Ok guys, we all have the challenge associated with large eggs whether they are Emu or Ostrich. For new units we ostrich guys have limited choices: 9 eggs in a 700.00 GQF Sportsman, 8k USD to Natureform for a 50 egg capacity, deal direct with China a la Alibaba (not recommended), CraigsList, eBay, and a small number used incubator guys.
All of us ratite people have observed eggs in the nest, how the hens and sometimes males roll them around. Notice they don't sit air pocket up. Like the birds on my farm, the only time the eggs are up in the air is when they come out of the hen's bum. :)
I have always loved the idea that Hatchrite came out with using rollers 20 years ago. Eggs are incubated on their sides and rolled every hour or 2 hours, whatever your preference. Just like nature intended :)
The problem with Hatchrites is simple. The company is long gone. They have parts that are proprietary to the machine. You have to go on a hunt or get Skydver here to help you. He's the resident uber expert on this forum and in probably the entire country. He's got a website that lists parts and techniques with respect to repair, replacement, etc. Great read if you have a Hatchrite by the way.
But the quality of the machines is INSANE. Stainless steel insides make it a snap to disinfect. The motors and fans are overbuilt. Double heating elements. Tests, alarms, humidity controllers are all second to none. These machines were FEATURE rich and very very easy to use/service.
Well I got lucky. I found a seller on eBay with zero feedback, one picture, and a 2 line description. But the picture spoke a thousand words and there was a sign on the machine. It said "New Hatchrite. Owners Manual Inside". Yeah right. So I sent the guy a message, he sent back his number. They are a salvage yard, non-profit and take tons of donations in and then use the proceeds to benefit the community. Ok no problem, take some pictures. So he did. And did my jaw hit the ground!
Original Mercury thermos still in their sealed tubes. Fans still in their shipping boxes... sealed. Owners manual for both the machine and the controller modules in a three ring binder... no wear. No wear on the controls. No discoloration of metal in the heating element. No scars on the cabinet, scratches anywhere, glass was clean, 7 rollers per tray, no wear on the turning motor assemblies.
So I bought it... for 750.00 and then paid 500.00 to have it safely delivered. And OMG when it was delivered my jaw hit the ground AGAIN. This thing holds 100 ostrich eggs. Was literally brand new. Everything was there. The bands for the turning apparatus was dry rotted. I had a new set + 6 overnighted to me. Changed them out. Disinfected it. Plugged it in after putting the fans on. Crossed my fingers. And boom! 5 minutes later it was stuck on 97.5. I loaded the first compartment up with eggs. And now I've got 38 days before my first hatch with it.
If anyone else uses a Hatchrite, I'd love to hear about your experiences with it!