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Old 07-16-2019, 06:18 PM
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Incubator and humidity help please

My cockatiels cant seem to keep their eggs going to the full term they are very good parents and the egg always gets to the later stages and then dies in the egg on the last few days so i think maybe is a humidity issue. I made the hard decision to try incubating the eggs in a incubator and handraising but now have a really bad issue with low humidity on average my incubator gets to 45% if i add sponges for surface area it raises to 65% however how do i get a constant extra 10-15% as i know %65 isnt enough. Unfortunately the last eggs i put in died trying to hatch which was heartbreaking and totally due to humidity. I realise the work and difficulty with hand raising cockatiels but any help would seriously help as i am so upset to keep losing my cockatiels eggs. I have been thinking of adding a separte base to my incubator with a fish heater inside to raise water temp to a constant and create a more humid area but cant decide whether thats nuts or genius. I also thought of a airstone to create water agitation and misting but if anyone can think of better please let me know as my pair are looking like they are about to start laying again. Any advice in general would be fab i have raised abandoned young birds before just not cockatiels.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:52 PM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

Wow...I am so sorry for the trouble you and your 'teils are going thru! Unfortunately I can not give advice since I never tried to breed anything (except myself! )
There are lots of Cockatiel people here and a few who have successfully raised babies. I'm sure there is someone on this great forum that can advice you. Please stick around! I hope you receive much useful information and good luck!


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Old 07-18-2019, 02:32 PM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

Just bumping this thread in the hopes that it will be seen by one of our breeding experts...
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:25 AM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

I've been experimenting from what i can see i need 2 incubators not one due to the change in humidity and the eggs all being layed in different stages. I've got another incubator coming now but for the humidity what i did and it works as i tested it. My incubator is round so i brought a plastic mixing bowl and the incubator sits in that perfect, i drilled a small hole for the wire of my fish tank heater and turned it right up. The added heated water along with a sponge gets the humidity perfect and stays the same so if anyone has this issue again so far this looks good solving my issue for the raising humidity stage. Only thing different is you have to obviously watch your temp as the heated water raises it slightly. Touch wood i am hoping this works and will add if the hatch goes well.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:31 AM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

Got to say though looking round the net even though i know its not advised incubating eggs and hand rearing cockatiels i wish there was more help articles around the net. If any experianced breeders have done this would they do a picture diary next time to help newbies as it really is something that doesnt seem to have a lot of info with. I brought everything incase and had no idea that i would really need 2 incubators for instance and it would truely help someone panicing when this happens.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:34 AM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

Humidity shouldn't be a huge issues -- I've co-raised a clutch in the nestbox with no extra humidity in the air and they came out fine. You don't need to use two incubators but they will need a brooder which is bigger, temperature controlled and humidity regulated.

There may be other problems you don't see here. Such as....

What age are the birds that you are breeding? Any birds less than 2 years of age will likely not be mature enough to breed or produce fertile eggs. Have they been check out by a vet? To make sure they aren't diseased and making more diseased babies. Are they unrelated? Related birds breeding causes lots of genetic health issues and unhealthy young that don't thrive. Have they had any babies before? Lack of experience could also be at fault here with parents that don't sit long enough to incubate.

Incubators should work to hatch eggs but after that you need a brooder, hand feeding syringes, formula, gram scale, thermometer, not to mention hope you don't ahve a job of any kind or don't have school because even if they did hatch, they require 24/7 around the clock care, feeding every 2 hours, and that' assuming you know exactly how to hand feed a newborn chick, it is VERY difficult at this stage, not to mention knowledge of how to wean them once they get feathers and don't need to be in a brooder anymore.

As you've seen, breeding birds is very challenging work. Just last year, my hen passed away while sitting on her eggs (RIP Peach) and I had to pull the eggs and fninish incubating them. They turned out to not be fertile but I was ready with my brooder to keep them warm! temperature of brooder/incubator should be around be at least 92 degrees F, very warm and yes need to be humid too, around 50%. This goes down as they hatch and age, with formula also getting less runny too.

