Buying an incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CK Chickadilly, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    ~ I was wondering on which incubator is the best as far as econimcal goes.
    ~And do you need an egg turner or do it yourself?
    ~What do I look for in buying.
    ~Where do you buy one?
    ~I have no clue about incubators so any info would be welcome!
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    The least expensive and most economical one is the basic styrofoam HovaBator by GQF. It's about $50. I've been using one since Feb. and once I learned that it only takes a micro-turn to adjust temp, I finally got it where temps would hold steady and I've had successful hatches. But I have to check it and watch it constantly. I turn the eggs myself.

    Next model up is the GQF HovaBator with Thermostat for around $125. It was the model I was going to buy next because it has an automatic and preset thermostat. But since I am constantly adding eggs and different types of eggs, chicken/duck/peafowl, and because we are going to expand my "hobby" into a "business" I am ordering the GQF Sportsman - top of the line model - $650. Has multiple trays, auto turns, auto thermostat.

    But for beginners and for something inexpensive, I would still recommend the $50 HovaBator because when you begin you're going to be watching it non-stop anyway and opening/closing top so it's no problem to check temps and adjust. But, like I learned, turn that knob a teeeny, tiiiiny, bit and wait. I would see a low temp and turn and turn and turn the knob - then it would be 108 so I would turn and turn and turn in the decrease direction. Once I finally got it set where it would stay at 99-100 I haven't had any problems since.
  3. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    I just bought a Hovabator 1602N, and so far I'm very pleased with it. [​IMG] It was super easy to get set up and start, and it's working wonderfully. Plus, it's very affordable, as far as incubators go. I prefer to hand turn my eggs, so I didn't order a turner. With hand turning, you are able to examine the eggs for problems. With a turner, you could have one blow up before you realized it was bad. [​IMG] Here's a link to the cheapest place (other than ebay sometimes) that I've found them:
    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  4. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    I have an LG, which was around $60, and can be tricky to manage, temperature wise, but I think once I get more used to it, it'll be OK. I bought a turner for an extra $40 or so because hand turning forty eggs three times a day isn't always possible for me since I often have to be out of town for 14-hour days, and occasionally overnight. I just bought a Hovabator Genesis, with a turner, which lots of people on this site have and seem to love. The thermostat seems to be keeping temp really well, but I'm going to keep an eye on it for the day and make sure we don't get any sudden temp changes before I put my eggs in it (which are supposed to arrive in the mail today!). I'm going to use the LG for a hatcher when I have staggered hatches, and I'm considering making a homemade hatcher for spring if I decide to hatch out chicks for sale--then I can keep both bators full, lol.
  5. JanieMarie

    JanieMarie Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Georgetown, Minnesota
    If you're handy Miss Prissy has detailed plans for an awesome homemade bator: Chic Chick 'Bator *UPDATED* by MissPrissy [ 1 2 3 … 40 ]. Not sure how to do links but you can search for it or maybe someone else can post a direct link.
  6. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    Thanks for all the input! Now I need to decide what to do.

    I am not very handy but the big guy is....I did find Miss Prissy's Chic Chick 'Bator, awesome! Thanks for the tip on that JanieMarie!

    What to do????[​IMG]
  7. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    I couldda built the chickabator, but I already have a gazillion projects going on and I wanted the auto turner (which you could add to a properly built chickabator btw).

    So... I got the hovabator 1588 with turner. Easy to set up, nothing to "adjust".. Just put the plastic tray in, fill resevior C let it come up to temp, put the eggs in and away you go. Check every other day that resevior C is full of water and wait. On day 18 take the turner out, fill resevior T put the lid on and wait.

    I'm hatching out my first batch ever.. with the 1588 and it was easy, and I mean easy. When I left this morning, 5 of my 23 eggs had successfully hatched out with pips on other eggs.

    BTW- I found the easiest way to fill the resevior without removing the turner was using one of those big meat flavoring injectors (like a giant needle). It fit down between the turner trays and the wire floor down to the resevior. Don't risk moving the eggs/turner in and out if you don't have to.
  8. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I also have the LG 9200, with auto turner. I am taking college classes, and working, taking care of my kid, house, get the idea. I would be sitting on my bed, doing homework, and remember 'oh no!! i didn't turn my eggs!!' It was just a lot easier to get the turner. I bought both the turner and bator at my local feed store for about $95. The only problem I have had with it is the humidity. I have finally figured out how to get it to go up higher. my first two hatches were 12 out of 14 fertile, and 5 out of 6 fertile. It works very well, and it doesn't cost much. I would go to walmart, and buy a thermometer/hygrometer though, the thermometer that comes with it is not very accurate.. [​IMG]
  9. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    The big guy says I should wait on an incubator wiht winter coming on....I suppose he is right.

    Ok, I am new I have NEVER hatched any eggs so here's the question.....
    Why do you have to turn your eggs? & how often do you have to do it?

    There looks to be so many cool bators out there & every one seems like the ones they have chosen work really well.

    Thanks for all the input![​IMG]
  10. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    you have to turn them so the embryo doesn't get stuck to the shell. they should be turned twice per day.

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