Bator Options

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by storminthenight, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. storminthenight

    storminthenight Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2008
    I've had chickens for a couple of years now and have used a styrofoam bator with an automatic turner for the chicks I hatched last year and this year. My hatches have been about 50%.
    I have been thinking that I would like to get a better incubator, but am not sure what options are out there. Are there kinds you can get that regulate there own temperature? and humidity? and how much do better bators usually cost depending on what they do?
    Do better bators usually produce better hatch rates, or should I just stick to the styrofoam bator I have?
  2. DebbieLynn

    DebbieLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2009
    East Tennessee
    I'm not real sure about the "fancy, got it all" bators but I've only hatched 5 times now and use the old hovabator still air and then got an LG still air and added fan.
    My hatch improved drastically with the addition of the fan. Can't afford all the "fancy" bators though if I could I would. Point is a plain old styro will work just fine if you can't afford the really top of the line bators. [​IMG]
  3. cbiblis

    cbiblis Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 16, 2009
    if you want better hatch rate then you have to goto a mid range industrial size. dickey incubators are the cheapest but it's plywood but it's more efficient then the sportsman, sportsman is the most expensive but it's plywood and has the worst efficiency, i have one that is solid walnut or any other type of hard wood and if falls in between the two mentioned price wise my efficiency is comparable to the dickeys. the key to hatching is an electronic thermostat with tight temp control, like .5 degrees, an egg turner and proper humidity. there are smaller sized units out there that will give you a good hatch rate like the hoverbator but in my opinion the bigger cabinets hatch better then the smaller ones. look to spend 600 - 1200 dollars for one of them. Up to you, it really depends on your long term interest. Good luck, and search for "best incubator" in this forum and read what others have to say in the matter.
  4. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Just for comparison, I just bought a Dickey Incubator and a Dickey Hatcher. Both are fully optioned units including electronic thermostat, full acrylic door, and humidity setup. They also have the electronic thermometer/hygrometer. I also got the chicken egg positioners and the turkey egg positioners. Total cost to my front door was $1413.00.

  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:I have never hatched, and after much debate, we decided on the Brinsea. From what I have been told, it is superior. First eggs going in tomorrow.
  6. MAllen

    MAllen Get In The Game

    Aug 23, 2009
    Claremore, OK.
    My Dickey incubator has been running non-stop staggerd hatches since the day I got it with no problems whatsoever. Mine has wafer thermostats and works great!!
  7. mulia24

    mulia24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    my styro bator on the first run hatch 30% rate. and haven't have the 2nd batch yet.

    wait, but mine got everyday power failure so perhaps you'll get better chance.

    i suggest keep using it with still deliberate to improve its ability.
  8. kooltex

    kooltex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2009
    NE Tx
    I have great hatch rates on non shipped eggs in my hovabator, still air styrofoam with wafer thermostat Non shipped eggs 85-95%, around 55% for shipped eggs. Only problem with mine is its too small for the amount of eggs I want to hatch now.

    I'm considering making my own out of an old stereo cabinet, its cheaper, and will work just as well as those expensive manufactured bators. There's a guy on ebay that sells 2 and 5 tray bators, they seem to have good reviews.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  9. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    We have used a few different incubators over the years, Stryofoam, Brinsea Octogon 40 and GQF Sportsman. The Sportsman is the hands down best. It holds temp and humidity rock solid. The Sportsman will set you back a few dollars but our first one totaly paid for itself through the sale of chicks it hatched in about 6 months, the 2nd one we bought as an "overflow" paid for itself even quicker.

    Steve in NC
  10. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    If you're getting 50% in a foam bator with fan. On your own, not shipped eggs, then you need to tweak YOUR technique and equipment before it's the bator's fault. 80-100% is possible in a foam bator. Calibrate your thermometers, use a "fake egg" internal temp type thermometer, calibrate your hygrometer. Do a run... see what you get when you're sure your thermometers are working. Then bump the temp up .5 degrees and do another run. If recalibrating and increasing temps slightly - as well as monitoring internal egg temps don't get you a bump in production then yes, another bator.

    But often it's equipment and technique - rather than incubator.

    You didn't say whether you're dry hatching or normal hatching or whether you have tried both - those are also considerations.

    That makes three things that are all on the operator and not the bator. If you dry hatched. Try a run normal hatching.

    But change things one "group" at a time.

    Equipment - calibration and "internal temp" monitoring.
    Then if you hadn't tried an alternate humidity - try that.
    Then if those don't yield a better hatch rate, or do a little, try bumping the temp .5 degrees.

    If and only if all those get you the same or a lower hatch rate would I blame the incubator and change.

    Or if you just hate the cramped foam, small view, have to take the lid off construction - by all means switch...

    For small bators, the best is brinsea - the Octagons for 20 or 40 eggs and the dinky but accurate mini's for tiny batches. They offer differing levels of "automatic" for significantly different prices. Read the details.

    But for the money of a fully automated Brinsea, a Dickey or a Biblis (lol dude we need a name) are the better deals and you can run small and staggered hatches in the cabinet bators without affecting hatch rate.

    Me, I'm saving for one from Cbiblis, and I have a Working Cabinet bator and a working homemade bator. Both with good hatch rates but his is OMG prettier.

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