High price of incubaters!?!?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Doopy, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Doopy

    Doopy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2009
    Indiana, USA
    I'm ready to try incubation but the units that I have researched are very expensive. The Hova and the Little Giant are around $120 U.S. with auto turners. I am a little shocked at this as these prices do not fit into my present budget. Can you guys offer any recommendations? I'm studying self-made incubators these days, too. Thanks.
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    You can quickly make a profit if you get a decent incubator. This year I hatched enough out of my Hovabator to completely cover the costs and then some!

    Unfortunately, I would recommend getting something more expensive. Don't get the turner if you can turn the eggs yourself. That will save $!
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Incubators are complicated, the temperature and humidity regulation is crucial to success. That is not a very high price for something that complex and precise. As aoxa said, you are better off with a little more up-front money and a higher hatching success rate than with the problems associated with cheap incubators.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    Just bought a Brinsea, 20 Eco, manual. Nice machine. It is our second one. I had a "secret word" for a 10% discount, on top of the sales price of $20 off normal. Still, with stiff shipping, it came to $140 delivered to my door and doesn't even have an auto turner. But the octagons are easy to turn manually. They aren't cheap, but yes, if unknown birds are $2.50 each, then all I have to do is hatch out 55 chicks to "break even", 100 chicks to save decent money. Since we've got the proven parent stock we want, this is the only way to go. YMMV.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    What do you mean by unknown birds?

    Straight run chicks go for $5 + here.

    That's the going rate. It goes up depending on breed :)

    Also - that's a decent price for Brinsea.. I didn't think they were that reasonable.

    I am hoping to get a cabinet incubator soon.
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I have the little giant.

    I have mixed feeling. My hubby bought it cause he didn't want to build me a cheap homemade incubator. He sprung for the auto-turner and fan. At the time I was upset cause I wanted to spend like $25 and use the stuff we had. I thought I'd use it one to hatch out some shipped eggs and that would be that. However. I now am addicted to hatching.

    My thoughts. In the beginning if I had to do it all over I would probably have sprung for a higher end model.

    But my pro's for the LG are:
    I can incubate 42 eggs. They are inexpensive enough later I sprung for a second without the turner to use just as a hatcher. I am scheduled to pick up 3 more off craigslist tomorrow so I can have seperate hatchers for different kinds of eggs and a spare incubator too. They work well if they are in a stable room with fairly stable temps away from a window or vent. Even with some pretty serious problems I have had decent hatches with shipped eggs. 50% or more. I now couldn't think of limiting myself to a dozen, maybe two but remember when you buy eggs you usually get extras.

    If I did get the LG I would definately get the fan and turner. Now that I"m on hatch 3-4 and started staggering my hatches I don't want to have to remember to turn. I litterally sometimes don't even check on it each day yet alone 3 times a day. It is nice to have the turner. Chicken math is hard to escape and if you hatch once you'll probably hatch again.

    They don't seem to be as stable and easy as more expensive ones. I forgot to turn on my house heater last week and the temps dipped down because remember I said they needed stable and steady. Well 78 during the day and 40 at night isn't steady. While the house didn't get all the way down to 40 is did get pretty chilly as I had no heat on. It also took me 36 hours to figure it out. But I still have a whole bunch of viable chicks I believe. I'll know more on Monday hatch day. Even though I love being able to stick up to 42 eggs in there meaning I can order 1 dozen BCM eggs and 1 dozen Barnvelder eggs and still have room for extras at that price one missed chick is costly. So a lower hatch rate does cost if it is purchased eggs.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Buying chicks from a hatchery or feed store reselling hatchery stock. The quality is unknown. Well, I suppose it is known. When you've sorted through your own birds for the very best to matchup, you've more confident in the quality outcome.
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Feed store chicks are still relatively pricey. The RSLs were $2.44 each. The heritage types were at least $3.50 +. I've resold hatchery chicks for more :lol: Shhh.. Don't tell on me ;) - But I did not claim they were good quality. Even when they came to get them, I showed them the difference. Though my SLW turned out REALLY decent for hatchery birds. [​IMG] These girls were $2.50 each. That was an end of the year sale. Not typically that cheap. I ended up with all girls too! Great luck!
  9. RunningRabbit

    RunningRabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2012
    I made a cheapo $20 styrofoam cooler incubator. I had 8 chicks out of 12 hatch with it. Not bad considering all the problems I had with it.

    Where am I going with this? I'm not messing with that incubator ever again. I barely got any sleep for 2-3 weeks because the temps and humidity were so unstable. If you can, put a bit of money back every week, and buy yourself a well-made model with all the bells and whistles. It'll save you a major headache in the long run. Fred's Hens, that is actually the model of incubator I'll be buying come January. I've heard very positive reviews for that particular model. Where did you manage to find such an excellent deal on that incubator?
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    $160 for an incubator isn't that much when you put the types of parts into perspective. Sure you can spend $10 and make a home made styrofoam box with old light fixtures and bulbs for heat, with a used hot water thermostat....but it can be a lot easier for someone to spend $160 on a ready to go unit. If you are not a tinker-er with parts lying about.... you might end up spending $5 on a styrobox, 15-20 on a simple thermostat, and another 10-15 on wiring/lighting stuff. Cheap incubator of new parts... 40 bucks...but you will still have to fiddle with making it work, and if you need tools, cost goes up. Compared to the more "professional" types of incubators at like 50-700 each... 160 is not much. I have a home made with a thermostat which cost like 50 bucks alone.

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