Humidity Too High In Incubator: It Kills Embryos!

Humidity too high in incubator? Well, that is not good at all. It can even kill the embryos.

If you notice that the humidity level is too high in your incubator, you should do something about it as soon as possible.

The good thing is that all is not lost. Here, we will look at a few ways to lower the RH level in the incubator.

But just what humidity level is too high in an incubator? That is one of the things you will find out here.

Also read: Does a fish tank act as a humidifier?

Is 70 percent humidity too high for incubator

The best humidity level for an incubator is 40 to 50% in the first 18 days of incubating the eggs. However, in the final days of hatching, you should increase the humidity level to 65 to 75%, if your eggs have thinner shells.

If your eggs have thicker shells, you can raise the humidity to 58 to 65%. Thin shells require higher humidity as compared to thicker ones.

Please, as you seek to maintain the right level of humidity in your incubator, you also need to maintain the right temperature.

There is a relationship between humidity and temperature and raising or lowering one can affect the other.

We could say that in the last days of the eggs hatching, 70 percent humidity is not bad at all since some sources say that in the last three days before the eggs hatch, it is okay to raise the humidity to between 65-75%.

What to do if humidity is too high in incubator

The good thing is that if you have too high humidity in the incubator, you can do something about it.

For eggs to hatch, they need to take in oxygen and they have to release carbon dioxide. To do this, they need just the right level of humidity.

Also read: Pure Enrichment humidifier not working

If the humidity is too high, it is going to prevent the intake of oxygen into the eggs and they will not hatch. It can also prevent the release of carbon dioxide.

If the air is too dry, the eggs will lose their moisture to the surroundings. This will prevent them from hatching.

So, what do you do if you notice that the incubator humidity is too high? The first thing is to remember that temperature and humidity are related.

Therefore, if the humidity level is not steady, the temperature might not be steady too. That is why you must know how to set the right temperature for the incubator too.

If you have a still air incubator, the recommended humidity level is 102°F or 39.0°C. It is best to keep track of the temperature and the humidity too.

If you are using a forced-air incubator, you should keep the temperature at 100°C. At these temperatures, the humidity should stay between 55 and 60%.

You can maintain this humidity level by keeping a water tray filled. Check the humidity level with a hygrometer.

How do I lower the humidity in my incubator?

Lowering humidity in the incubator is the most logical thing to do when your hygrometer is reading 80 percent humidity level.

Empty the water tray

In the bottom compartment of your incubator, there is a water tray. You need to check it from time to time even as you check the humidity with a hygrometer.

First, you have to reduce the water level in the water tray. You can pull out the water tray and check the levels.

If several trays are full, pour some of the water out. Less water means less humidity since there will be minimal vapor.

Use a dehumidifier

Sometimes, the air inside the incubator is humid because even the air outside is humid. For instance, if you live in a humid place such as Florida, the air indoors and outdoors will be humid.

Read: Best humidifiers for large rooms

If you have emptied the water trays, you have opened the vents and still the air is too humid, well, check the humidity of the outdoor air.

Close the vents and switch the dehumidifier on. Preferably, get one that can shut itself down automatically when the desired humidity level is achieved.  Since the dehumidifier cannot fit inside the incubator, you should use it inside the room.

You can also try to dehumidify the air naturally. One way of doing this is to use paper towels in the incubator. Rice is also a super absorbent item. It can help draw moisture from the surroundings.

Open the vents

Open the vents of the incubator, let the humid air out, and allow the drier air inside. This can help lower the air moisture level.

When you remove the incubator’s water and open the vents, there will be a dip in the humidity, which will safe-guard the health of your eggs and the chicks developing inside.

It is also vital to know how to control the humidity. For instance, in the last two days before the hatching begins, do not open the door of the incubator. If you do so, the humidity might dip too low, and it can be hard to raise it back up again.

What happens if humidity is too high in incubator?

If there is too high humidity in the incubator, it will affect the development of the egg. The air pocket in the egg will decrease in size, therefore stifling the embryo.

Image of how to control humidity in a poultry house

It can even lead to the death of the embryos if you let the humidity stay high for too long.

Read: Why is my dehumidifier blowing cold air?

The eggs absorb too much moisture through the pores. Thus, oxygen cannot get inside the egg. At the same time, the carbon dioxide from the egg cannot get out, and it ends up killing the embryo.

Another thing that might happen is the late hatching of the eggs. However, if the humidity increases in the last two days before hatching starts, it is unlikely that the embryos will die. They will hatch okay, but they will be late.

Check the air cells of the egg because they should be big enough to hold air for the embryo. In the third week of incubating the egg, the air cell should be about 14 percent of the total egg volume.

You can find out the volume using a process called candling. It helps you check on the development of the embryos.

If you notice that the air pocket is too small, you need to lower the humidity because the eggs are probably absorbing water through the pores.

What happens if humidity is too low in incubator?

Some people also ask: can eggs hatch without humidity? And the answer is no. Humidity and temperature are the two most important things when it comes to incubating eggs and getting them to hatch successfully.

It is very important that the temperature never exceeds 100°F.  As for the humidity, the first 18 days, ensure you keep it strictly between 40 and 55%. In the last three days, keep the humidity between 65 and 75%.

If the humidity dips lower than the parameters that we have mentioned above, it can cause the death of your embryos.

Eggs have a good amount of moisture. However, once you expose them to the dry air inside the incubator, they start to lose some of this moisture to the surrounding.

The embryos fail to develop properly and they end up dying. This is why it is so important to keep the eggs under the right humidity and temperature.

Image of what should the humidity be in an incubator

Humidity Too High In Incubator FAQ

The conditions in the incubator have to be just right for the successful hatching of the eggs. To help shed more light on this, read our section on frequently asked questions.

How important is humidity incubating eggs?

Low humidity sucks the moisture from the eggs. This can kill the embryos and if they don’t die, they will hatch when they are too weak. Too high humidity is going to prevent oxygen from getting into the egg and increases carbon dioxide buildup, killing the embryos.

Can humidity be too high in incubator?

If the humidity level rises above 55% in the first 18 days of incubating the eggs, it is too high. If it rises above 75% in the last 3 days, it is too high.

Ensure to keep the temperature at 100 to 102°F. In the last two days, do not turn the eggs because the embryos will have already turned in readiness to get out.

What is the ideal temperature and humidity for hatching chicken eggs?

The ideal temperature is between 100 and 102°F depending on whether you are using a still air or forced air incubator. The ideal humidity levels for the first 18 days are 40 to 55% and 65 to 75% for the last three days.

Will high humidity kill chicken eggs?

If the humidity in the incubator is too high, it prevents the eggs from getting oxygen. It also prevents them from releasing carbon dioxide, which can kill the embryos. If having to choose between slightly high and slightly low humidity, the latter is better.

How to adjust humidity in incubator?

This is not too hard. To increase humidity, just close the vents and add water to the water tray. To lower the RH level, use less water in the water tray and open the vents. If you live in a humid neighborhood, you might want to use a dehumidifier.

Final Thoughts: Humidity Too High in Incubator

When humidity is too high inside the incubator, it can lead to the death of your chicken eggs. If you keep it too low, you will get weak chicks.

With some diligence, you can maintain the right humidity and temperature for your eggs to hatch successfully.

Always check the humidity level in the incubator with a hygrometer. If the humidity fluctuates by +/- 3%, there is nothing to worry about.

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