First time hatching.... Need advice.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cutipatooti, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. cutipatooti

    cutipatooti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm looking to get an incubator to try my first hatch. I'm thinking hovabator genesis or brisnea Eco advanced. I like the brisnea because it looks more durable then the styrafoam hovabator and looks easier to clean. But it's very expensive and only holds 24 eggs. The genesis holds 40 and is half the price. Can some give me their experiences with these incubators. I'm looking for the most fool proof hatch possible but at the same time want to hatch in large numbers as I hear shipped eggs don't usually hatch well. On that note can someone let me know the hatch rate for shipped eggs. I was once told 50% and need to know about how many eggs I should get. Thanks
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    On the average shipped eggs do have a 50% hatch rate. A lot will depend on how they are packed/shipped and handled during shipment though. Some have better, some worse. I can tell you right now, if you can afford a Brinsea, that is the way to go. They are highly recommended and many people on here will vouch that they are virtually a set and forget machine. In other words, once you set them there isn't a whole lot you have to do other than add water when needed.
    I myself have the cheaper foam bator (LG which is comparable to the hovabator). Stryfoam bators are notorious for being touchy, having spikes in temps and harder to regulate. With that being said, I found the perfect spot in our house for the bator, fairly constant temp, no drafts and the bator stays fairly consistant temp wise. I would definitely not recommend setting and forgetting a foam bator. They do need more monitoring on the average and in my opinion are not ment for the busy person who can't check it at regular intervals, especially for the first use of the machine. Don't get me wrong, they can produce good hatches as well, it just takes more effort on the part of the person. I don't mind the monitoring. It wouldn't matter how well or expensive of a machine I had, I'm a stay at home mom, I'd still be looking in the bator every hour...lol
     
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  3. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    I can give you my experience with two similar incubators. My first attempt at hatching was with a Little Giant still air. Not nearly as nice as the Genesis you are talking about, but at the time I just figured all incubators were the same. I had wild temperature fluctuations, and I didn't know at the time how crucial humidity was. I had horrible results. Some through my own mistakes, some due to cheap equipment. It was also very hard to really clean, and I imagine it would only get worse with each hatch. I think if I tried it again, I would have better results with more babysitting, but I don't think it would ever compare to the Brinsea I bought.
    I was so disgusted with the first hatch, that I didn't try any more until I could afford the Brinsea. I plan on doing a lot of hatches, and I needed something that would last and be easier to clean. I bought the advance model so I could have the digital displays and the option of adding a humidity pump, but I have been so thoroughly impressed with this machine that I have total confidence that the Eco version would perform just as well. The temperature never fluctuates up or down more than 0.1 degree, and the humidity is easily adjusted with the water channels and air vent. Cleanup is as easy as washing dishes in the sink, and I have a 2 year warranty. Yes, it only holds 24 eggs, but hatching 20 of 24 healthy chicks is much more satisfying than hatching 20 of 40, and some of those with birth defects because of temperature and humidity swings.
    If you are only going to hatch once or twice, I would try the Genesis. If you want an incubator that will last a long time, with much less user input required on your part, then the Brinsea Eco will be worth more than the difference in price.
     
  4. cutipatooti

    cutipatooti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a stay at home mom but the durability and ease of cleaning of the brisnea is really appealing over the foam one. What exactly is the difference between the Eco and the advanced.
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    About a hundred dollars or so...lol I think, and the Brinsea experts (@Yorkshire coop ) can correct me if I am wrong, but the biggest difference is the advanced is all digital w/digital read outs and a digital control system.
     
  6. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    The Eco is calibrated at the factory, and I expect it to hold temperature as well as the advance, but it doesn't have the digital menu that the advance does. You will have to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity with your own thermometer and hygrometer. If I'm not mistaken, the Eco doesn't come with the auto-turn cradle, either. That's not a big deal if you have the time to turn it yourself 2 or 3 times a day. That's why it is octagon shaped. Turning is a piece of cake, you just roll it back and forth on the flat edges. The Eco doesn't have a port for the optional humidity pump, either, but that's not a necessity. It's just really nice if you aren't home much.
    The Advance has a digital display that gives real-time temperature and humidity on the main screen. It can be set to give high and low temperature and humidity alarms, and if there is a power outage while you are away, there will be a flashing "P" on the screen to let you know so you can check the eggs. It comes with the auto-turn cradle. You set the whole octagon on the cradle for the first 18 days, and it goes through a 90 degree rotation twice an hour. At lockdown, you just take it off the cradle and remove the egg dividers. You can also add the humidity pump, which really turns it into a set and forget machine. You set your humidity on the digital screen, then the pump will add water when your humidity starts to drop. Like I said, it's not a necessity, but extremely nice.
    It sounds to me like you should get the Brinsea. I can't remember the price of the Eco model, but I think it was a good bit less than the Advance. I think you will be much happier and have much more success with the Eco than the styrofoam. I paid $380 for the Advance, and am glad I did. I may add the humidity pump later ($140), but right now all I have to do is add a little water every 3 days or so. I would buy whichever one you can afford. They really are fantastic machines. Just google "Brinsea Octagon 20 reviews", and you will see the overwhelming majority of owners that love them
     
