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Incubators for under $100? - Page 4

post #31 of 34

Okay, update!

I ordered the model on a Wednesday, it shipped Friday, it came in the next Thursday.  Fedex let it sit in OK for a few days, according to tracking :P   It's literally plug-and-play, so I turned it on, waited not 5 minutes for it to come up to temp, monitored all the levels in the unit for 2-3 hours, and it was unwaivering, so I loaded it with 66 eggs!

It was actually bigger and lighter than I expected.  The construction looks very sturdy and I can't foresee the unit breaking structurally.    The interior capacity is smaller than expected, but with the third shelf holds more than my LG.  


I have it set to 101 and it mostly stays at 99-100 on the digital readout, which is spot-on with my thermometer.  Like all the reviews say, it's 4 degrees cooler on the floor of the unit.  The heat comes in at the top, and the fan is at the bottom, so the cooler air is down there.  I used styrofoam from the shipping packaging to make another shelf.  It's about 1 degree cooler down there, but every few days a different set of eggs gets to hang out down there to keep things even :P   I keep the eggs away from the moving air and they stay up to temp in the front 2/3rds of the bottom shelf. 

 

 I don't think it's auto-air circulating, but I have to manually turn eggs anyways, so I've got the unit open twice a day.   The fans just move the air enough to keep a stable temp, I'm not sure they're actually exchanging fresh air into the unit.  The unit makes a soft hum, a bit like a small desk fan whirring in the background.


The interior blue light is really nice for turning eggs at night, or if you're candling with the overhead light off but need a quick light source.  The neon display lights on the buttons are far too bright for my taste so I've got the towel covering them up.  

 

The trays are a little funny and took me a few tries to understand how they clip in (make sure you know how to do this so your shelf doesn't fall down... while covered in eggs...).  You can set your eggs pointy-end-down in the holes, alternating like a checkers board, and each shelf should hold a max of about 20-24 XL eggs this way, but turning them at that capacity is another story.  I tried just raising the unit on one side to see if I could get out of turning (switch elevated sides on the incubator twice a day), but it caused temp high and low pockets in the unit so that won't work.  BUT!  I love the shelving set up because I can hatch my Ameraucanas  on one level, my Marans on another, and my Orpingtons on another, and no wonder which chicks are which!

Learning curves:  Unlike the LG, which is top-loading, the side-loading RP means...  the eggs have a long way down...  You can see some eggs already have candle-wax seals on them.  I've dropped at least 6 of the poor things!  I could easily keep the RP on the ground, but I put it on a milk crate for a little more convenience.  I've learned to keep one hand up against the shelf to block the eggs while I turn them with the other.  Granted, my RP is loaded to capacity, so with only a dozen eggs in there you'd probably not have this issue.

In contrast to my LG, I'm LOVING not having to fret over the temp.  I wish turning were a little less cumbersome, but I can definitely deal with it.  There's no real room for improvement without making the whole unit bigger for hand to get in there more easily. 

Customizations: I'm going to have to put some shelf lining down for hatch, or the chicks are going to fall right through the tray holes.  I'm also going to have to amend the small gap betweent he trays and the door for hatch, especially with my banty chicks.  I think a little packing tape will do the trick nicely.  I also think for lockdown additional water sources will need to be added.  The little tray at the bottom might hold an ounce or two of water; not enough in my opinion!  Otherwise, I do like it more than my LG so far :P


  (Covered to hide lights)

 (uncovered)

 

 (used the foam packaging to make 3rd shelf.  Tried to make 4th but broke the foam e.e)

 

 (66 eggs.  I fixed the saggy shelf after the photo, my bad)

 

 (thermostat seems to be at the very front of the unit or door, as the temp drops rapidly when the door opens, even when it's still quite warm inside.

 

 (middle shelf)

 

 (make-shift bottom shelf)

 

 (top shelf)

post #32 of 34
I have one of these it's a nice little bator.

Nice homemade 3rd shelf.

Since you are hand turning air exchange is not an issue but on the left side of the door there are two grooves for Turner chords that will allow air in without opening the door.

I usually use bottom shelf to hatch. For humidity I usually slide a mason jar lid with water in and will have plenty of humidity.

Good luck with it.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrose View Post
 

Okay, update!

