Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chloezoebob101, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Im new at incubating. I might be getting an incubator sometime this month. But i have a few questions:
    1. Which incubator should I get? How much does it cost? and where can i get it?
    2. How many chicks can i put in it? i want at Least 50 eggs to go in there.
    3. what temperatures does it go at? humidity?
    4. Do i keep them in the incubator once they hatch? or do i put them in a separate container?
    5. What is lockdown?
    6. can i help the egg hatch once it has started pipping?

    thanks in advance!
  2. Soaring Chicks

    Soaring Chicks Soaring Hawks Farm

    Jan 3, 2010
    It would kinda depend on how much you want to sprend on a bator.
    I will tell you about the ones I have as they are bigger ones and can hold 50 + eggs.
    1~ My vote would be for a Dickey bator. Cost depends on which one you buy. Website
    2~ I have the three racks with hatcher tray so using egg trays I can get 60 eggs per rack. depending on egg size 90 /100 without the egg trays.
    3~ I keep them at 99.5 to 100 temp. humidity 55% in the bator. You can up it if you use the hatcher tray to 75%
    4~ you need to keep them in there till all have hatched (no more then 3 days) and make sure they are dry. After all that you think are going to hatch have and they are dry you can move them to a brooder box where the temps have to be 100 and drop 5 degrees every week. food and water too
    5~ lockdown is on day 18 where they would have to be moved to hatcher tray and you up the humidity up to 75% and it stays that way till all hatch. After you remove them to brooder and if you have more eggs in the bator drop humidity back to 55%. You do NOT want to open the bator durning lockdown.
    6~ The answer is NO,but just about everyone has done it some turn out fine others you will end up making it die.
    Hope this helps yu out.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  3. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    1) It really depends. Little Giant and HovaBator are popular incubators for first timers(like me). The price varies dramatically. If you are a busy individual and can't be home to flip the eggs three times a day, every day, then you would probably want to get the automatic turners. I think the Little Giants start at about 70 or 80 and the HovaBators start at around 120 or 130. You can expect to pay an extra 40-50 dollars for the automatic turners. I personally chose HovaBator.. I found it had more positive reviews than the Little Giant so I decided to pay a little bit more. You can find all of these incubators online. Shop around, some places have killer package deals.

    2) You can put as many eggs as you can cram into it. Probably 60ish for hand turning. However, if you want to use automatic turners they will both hold 42 chicken-sized eggs and 140 quail eggs. (I noticed in both product descriptions for HovaBator and Little Giant turners it says capacity is 41 eggs. But it's clearly 42.. is there a reason the description says 41? maybe someone knows why?)

    3) Temperature you want around 100 degrees. I think 99.5 to be exact. Humidity can vary a lot, temperature is definitely most crucial but water levels is good to track. You can buy addon temperature/hydrometers for the HovaBator for an extra $10. I'm sure Little Giant has something similar.

    4) When chicks are inside the shell the nutrients and water they need absorbs right into them. They need no food or water for the first three days but it's probably a good idea to get them into a nice 100*F brooder after they have dried. Be patient.

    5) Lockdown is when the eggs don't need to be turned anymore. For chickens that is day 18. For the next three days after lockdown the chickens begin to wiggle back and forth and peep. They'll eventually poke through the shell and be born.

    6) I'm still brand new to incubating myself so I'm not sure. I know in the sticky at the top of this forum there is a subject about intervening an egg that is in the process of hatching. I would check there first but from the sounds of it intervention is a last case scenario.

    This is a good place to learn about hatching. You can also watch YouTube videos. I have been collecting fertile eggs and I set my first batch tomorrow. Fingers crossed. I think it should be fine, just read read read. I've been recently trying to read the threads with people that are asking for help with their incubation problems. Lot of little tricks and tips you can learn from experienced hatchers that have dealt with every malfunction you can think of. Good luck.
  4. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    Depending on where you live will depend on what you spend I guess. I have 4 little giant still air incubators with auto turners. I paid $39.00 each for the incubators and $42.00 for the auto turners. The auto turners hold 42 eggs max.

    I just recently purchased a Dickeys Incubator and a Dickeys 5 tray hatcher. If you can afford them ( my husband got them for me, they are my forever anniversary gift I think) I would suggest the Dickeys all the way.

    The Little Giants are decent starter incubators but you have to keep an eye on them. They have a hard time holding temp and humidity.

  5. oh thank you guys! i think I'm going to go with a homemade bator. i found some and they have really good turn outs... plus they take only 25 minutes to make and only 20 dollars to make! I'm really excited! and also, what is a good price for a fertile egg?
  6. Soaring Chicks

    Soaring Chicks Soaring Hawks Farm

    Jan 3, 2010
    Egg prices depend on what breed , mix breeds( barnyard mix) if the breed is rare in high demand do to color , breed and color of your picked breed.
    Do you want just any breed for eggs/pets, breeder quilty, or show quality.
    A dozen of eggs can go for $5 up wards to a couple hundred dollors.
    If you have your own fertile eggs I would use them till you have the bator figured out. That way you are not spending money and loosing it.
    Once you build it I would run it for a few days to get temp and humidity right.
    Then I would use my own eggs or some local eggs that are cheap.
    Once you have hatched some chicks and you know it works right and you know what you have to do then I would start getting some other eggs
    Just remember shipped eggs are harder to hatch and you have to let them sit for a min of 12 hours so the air cells can reattach.
    Best of luck

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