How do you set up a Hatcher - Please Help!!!!


11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
Central Louisiana
OK my peas finally started laying today -- but I am one week into incubation w/my Brinsea -- so I need to fire up my old Hovnabator for a hatcher -- what do I need to do?

How do you set up for a "hatcher" ? Please, any advice is very much appreciated.
I use my old Hovabators as hatchers. A couple days before lockdown, I plug it in and fill the water trays, put in thermometer and hygrometer. When it's time for lockdown, I simply candle and place the eggs in the hatcher. I keep both vents closed. That's it.
I would experiment on what combination it takes to hold the humidity at 50-55%.Sometmes it takes several trays or sponges added for more surface area to get the rh levels that high,especially if the bator is inside the house where you have central ac running to take humidity OUT of the air.
If you have several colors all due to hatch at once and will not be there to babysit each egg as it hatches now would be the time to build small dividers made out of cardboard-balsa wood to keep seperate colors together.You may want to consider alternative power options as well.In the past 5 weeks here in Illinois I lost power for 6 hours once when a small tornado took down 60 power poles 15 miles north of me,and last week when a late nite drunk driver clipped a guide wire on a power pole which then snapped the main power line,was down 4 hours this time.
If you have a Brinsea bator,your already way ahead in the pea hatching game in my opinion,,I'd love to have a 380 now instead of my 190,,it is great!!
We used to hatch in a Hovabator.... until we had a couple chicks burn their head feathers off on the element. One was burned pretty bad, and had a bald spot for months.

I think the 'bators were designed for smaller chicks, like chicken babies. We use an old fish tank now for hatching. It has an elevated wire mesh floor, and we can put a lot of water trays underneath to maintain high humidity, as well as damp sponges around the eggs. There's also enough room for dividers, to keep colors separate. Seems to work pretty well.

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