How to Make Egg Incubator – Humidity Control System
Water Pan Only or Humidity Control System
Many basic egg incubators do not even include a humidity control system, because even without it, one can still hatch eggs – albeit with limited success. While it is not recommended to build an egg incubator without a humidity controlling system, if you are tight on budget and don’t mind having a lower hatching rate, you can still opt to leave this out. Whether you will opt to include this in your system or not, let’s discuss the effect of humidity upon the incubating egg.
Many people think of eggs as sealed components, but actually egg shells are porous. This means that over time, eggs will dry out as water is slowly lost from the shells. How much water is lost depends on the humidity of the surrounding environment, i.e. the egg incubator. If humidity is kept high, this will slow down the water loss from the eggs. Now, you might think that it is desirable to keep the humidity as high as possible, but this is incorrect.
This is because eggs have an air space inside them (at the round end), and this air space grows in size as
water is lost. The presence of this air space is essential to a successful hatch, as this air is the first air that
the developed chick will breathe in the egg.
This space also allows the chick to move into a suitable egg hatching position. Now, if the humidity had been set too high, too little water would have been lost during the incubation period and the air space would be too small. This will hinder the chick’s breathing and will not provide enough space for the chick to get into a good position to break out of the shell.
When this is the case, the chick might break the shell at one point, but because it doesn’t have space to
maneuver, the beak will protrude too far out, preventing the normal round movement which breaks the
shell from the inside. The chick will get stuck in this position, and the drying mucus on the beak will
quickly lead to asphyxiation.
You Must Have One For Your Egg Incubator
In general, humidity levels slightly lower than optimum are less harmful than humidity levels slightly higher than optimum.