Best Incubator for Classroom Use?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CircusMum, May 18, 2019.

  1. CircusMum

    CircusMum In the Brooder

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    What is the best incubator for classroom use? We’re currently using a styrofoam one, but it’s difficult for the kids to see the eggs. I’d like something that’s fairly see-through with an automatic turner - they are young students and aren’t always gentle with hand turning. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
     
  2. superduckrescue

    superduckrescue Chirping

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    Nurture Right 360 is really good and the kids can see 360. it fully turns them too!
     
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  3. RyderTheChicken

    RyderTheChicken Chirping

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    Almost anything by Lyon is great
     
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  4. LynnaePB

    LynnaePB Songster

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    I second the Nurture Right 360, it has great visibility of the eggs and some other really nice features (like being able to fill the water channels for humidity from the outside which is great for lockdown). The only thing I don't like is that the lid is a little awkward to lift, I've seen some people get around that by attaching a sort of handle to the lid to make lifting easier though. :)
     
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  5. CircusMum

    CircusMum In the Brooder

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    Thank you! It’s so much fun to get the kids involved!
     
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  6. Molpet

    Molpet Crossing the Road

    @Faraday40 used several different ones in 4 different classrooms this spring
     
  7. Faraday40

    Faraday40 Free Ranging

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    Our home-made incubator ("Cooler-bator") had the best hatch-rate, but unless you're confident about making your own, there are easier ways to obtain a good incubator. I love the large capacity & viewing window, but some schools may be uneasy about using something home-made.... insurance, liability, etc.
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    DS's data showed that the Brinsea Octagon Advanced had the next best hatch rate. The teacher bought this model because she could not have access to the eggs over the weekend. The humidity pump only had to be filled once every 5-7 days . Everything was automatic and easy to use. It's the most expensive incubator that we used, but the teacher had a grant. I believe this incubator to be the better one, since the home-made one required a lot more adjustments along the way. Brinsea was simply set it & forget it. In both the home-made & Brinsea incubators, almost all the eggs that were fertile hatched. There was one hatchery egg that died after a few days. It was an older egg, so perhaps if more trials were done, the Brinsea would have come up on top.
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    3rd place was the IncuView (Incubator Warehouse brand). This school had poor results with their old, borrowed, still air Hovabator. They were able to persuade the administration to purchase their own school incubator. They went with the IncuView because of the many automatic features. It was very easy to set up, held a steady temp, and did a great job. Two chicks got shrink-wrapped, but I feel this was due to the lid being opened as the chicks hatched. (It's always best to keep it closed until all the eggs have hatched.) However, this one has the best visibility, a decent capacity, and very easy to set up/ clean. I would recommend it for classrooms.
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    4th place was the Hovabator. It does the job and hatches eggs. The one used had a manual thermostat wafer & auto egg turner. I think the temp was set a little on the low side since they had a later hatch. It's the lowest price, (so very popular among teachers), has the largest capacity, & is easy to find. I know of several classrooms that purchased knock offs & later regretted it. Hovabator / GQF brand lasts for many years. The imitations look the same but have shallow bottoms and parts that break after a couple uses.
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  8. CircusMum

    CircusMum In the Brooder

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    Wow! That’s a lot of research! Thanks so much for sharing it!
     
  9. Faraday40

    Faraday40 Free Ranging

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    It was our son's 4-H project idea. I was already teaching at the 4 schools, so I arranged for them to hatch at the same time. (We do not own all of those incubators - just the home-made one, which I built.)

    Edit to add:
    One thing to also consider when doing classroom hatches is the incubator cost vs hatch %. If you're hatching eggs and plan to keep the chicks, the hatch rate is a lot more important, so spending a little more on a quality incubator is worth it. If you're hatching eggs & plan to donate the chicks to a farm, then a simple, inexpensive incubator with a 70% hatch rate is just fine.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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