I want to buy an incubator - need advice!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RavenWood, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. RavenWood

    RavenWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've enjoyed my NYD hatch-along experience so much I've decided to purchase my own incubator!

    I'm looking at the PRO SERIES INCUBATOR Farm Innovators model 4200 with built in turner, fan, thermometer, hygrometer, temp dial, indicator light, twin vents. Does anyone have experience with this model? I used a Hova-bator model for my hatch-along but was really unimpressed with the thermostat process and the fact that there was no built in thermometer/hygrometer. This FI model has gauges right on the lid and it has a nice hard washable shell to protect the foam structure.

    Seems like a decent model. Thoughts? Open to suggestion as well. I don't need anything larger than this and am hoping to keep costs under $200.
     
  2. RavenWood

    RavenWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone?
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  4. RavenWood

    RavenWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks :)
     
  5. RavenWood

    RavenWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone have any suggestions on a good incubator in that price range?
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I don't know what incubators sell for in the US, so I can't help you there, but have you considered building your own? Sally Sunshine wrote an article on building an incubator using a cooler box and she had very good hatch results with it. She put an instructional video in the article as well: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubator-incubator
     
  7. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    I use the FI 2100 still air model & turn by hand. I also have 2 LG's & a Hoavbator, also all still air & no turners. Other than having a humidity guage built in there really isn't much difference in them. Also, DO NOT depend on the built in thermometer. Mine reads 10 degrees lower than actual temp inside the bator. Hygrometer comes in pretty useful though so I usually use this one as my hatcher since that's where I need to keep an eye on humidity more than during incubation since I dry incubate & only add water during hatch if needed.
     
  8. Paul3874

    Paul3874 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! Whatever you do, stay away from little giant products. The LG incubater can be a huge problem before it is even used. For instance; hooking it up. The incubator and fan kit are usually seperate and must be wired up. Usually easy, but for a 74 year old, most difficult. LG has no backup for their product, no proper schem. and no answers. Product on shelf, apparently shorted out. LG has no answers for their product. I have not heard of any problems with Hovabator and may try one of those. I have a " Dicky? " which is shut down for the winter. Any LG products I still have will be used to keep new chicks warm. Setting the temp., and keeping it somewhat constant are also frustrating and difficult. If anyone wants to question my electronics exp. I will state I am an STSC (SS) ret. 24 years exp., Taught many systems to US and foreign students and am burned out. My hands shake badly. Paul
     
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I highly recommend the Hovabator. It's thermostat is a gas fill metal wafer that expands to contact that shuts off heat, as it contracts the heat turns back on. It's simple and a very reliable system for controlling temperature. The adjustments for it are so grand, like 2 degrees fahrenheit each 360 degree turn of adjustment, there is no worry that it will cook your eggs after a minor adjustment like the LG type thermostats can. Many who build there own incubators buy the wafer thermostat to instal into them. So, in a nutshell the Hovabator is true to it's claim that it's "the best inexpensive incubator made." The only thing to note is a brand new model will take a few weeks to work in. By this I mean the metal wafer will fatigue some in first few weeks and you'll note an ever slight constant decrease in temp, once you make a few adjustments bumping temp up it will hold perfectly for rest of hatch and every hatch there after.

    Some will push you to the fully electronic Genesis model and if you've cash to burn I'd say sure, go for it. For me all we needed was a reliable thermostat which all other Hovabators have, the wafer. I also went for a picture window top because we have four kids here and it's hectic viewing at hatch time with the smaller window models. I also don't see the need for an auto turner unless you plan on going on vacation during the incubation period. It's super easy to keep the eggs in egg cartoons propped up on one long side then turn the dozen container around so it's tilted in other direction 12 hours later. Voila! Your turning eggs twice a day in less than a minutes time. Turning only twice a day with our own chickens eggs gives us 90% hatch rate from all eggs set (and that's with storing them for two weeks to have enough for a big hatch).

    Here is an older model (square corners) with turbo fan selling on eBay. 2362 model with small windows. This if bidding doesn't get crazy is a great deal:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GQF-Hova-Ba...568?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f20e003b0

    Here is the same model but newer (rounded corners) and new in box also on eBay:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Hova-Ba...493?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec45f6415

    To keep that in perspective here is a buy it now that's $93 including shipping:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-HOVABAT...170?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a5ac8a192

    This is the picture window model with turbo fan that I have, model 1583. I don't know what this place charges for shipping but $90 for unit is as cheap I've ever seen it:
    http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/reptile-supplies/reptile-incubators/

    If they over charge shipping then here it is at $116 total price:
    http://www.strombergschickens.com/product/1942/basic-incubators?s=GSHP

    Not that there is anything wrong with the still air models (no high volume fan) you just incubate at 101.5F measured at top of eggs. The basic and old stand by unit is 1602. Those your probably best to pick up local to avoid shipping charges. Can find them at local tractor supply, Agway type place. Just shop around and double check online for best prices.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I should have checked where your from...oops. Well maybe some of those ship to Canada. Many on eBay in the States wont ship out of continental US but you can always ask.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013

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