Humidity

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Humidity

Post by poultry_admin » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:26 pm

windwalkingwolf wrote:QR_BBPOST I check the accuracy of the probe end by sticking it in ice water slush.
You can check the humidity readout by placing it below a wet towel on a table for an hour or two. It should read 100% relative humidity regardless of temperature.
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KimChick
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Re: Humidity

Post by KimChick » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:05 pm

This is really useful information. It specifically mentions still air styrofoam incubators, which is the old, borrowed one I will be using. Right now, I have it on for the 1 - 2 day temperature & humidity check.
So, if my room humidity is ~50, and my incubator humidity is 40-45, I will take that as a "good to go".
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windwalkingwolf
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Re: Humidity

Post by windwalkingwolf » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:25 pm

Yep, it's a good start! I'm glad you commented on this thread, @KimChick , it gave me a chance to re-read it and see if I've made any tweaks that works for me. The only thing I can add is that waterfowl, surprisingly, will also drown with higher relative humidity, or get the thick goo inside eggs that dries like concrete once pipped. This is different from shrink-wrapping and occurs when there's not enough water loss.
I cook daily, and boil kettles, run coffeemaker a fair bit...this adds more moisture to the air that I don't need, so unless it's bitter cold and dry outside, I crack windows when I cook or else I end up with some chicks dead or needing help out.
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Re: Humidity

Post by KimChick » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:47 pm

windwalkingwolf wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:25 pm
Yep, it's a good start! I'm glad you commented on this thread, @KimChick , it gave me a chance to re-read it and see if I've made any tweaks that works for me. The only thing I can add is that waterfowl, surprisingly, will also drown with higher relative humidity, or get the thick goo inside eggs that dries like concrete once pipped. This is different from shrink-wrapping and occurs when there's not enough water loss.
I cook daily, and boil kettles, run coffeemaker a fair bit...this adds more moisture to the air that I don't need, so unless it's bitter cold and dry outside, I crack windows when I cook or else I end up with some chicks dead or needing help out.
Tonight I was talking to the person from whom I borrowed the incubator. I was concerned that when I added a teaspoon of water, the humidity jumped to about 60% for a time. She said that's where it should be. Now, I am even more confused! But, considering that those who have followed that, with this incubator, have had a 66 - 70% hatch success, maybe I should go with the 60% humidity?
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Re: Humidity

Post by windwalkingwolf » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:20 am

I think there's only one way to find out :) Before you drop good money on eggs you really want, or set eggs from your favourite girls, Collect (or buy) cheapie eggs you don't mind throwing away, and run them through first. If any hatch, you'll be able to tell from opening any that didn't, if you need to change anything :)
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Re: Humidity

Post by KimChick » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:30 am

windwalkingwolf wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:20 am
I think there's only one way to find out :) Before you drop good money on eggs you really want, or set eggs from your favourite girls, Collect (or buy) cheapie eggs you don't mind throwing away, and run them through first. If any hatch, you'll be able to tell from opening any that didn't, if you need to change anything :)
Rest assured that since this is my first, ever, incubating experience, I am using the cleanest, palest, well-shaped eggs from my red & black sex-link hens, and maybe one or two from the "Frey's Special Dual Purpose" hens. These days it's hard to tell which eggs were laid by which hens.
And I'm not one to jump in feet first; I always wade in. :-)
Last edited by KimChick on Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Humidity

Post by windwalkingwolf » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:31 am

Is it made by Miller? With the digital readout? Looks kind of like this?
9300.jpg
If it is, I'd stop worrying so much, the humidity readout on those DO NOT EVER read accurately, at least not for long. The electronics get a whiff of moisture the very first time it is used, and never give you an accurate readout again. Just go with room humidity. Chicks are tough, you've got a bit of wiggle room. I use one of these, it's an awesome beginner unit! I don't even trust the temperature though, and for me the probe has to be in a VERY specific spot, and NOT on top of the eggs, to affect the heater properly and to get good results. But I'm...a bit anal...LOL I maybe obsess a bit. Stress a lot. Check readouts 12 times a day. I turn by hand, so I candle a LOT. I used to do it every night, but now I'm confident enough to only candle every few days lol. I figure, hey, I'm handling the eggs anyway, why not? It's served me well--I can now identify an early quitter before they're dead, and remove it before it contaminates any eggs it's touching, in theory. Obviously, a turner would prevent contamination of that sort, since the eggs don't touch each other, but I've never used one, and I'm not sure I would want to, since some eggs I incubate like Muscovy, do better with less frequent turnings.

Candle, candle, candle. You will learn as you go. It's helpful to mark the air cell and track it's shrinkage by marking it again every few days. By hatch day, it should be taking up almost 1/3 of the egg at the fat end. Some people track by weighing their eggs--they lose weight as incubation progressses, and at hatch time, a healthy chick in an egg will have lost what feels like almost half the weight the egg weighed initially, but will actually be only about 15%.
Shuffle the eggs about the incubator every time you turn the eggs so none stay in "hot" or "cold" spots for very long. I personally do this by taking the first 4 or 5 eggs from the top left out, rolling the remaining row to the left, and adding the next row up (turning as I go) until I put the ones I removed on the bottom right and closing it up again.
Most of Ontario is VERY humid, at least 10 out of 12 months a year. Still-air incubators do NOT remove loads of moisture from eggs. In my limited experience, a little less moisture is better than a little more. I never use a dehumidiier, or use air conditioners, so I never have to add water, EVER. If you think broody hens do it better, well I can tell you that last year, they didn't. Chicks drowned or suffered heart failure still in the eggshell. Wet year. "Dry" chicks stand a chance, but wet ones die or hatch with all sorts of horrific anomalies or sickly, and then die.
But, you can obsess and fine-tune, later. What are you waiting for? Throw some eggs in there and get to it! Failures are AWFUL, and guilt-inducing, but there's really no other way to do it, than get your hands dirty with your first hatch. Or your fifty first. I hatched eggs for three or four years using nothing but an old-school oil-lamp: after that, a styrofoam incubator might as well be heaven :-D
If, down the road, you decide this way is too much for your heart, you can invest $$$ in a Brinsea or a cabinet incubator with a humidity pump. Set it and forget it. But, personally, I haven't invested because I'm (anal) still learning as I go and even a single failed egg is a learning experience for me. I've had hatches ranging from 30% to 100%, and some have been heartbreaking. 90% of the ones that have been heartbreaking have been because the humidity was too high. Others were high temperature spikes. Again, a little less is better than a lot more.
The bad ones are mitigated by the good. 3 weeks under heat and tender care, and you have live babies! What a miracle is that?! You can literally take a breakfast egg, stick it under a light bulb or over top of a candle flame, and three weeks later have a live peeping chick looking o you to feed it. How cool is that??
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Re: Humidity

Post by Happy » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:47 am

And that folks explains why so many (including me) get addicted to hatching! Great post @windwalkingwolf !
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Re: Humidity

Post by Killerbunny » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:45 am

Oh that sleeping on the sofa beside the incy "in case"! I only do that after lock down though!
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Re: Humidity

Post by Colleen Kinzie » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:15 am

@windwalkingwolf
I am so glad that you posted (a year ago i think it was)about the humidity not working in these
I totally ignore the humidity readout and also check temperature with 2 thermometers -one cheapie incubator thermometer stapled to a piece plastic and also an aquarium thermometer!
I also have learned after 3 pretty awesome FAILS that I need my incubator upstairs as temp is just too cold in my basement and wrapping with blankets didn’t do the trick and I think kept it too moist at lockdown as I found under it was soaking wet
Thanks for all the info again!!!
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