Cheapest yet most effective incubator?

Magepalm

In the Brooder
May 18, 2017
43
27
46
Central Arkansas
I'm really curious. I have a ways to go before worrying about this but if raising baby ducklings has taught me anything in the past week now, it's that a lot of the questions you should have been researching, you didn't know to research til something goes wrong or you hear after the fact about a potential issue.
I'm one of those people that has to do the minimum order of poultry from a hatchery (ideal poultry because they are the only ones I've found I don't have to pay way more out the wazoo for because they are so close) so it'd be no different for eggs. I already have found that if I screw up, they wont hatch. And I'm talking ducks so I know I have to have more humidity. I'm trying to work with what I have as much as possible, and what i have is a ceramic bulb that heats but doesn't put off light (the ducklings seemed to have LOVED it and slept very well idk if that's why), a heating pad, I do have a broken down fridge that before this endevor I was going to get rid off, and actually it was aquaponics that made me hang on to it just in case initially. I also have a fish tank and a couple filters and all that jazz. I'm wondering if there's an effective way to use that tank and the heating lamp and or the heating pad to hatch some ducklings and eventually some other things like goslings and chicks? I'm really new to this but I want to learn the best way while not forgetting I'm broke right now lol. I know ducks need a lot of humidity and plan on spending money on the thermometer/humidity thing cause that is what i have to be able to monitor.
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
Incubators have to be vented to work good. A glass fish tank would be hard to vent, BUT it could be done with some rigging----if you know how-----so I would say skip that one. As far as a Fridge----they can be used too, but how many eggs are you planning to hatch. You sure would not want to heat up a big fridge to hatch a few eggs----that would be costly. Why don't you look into Cooler-Bators---some use a cooler to build a incubator? Some try it without a Thermostat----it can be done but a lot of fried eggs for some that do it without a thermostat!
 

dheltzel

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,820
1,886
331
Pottstown, PA
Here is an article I wrote about my experiences with the various models: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubator-recommendations

I agree that a coolerbator is the most practical home-made incubator, but be careful that you don't end up spending nearly as much as a commercial one. I hatch hundreds of chicks some weeks, and my "go to" hatcher is still my extra large coolerbator.

One more note, duck eggs do not require more humidity than chicken eggs, if anything, less is better. I "dry hatch" all my eggs and get excellent results with ducks and turkeys, as well as the chickens. The only time I try to raise humidity at all is during the last few days, as they are hatching. Turkeys need 80% plus, so I aim for that with all my eggs.
 

Magepalm

In the Brooder
May 18, 2017
43
27
46
Central Arkansas
Thank you guys! And oh wow, well, that does it for me as far as getting my info from youtubers LOL! I saw one guy was spraying his ever so often to keep them moist.. bless his heart!
 

MopTop Silkies

In the Brooder
May 18, 2017
10
6
24
Hi! I got my incubator used for $30 off a Facebook yardsale site! It has worked great for me, and I just hatched 6 little Silkies last night!! Maybe check you local Craigslist or Facebook sites for a used one!
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
Hi! I got my incubator used for $30 off a Facebook yardsale site! It has worked great for me, and I just hatched 6 little Silkies last night!! Maybe check you local Craigslist or Facebook sites for a used one!
I have bought working ones for $10 without a turner and have got turners as low as $5. I have bought several in the $15 to $20 range.
The most I have ever payed was a 1602n with a turner---only used 1 time---looked brand new and I payed $50 for it.
 

Magepalm

In the Brooder
May 18, 2017
43
27
46
Central Arkansas
Nice! Sadly most the people in Arkansas I've run into live so many hours from where I'm at in the sticks, I would still need them to ship to me LOL. Seems the smart folks are mostly closer to the north west corner of the state
 

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