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I have the Genesis Hovabator 1588, an older Styrofoam model. It is quite a bit different than a LG still air. The factory preset temperature was a little warm, but once I got it adjusted it is now basically a set it an add water when you need it incubator. I set it up in a room where there is not a great temperature fluctuation, air vents do not blow on it, and sunlight does not hit it through a window. The temperature has not varied for several years. I just have to add water every four to five days when the reservoirs run dry. It took a few hatches to get it right though.

    One issue, and this can happen with any incubator where you control humidity with reservoirs, is that the humidity inside the incubator can vary with the difference in temperature and humidity of the air going in. Some times of the year if I run it with no water in any reservoir I might get a humidity inside of 15%, others as much as 35%. If I fill one reservoir, I might get 30% or 45%. It does not vary much day to day but it certainly does with the season. Both the temperature and the moisture content of the air going in has an effect. That’s the only difficult part of it for me now that I have stabilized the temperature. I can see a big advantage to an incubator that controls the humidity for you.

    I understand Brinsea sets the temperature before it leaves the factory, but I strongly suggest you verify it is working right where you set it up. Brinsea makes a good incubator and is a good company, but there have been stories where they are not always perfect. Trust but verify.

    My 1588 has a plastic reservoir insert at the bottom that catches most of the filth from hatching and makes cleanup a lot easier, but the Styrofoam will stain and can be a problem to clean. Hard plastic would be easier. I only use mine once or twice a year so it’s not a big issue with me, but if I were using it much more often, I’d probably switch to a hard plastic one because of the cleanup

    I recommend getting a turner, even if you are a stay at home Mom. Emergencies happen. You sometimes go to funerals, graduations, reunions, or weddings. Relatives visit. Kids get sick. You might want to go away for a day or even overnight. To me it is worth it to have the flexibility to not schedule my life around turning the eggs. A lot of people do hatch a lot of chicks hand-turning, but to me a turner is well worth it.

    I based my decision on how many times a year I planned to use it. I can put up with a little inconvenience since I don’t hatch all that much and save the money, but I fully agree the Brinsea is a better incubator on different fronts.

    I’ve had 100% hatch rate with shipped eggs. I’ve had absolutely horrible hatch rates with shipped eggs. My overall average is pretty close to 50% but each hatch is unique. I’ve had some swings with my own eggs too, but not that big. Each hatch is unique whether the eggs are shipped or not, but there are a lot of things not in your control with shipped eggs, either from the person shipping them or the post office.

    I can’t tell you how many shipped eggs to get. If you get twice as many eggs as you want chicks, you could wind up with a lot more chicks than you want or a lot less. You have to be ready for either result. You are dealing with life. Life is not a yes or no answer, but an “it depends”.
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    But if you have the LG with fan and egg turner, aren't they quite close in comparison or still no? I thought the hoverbator, LG with fan and the Farm Innovators Pro were very similiar.
     
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    There are also liners for the LG and the Farmer Innovator incubators. Makes cleaning after hatching much simpler.
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Shipped eggs work for many people but never for me. I and others simply live in a postal "dead" zone. I've had eggs shipped from the south, and from the west. Shipped from many different breeders and packaged perfectly yet the best hatch I ever had was 3 birds from 16 eggs. This is not the case for many people and some people have had eggs shipped 3,000 miles and yield better than 90%. It's a gamble how they'll fare in the shipping system but for me it was sure fire disaster. Using my own eggs and auto turner I get over 90% hatch rate. Last batch last spring was 100%. That's using an inexpensive Hova-bator with the metal disk thermostat.

    If your looking for quality stock and a particular breed that you simply can't locate locally (realistic driving distance) then I strongly suggest having a breeding pair or trio shipped to you instead. It seems like a ton of money in comparison to eggs but to put it in comparison to the cost of starting a flock from eggs your actually gaining a year of raising birds yourself. Have your own source (as local as it gets) of hatching eggs and in a year can use the parent stock to breed back to gaining you a stronger start in the life long journey of breeding to standard.

    I've spent hundreds on shipped eggs. Was trying to obtain a quality flock of a particular breed for over three years and would have been better off getting a top quality breeding pair shipped to me from the start. I'm not playing Devil's Advocate but did want to share this perspective. Better hatches from the start with less expensive equipment and a huge start with heritage breed when getting shipped breeding birds.
     

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