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Author Topic: Hatcher humidity  (Read 5483 times)
birdguychris
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« on: June 01, 2004, 12:12:21 AM »

I have been hatching out bobwhite eggs in a little giant foam incubator. Lately they have begun to hatch, but I have had some problems. The eggs I used were new and old, so the hatch is over a 3 to 4 day period. Anyways, I added a small tray under the wire and the rings full of water, but the chicks seem to stick and dry into the shells. I have been opening the incubator each day to remove the few chicks that have hatched successfully. Also, nearly half of the chicks that do hatch can't stand up and just lay on their side, and a few eggs have begun to hatch, but stopped. Well, not too many have hatched, but to try to keep the humidity good, I take a spray bottle and squirt it around to keep the humidity up for the hatch. There is water condensed on the windows so I can barely see in there, but I want to know if during the hatch you can have too high humidity? Also, if I spray water in the incubator after I crack it to take the chicks out each day, should it be alright? I don't have a hydrometer, so I am guessing when the humidity is good enough. Can anyone tell me a better way to do this!!!!
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openseason
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2004, 09:18:52 AM »

Don't know if I'm the right one to reply here, but I thought I'd give my 2 cents. I haven't even put my first batch of eggs on yet. Tomorrow!

However, I am going to use a styrofoam incubator as well. I got a digital combo thermometer / hygrometer (sp) at the hardware store for 19 dollars (Canadian).

It took at least 3 days of playing around to get the right combination of light bulb and water quantity. The incubator I'm using (home made) is 10" by 8" by 10".

With a 15 watt bulb and half and inch of water in the bottom of the incubator I am now holding at 58% humidity and 100.5 degrees temp.  I was only getting about 40 degrees humidity at first, so I soaked a sponge and placed it on the rack where I will be placing the eggs the extra surface area of the spunge allowed more water to evaporate and increased the humidity by aprx 10%. Pretty neat!

The eggs go in tomorrow night. Wish me luck.
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duck nutt
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2004, 09:31:41 AM »

too low humidity is better than too high!!  you might be drowning your chicks...if condensation is on the windows, i'd say it was too high..maybe others will post with more experience..good luck
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deadeye1
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2004, 01:17:33 AM »

Quote from: duck nutt
too low humidity is better than too high!!  you might be drowning your chicks...if condensation is on the windows, i'd say it was too high..maybe others will post with more experience..good luck
You are right duck nutt about humidity.Last year on my hova bator,i was getting condensation on the windows and pulled the 2 vent plugs out and when it cleared up i would put them back in all through the incubation time and only use the one circulatory channel for water until the last 3 days,i filled them both up and only got a 40%hatch.I found the trouble was not enough air was entering the bator through the bottom vent holes.The 4 corner short legs on the bator are not long enough to permit air to enter so i put shims under them and raised them up about a half inch and the condensation stopped.Also make sure the vent holes are not plugged up in the bottom,pieces of egg shells get caught when rinsing from previous hatch.I have 200 Bob white eggs due to hatch 19th of June.I have 2 hovabators and one Little Giant that i am using for Pheasants
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birdguychris
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2004, 12:34:09 AM »

guess I just got too worried. Out of 80 bob eggs, 76 hatched, and as of now, I have 74 chicks! I found that it doesn't hurt to have the humidity a little on the high side, because even if it is a little bit too low, the chicks that hatch slower end up having the membrane harden, and require a little help to get out. Thanks anyways.
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drwink
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2004, 11:28:59 AM »

I too just hatched my first batch in a hovabator foam bater.
I didn't have any way to measure the humidity either. all seamed fine till close to the hatch, added water twice a week, no condensation on windows for the first 3 weeks but when I was worried as no hatch till the 25th day I heard peeping before it started.
I too opened it up and misted with a spray bottle then had some condensation forming. came back a couple hours later & figured I better spray again & when I opened I had one bird out and more cracks forming.
Windows were to condensed to see anything. Opened up & dried off the window, pulled the plugs but still wouldn't clear up.
Only wound up with 54 out of a 100 hatch. 7 were splaylegged and wound up having to cull them.
The real problem was leaving them in there for 24 hours to dry, they never did dry. Wound up having to get them under the heat lamp in the brooder to dry, they all dryied in 10-15 minutes, will be 2 weeks old monday & getting feathers
I will check out those holes in the bottom maybe not enough circulation
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Reeves
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2004, 09:37:28 AM »

