- 1 More About Incubation Humidity
- 2 How To Measure Humidity
- 3 Humidity During Incubation
- 4 Humidity During Hatching
- 5 The Best Humidity Incubator Choices
- 6 In Conclusion
Incubating involves different variables on the path to successful hatching. This includes four key factors – temperature, humidity, ventilation, and turning. Out of those, arguably the most important factor is humidity as it is typically the one thing that is the most difficult for you to have complete control over.
Thankfully, tools such as the best humidity incubator and other accessories are available to help you accurately measure and control humidity so that you can make changes necessary to assist with the incubation process.
More About Incubation Humidity
While eggs are in incubation, they lose weight. This is possible because the egg shells, which look solid, are actually porous. This means that fresher eggs weigh more than older eggs. An example of this is when you put eggs in water, the older ones will float and newer ones will sink.
Humidity levels during incubation are critical in that with the right humidity, developing chicks inside the eggs can use the air space inside the egg to move around as well as to breathe.
What Happens With Low Incubator Humidity
If the humidity level drops too low, it will cause the eggs to lose more weight. This will create a larger than required air space. The larger the air space, the smaller the chick will be as it won’t have as much room to move and develop.
Small chicks are weaker and don’t always have the strength to hatch on their own and may die still in the egg or just after hatching. However, if you were to have low or high humidity, high levels are less of an issue than low humidity.
What Happens With High Incubator Humidity
The opposite happens to eggs when the humidity in an incubator is too high. In other words, they do not lose enough weight and that produces a smaller air space and larger chicks.
Although a larger chick can be stronger, the small air space will have impacted the respiratory system of that chick. The small air space combined with a larger chick reduces the amount of room that chick has to move around inside the egg and may result in problems hatching.
How To Measure Humidity
There are two main ways to measure humidity and probably the easiest of them is when you calculate the Relative Humidity Percentage (RH%). The other method of measurement is done with a Wet Bulb.
There are various hygrometers available that you can use to accurately monitor the humidity in your incubator. There are also incubators that have built-in humidity control. We outline some of the best humidity incubator options a little later in this article.
Humidity During Incubation
There are two factors that you can control during incubation that can alter humidity. One is the surface area of any water that is present. The more water surface area inside the incubator results in higher humidity through evaporation. The other factor is the amount of fresh air that can be drawn into the incubator from outside of the unit.
You could spray the eggs with water to increase the humidity inside the incubator if the humidity in incubator too low but that is not an effective remedy. That is because the small water droplets on the eggs will evaporate and your humidity level will once again drop. Plus, spraying the eggs with water can cause the temperature to drop and that presents a whole new set of problems.
Humidity During Hatching
With very few exceptions, the humidity has to be higher during hatching than it was during the entire incubation phase. The reason why high humidity is required at this part of the process is that it softens the membrane the chicks have to breakthrough to hatch. If the membrane dries out from low humidity, it becomes too tough for the chicks to rip apart. The humidity during hatching should be at no less than 60% relative humidity.
Controlling and adjusting humidity is very important to get the best results, but this can be difficult. Below, we have included reviews of a handful of incubators with humidity controls and additional tools to assist with your incubation process.
The Best Humidity Incubator Choices
Here is a look at several different egg incubator with humidity control products available in the marketplace.
Harris Farms Nurture Right Incubator
Here is one of the best humidity incubator products you will find. It has a clear top permitting 360-degree visibility which aids greatly while you observe progress during the incubation period. Plus, with 360-degree induced airflow, there is optimal air circulation and temperature stability.
There are an automatic egg turner and auto-stop which will stop turning eggs three days before hatch day. Designed for high capacity, this egg incubator with humidity control holds 22 chicken eggs, 12-18 duck eggs, and 22-24 pheasant eggs.
Kebonnixs Egg Incubator with Humidity Display & Candler
With an induced airflow system, driven by a powerful circulating fan, this incubator has stable temperature distribution. To ensure that you don’t have your incubator humidity too high or too low, the Kebonnixs model features a humidity level display. If you need to top-up the water as the humidity in incubator too low, you can do so with an external water top-up feature.
There is also a built-in egg candler as well as an auto-stop egg turner that will quit turning eggs three days before hatch day.
Nollapo Egg Incubator with Humidity Control
This is a large capacity incubator that will hold 56 normal-sized eggs. The incubator humidity control is built-in so there is no need for an additional incubator hygrometer. The digital controls feature an LED display.
The automatic egg turner turns eggs about once every two hours and with a clear cover, you can observe any changes in appearance during incubation. This egg incubator with humidity control comes with a service guarantee.
Magicfly LED Egg Candler
This candle light is durable and has an easy-to-use on and off button. It permits you to see which of your eggs are fertilized. It does this by showing a dark spot and veins and as the chick develops, you will be able to see how it grows.
IncuTherm Digital Thermometer Hygrometer with Remote Probe
If you don’t have a built-in hygrometer to monitor humidity, this is a good choice as a humidity meter for incubator use. It is a digital thermometer and hygrometer with a remote sensor. It is a great tool for measuring incubator humidity and will alert you to when humidity in incubator too low or too high.
The remote probe can go inside your incubator and the display can stay outside giving you accurate readings. The unit tracks minimum and maximum readings in memory and has a large, easy-to-read display, and comes with a battery included.
BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller
Easy to set up, this heating system has a digital display and handy LED heating and power indicator lights so you can see what it is doing without having to turn on the lights to find out. Used in conjunction with a hygrometer, you can accurately monitor and control the temperature and humidity in your incubator, which is important for successful results.
This product is durable, has a variety of uses, and is safe to use by any member of your family.
Humidity is one of the factors that can have a great impact during incubation. You can measure it by using an incubator hygrometer or if you prefer to not use a humidity meter for incubator, you can purchase a combo unit that has an incubator humidity control built into the design.
Regardless of which way you go on this, the size and strength of the chicks that hatch depends on the correct humidity during incubation and hatching. Therefore, for optimum results and to make your life easier, it is wise to get the best humidity incubator that your budget allows.