Digital incubators, room temp, and efficiency

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Buster52, May 18, 2010.

  1. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Okay, I now have a total of 4 incubators of the Styrofoam ilk: two Hovabators and two LGs. They work okay, but the external temp has to remain fairly constant it seems which means I have to run the AC when it gets warm even when I am not there. They all sit right under the house thermostat. That seems wasteful and expensive to me. They all have wafer type or similar thermostats.

    I'm wondering if these new cabinet incubators with digital thermostats are any more efficient, less finicky. Do they allow for a little greater variance in external temps? To the extent I might not have to turn the AC on when I am gone? Would it eventually pay for itself vs. these cheap jobbers by saving electricity?

    Of course, clever souls that you are will no doubt see past my evil plan and know I'm really trying to justify the expense of a brand new fancy digital cabinet incubator. [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance for the enabling.

  2. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Songster

    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    What kind of Hovabators do you have? Someone said the Genesis was a better model (Does it have the better thermostat in it?)

    I'm having similar issues with mine, temps and humidity flucuate all over the place, and I have them in the basement. But we can't use the wood stove down there if I am running them, so I couldn't hatch all winter. Ditto for anytime the temp spikes (It'll be 80 this weekend and I'll have to go adjust them, they'll jump 6-10 degrees!)

    I just cannot afford a cabinet one yet.. I even applied today for a stinky temp job to pay for one, but because I own my own business and have for the last 15 years, I'm basically unemployable, or so they tell me. (But Felons with production experiance? Them they hire... [​IMG] )

    Anywho, I'm looking at the Brinsea, but if the Genesis will work, I'll opt for that since it will set more eggs than the Brinsea does.

    My husband refuses to let me put them in a room and run a heater so the room temp will stay at the recommended 70-80. Seriously, does anyone have a room where the temps stay in that range, the humidity stays up? I'm just beyond frustrated with the darn things, I'd like to take them outside and stomp on them.... [​IMG]
  3. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    I am using just an inexpensive LG incubator with an external digital thermostat that is made for reptile enclosures. It performs flawlessly and is completely unaffected by external temperatures. You plug the incubator right into the thermostat and it controls the heating element directly (though you have to be sure the incubator's thermostat is all the way up and is on). Earlier in the spring I was getting temperature fluctuations of about 10* -/+ in the house but the temperatures in the incubator never went above 100* or below 99*. You just set it and forget it. I get nearly 100% hatches so the $100 is well worth the money.
  4. It's the only way to go Buster. I went thru the same thing with stryofoam 'bators. If want to do any serious hatching a cabinet is the only way to go. We keep the AC and heat off as much as possible and when it is running it's on a schedule so the temp varies quite a bit in the house depending on the time of the day. Our Sportsman's keep rock solid temps. The first one we got paid for itself in about 6 months from selling the chicks hatched in it - #2 paid for itself in about 3 months.

    Also if you get the auto water bucket you don't have to open it to fill the water - there is an energy savings on the power and yourself since you don't have to worry about it.

  5. Brickman House

    Brickman House Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    Well, far be it from me to discourage you from a big old cabinet incubator that can hatch armies of poultry, but the digital tabletop incubators do an equally good job, in my experience.

    RCom and Brinsea have tabletop models with digital temperature and auto humidity controls. I have the RCom Suro and it sits on the counter in my kitchen, which is a room that has wild temperature swings, as you can imagine. It performs flawlessly.

    So go for that cabinet incubator! But if you don't feel the need for something that large, I highly recommend one of the tabletop digitals.
  6. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Thanks for the info, guys. So it is the digital thermostat that makes the difference?

    Steve that is exactly what I was thinking, not to mention what I wanted to hear. [​IMG]

    I hate running the AC during warm days. That can make for some very expensive chick hatches. I'm thinking the 'bator would pay for itself in that regard even if I didn't sell any chicks.

    Brickman, that is mighty appealing information, but I'm currently running 3 incubators at a time at about 100 to 150 eggs at a time among the three. So, I'm not sure a small one would do the trick.

    I'm leaning toward the Brinsea Ova Easy 380 cabinet incubator.

    What do you think? Overkill? [​IMG]
  7. BriteChicken

    BriteChicken Songster

    Feb 23, 2010
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Oh course it isn't if you get your moneys' worth but don't listen to me I'm an enabler and am just egg-cited about the Octagon 20 Eco w/ turner I just bought as my first incubator... [​IMG]

    I think Brinsea makes some really Great products!

  8. FowlDelights

    FowlDelights In the Brooder

    Feb 17, 2009
    Elgin, Tx
    Be cautious with the Ova Easy. It is a well built unit, however humidity control can be tempermental. I have the 180 with the humidity control accessory. Incubation is no problem and quite reliable. I maintain a steady humidity of 42% during my three incubation periods. The problem, and I mean problem is during lockdown. I could not get the humidity above 60%. Maintaining that 60% required constant supervision and tinkering. First of all, the Humidity Control unit provides a constant slow drip which cannot keep up with the water consumption during the hatching period. It drys up so you have to intermittently refill the water container. During my testing of the unit I had to add additional containers of water set on the turning trays to bump the percentages which I used during my lockdowns. The problem is that it requires attention during lockdown. Brinsea's humidity control does not live up to its marketing. It is a good company that provides great support. My first unit was defective and they picked up the broken one and sent the new one without a hitch. The tech support guy, "Frank Pearce", was very responsive.

    Prior to my purchase of the Ova Easy 180 I had pickup a used Sportsman 1502 with the water bucket on Craigs List. I tested it for one week without a problem. During my first incubation the thermostat failed, then the turner failed. That led to my Brinsea purchase. But prior to incubation in the brinsea I installed a new theremostat in the Sportsman as a backup just in case things went wrong with my next hatching attempt. I incubated in the Brinsea but ended up splitting the hatch during lockdown. The Sportsman's humidity was far more steady then the Brinsea. The only issue I had to figure out with the Sportsman was how many sponges to use to get the humitiy to the 60-65% range. Once I found the right combination, no problems and very steady.

    Again, no problems with the Brinsea during incubation. If you want to do staggered hatches you will have to go thru a learning curve.

    Good Luck, Ron

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