There could be many reasons why they don't make it to hatch, but with eggs continuing to die before hatch, and without proper knowledge on your part (nothing personal, just want to prevent more deaths) I would take out their nest box and let them be normal ordinary bird without breeding them! They can still be perfectly happy birds without reproducing.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:14 AM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

My female is 4 years old and my male is 4 1/2 they have been bonded since they met they only want to be together both have yearly vet checks. They are unrelated, i have brooders and honestly loads i probably wont need ready and i am a housewife so can devote to the 2 hr feeds for a week or two although not looking forward to that one. i did this years ago with a abandonned nest of robins and remember it well. I do candle the eggs 10 days forward and they just cant get past about day 17 in the box. They have been laying off and on since they were 2 1/2 even when i take out nest box and split them they average 2 times a year and i just have hit a stage when i want to try and save the eggs. I dont understand how to use 1 incubator when you can have one egg that needs higher humidity and if they have 5 eggs every two days you will have the last egg at day 11 and you are raising humidity by 30-40% wont that kill the youngest eggs? I admit to being inexperianced but honestly wasnt everyone at some point, if this time doesnt work out i will have to try and stop them laying as i dont find it fair at all on the bonded pair. Thank you Itzjbean though i understand totally want you are saying though and will definately see what can be done.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:39 AM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

Quote: Originally Posted by Anxies View Post
My female is 4 years old and my male is 4 1/2 they have been bonded since they met they only want to be together both have yearly vet checks. They are unrelated, i have brooders and honestly loads i probably wont need ready and i am a housewife so can devote to the 2 hr feeds for a week or two although not looking forward to that one. i did this years ago with a abandonned nest of robins and remember it well. I do candle the eggs 10 days forward and they just cant get past about day 17 in the box. They have been laying off and on since they were 2 1/2 even when i take out nest box and split them they average 2 times a year and i just have hit a stage when i want to try and save the eggs. I dont understand how to use 1 incubator when you can have one egg that needs higher humidity and if they have 5 eggs every two days you will have the last egg at day 11 and you are raising humidity by 30-40% wont that kill the youngest eggs? I admit to being inexperianced but honestly wasnt everyone at some point, if this time doesnt work out i will have to try and stop them laying as i dont find it fair at all on the bonded pair. Thank you Itzjbean though i understand totally want you are saying though and will definately see what can be done.

Good to hear you have lots of time for this! It can be a very rewarding hobby for many who are able to be at home.

I think you are over-thinking the humidity thing -- all eggs will need the same amount of humidity from day 1 to hatch, and all can be hatched at the same humidity. Though it can be a factor, it likely is not the reason for not making it to hatch. Is the pair consistently incubating the eggs? Do hey get regular showers also, your birds? Have fresh water? The hen will likely dunk her bottom feathers in the water bowl and then sit on the eggs, which coats them with water and her body heat will add that humidity they need. But as long as they are incubating correctly they should hatch without problems, so something else must be up. Could just be them working out the kinks to their eggs too. I recently set up my new pair (6-7 years old) and their first clutch was not fertile, I tossed the eggs to let them try again. 2nd clutch 3 out of 4 eggs were fertile but did not make it to hatch also, with all varying degrees of development despite their diligent incubating.

I don't stress too much about it, I know they are healthy and vet checked so I took out their box and may let them try again next year. sometimes you just have to let them work out the kinks for first couple years..
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:01 PM
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Re: Incubator and humidity help please

Your right i do give them spray showers and fresh water and a bath area in the cage i have no idea of the dunking before sitting on eggs though, i have never seen her do this they swop 2-3 times on which sits on the eggs and they always come out for food and veg and a drink ect and then swop again, i'll see if i can get them to dunk in their bath a few times before going back to eggs and see if that works. Thank you
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