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#1 2012-05-07 21:57:45

Lindy Lou
Member
From: Priceville, Ontario
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 999

Humidity

What devise do you use to measure the humidity in your incubator? Once again I seem to have shrink wrapped chicks even though my digital Hydrometer said that the humidity was 50% + or- and it ran at 65 to 70% during lockdown. I'm now a bit baffled so think maybe it's my hydrometer that is off. It is the one that came with the Hovabator. The thermometer that came with the kit is a least two to three degrees under so I don't use that and now think that maybe the hydrometer is off too.
Any thoughts or ideas would be most welcome.


Some of us are driven by the need to make animals a part of our lives. We are soothed by their presence, fascinated by their behavior, and amused by their antics.

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2012-05-07 21:57:45

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#2 2012-05-07 22:47:45

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Humidity

Well my Lyons has wet bulb and a thermometer side by side inside the incubator.  The hygrometer that I used to use with my old hovobator was one with a dial face and looked like at meat thermometer.  I had a hole for the probe to go into the incubator and the wick covered that and I could see the reading on the outside of the incubator.  I know Berry Hills sells them for about $40.00 but it was very accurate.  I'll try and find a picture.......

OK found it, this is what I used to use with my old hovobator, worked great!
http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z341/Wycrazy/313HGb.jpg

Last edited by Flat Rock Farm (2012-05-07 22:52:49)

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#3 2012-05-07 23:16:59

Lindy Lou
Member
From: Priceville, Ontario
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 999

Re: Humidity

Cheers Paula. I'll look for one like that before I hatch again. Little ones seem to be doing fine. Ended up with 8


Some of us are driven by the need to make animals a part of our lives. We are soothed by their presence, fascinated by their behavior, and amused by their antics.

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#4 2012-05-07 23:45:32

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Humidity

Glad to hear the little fellow is fine :thumbsup:  Eight is great, but amazing that 21 out of 24 look good and you get only eight.  That's why I always put way extra eggs in.

I have two chicks left in the Hovo, the silkie with the "guts" out, I did cut the cord as it was dragging around the shell by it and a Cornie that I cracked and helped out.  So will see if they survive.  I know one thing that water in the incubator is getting ripe :sick:

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#5 2012-05-08 00:32:03

Lindy Lou
Member
From: Priceville, Ontario
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 999

Re: Humidity

Change that ended up with 9. has 10 but lost one right after helping it out. I was right about the 6, they had quit developing probably around Day 16. So out of the 24, three were clear,one had a blood ring,6 quit early,10 hatched but 1 died and 4 were shrink wrapped. I've decided I hate hatching so may just buy day olds. Or may try again next season with a better hydrometer.


Some of us are driven by the need to make animals a part of our lives. We are soothed by their presence, fascinated by their behavior, and amused by their antics.

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#6 2012-05-08 01:18:12

skeffling lavender farm
Administrator
From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: Humidity

All we ever used was a Flukers Hygrometer, a $10 on ebay that sticks inside the incubator.  Every one I had I sold stuck inside the incubator.  Right now I am going by condensation  on the door!  I need to get another as it always seem to do the job simply an easily.

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#7 2012-05-08 03:07:27

Micah and Kiah
Member
From: West Grey
Registered: 2012-04-20
Posts: 839

Re: Humidity

Last week we bought the same type of hygrometer as in Paula's photo in the Co-Op.  Hoping it helps.  It is upsetting that we don't get better hatch rates with the Hova.  The Storey's Guide explained that too high a humidity causes similar effects as too low; the chicks get swrapped but with a thick damp membrane.  We ordered a digital hygrometer that should arrive this week.  fingers crossed our May 21st hatch goes well. 

Enjoy the 9, bet they are adorable.  when will we see photos?

