Brinsea mini

I bought it in December I love it. For a small amount of eggs it is perfect. No problems easy as can be. Just be prepared you will get addicted .
I just got it and am incubating silkie eggs now, on day 15 I think. No, you don't get the quail egg tray, the normal one is fine. You can program it for smaller circumference eggs! So far, I absolutely love it but like I said it is new to me.
No you don't need a smaller tray for silkie eggs. You can fit 7 only.

I had a Hovabator 1588, and when I got my Brinsea mini, I stopped using the Hovabator for incubating, and now use it for hatching only.
Here's a repost of what I've done with my Mini to help my hatches:

I love my Brinsea mini. I did drill a hole through the lovely plexi glass to the back, near the turner gear, and inserted a 2 ft length of silicone airline tubing for fish tanks. I then clear silicone-caulked around the hole to hold in heat & moisture, and the end of the tubing rests in the middle yellow water chamber. This allows me to never open my Brinsea bator except to candle, until Day 18. I use a small glass eye dropper to fill up the chamber(s)

The unit is more energy efficient, I don't know how much, but because it's smaller, and more tightly sealed (?) I think it would be. It is digitally programmable, and it has a temperature alert alarm that will sound if a temp drop happens for some reason. It's never happened to me.

Brinsea Mini (caveat): this unit is so small and non-spacious inside, you'll have to get the absolute smallest hygrometer available to fit in & suspend it from something. I have a round humidor hygrometer which is digital (mine is Madeleine brand) and I have strung a plastic twist-tie through it's upper holes, wound that through the fan-protector plexi glass plate, and electrical-taped the unit to the side of the unit so it is not on the floor. There will not be any extra space in there, period! I have run a digital thermometer in my Brinsea empty for days, with no temp variation showing at all, but not with the eggs in it. I would run a hygrometer the first couple times.

I did the same air tubing method with my Hovabator, but it's too difficult to see down into the water reservoirs during lockdown & hatching, and I have often gotten eggs a little wet.

I always use paper egg cartons to hatch in the Brinsea because of hatched chicks rolling the unhatched eggs. I cut the dish-shaped bottoms out of the carton & I bake the carton bottoms at 375F for 20 minutes to make sure they're sterile. I think that's overdoing it(?) but it works.

If I'm hatching more than 2 eggs, I duct-tape the egg carton bases each to my hatching mat so the first chicks out don't roll them as they're pipping. I take out my egg tray on Day 18 & put in a donut-shaped mat made out of shelf-liner facric -homemade. This prevents tripping & spraddle-leg.

Both Hova (top) & Brinsea (base) have had many extra holes drilled into them to reduce humidity as needed. A little electrical/duct tape can be put over the extra ones when you need to raise or maintain humidity. Not too good for resale value. Oh well! Helped my hatches a lot.
That Brinsea gets too humid with a few wet chicks in it. They dry off very slowly otherwise.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your hatch!
I use paper cartons cut down some for mine too and I love it. Has always been reliable. The dome seems to hold heat and humidity in even when I open it to hand turn.
I had a few things to say last year when we got ours.

Only real issue I can report is the design of the motor housing means that condensation forms in that section and pools underneath the drive spindle for the platen.


Ours has started to rust after just two hatches.


I made a little polystyrene insulation jacket for the motor housing that just slipped over it - it helped a little but it's not a real long term solution.

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