When humidity or temperature is too high in the incubator, the normal development and growth of the embryo is affected. More often than not, poor hatching results are due to improper control of humidity or temperature.
To acquire the best possible hatch, keep temperature near 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit for the incubation period in still air incubator. There would be a fluctuation of 2 or 3 degrees below or above 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, yet there must not be prolonged periods of low or high temperatures. High temperature is serious.
Incubators that are run warm, constantly averaging above 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit would tend to generate an early hatch. Something that’s run cold, a little below 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit would tend to generate late hatch.
To get proper temperature reading, consider placing the thermometer’s bulb so that it’s on a level with place where embryos would start to develop in eggs. It’s approximately ¼” below the shell’s top surface when eggs are on its side. It applies to the eggs of chicken, quail, ducks, and other species. The thermometer’s bulb must not be in contact with eggs.
Make sure to check the thermometer if it’s accurate. An error of 1 degree for twenty-one days may interfere seriously with the embryonic growth. To check incubator thermometer, just place the bulb next to another clinical bulb or laboratory thermometer. Thermometers in which mercury column are split won’t give you accurate readings.
It is rare to have too high humidity in still air incubator. Typically, it’s low. So, water pan must cover at least ½ of the incubator’s surface area. The humidity must be raised during the incubation’s last 3 days. Adding a wet sponge or water pan helps you to do this. Embryos require considerable moisture to hatch easily and properly. High levels of humidity tend to produce late hatch while low humidity may produce early hatch.
Never turn eggs the last 3 incubation days. Embryos move to the hatching position and don’t have to be turned. Keep incubator closed to keep proper humidity and temperature. However, never seal it so tight for embryos require oxygen. Never forget to place cloth, crinoline is perfect, on the incubator’s screen floor. It protects navel, which is the place where abdomen closes after surrounding the yolk’s remains from injury. It makes cleaning incubator much easier. The longer the eggs are held before setting, the fertility will be lower. Try setting eggs before they’re 10 days old. At 3 weeks, fertility would drop to 0. Let the newly hatched chicks dry out in incubator till they fluff up. After that, place them in the brooding unit.
Other Things You Should Know about Incubator Humidity and Heat
Hatching chickens is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences, particularly when many little ones make it through the whole hatching process. Once you consider incubating eggs on your own, it’s essential that you’re knowledgeable in the right workings of temperature and humidity of the incubator. It’s the most crucial part of hatching and may be the difference between staying as eggs and eggs hatching.
If incubator is kept at an incorrect humidity and temperature levels for sufficient length of time, it interferes with the embryo’s normal development and growth and unluckily, may stop embryo from developing further. While it could be a bit frustrating, if you have quality incubator with both humidity alarm and temperature as well as hygrometer and thermometer.
What to Know about Humidity and Temperature?
The incubator’s temperature must be maintained between 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Never attempt to overheat the incubator to speed up the process. It’ll result to speeding up the embryo’s development, but also will reduce the hatchability chance and may also lead to abnormal chicks. If incubator experiences short cooling period, never be concerned as brief period isn’t typically dangerous. However, long period of temperature may lead to dead embryos.
The levels of humidity must be between fifty and fifty-five percent and increase to about sixty-five percent for final 3 incubation days. A water pan under egg trays provides the necessary moisture in the incubators. You might have to add warm water. Humidity may be adjusted through decreasing or increasing ventilation in a chicken incubator.
Placement of Incubator
Just as the humidity and temperature in the incubator can affect eggs, the incubator’s temperature outside may be affected as well. Try placing the incubator in a room where temperature is between 69.8 and 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit and isn’t vulnerable to direct sunlight, varying temperatures or drafts.
Features of Incubator
As humidity and temperature in incubator plays an important role to the success of hatching chickens, you must have an incubator, which enables you to control and monitor these with ease. Good quality incubators must have powerful control on temperature where it may be adjusted accordingly. The accuracy also matters. So, make sure to pay attention with this.
Since humidity and temperature may change without warning, it can cause some major problems with the process of hatching. Therefore, it just means that it’s essential that your incubator has a humidity and temperature alarm that will alert you when the temperature or humidity for hatching is out of range. This can help you make necessary adjustments accordingly before it is too late.
You’ll also need to have accurate hygrometer and thermometer to measure the humidity and temperature on a regular basis throughout the incubating process to make sure that they’re always at optimum level. Check this article where I compare the best hygrometers for incubator.
You should also check the thermometer against the second and third thermometer to be safe. This will ensure that everything is accurate.
If you are wondering what incubator to buy in the market, it is best to shop around first and make comparisons. If possible, read some reviews. Consider the good and the not so good about a certain incubator. Pay attention to the features and do not take temperature and humidity for granted because it can make a huge difference in getting the best results.