I ordered the model on a Wednesday, it shipped Friday, it came in the next Thursday.  Fedex let it sit in OK for a few days, according to tracking :P   It's literally plug-and-play, so I turned it on, waited not 5 minutes for it to come up to temp, monitored all the levels in the unit for 2-3 hours, and it was unwaivering, so I loaded it with 66 eggs!

It was actually bigger and lighter than I expected.  The construction looks very sturdy and I can't foresee the unit breaking structurally.    The interior capacity is smaller than expected, but with the third shelf holds more than my LG.  


I have it set to 101 and it mostly stays at 99-100 on the digital readout, which is spot-on with my thermometer.  Like all the reviews say, it's 4 degrees cooler on the floor of the unit.  The heat comes in at the top, and the fan is at the bottom, so the cooler air is down there.  I used styrofoam from the shipping packaging to make another shelf.  It's about 1 degree cooler down there, but every few days a different set of eggs gets to hang out down there to keep things even :P   I keep the eggs away from the moving air and they stay up to temp in the front 2/3rds of the bottom shelf. 

 

 I don't think it's auto-air circulating, but I have to manually turn eggs anyways, so I've got the unit open twice a day.   The fans just move the air enough to keep a stable temp, I'm not sure they're actually exchanging fresh air into the unit.  The unit makes a soft hum, a bit like a small desk fan whirring in the background.


The interior blue light is really nice for turning eggs at night, or if you're candling with the overhead light off but need a quick light source.  The neon display lights on the buttons are far too bright for my taste so I've got the towel covering them up.  

 

The trays are a little funny and took me a few tries to understand how they clip in (make sure you know how to do this so your shelf doesn't fall down... while covered in eggs...).  You can set your eggs pointy-end-down in the holes, alternating like a checkers board, and each shelf should hold a max of about 20-24 XL eggs this way, but turning them at that capacity is another story.  I tried just raising the unit on one side to see if I could get out of turning (switch elevated sides on the incubator twice a day), but it caused temp high and low pockets in the unit so that won't work.  BUT!  I love the shelving set up because I can hatch my Ameraucanas  on one level, my Marans on another, and my Orpingtons on another, and no wonder which chicks are which!

Learning curves:  Unlike the LG, which is top-loading, the side-loading RP means...  the eggs have a long way down...  You can see some eggs already have candle-wax seals on them.  I've dropped at least 6 of the poor things!  I could easily keep the RP on the ground, but I put it on a milk crate for a little more convenience.  I've learned to keep one hand up against the shelf to block the eggs while I turn them with the other.  Granted, my RP is loaded to capacity, so with only a dozen eggs in there you'd probably not have this issue.

In contrast to my LG, I'm LOVING not having to fret over the temp.  I wish turning were a little less cumbersome, but I can definitely deal with it.  There's no real room for improvement without making the whole unit bigger for hand to get in there more easily. 

Customizations: I'm going to have to put some shelf lining down for hatch, or the chicks are going to fall right through the tray holes.  I'm also going to have to amend the small gap betweent he trays and the door for hatch, especially with my banty chicks.  I think a little packing tape will do the trick nicely.  I also think for lockdown additional water sources will need to be added.  The little tray at the bottom might hold an ounce or two of water; not enough in my opinion!  Otherwise, I do like it more than my LG so far :P


  (Covered to hide lights)

 (uncovered)

 

 (used the foam packaging to make 3rd shelf.  Tried to make 4th but broke the foam e.e)

 

 (66 eggs.  I fixed the saggy shelf after the photo, my bad)

 

 (thermostat seems to be at the very front of the unit or door, as the temp drops rapidly when the door opens, even when it's still quite warm inside.

 

 (middle shelf)

 

 (make-shift bottom shelf)

 

 (top shelf)

Good luck! Love the variety of egg color you have there!

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply
post #34 of 34

In future hatches I might put a 4th shelf up top, keep it pretty narrow, and use it for quail :weee 

 

 

I'm actively wrestling with the temps in my LG and so relieved I'm not having to fuss with 2 incubators!   It really makes me not want to use my LG again xD  I've heard some folk keep their LG just for hatches, but that's when temps are most volatile for me in it, so...  Maybe a trade needs to be made...

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