Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

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dry or wet Incubation ?

DRY
2
67%
WET
1
33%
 
Total votes: 3
RUFUS
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Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by RUFUS » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:11 pm

I would d be very interested to know your opinions on incubation in the UK

Due to high humidity of the UK climate do you choose dry or wet Incubation method for the first 18 days?
then
During lock down what humidity do you maintain for best hatch rates?

I
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chrismahon
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Re: Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by chrismahon » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:55 am

It's not at all that simple RUFUS. It all depends on the humidity in your house rather than the external environment. A modern house could be as low as 20% whereas an older property, like ours was in the UK, it could be over 80%. We incubated dry both in the UK and in France because of the high humidity in old brick and stone properties. However, our aim was to get the air sac development right, which is the crucial aspect- in the last property in France we added water for a few days because the air sac looked too big. Must add that the ambient humidity in that property was 70%. Now you are referring here to incubators without humidity control- those with automatic water delivery will do the maths for themselves and just not use any water if it isn't necessary.

There is another factor and that's the natural porosity of the eggs, so some eggs will lose water and develop a bigger air sac than others at the same humidity, which is why you shouldn't mix breeds in one hatch (although many do). The published humidity figures are a 'general guidance' only based on best hatch rates on average eggs- probably derived commercially and not from rare pure breed incubation.

75% for lockdown works for us, but that is subject to hatching times within the incubator and if too many hatch together the humidity rises uncontrollably and you lose some- 'drowning' I have heard it called.
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Marigold
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Re: Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by Marigold » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:55 pm

It also varies between species, of course. Coturnix quail should always be incubated with no water at all until turning stops and hatching starts, as quail chicks developing in their tiny eggs very easily drown from too much humidity, (i.e, what would be normal for hatching chickens.) I don't know about other types of poultry but I expect each has its own requirements.
Judging by what has been written on here in recent years, there seems too be a move towards relying more on the ambient humidity in the U.K being sufficient, so long as it's at least 40%, subject to the variations Chris mentions.
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Re: Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by Evie » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:24 pm

Agree with the comments above. In our centrally heated but also well aired home we need to add water unless it's already nearly summer, the ambient humidity here is very low.
RUFUS
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Re: Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by RUFUS » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:28 pm

I have only incubated eggs 3 times with only about 50% success rate.

last time I dry incubated till day 18 then on lock down filled both reservoirs with water, I think humidity was too high as all the eggs that didnt hatch were fully formed inside but did not pip.

I have pushed to boat out and bought an R com 20 max which will control humidity as well as turning and temp so hopefully get better results
valeriebutterley
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Re: Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by valeriebutterley » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:20 am

I hatch all my own chicks, latest girls, 3 totally dark rosewood coloured purebred Rhode Islands and just love doing it, the resultant chicks you know all of their lives, and they get incredibly tame from being handled from day one.

I have a Brinsea Octagon 20 and a new, very cheap very neat incubator with everything built in.

I hatch dry for 18 days and add water in the last few days, I have had 100% hatches with this method so don't aim to change it. I still think the quality of the egg is the all important factor. Good ones can hatch whatever happens.
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Marigold
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Re: Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by Marigold » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:28 am

valeriebutterley wrote:
I still think the quality of the egg is the all important factor. Good ones can hatch whatever happens.
And that all comes back to the health and vigour of the parent birds, doesn't it, Val? And poor-quality eggs, from parents kept in substandard conditions, or eggs shaken up in the post, not new enough, or contaminated by dirty shells, won't have a chance of hatching into strong and normal chicks, if indeed they hatch at all. Yes, humidity levels are very important, but there are so many other factors, some them out of the control of the person setting the eggs in the incubator.
valeriebutterley
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Re: Dry or Wet Incubation of chickens - Poll

Post by valeriebutterley » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:53 am

Yes, the health and vigour of the birds is really important, shame mine won't ever be mummies, as they have both H and loads of V in bucket loads. Some of my bantams are such old ladies and look it, but they soldier on and still lay eggs. I also think mine are so good because I have a closed flock.
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