Incubator Advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JasonM2, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. JasonM2

    JasonM2 New Egg

    Aug 14, 2016
    Hi All,
    Thank you for taking a look at my questions.
    I'm looking to purchase a new incubator. I just had a couple of questions in regards to some of the incubators I've been looking at:
    -How should the eggs sit in the incubator? (vertical or horizontal)
    -How much should the eggs turn, is rocking back and forth once every 2 hours enough?
    -We are after a larger incubator (24 eggs) do you have any suggestions of incubators that aren't too expensive (around the $100-$200 mark)?
    A photo below is one that I have been looking at.
    Thank you

  2. Kat5185

    Kat5185 Just Hatched

    Aug 14, 2016
    Eastern North Carolina
    I'm glad I'm not the only one. I am completely overwhelmed by the thought of hatching my own eggs. My mother in law bought me a still air unit and I'm so afraid to use it. I know they can be tricky. It's been running for 3 days and (I'm laughing at myself) I'm terrified to put my eggs in it!!!!
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    1 person likes this.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    -How should the eggs sit in the incubator? (vertical or horizontal)

    Some incubators are made to hold the eggs vertical, fat side up, skinny side down. This keeps the air cell where it is supposed to be. If you incubate them skinny side up the air cell can move and these eggs usually don’t hatch. Remember, skinny side down. Some incubators are made to just lay the eggs flat, much like they are in a hen’s nest. These work fine too.

    -How much should the eggs turn, is rocking back and forth once every 2 hours enough?

    There are different reasons you turn the eggs. It helps keep the yolk or developing chick from touching the inside of the egg shell where it can stick and dry out through the porous shell before a protective membrane forms. Eventually a membrane will form around the developing chick to protect it from sticking to inside of the shell if it does touch. Eventually it will get so big it touches. Turning also helps the body parts form in the right places. It probably has other beneficial effects.

    Some people turn as few as three times a day and do OK, but studies have shown that more is a little better. Every two hours would be tremendous.

    -We are after a larger incubator (24 eggs) do you have any suggestions of incubators that aren't too expensive (around the $100-$200 mark)?

    I’m not at all familiar with that incubator. I have no idea what country you are in or what incubators may be available for you. Modifying your profile to show general location can help with a lot of questions. Different incubators have different features. Some are easier to use but these are generally more expensive. A lot of chicks are hatched in the inexpensive ones but you generally have to work harder and may (or may not) have more issues. One thing I’d consider is how often you are going to use it. If you hatch a lot I’d suggest spending the money and getting one that takes less work and may be more dependable.

    There is a lot of personal preference in this and we all have different preferences, but the features I like are an automatic turner, a fan for forced air, and one that is fairly easy to adjust the temperature. Never rely on factory settings, sometimes you have to fine tune the temperature. Some are easier to adjust than others. You want a good window so you can see what is going on in there during hatch. Some are easier to adjust the humidity than others. You don’t have to be as precise in keeping the humidity perfect like you do with temperature, but being able to adjust humidity easily is certainly a nice to have. To me it’s not a deal-breaker. But a lot of chicks are hatched in the inexpensive still air incubators where you have to fiddle to get the humidity right. They work.
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    [​IMG] I am going to start my opinions with what type of incubator. In the $100-200 range I would suggest looking at the Hovabator models. The 1588 is presently a popular model if you want digital. The 1583 is a nice compromise if you don't need or want the digital controls. No matter what incubator you get, make sure you check the thermometer and hygrometer against a known accurate thermometer. Many of these incubator's gages are off and people loose hatches because temps aren't right.

    Like Ridgerunner said, different models have different options to set the eggs in regards to "horizontal/verticle". Some you can do either. If you go with a styro with the automatic turner, most are verticle and they turn at an angle completeing a full rotation over 4 hours. There are newer turners out now that the eggs lay on their sides and the turner "rolls" the eggs, mimicking the more natural way. Even though I have a turner, I prefer to hand turn my eggs. They lay horizontally and I turn 3 times a day. If I can get in a couple extra turns, I'll do 5, but normally 3 is what they get.

    The incubator you are looking at appears to be a Janoel knockoff, often called the "chinese incubator." I'm leary about those. The Janoels aren't bad from what I heard, but most of what I've seen with the "knockoffs" isn't the greatest. I'd trust Hovabator more even though they are styros. I use an old LG9200 styro bator and have great hatches. The Hovabators are a world better than mine.

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