First incubator


In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 17, 2014
I would like to try hatching some eggs, I already have chickens and would like to expand the flock and this seems like a nice project with the added bonus of well socialised chickens at the end.

However having so few chickens and not wanting to bring the flock above ten I had hoped that I could rent a small incubator reducing the initial outlay. That doesn't seem to be possible. I know that somewhere probably not very far away is an incubator lying on a shelf not being used but I can't find anyone who has one or who will rent theirs to me.

Leaving me with buy my own or giving up the idea. After looking on-line there was a little sticker shock. 75-150 euro for an incubator for 10> eggs.

Second hand incubators are on offer on classified sites for a little less than full price. but I know so little about them that I would be afraid of picking up something broken and having no recourse.

Are there brands to avoid? Is it worth sticking with a good name brand? If i scimp on this will it end up costing more in the long run or are all incubators born relatively equal.

Is it worth paying extra for an automatic turner or given the low volume do you think I would be okay hand turning?

I have seen on previous posts people talking about having both a second thermometer and hygrometer. Is this necessary if the incubator is new and a good brand?

Do you have a small incubator that you would recommend?

I know virtually nothing about them. And unlike my first car where I could ask my dad or my first rented apartment where common sense was my guide I have nothing to go on here so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
The mini incubators are soooo expensive for what little you get. I like my "cheap" Styrofoam from tractor supply. I also love my auto turner. It cost as much as the incubator. hygrometer very important. I got mine on eBay for just under $2. I use a probe digital thermometer with great success. I think it cost $4 on eBay. if you aren't going to hatch many very often, I would skip the turner. Maybe Santa will bring you one
For just few eggs I'd suggest getting one hen from a classified that has a broody nature if you don't own any. After hatch if you want to interact you could take them away and brood them if you like. Another option is to find someone near you willing to incubate them for you. I'm assuming most people would do it for free if they had a hatch going as well. If not even a small fee may not be a bad investment to see if at some point you would like to have an incubator of your own.

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