I have 2 Hovabators. I use 1 to inc. & the second to hatch. In the incubator I had to cover about 1/2 of the one water channel to keep the humidity in the right range, and keep the two red vent plugs out. As soon as the chicks hatch I remove the vent plugs in the hatcher & they dry well before 24 hrs.
Only time I have a bit of trouble now is when the outside humidity is high.
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quailacres
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2004, 09:15:18 PM »

Another thing you may want to check is the accuracy of the instruments you are using to gauge humidity and temperature in your machine. A number of thermometers that have come with incubators I have purchased over the years were found to be way off (enough to cause serious trouble) when compared to finely callibrated ones manufactured for scientific or medical use.
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deadeye1
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2004, 12:46:46 AM »

Quote from: drwink
I too just hatched my first batch in a hovabator foam bater.
I didn't have any way to measure the humidity either. all seamed fine till close to the hatch, added water twice a week, no condensation on windows for the first 3 weeks but when I was worried as no hatch till the 25th day I heard peeping before it started.
I too opened it up and misted with a spray bottle then had some condensation forming. came back a couple hours later & figured I better spray again & when I opened I had one bird out and more cracks forming.
Windows were to condensed to see anything. Opened up & dried off the window, pulled the plugs but still wouldn't clear up.
Only wound up with 54 out of a 100 hatch. 7 were splaylegged and wound up having to cull them.
The real problem was leaving them in there for 24 hours to dry, they never did dry. Wound up having to get them under the heat lamp in the brooder to dry, they all dryied in 10-15 minutes, will be 2 weeks old monday & getting feathers
I will check out those holes in the bottom maybe not enough circulation
Dont know where i am suppose to type here,but this is the only place i can find.My quail were due to hatch the 19th and they started slow on the night of the 18th(3)In the morning i looked and about 50 were hatched.4PM that day would have started the 23rd day they were suppose to hatch.I used a Brinsea thermometer with the tip in a water weasel at 99.7 temperature at egg level,which is important as hieght at the top of the egg and the bottom varies greatly as much as 1 degree on all 3 of my incubators and check them with the regular thermometer that was in each one.Well i didn't do as good as i thought i would,153 out of 190 hatched.190 out of 210 eggs after candling.My percentage would have been better if i had candled again at 14 days as some of the embryos died for reasons unknown and 10 died in shell after pipping and my humidity was varing from 72% to 91% the last 3 days.Humidity shoots up when lots of quail are hatching from the wet feathers.Also my pheasants were not due until the 21st (25 days incubating)day and today is the 20th.24 have hatched today in my Little Giant incubator that i had trouble with the temperature setting dial which is very sensitive.I turn it up to the right and the temp gets to high,I turn it to the left about 1/64th of an inch and its too low,But back and forth evry 2 hours until i got it right.Anybody else have that trouble or do i have a faulty switch.This is my first new Little Giant.It kept the temp accurate once it is set.Dave
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Don McGowan
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2004, 06:47:27 AM »

Deadeye   were the eggs from your birds or did you have them shipped in??
 when I get eggs shipped in my hatch rate is quite a bit lower. 70% is a average hatch.  but my eggs it's in th upper 90's  Just a thought.
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Fivehollers
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2004, 09:47:39 AM »

We also use a hova bator as a hatcher. But this last batch of eggs I had to manually hatch about 20 of the little guys, I kept asking my hubby if the humidity was too low because they would pip through but then the membrane holding them in the egg was so thick and dry they could not get out. We set 72 eggs and had 65 hatch the rest died in the egg or while pipping. I kept listing to the eggs ( I know what a picture that must have been) but if I could hear them scratching or peeping out they came healthy little buggers but again that membrane is so thick and dry. I am thinking humidity is not enough. We have 3 more batches to hatch and then we are done for the season, we have run out of pens and money to build new ones so we are re vamping some of the older ones.

WE did discover that the top shelf of the incubator is really hot so we are trying to find replacement parts for the Leahy cabnet type incubator and next year we are purchasing a new incubator.
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