Calling All Hatchoholics!!!! Incubator survey! Please share your likes, dislikes and experiences wit


7 Years
Aug 21, 2012
Southern York County, PA
Hello Everyone!
I am trying to compile a list of pro's - con's of different incubators. I will compile everything and publish to a page to hopefully help newbie hatchers like my self to make the best decision as to what incubator they want/need.

What works, what doesn't, what is important, what isn’t what is good for beginners, what is better for the seasoned hatchers? if you don't want to "share" on here PM me.

If there IS already a page like this one, please let me know. I don't want to take someone’s idea. So please, just take a few minutes and tell me what works for you.
Thanks in advance for your participation!!

I used the TSC bator for my first time hatching. Worked great But I suggest getting a hudroymeter and thermometer to go with it other then the little guess and check system it has.
I am currently using the 1588 genesis hova bator and I love it! The issue I have with it is the little metal clips used to hold the water tray and the metal flooring together start to rust! It gets on the styrofoam and stains it!
Thank You!
Please keep the reviews and info coming! Everyone is welcome, weather you have hatched 1 time or 1,000 times!!!
I started with an LG still air. I never hatched more than 20% of my eggs in a 6 month period, so I sold it. The temps were hard to stabilize and keep stable.

I moved on to a Hova-bator 1602 still air and turner. My hatches were between 60-97% with that one. Again, it's only a foam incubator so the temps were unstable. It seemed like it would fluctuate mildly (1-2 degrees either way) for the first 18 days and as soon as I put the eggs in lock down, the temps were all over (4-8 degree variations). I checked the temps religiously 5x a day. Humidity was easy. I'd fill the one channel with water when I first set the eggs and then filled both channels at lock down. That's it, no other fill ups. I am keeping it as a back up, but unless I have to use it, I won't. I used the Hova-bator for a year.

In February I bought a GQF Sportsman 1502 w/ the digital cammand. I literally turned it on and that was it. It's temps vary from 99.5 to 100.1 and that's with the ambient temps ranging from the 50's to the 90's so far this year. There are some things I do not like about it. It goes through water like mad. I suggest the automatic water system with the 5 gallon bucket if at all possible. I have to fill the water pan every 2 days. The fans are way to powerful. If a chick doesn't pip and zip quickly, the fans will dry the membrane to the chick before it gets out. I have come to realize that if the humidity is up to 68-70% at lock down, shrink wrapping doesn't happen as often. When the humidity was at 62-64% I helped about half the hatch out. At the higher humidity, the chances of in shell drowning went up to 1-3%. If you want to run a higher humidity, putting the two sponges (wicks) in the pan is not enough. I put a 2nd pan in the hatching tray with 2 sponges. I have also come to find that 2 tea cups with paper towels in them also work.

If you can over look the mild issues of the 1502 and you can afford one, I suggest going that way. I opted to get one because we heat the house with a wood stove and the temps varied in the house so drastically it really affected the foam 'bators. The Sportsman really is a set it and forget it type of incubator.
I was a newb at hatching and started with 2 still air Little Giants from Tractor Supply. One worked rather well, the other had temp spikes. I still use the one that worked, I bought a hygrometer/thermometer combo for it. Found out that the thermometer sent with the incubator was 6 (SIX!!!) degrees off!!! So what I thought was 99.5 was 105.5. Definitely use more than one thermometer.
After I did my homework, I upgraded to the Genesis 1588. I wish I would have just spent the money and gotten a good one to begin with. I LOVE this one. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It's preset to 100.0 degress but you can adjust it if needed. It stabilizes fast and recovers fast if you have to take the top off for anything. It's circulating air and that makes a huge difference in my hatch rates. The only complaint I had with the 1588 is that during one hatch, the humidity shot up past 85%. It messed with the temp controls and they got all wonky. I took the chicks out, put a warm towel over the eggs, dried all the condensation up that I could, reset the temp and let it run for about 15 minutes before I put it back on the eggs. Despite that, I still had a good hatch rate. It was rainy that day and I also live in Florida so the environmental humidity killed me. Now I just prop one corner up when the chicks start hatching. There is more ventilation and the temps still stay perfect.
This is what works for me.....first 18 days, keep humidity around 40%, lockdown humidity is around 65%. I use an egg turner and that has also increased my hatch rates. At lockdown, I put the eggs upright in cartons to hatch. Clean up is relatively easy that way. I take the tray out and wash it in warm soapy water and wipe the inside of the bator with clorox wipes.
My suggestion for people just starting out, do your homework on incubators. Don't buy the first one you see because you got overly excited. (This girl, right here.) If you plan on hatching more than twice, spend a little more and get a good incubator.
I agree with rayvaughn on the 1602N Hovabator. I just got it and the temperature is pretty unstable and I'm always adjusting it. My eggs are 5 days into incubation, with 15/15 are fertile, so atleast it's not going to affect my hatch rate, and its actually better than I could hope for. But I'm having to check the bator every couple hours to keep the temperature stable, as I'm having trouble keeping it at 100 degrees. The room it is in is a consistent temp of about 65 so I'm not sure if it could be influencing the bator, but maybe the temp is too low because I can barely keep it in the 99-100 range. I think maybe it also it could be that the wafer heater thingy keeps getting loose and the temp goes down and I have to retighten it every couple days. But overall I think it is a good incubator and my quail eggs seem like they are doing pretty good so I would still recomend getting it, but be prepared for its faults that it has, as with any incubator. It's faults seemingly haven't affected my hatch rate so as long as you have a little patience adjusting it I think everything will turn out fine. This is my first hatch with an incubator instead of a broody hen by the way so I have no experience with other incubators and I'm not sure how the hovabator is compared to other brands. So maybe since I am new with this there are some things I could be doing wrong that are influencing the temps.
Started with a Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance with Humidity system. The electronics on it were amazing, but the quality of materials it was built with was pathetic. I returned it to retailer for a full refund. Brinsea never bother returning my call. To me that was a Big Minus!

I just received a Dickey 2 X 2 and it seems to be built like a tank. I have a hatch that will be starting the week of 4-29 I will know more about the Dickey after we go through the first hatch.


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