Cheap Incubator & Turner?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by LegendsCreek, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. LegendsCreek

    LegendsCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2012
    Foster, RI
    I am new here, and excited to start posting! Can anyone recommend a cheap incubator with a turner? I have seen the styrofoam ones and am not sure about them. I am just getting started. I have 6 easter egger hens who are great layers... Last night I added a rooster and have no idea what I am doing, or how long it will take for the eggs to be fertilized, but I want to be prepared.
     
  2. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    I am fairly new at hatching, and by no means an expert, but I would think that you shouldn't try to hatch the first bunch of eggs after adding the rooster, especially if your hens are relatively new layers. I got started by borrowing a friend's incubator and some eggs to "get the feel of hatching." This may or may not be an option for you. I will warn you that hatching is addicting, and nerve-wrecking. The best solution is a broody hen, but it is a lot of fun to hatch your own.

    I've considered many incubators at all price levels. There has been a great amount of information on BYC about them and of course, everyone has their own opinion. I will mention a few that stand out to me. These are my opinions, so you will need to do your own research.

    From what I can gather, many people start out with the styrofoam incubators. The GQF Genesis 1588 with the 1611 turner has been listed as one of the more reliable models. It has an electronic thermostat with a digital readout, large picture window, and forced air fan. A very good starter incubator with a 42 egg capacity (with turner.)

    Brinsea makes wonderful incubators, but they are a bit more pricey. Their incubators are plastic and hold different number of eggs at different price points. Brinsea has the best prices for their own incubators, and you can easily find a 10% off coupon code. In addition to sales, they also, on occasion, offer scratch and dent models at deeper discounts. If you purchase a Brinsea product, remember to register it immediately to get an extra 2 year warranty on it.

    The Reptipro 6000 is a new model that looks similar to a small refrigerator. It holds 32 chicken eggs (with turners) and is available through incubators.org at a very reasonable price. There is an entire thread on BYC devoted to the Reptipro.

    Larger cabinet incubators are more expensive. The GQF Sportsman 1502 is an incubator and hatcher in one. Because the humidity is boosted in the last 3 days of incubation, many people will put their eggs in an additional incubator at lockdown so that they can stagger their hatches and reload the first incubator. Otherwise, they have to remove the egg turner and bring up the humidity in the incubator.

    I have some specific documents about hatching, and would be happy to answer any questions that you might have, if I can. There are many people on BYC that have been doing this a lot longer that can help as well.

    Blessings!!!
     
  3. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    I dare say, that if your hens are amenable....you'd have fertile eggs in a few days. Have you seen your rooster (to quote my 14 yo son) "doing his business?" lol

    You may want to wait a week or two while you get your incubator set up and stable. In a few days open an egg and look for a "bullseye" that would indicate fertility. If you only see a dot with no circle around it, contact may not be being made yet. (How old is the roo?)

    Read all you can about incubating and hatching eggs~tons of info right here on BYC.

    As far as cheap incubators, you might be able to get an affordable one at your local feed store or on ebay. If you are handy, you could build one. The options are many and varied depending on how much you want to spend.

    Your best option as you enter into the world of incubating and hatching eggs is to ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS.

    Glad you joined us here! [​IMG]

    Patches
     
  4. LegendsCreek

    LegendsCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2012
    Foster, RI
    Wow. I had no idea that the rooster could fertilize them so soon. He is young.. Not sure how young but when I pick him up he is nothing compared to the hens. He is already cackling in the morning through, and I noticed some of the hens being a bit put off by him, while others swoon when he comes close, lol. So I guess the best thing to do is wait it out and watch.

    As for incubators, th[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]e Genesis models look really nice, and within my budget. [/FONT]

    I am curious though.. If I collect the eggs, how long can I store them if they are fertilized without having to turn them before I put them in the incubator? Arent you able to see with a flashlight within a few days if the eggs are fertile? Are you able to store them without turning for a week before you incubate?
     
  5. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    You can store the eggs in a cool room or basement, tilting the egg carton to a different side once or twice a day. Store them large end up. I wouldn't save the eggs any longer than a week, as hatchability decreases the older the egg. As far as I know, you can't really tell if they are fertile until you crack them open or start incubating them. The eggs should be at room temperature when you do put them in the incubator. Pick eggs that are fairly uniform in size and not elongated or too pointy, when you start. They should not have any cracks in them or be too dirty when you set them. I do not wash the eggs when I set them. If they are dirty, you can wipe them with a paper bag or a fine grit sandpaper. I try not to handle them or jostle them too much. When incubating, it was suggested to me to candle on day 10 and day 18. If you PM me your email, I'll send you some info on hatching. :)

    Hope this helps!
     
  6. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Here is what I found in another post for you regarding how long before your eggs would be fertile:

    Hi-I am fairly new to chickens, but this question was raised in a book I just read. I believe it said 10-14 days.
    then I found this-from http://egglayingchickens.com/FAQ-how-long-chicken-egg-hatch.html

    How
    are chicken eggs fertilized?
    Chicken eggs are fertilized internally before they are laid, from sperm deposited in the female when the rooster and hen mate. Since it takes about 7-10 days for the sperm to travel to the ovary where they fertilize the ovum as it is released, a chicken won't have fertile eggs for at least a week after she is first mated. She will continue to lay fertile eggs for about 6 to ten days after she has last been mated.


    So, now, thanks to your question, I have learned something new! lol Once your young rooster has started mating your girls, wait a week or two and check them for fertility. You could also find someone in your area who has fertile eggs for you to practice with once you get your incubator.

    As far as storing eggs, just stick them in an carton with the large end up until you have enough to set. You want the air cell to develop at the large end of the egg. Hatch-ability will go down the older the eggs are. Some people won't set eggs that are older than 10 days old. If I have some that are slightly older I will set them with fresh ones and take my chances and I have often been surprised at how many do hatch. I don't turn them until I have set them into the incubator.

    I have never heard of being able to see if an egg is fertile by candling. In fact, I usually wait until day 5 to 7 before I candle just to make sure I will be able to see veining if the egg is developing.

    Hope something in all of this helps!

    PnP
     
  7. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    I have the Genesis 1588 with an automatic turner - and it works great. Pretty much all you have to do is plug it in and add water when needed to maintain the humidity. The price is right, too. I bought an older still-air Hovabator, and it was a waste of money, in my opinion. It is so hard to regulate - spend a little more and get the 1588. I'd also buy a thermometer/hygrometer from Walmart or Amazon to keep track of and double-check the temperature and humidity.
     
  8. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

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    Alabama
    My Coop
  9. LegendsCreek

    LegendsCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2012
    Foster, RI
    I guess I will go with that incubator!!! Thanks so much for all the info. Why is it important to use something to check humidity? As long as I keep it full of water, wouldn't it not matter?
     
  10. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    If there is too much humidity, they can drown in the egg, or have deformities, like curled feet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012

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