1st Timer Seeks Advice from Old Timer

Do you prefer still air or forced air incubators?

  • Still Air

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Either One Is Fine

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Ashley McDaniel

Nov 8, 2017
Hello. I'm ready to order an incubator and hatch eggs for the very 1st Time! I've been doing a lot of research, but figured who would know best about what incubator to get, and how to do this, then all of my intelligent, experienced chicken friends here at BYC! So here are a few questions that I have: 1) Still Air incubator or Forced Air. Which is better and why? 2) Cheaper incubator versus more expensive. Is there a big difference? 3) Fertility. How can I tell if my eggs are fertile? Are there certain signs to look for? If you guys could please share your opinions, tips, advice, suggestions, and most importantly, your experience on what kind of incubator to purchase, and how to get started by choosing the right eggs, and hatching eggs I would REALLY appreciate all the help I can get before getting started. A little bit of back ground on myself; I've owned chickens for one year, my current flock consists of 25 chickens, all different large breeds, Rhode Island Reds, Golden Comets, White Leghorns, Ameraucanas, Wyandotte, Barred Rocks, and my second, smaller flock, consists of 7 bantams, Silkies, Cochins, D' Uccles. I am currently raising 3, 10 day old Bantam chicks inside in a brooder. The eggs I would like to hatch are from my larger breed birds. All of my hens mate with my rooster on a daily basis, but I don't know how to tell if they are fertile. Thanks so much for reading!

In the pick (thanks FreshEggsDaily Lisa), take notice of the bullseye in the fertile egg. That's how you tell. As for incubator, I only have experience with a forced air, and my first hatch was 100%. 7 for 7. I am not an expert though, someone will weigh in with more detail. Good luck!
My first incubator was a homemade still air. I didn't sleep for 21 days. I had to constantly adjust everything! distance from the light, height from the floor, how open the lid was, and I just could NOT get humidity when I needed it. I had my temp drop to 92F and then sky rocket to 111F.

I bought a cheep ( ;) ) 7 egg incubator forced air. It's thermostat wasn't working properly so even though it said it was the right temperature, a tested thermometer was showing huge temperature swings. I never used this incubator. It was about $25.

I built a heavy duty incubator, which I actually have chicks hatching in right now. :p It's a forced air.

My problem with still air is it's quite likely you're going to get hot and cold spots. With a fan the air will be distributed and more of an even temp. If you were to have a temperature spike for some reason, you are more likely to loose eggs in the still air, because of the temperature variations.

I've been wanting to buy a Brinsea incubator for a long while now, but I was able to build something that would fit my needs for less money. I don't think I will buy a cheap incubator again. (but I have only tried one store bought incubator)
I’ve used a variety of incubators when I was in Minnesota. I like the ones that have forced air and a tray that comes out for easy cleaning. I like the turners in them and the automatic temperature is nice.
Good luck on hatching!

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