Are there any decent incubators for under $300? I have a Little Giant with a fan and a turner and it SUCKS!! I always have about half of the eggs never hatch at the end, and have a terrible time keeping the temp and humidity stable.
I have 2 hovabator Genesis 1588s, with turners. Cost around $190 (on ebay with turners) and my hatching rates have been good (80%+/-). Thermostat is preset, fan forced air. With turner, holds 41 eggs at a time. Hope that helps.
I have a little giant still air and a hovabator still air both around $40 and I hatch better than 90% on my own eggs. Shipped eggs you won't get much over 50% if you get that. If you are hatching half from shipped eggs you are doing fine and if you are hatching your own then part of it is probably operator error. Something that requires less hands on and tweaking could help if you don't feel like taking the time and eggs to experiment. Exact humidity that works best depends on your climate and individual bator and exact temperature will depend on accuracy of your thermometer so it takes a few hatches in any bator to get things running anywhere near perfect. Something like a genesis that is preset could help some but they still require trial and error. Also all tabletop bator will require a stable room to sit in. If the room temp fluctuates more than a couple degrees or the bator sits near a window where it gets warm/cold air or sunlight you will have problems. Small bators cannot adjust for changing air temps and humidity. Whatever happens outside the bator will change the numbers inside.
The R Com s egg incubator ( http://www.brinsea.com/products/rcom.html ) is great for a few eggs. It counts down the days left, keeps the humidity and temp perfectly stabble for each type of bird and has a turner so you don't have to worry about remembering to turn them. You can also buy a candeler that fits right over the incubator so the heat dosn't escape. I've hatched 5 chicks and a duck and not one died!
The Brinsea 20 Eco was on sale recently for $99. Great little foolproof bator. I hatched out eggs this spring with a Brinsea and am completely sold on them. With shipping and the turning cradle, it was just under $200(mine arrived last week, and I have no fertile eggs to try it out on.............
I was all set to buy a Hovabator Genesis 1588 with turner until I stumbled on the Brinsea 20 ECO. While the Genesis holds about twice the number of eggs, the Brinsea features easily won out. It's made from a durable plastic, holds temps and humidity well, completely fool-proof for me (a complete and total novice), cleans up easily and takes up little space.
Tomorrow I'll be setting 14 shipped turkey eggs in the Brinsea, even though I have two GQF cabinet 'bators. I don't want to fire up the cabinets for just 14 eggs, plus my only experience hatching was turkey eggs in the Brinsea about a month ago. In a week or so I'll be setting about 2 - 3 dozen duck and 60 chicken eggs in the GQF's.
Gonna be a lot of nose prints on those 'bators in the coming weeks