Gather round and give me some advice.....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jjdward, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. jjdward

    jjdward How bout them DAWGS!

    May 4, 2009
    Buchanan, Georgia
    I'm thinking about getting an incubator [​IMG]. I don't know the first thing about them [​IMG] because I have always used broodies. I would like to pay less than $100 for one, new or used. Is that crazy low? What are the best kind for a dummie like me? [​IMG] I wouldn't want to hatch anymore than say 20 eggs at a time. So what do ya think? Lets hear all your advice! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    Quote:I have a LG still air - got 24 eggs ready to hatch in it right now!
    It doesn't have a turner or a fan. I got it at TSC for <$50.00
    I use 3 thermometers:
    1 on the "floor" of the 'bator also measures humidity... usually runs about 98 - 99 (<$10)
    1 on top of the eggs... usually reads about 102-103 (<$5)
    1 is a "probe" type... i put it at egg level in a kind of water wiggler (I incubate in cartons & lay it in an empty carton)... usually reads between 99.0 - 100.2 ($12)
    I keep humidity between 50 - 60%
    Last 3 days up to 70%
    Works for me, but everyone's different. You will need to try a few things and see what works best for you.
    Also... I keep my LG in a room with No Drafts/Forced Air/AC/Heat. Its up on a little table - about waist high. I incubate & hatch using egg cartons. And I hand-turn.
    Good Luck.
  3. hyperslug

    hyperslug In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2009
    Arlington, TX
    In a nutshell here is what I have learned at this great site;

    1) You have to control 3 things: Temperature, Humidity, and Egg turning. The more you want automated the more you spend. Another variable is forced air or still air but forced air flow is pretty much considered an upgrade to anything!

    I spent $300 on one that controlled all of them and that was the cheapest at the time for the quantity I wanted to hatch,; less than 24.

    Good luck,
  4. TexasVet

    TexasVet Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    My advice is to spend a few more bucks and buy an incubator with a digital control and a fan, like the Genesis 1588. Those cheap, still-air incubators will drive you nuts trying to keep the temp steady. As a previous poster said, you'll have three thermometers and still won't be sure any of them are correct.

    You can find a Genesis on eBay for around a hundred bucks, sans the egg turner. The turner is about another $50, but I was too cheap to buy one, and I'm home all day anyway, so turning the eggs isn't that big a deal.

    Trust me, a Genesis is "plug it in and go." No running it for a couple of days to get the temp right, multiple thermometers, nothing.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
  5. jjdward

    jjdward How bout them DAWGS!

    May 4, 2009
    Buchanan, Georgia
    Quote:Thanks, I'll look into it. Keep em comin
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Crowing

    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    I have nothing personal against Little Giant products. Lot's of people have good hatches with them. Having said that, it seems that there are more negative threads and messages posted about them and most any other incubator. I've not had the opportunity to compare a styrofoam LG with one of the GQF sytrofoam ones so I don't know if the seal is "looser", the styrofoam thinner, the thermostat less dependable, or what....just that folks seem to have more problems keeping a consistent temperature with them. Persoanlly, I would stay away from LG.

    If $100 is your budget and you know you will only want to hatch 20 eggs at the max then you might want to look at the Brinsea Eco20 ...a small, hard plastic incubator that supposedly has very good humidity and temperature control. They hold 24 chicken eggs, but it seems like it would get crowded in there during hatch. I believe that they're back on sale at $99. The auto-turner cradle will run you another $50 and shipping varies....can run several dollars. Most people who use them, love'em. Other online other than Brinsea sells them, also.

    The Genesis 1588 is GQF's flagship styrofoam incubator. It has an electronically controlled thermostat and fan. The styrofoam is a good grade and is sturdy. These incubators have much more room than the Brinsea and hold roughly 42 eggs...allowing more room inside during hatching. A combo Genesis and quail/chicken egg turner will run $162.10 at plus the shipping. The Genesis without a turner will run $120.55 at cutler. GQF also sells directly and a good many other online retailers sell them, too.

    Lastly, I'll mention the GQF Hovabator 1602 . This is a "still-air" (no fan) incubator that I think uses a styrofoam box much similar to the Genesis but without the full-view picture window (two small windows). It doesn't have a fan. It also doesn't have the electronic thermostat but rather the "wafer-type" thermostat. Wafers have been used for years, are as exact as the electronic thermostats but they've hatched probably millions of chickens in the past and are still hatching birds. They take more adjusting to get them right, but once adjusted appear to be stable. The 1602 runs $50.25 (plus shipping) on the Cutler might want to check GQF out as the price is only a couple of dollars higher there and being located in Georgia the shipping might be a good bit difference. The 1602 and egg-turner combo at Cutler is running $95.30 plus shipping. Adding the fan to either of these will add $25 to the price.

    If I was locked in to the $100 budget I would go for the 1602 and egg turner....

    The electronic controls of the Brinsea and Genesis are, from all reports, very nice.

    Auto-turners are very nice...takes the pressure off of "I've gotta get home to turn the eggs" or "Did I remember to turn the eggs". Having said that....there's lots of folks hand turning their eggs here and having excellent hatches.

    Just some food for thought.
    Best wishes!
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    You might as well get a bigger one . . . saves money over going back for a second.
  8. jjdward

    jjdward How bout them DAWGS!

    May 4, 2009
    Buchanan, Georgia
  9. catwalk

    catwalk Songster

    May 19, 2009
    How does a $1 incubator sound? It takes some fiddling with, but my styrofoam box with apple corer holes and a canister light works great. I'm super cheap, and with the results I get, I'd never buy an incubator. I nest the eggs in a shoebox lid with pillow batting, and I swap out wet sponges when I reach in to turn. I had to experiment with the right wattage of light and number of holes, and I lined the inside with Al foil. I leave the window in that room closed. I have had very consistant temperatures so far. My hatch rates have been fairly low, but 1. I am new to this, 2. I use shipped eggs, and 3. I cannot resist candling them ALL the time! I can't wait to get a broody, but since I have more time and talent than money, this was the way to go!

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