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Incubator and Hatcher

Discussion in 'Quail' started by UndergroundQuailRoad, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. UndergroundQuailRoad

    UndergroundQuailRoad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2010
    So, I have decided I want to feed my bobwhite hatching addiction this spring. Last summer I had some good success hatching in my Brinsea Mini Advance... then bought an EcoGlow Brooder from Brinsea and really liked that too! I am a fan of Brinsea, based upon my experiences up to this point, and was thinking of skipping up over the Octagons and getting an Ova-Easy, but then started thinking about numbers and logistics.

    I plan on having 8 hens this spring and would like to incubate in staggered hatches, with a separate hatcher for lock down. I am estimating about 6 eggs/day for a 20 day incubation cycle (23 days-3 days lock down), totaling a 120 egg capacity necessary. The cabinet stopped making sense to me when I realized it was a about twice as much capacity as I need and that I couldn't bump the humidity up in the hatching basket. I am back to thinking about buying two octagons (40 and a 20) or two used GFQ/Dickys cabinets.

    I am wondering if anyone has experience/wisdom to impart regarding staggered hatches and/or what I should be looking for in a hatcher in particular? Which incubators do the best job of maintaining humidity? What other considerations for hatching more quail am I missing? I am open to other brands, but have had a good experience with Brinsea so I thought it was a good point to move forward from.
     
  2. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    I have never had any problems with staggered hatches in one cabinet incubator. I don't increase the humidity in it for hatching at all and have great hatch rates. Rarely do I get eggs to lockdown that don't hatch out with this method. I say go for the cabinet incubator, because then you can hatch anything you want, or offer incubation services to others. :)
     
  3. steveovergard

    steveovergard Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2012
    I am sure there will be some disagreement, but this is my method and it works good for me. I have a Sportsman 1202 which we bought used. It has been running non-stop for months and months and months. We put in eggs whenever we get them . We mark the eggs and chart them so we can keep track of what is what and when it was put in and when it should go to the hatcher(s) . We easily maintain 50-55 % humidity by just keeping the water pan from going dry and adjusting 2 of the 6 vents. We recently had 7 hatches in a row (quail) that were 100%. I have been told that the Sportsman can incubate something like 1200 quail eggs at a time. Whew !

    Once the eggs are ready to go to the hatcher, we move them to one of 3 Little Giant Styrofoam incubators and we just keep the water reservoir at least half full. The humidy level in the Little Giants runs in the low 40's usually and is nearly impossible to control with any degree of accuracy. Having 3 seperate hatchers allows me to run big hatches or quail in one, chickens in another , and ducks in the 3rd all at the same time.

    We have had good hatch rates with both quail, chickens. and ducks. I think we would do even better if we hatched in the Sportsman, but it drives me nuts not knowing what is going on . My Sportsman does not have a window in the door, so I know I would be peeking too often, and that is not good. Also, the hatching makes a huge mess and that would be hard to keep clean and run the incubator correctly.

    I am not fond of the Little Giants because the thermostats are so sensitive and erratic at times. But at least with this arrangement, I can pretty much hatch whatever is ready to come out of the incubator and into the hatcher. And I can see what is going on through the plastic window. In the near future, I would like to get a GQF hatcher with a door that I can see through.
     
  4. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm the same with the LG's. I used to have the 1588 and a LG. I turned the LG into a hatcher and then just gave up on it. It was easier to just pull the plug on the turner in the 1588 and let them hatch in there, even with staggered hatches, than to mess with the LG. I had much better hatch rates, because those LG's are just awful, lol.
    For hatching in the cabinet, I put paper towels down to keep the mess to a minimum. As for watching, I typically have so much hatching in a row that I don't pay too much attention to it anymore. Easier for me to just check on them each day to pull out the dry chicks.
     
  5. UndergroundQuailRoad

    UndergroundQuailRoad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Thanks for the input Steve and Betta. What I am taking away from this is there are a couple ways to keep things clean when hatching. I am still weary about the mess of hatching in styrofoam or in the cabinet and gettting things clean for the next hatch, seems to be no good answer other than buy more things... Well thanks for the input.
     
  6. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    In all honesty, I don't have too much of a problem with cleaning the cabinet. Just a quick wipe down with some bleach. I did the same for the 1588, though the nice thing about the 1588 was the plastic liner for humidity control, it was fairly easy to get clean and covered most of the bottom, though, yes, there were still stains in it. :/
     
  7. steveovergard

    steveovergard Out Of The Brooder

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    One of the advantages of having three hatchers going is you can rotate one out for cleaning and still be ok. If you had only one, it would be difficlt to put things on hold and do the cleaning. With the Little Giant, the bottoms are a mess after every hatch. I just knock as much stuff off as possible in the laundry sink and then put it in the top rack of the dishwasher. I turned off the sani-rinse cycle and the heated drying option becasue I was concerned the extra heat would melt the styro. If you are running the hatcher non-stop, you can always use the top of one and switch it to the bottom of a clean one and not (hopefully) loose the calibration . Once you get those things finally set on the temperature dont unplug them. Don't breath or sneeze or belch or anything !
     

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