Incubator confusion

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Wise Woman, May 7, 2011.

  1. Wise Woman

    Wise Woman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    The Enchanted Forest
    The idea of hatching my own eggs was introduced to me by a lady I contacted to buy chicks from. After thinking about it, I thought that at some point I might want to do that. So I started researching on here about incubators, and now I wish I hadn't! I am so confused! One person will say brand x sucks get brand y. Another says I have brand x and it is wonderful and I have hatched 100's of eggs with it. One says you need this particular feature another says no you don't. Wow. First of all I had no idea so many people were into hatching eggs. Secondly, I had no idea there were so many types of incubators and thirdly, I had no idea how much they ran!

    I wanted to do this right now, but my husband has asked that I not get into this until next year as we have our hands full with a few new chicks and with building the new coop and other outdoor projects. So I have lots of time to research, but at this point, I really don't know what to even think about getting. I will only be hatching eggs for my own flock, not for breeding or selling, so it will be on a very small scale. I don't want to spend a fortune, but I don't want a piece of crap either. I really am confused by all the options out there.

    So as a new to hatching eggs person, how can I possibly decide what incubator to buy when there are so many wildly varying opinions on each and every one? Making one is not an option. I am lucky to be getting hubby to do the coop and he has no electrical skills whatsoever. If anyone has any tips on how I can sort this all out, I would love to hear them. I just need a good, dependable incubator that would hold a couple dozen eggs and doesn't cost half of my mortgage payment to buy. The more I read on here, the more confused I get so I am going to stop for now. Thank you.
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:Well, I started chicken wrangling in B.C. (before computers) and just bought one of those Styrofoam Hovabaters they sold at the feed store. I still using it nearly twenty years later---got a little duct tape on it and replaced the thermometer with a stick through digital one. And I use the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution instead of plain water to prevent bacterial blooms. So... in my case, ignorance and cheap worked.
  3. BawGock

    BawGock Songster

    Jan 21, 2009
    Idaho Panhandle, USA
    Hi Wise Woman,
    I know there are incubator "factions" on BYC [​IMG]

    I have a Hovabator 1588 Genesis, come pre-set, pretty much plug it in, add eggs and go.
    It is a styrofoam bator and holds up to 40+ chicken eggs.

    The Brinseas are more pricey and come in a bigger variety of size choices. They are really great quality and not built of foam like the hovabators.

    I would think about the amount of eggs you want to hatch and at least double that amount then pick one that accommodates that number of eggs.

    Artificial incubation expands your horizons a bit and one usually ends up wanting to hatch more.

  4. Wise Woman

    Wise Woman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    The Enchanted Forest
    Thank you! The Hobavators are in my price range and being some hold up to 40 eggs, that would certainly do for me! The Brinseas look fabulous, but I start to get heart palpitations when I look at the price. Seeing as how I just bought a new harp recently, I doubt hubby is going to let me invest that kind of money into yet another of my hobbies. Especially something I will probably only use once or twice a year at most.

    Plus, I live on a small 1/5 acre property and there is a limit to how many chickens I can keep. However, chicken keeping is growing where I live and I could probably sell the pullets quite easily. The roosters are another issue that I have to figure out how to deal with, prior to getting into this. I don't want to just start hatching eggs and then have a bunch of chickens I don't know what to do with. Not fair to the chickens.

    Are they any for sure options I should get like a fan? Or is still air ok? Seems to be varying opinions on that as well. I was tempted to just stick them in my oven as it is a vintage O'Keefe and Merritt and the pilot light keeps it at exactly 100 degrees all the time. But then I don't know about the propane fumes and if enough air flow would get in there. Plus I don't want to experiment on live animals like that. But it was a thought!

    Anyway, I might be able to ask Santa for an incubator for Christmas this year if I can decide what the heck to get. Thanks for the opinions.
  5. rarely bored

    rarely bored Songster

    Jan 22, 2011
    Central California
    Lol, I have a friend who incubated two eggs in a pie plate with a light bulb, and had them hatch. Don't ask me how though.

    The brinseas are nice, and since you aren't in a rush, maybe keep an eye out for a second hand one. Although I'm not sure if the brinsea dies before or after the hatching addiction does, since I'm a full blown addict right now.

    Hope the chickies like listening to you play the harp. [​IMG]
  6. Wise Woman

    Wise Woman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    The Enchanted Forest
    LOL, maybe my oven would work then! It is funny that we go to all this exact science to have perfect conditions. It makes me wonder how the chickens and birds do it as I am sure they are not checking the temp or the humidity while sitting on their eggs. Sometimes I think nature knows best and when man starts messing around with nature, we turn it into rocket science. Thanks for the help. I won't be looking to purchase one until the fall or winter, so I will be thinking about a higher end used one as well. Thanks.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    An incubator is a box with a heat source & a thermostat, nothing more. Used properly they will all work just fine. Which ever incubator you end up buying read & follow the instructions carefully & if you have fresh, fertile eggs you'll hatch chicks. I have used Little Giant & Hovabator still airs, the same incubators with circulating fans & wooden cabinet incubators. I hatched lots of eggs in each of them.
  8. Jessiewoodard57

    Jessiewoodard57 Songster

    Jun 2, 2010
    Bushnell, FL.
    I have used a LG and a Hovabator until I upgrated to the Hovabator 1588 my hatches were around the 50% range when I up graded I average 35 to 38 out of 42 and the ones that don't hatch are infertial. I wish I had spent the extra dollars the first time.
  9. snazzyboots

    snazzyboots Songster

    Mar 3, 2011
    i have a hovabator that hubby added a fan too. i had a lot of problems with temps before the fan. now it is awesome. you need to decide what features you NEED. do you need a turner or are you able to turn eggs 3-5 times per day? i am home a lot do i turn by hand. it all depends on your situation. you do need a thermometer and hygrometer though. good luck. you will quickly become addicted [​IMG]
  10. pdsavage

    pdsavage Sussex Monarch

    Mar 27, 2008
    Last edited: May 7, 2011

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