Good incubators (under $400)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Redhead Rae, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    Well, I definitely need to get an incubator for the spring. I had been depending on broody hens to hatch (I will continue to do so when they are available) but I am looking into getting LF Cornish birds to use for my meat. Since Cornish aren't prolific layers, I want to hatch most of the eggs I get from them and I can't wait for a hen to go broody. So, what should my strategy be? I've heard of people holding their eggs for a week and setting them in the incubator on the same day every week. That sounds like a lot of work and like it would require too many incubators since staggered in one incubator aren't advised. Or, is it ok to have staggered incubations in a "starter" incubator, but have a separate "lockdown" incubator where I can crank up the temp. The lockdown incubator wouldn't even have to have a turner and could be a bit cheaper than the "starter" incubator.

    I had been looking into the Brinsea Octagon, but it looks like they've discontinued that model in favor of the Ovation incubators.

    What other brands are good? Must haves:
    - a turner (I'm not hand turning eggs)
    - easy to operate controls (I will be getting and calibrating separate thermometers)
     
  2. aliciaplus3

    aliciaplus3 Songster

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    I have the brinsea ovation 56 with the built in humidity pump, I love it. I use a cheaper model for my hatcher, it holds the humidity higher without problems. I have done the staggered hatching like you are considering with this set up. The thing I love about the brinsea is the ability to set the humidity where I want it and not have to be constantly tinkering with it, it also holds the temp rock solid, I still have extera thermometers just in case but I worry less. I found that moving the eggs into lockdown in a separate bator worked well for me
     
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  3. aliciaplus3

    aliciaplus3 Songster

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    Right now I have both turkey and chicken eggs in my brinsea, the tur key eggs are too big for the standard turner so I removed a few of the center egg trays and I am hand turning those, but there are only 4 so not that big of a deal. I love that the turners still work for the chicken eggs @ the same time!
     
  4. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    For me, I'm worried about forgetting (and dropping the eggs when I turn them). Do they make turners for larger eggs with the Ovation?
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Depending on your budget, you could make a couple of incubators. I would have one for hatching, and one for incubating. How many chicks are you realistically wanting to hatch in a single season? If you want to see what's involved in making an incubator (If you could wire a lamp if you had instructions, you could build a good incubator) look for some how to videos by Rush Lane Poultry, and @SallySunshine
     
  6. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    I want to hatch all the eggs the Cornish girls give me. I'm looking for about 75-100 freezer camp birds a year between my DP roosters and the Cornish. I currently have a deposit on a trio of Dark Cornish. With two pullets, that shouldn't be too many eggs (10ish?) in a week's time since they aren't the best layers. I'll look into building incubators, but I'm leery of doing that.
     
  7. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    Actually, I just realized, I have a working dorm fridge, 2'x 2'x 2' small one, that I've been considering getting rid of because milk got in the door seals and it stinks. What do I need to turn it into an incubator? Can replace the door wholesale with a piece of plexi? Can I get an off the shelf turner to use inside it?

    Time to question Mr. Google Pants and hope you guys have some answers as well.
     

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