeps the eggs.

    I asked the same question about turning - does the momma stop turning the eggs, and found out that people here have observed the mother chicken being much more still and moving around & less on the eggs over the last couple days.
     
  5. Broke Down Ranch

    Broke Down Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2007
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    When a broody has eggs that are due to hatch she will feel them tapping in that egg and most times won't get up which brings up the humidity. I have never bothered with raising the humidity but it could just be my climate favors it or maybe I am just lucky....
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    All well said.. [​IMG]
     
  7. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    Thanks everyone, that really covered the gammut of what I was looking for [​IMG]
     
  8. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    Quote:You've never raised the humidity?
    What was it at the time of the hatches?
     
  9. Broke Down Ranch

    Broke Down Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2007
    Texas
    Quote:You've never raised the humidity?
    What was it at the time of the hatches?

    [​IMG] I don't monitor it. Honestly. Years ago when I first started I worried alot about the humidity and temps and turning them "x" amount of times...... but it never seemd to make THAT much of a difference. There have even been times that I forget to turn my eggs for DAYS and didn't seem to phase them. NOW, I am NOT saying this is how everyone should do it - BUT it works for me and if it ain't broke.....

    The most important thing you have to worry about is fresh eggs, prolonged temp spikes, and prolonged temp drops. The hatch I just had come off - halfway thru incubation we lost elec for 20 hours due to storms blowing thru. The temp in the bator got down to 72ยบ and I want you to know they were only delayed by 4 hours.

    So, I make sure my temp is good then I stick in and let 'em go.... [​IMG]
     
  10. Yogiman

    Yogiman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2008
    South Louisiana
    There well might be something to what Broke Down Ranch is saying. A lady here told me that she has been hatching for 40+ years and never even considers the humidity. Her only concern is temperature.
     

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