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Decent value small (but not tiny) incubator?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

We are potentially in the market for an incubator that we can use to hatch replacement layers/fryers for our little flock. The thing is, we would only need to hatch about 12-15 eggs at a time to maintain our little flock on a rotating basis: the idea being, 12 chicks hatched = about 6 new layers and 6 fryers/roasters. (We have a diversified farm with no reason to scale up, chickens are just one of the animals we keep, and feed is expensive--but so are chicks, and you're often stuck with limited selection, unless you buy larger quantities at once that then have to be shipped across the Pacific Ocean--so a hundred dollars down on an incubator would pay for itself in two hatches, plus we'd have the convenience of sustaining our own flock, and only bring in new blood when needed). For the record, I like using broody hens too, although that has its own set of pros and cons, so right now that's plan B.

 

There are plenty of inexpensive incubators out there (and I''ve used a couple of them in the past), but it seems like they all hold 40 to 50 eggs, which is overkill for us. A lot of them are crap too, I've learned. Then there are a few small ones, but they either don't seem as good a value, or they hold only a handful of eggs (more for class-room science projects or hobbyists I imagine).

 

So, does anybody know of a nice model of reliable, good value, incubator that would be ideal for 12-15 egg hatches? Or are we really better off just getting a 50 egg incubator that's going to be 3/4 empty?? We'd want one with a halfway decent thermostat, preferable digital--I've monkeyed with the junky mechanical ones before and found them incredibly fussy and frustrating.

 

Anyway, I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone has a lead or two they would share...

 

Thanks!:)

Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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post #2 of 9

Get an Incuview from Incubator Warehouse. It's awesome, and budget friendly.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok, thanks--I'm gonna go look it up. Anybody else have any suggestions?

Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
The incuview looks like a pretty good value. But from reading reviews it seems like opinions are mixed on the accuracy of the built in thermometer and hygrometer. Have you found it to be fairly accurate or did you use auxiliary ones along with what it comes with? If i have to buy that kind of stuff as well that kind of diminishes the all-in-one value aspect...
Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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post #5 of 9

The thermometer and thermostat are really accurate and steady. It's the hygrometer that is off. Mine is at least 10% off. I use a small, simple hygrometer for reptile tanks inside the incubator, and I ignore the one on the lid. Costs less than $5.

It's really stable and simple to use once you are familiar with the settings. I have yet to have a fertile egg fail to make it to lockdown.

For the price, it's the best value. And you can't beat the customer service. They will replace any part that breaks, if it's under a year old. They will do everything they can to make sure you are happy with the product.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, cool! Thanks!
Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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post #7 of 9

I have 3 incubators.....two hovabators 1588 and a Brinsea 20 advanced.  I love them both but the Hova's are a little more budget friendly and I find them to be very accurate.  Many hatches in mine.  Good luck finding one that suits your needs  :)

Crazy zoo lady.  Cats, dogs, parrots, lizards, chickens and geese lol
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Crazy zoo lady.  Cats, dogs, parrots, lizards, chickens and geese lol
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonjab314 View Post

I have 3 incubators.....two hovabators 1588 and a Brinsea 20 advanced.  I love them both but the Hova's are a little more budget friendly and I find them to be very accurate.  Many hatches in mine.  Good luck finding one that suits your needs  smile.png

i think a hova was what we used years back. i wasnt really stoked on it, especially trying to get the temp to stabilize, but there were alao issues that may not have been entirely the incubators fault ( in particular i dont think we were careful enough with the humidity).

oop, no, my bad. the 1588 looks like a step up from the one we used, because ours def didn't have a digital thermometer.

im guessing id probably wanna get a hygrometer to use with this one tho, right?
Edited by triplepurpose - 2/23/16 at 2:36pm
Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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Chickens are the Swiss Army knife of farm animals
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by triplepurpose View Post
 

We are potentially in the market for an incubator that we can use to hatch replacement layers/fryers for our little flock. The thing is, we would only need to hatch about 12-15 eggs at a time to maintain our little flock on a rotating basis: the idea being, 12 chicks hatched = about 6 new layers and 6 fryers/roasters. (We have a diversified farm with no reason to scale up, chickens are just one of the animals we keep, and feed is expensive--but so are chicks, and you're often stuck with limited selection, unless you buy larger quantities at once that then have to be shipped across the Pacific Ocean--so a hundred dollars down on an incubator would pay for itself in two hatches, plus we'd have the convenience of sustaining our own flock, and only bring in new blood when needed). For the record, I like using broody hens too, although that has its own set of pros and cons, so right now that's plan B.

 

There are plenty of inexpensive incubators out there (and I''ve used a couple of them in the past), but it seems like they all hold 40 to 50 eggs, which is overkill for us. A lot of them are crap too, I've learned. Then there are a few small ones, but they either don't seem as good a value, or they hold only a handful of eggs (more for class-room science projects or hobbyists I imagine).

 

So, does anybody know of a nice model of reliable, good value, incubator that would be ideal for 12-15 egg hatches? Or are we really better off just getting a 50 egg incubator that's going to be 3/4 empty?? We'd want one with a halfway decent thermostat, preferable digital--I've monkeyed with the junky mechanical ones before and found them incredibly fussy and frustrating.

 

Anyway, I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone has a lead or two they would share...

 

Thanks!:)

Have you considered two Brinsea mini advance?  You could hatch 14 eggs at the same time, and you could be very fexible.  If memory serves, they get the highest ratings (maybe even here on BYC) -- and as you say they are for science projects/school/hobby -- kind of 'fool proof' so I hear. 

Marek's:http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mareks-disease-fact-site

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page  

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

 

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

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Marek's:http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mareks-disease-fact-site

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page  

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

 

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

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