Last edited by Micah and Kiah (2012-05-08 03:10:32)


All the best,

Kiah and Micah

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#8 2012-05-08 16:43:35

Island Girl
Member
From: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Isla
Registered: 2011-07-06
Posts: 1403

Re: Humidity

skeffling lavender farm wrote:

All we ever used was a Flukers Hygrometer, a $10 on ebay that sticks inside the incubator.  Every one I had I sold stuck inside the incubator.  Right now I am going by condensation  on the door!  I need to get another as it always seem to do the job simply an easily.

Thanks for the name of that hydrometer Claire, I think that I will have to check into that one.

XOX Monika

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#9 2012-05-08 18:11:32

skeffling lavender farm
Administrator
From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: Humidity

It seems good enough, I think it is like a terrarium thing.   It is a less than an inch high by maybe 2 - 3 inches long, it has velcro on the back and there is a velcro sticker pad that goes in the bator or wherever, so you can take it out by unvelcroing it.  It has a thermometer too but I ignore it and use the spot check.

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#10 2012-05-12 15:49:43

ChestnutRidge
Member
From: Western Virginia
Registered: 2011-07-05
Posts: 251
Website

Re: Humidity

I use this digital thermometer/hygrometer.  It's made for cigar humidors. 

"Shrinkwrapped" is really tough to define.  I've discussed it over on BYC and the term means different things to a lot of different people.  I don't know if any of this will help, but these were the key facts I had to understand:
- Opening the incubator while you have pips can lower the humidity, but this will not shrinkwrap them right away.  If you drop a wet paper towel into the incubator as you open it, close to the pipped eggs if possible, then the humidity will recover quickly.   I have done this with pips for emergencies and had the pipped chicks hatch just fine.
- The problem with many incubators, including most hovabators and the Brinseas, is that the fan blows directly onto the eggs and cannot be turned aside or turned off during hatch.  The blowing air will dry out the membranes on slow zippers and can cause them to get stuck.  One person on BYC lays a dry paper towel over all of her eggs at lockdown to keep the air off of them.  But then you can't see anything!  I just help mine if that happens, but the best thing would be to have a hatcher where you can turn off the fan.  I may try my hand at building an incubator next year....
- Often, developed chicks that don't pip or pip but don't zip are too big for their egg.  The egg did not dry out enough during lockdown, so they take up too much of the egg to move freely.  I have identified this as my weak area.  I usually incubate at 30-40% humidity and lockdown at 60%.  I usually lose about 10% of eggs I lock down because they never pip.  My aircells are always on the small side, so I think this is my issue.  I think I will go completely dry for the first week and then adjust from there in the future.

Sorry if I went overboard in my response!  I've been thinking about humidity a lot lately.  I do really like my Caliber III, and the temperature has been reliable, too.

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#11 2012-05-13 04:43:37

skeffling lavender farm
Administrator
From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: Humidity

Good post Chestnut Ridge! I had the small air cell problem previously and after candling eggs at day 18-21 last year under my broodies, I realised how truly huge the air-cells were.  I have been leaving mine dry for a week in the middle of the 21 days and it is helping, but think I have had some big chicks pip and not hatch (EOs and BPs) and the eggs were big too, i may need the air cell bigger yet. 

I have had my humidity sky high (condensation on the door) on some of the hatches and still had some shrink wrapped, so you may be right.  A couple had nearly a centimeter of space under the whole shell.  I guess when they pip and the hull is breached, the eggs dries out quicker than it did when the shell and membrane were intact before pipping.

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#12 2012-05-21 21:41:39

jeh9037
New member
Registered: 2012-03-25
Posts: 2

Re: Humidity

This hint is for the person with "ripe water" in the incubator.  There is a product called Oxine AH (Animal Health) that can be added to the water throughout the incubation period to minimize bacterial growth in the water and it will not negatively affect your hatch.  In fact, it may improve it.  You can get Oxine AH on Amazon for about $35/gallon and it will go a long ways - i also use it in drinking water int he coops all year round to minimize water scum.  It has many other uses as well.

Best article on it I have found is:

http://www.shagbarkbantams.com/oxine.htm

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