Help! Best Incubator for a Newbie UNDER $150

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mamagoose7, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. mamagoose7

    mamagoose7 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Mar 27, 2017
    New to BYC - Excited to be part of the group!

    We live on a small farm in the mountains (we still have snow) and are in trailer while building so temp is not as cozy as in a house :)

    I've read several posts re; incubators and am thinking that the hovabator 1588 would probably be best but can't afford it right now. I really need to stay between $50 - $120 (including s/h) or so but may be able to go to $150 so I understand that my options are somewhat limited.

    I've looked at Farm Innovators 2250/2450/4250
    Hovabator 1588
    Incuview all-in-one
    Brinsea

    But they all seem to be a bit more than I can afford right now - if we are succesfull - this year I'm sure we will be addicted and do it every year versus purchasing our sweet chicks every year. We are thinking of get a dozen eggs to start with through our agricultural extension program.

    I'm also a bit concerned as nights here are cooler and we don't have heat in the evenings (again we are in a trailer) so..... just want to do what is best for chicks and hopefully light on pocket book until we are more stable. Because of this I'm thinking that perhaps circulatory air may be better than still air but not sure on this either as this is all so very new to me.

    I'd love input on still vs circulatory in addition to what you suggest for incubators - thank you all very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,017
    2,480
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    If it's not absolutely necessary to have the auto turner right away, the Hovabator 1583 is the non digital version of the 1588 and w/s&h you get it for $122 on amazon. It holds a steady temp, has the awesome picture window and is forced air.

    Just about every table top incubator needs a steady room temp to work it's best.

    A lot of people like the Hovabator 1602N and you can get the whole kit including the fan (to install) and the turner for around $130 I believe.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,017
    2,480
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Oh, btw :welcome
     
  4. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Chillin' With My Peeps

    789
    753
    131
    Nov 17, 2016
    Missouri

    I'm liking the sound of that hovabator 1583 although ive never had one.
    Ive used the cheap 1602Ns forever. Mainly now I only use them for hatchers but I do use them for shipped eggs because ive always got the best hatch rate with them.
    I have the forced air and turners and think theyre worth the extra cost. Ive had good hatches without the fan and or turners also though. My first hovabator was before they made fans and turners. Back in the late 70s or so they were round instead of square.
    I like the wafer thermostat. For me they have always been plug and play once I had them set. They will run all season without needing adjusting.

    Ive also had little giant's and farm innovators versions and they are junk. Temp spikes and swings. Total waste of money imo.
     
  5. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    176
    121
    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    This is just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt, but if I were in your shoes I'd save my money and wait until you can get a good incubator that'll do what you want. That's what I did and I'm glad I waited. I just started a breeding program this year and I'm really glad I made that decision. A good incubator will give you predictable results with each round. I considered some of the cheaper models but gosh, it would've been disappointing if my hatch rates weren't up to par like they have been. You could always work with a broody hen until you get an incubator.
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,017
    2,480
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    I love my 1583. Once you get it to the proper temp, it's steady as a rock. I used an old lg9200 for 2 1/2 years, had great hatches, but it was work! Especially with temps. So I am loving having a steady bator.
     
  7. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Chillin' With My Peeps

    789
    753
    131
    Nov 17, 2016
    Missouri

    What incubator did you get and whats your hatch rate been? My hovabators have been really reliable and when i used them with my own eggs id get hatch rates in the 90%s.
    Ive seen some of the fancy newer brands but had the opposite worry. Afraid id spend a lot of money and end up getting worse hatch rates then with the cheap hovabator.
    Ive had sportsman cabinets and got slightly worse hatch rates.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  8. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    176
    121
    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I got the Sportsman 1502 cabinet incubator and the 1550 hatcher. I've been setting and hatching every Friday and so far I've completed three rounds with three more to go (six total). Of the first three rounds I only had three eggs that didn't hatch out of 15-16 set each week, so about 93%. The three that didn't hatch were from the same RIR so I think it has to do more with her than the incubator and hatcher. Her eggs all have chicks in them but they just never pip. If we take her eggs out of the equation I've had 100%.

    I know the Sportsman cabinet incubator and hatcher are a lot more than most people need but for breeding SOP birds I think they're a good value. I especially like the hatcher because I can keep the different breeding hen's eggs separated until I get home and have a chance to toe punch them before putting in the brooder. If I were breeding on a smaller scale I'd probably go with the Rcom 20 I think it's called. It's a little pricey too but the thermostat and humidity control are top notch and the people I know that have them love them. The only downside is it only holds 20 eggs at a time so of course you have to complete one round before setting the next. But for a backyard breeder it'd work just fine.
     
  9. mamagoose7

    mamagoose7 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Mar 27, 2017
    Thank you all so much for your input and welcome!

    We are purchasing eggs through an extension program since this is for a home school project the eggs will be three days from hatching so I do not need an egg turner at this time - so do I jsut bite the bullet and spend $180 on the hovabator 1588 with incuturn or for the same price do I do the Incuview all in one or the brinsea maxi II (is there a turner for the brinsea maxi II that I could get later?)

    Of those three which do you all feel is the best! Again thank you so much!

    We are keeping the chicks and only getting 4 or 5 eggs to start with so if there's a smaller one use for 4H or something like that that you know of that would be good please let me know. This is just for us not to sell chicks etc.
     
  10. Calichicken2015

    Calichicken2015 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi There and [​IMG] I have used the hovabator for over 10 years to hatch in my classroom and it has always worked great! I have 2 and they both have circulated air. I just had to replace one of mine after 12 years of faithful, successful hatches...bought the same brand. I don't know much about the other 2, but thought I would give you my experience with the hovabators! GOOD LUCK with your hatch no matter which brand you chose! Such a great process to watch!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by