Incubator - Do I need one?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by porkchop48, May 10, 2011.

  1. porkchop48

    porkchop48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Malta, OH
    The move to the mini farm is fast approaching.

    I think I have my duck type picked out and still up in the air with the chickens.

    So on to my next question - Most eggs will be collected for egg easting but I would like to raise up some chicks ( duck and chicken) for eating. Do I have to have an incubator or can I let a broody do it?

    So if I have to get one, I will. And if that is the case... Any suggestions on a good one?
  2. pdsavage

    pdsavage Sussex Monarch

    Mar 27, 2008
    Well some people never have their hens go broody.Also you never know when they will go broody.
    You can either make or buy incubators cheap,if you just want to hatch eggs for fun.
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  3. Batty about Banties

    Batty about Banties Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2011
    I am doing both....broody hen and a home made incubator! It was cheap and relatively easy to make......Good Luck! [​IMG]
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I do not do ducks so I cannot talk about those.

    As far as chickens, it depends a lot on your individual chickens. Some breeds tend to go broody fairly rarely , yet others will a lot more often. It usually follows how much of a production breed the chicken is or if they are mainly for decoration. People usually don't care if a fancy chicken goes broody or not, so most of them still have the broody instinct pretty strongly. But with chickens that are kept for production, a broody hen is not welcome. Their job is to lay eggs. Incubators are around to hatch eggs. A broody hen is eating and drinking, is not producing anything of value and requires extra manpower to handle her. If you systematically kill any hen that goes broody, after a few generations you have a flock of hens that do not go broody very often.

    You can look on Henderson's Breed Chart when selecting your breeds to see which may be more likely to go broody. Hatchery chickens are more in the "production" category because they are supposed to lay eggs for the incubators, not hatch them. They probably will not go broody quite as often as the Chart says they might. But it is a very individual thing. Some Rhode Island Reds go broody and they are notorious for not going broody.

    Henderson’s Breed Chart

    I have a flock of mixed dual purpose breeds that are generally known to go broody, at least occasionally, Orpington, Australorp, Sussex, and Delaware. I occasionally have one go broody but not often enough to keep me in meat chickens. I have an incubator and usually hatch twice a year with it.

    It sounds like you are not going to hatch commercially, so you probably do not need a cabinet type incubator. A tabletop model should be good enough for you. There are three basic kinds of these incubators most used by people on this forum, Little Giant, Hovabator, Brinsea. I don't know about the Little Giant, but the Genesis Hovabator 1588 and the Brinsea Eco-20 are the most used models and the ones I'd suggest you consider. The Little Giant is the least expensive and the Eco-20 the most. As you would expect, the more you pay the more reliable and easy to use they are. I chose the 1588, mainly because I am only going to use it a couple of times a year. If I were doing more hatching, I'd have chosen the Eco-20.

    Whichever model you get, I highly recommend you get one with a turner. That makes life so much easier. It is well worth it. And get a forced-air model, not a still air. They are just easier to use and more consistent in your hatch.

    Anyway, that's my opinion on it. Good luck!
  5. srsmith69

    srsmith69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    In order to fully experience the addictive quailities of this new hobby of yours, you definitely need an incubator. Just think about it. If you apply high levels of heat to an egg over a short amount of time, you get breakfast. Low levels of heat applied to the same egg over a 21 day period, and you get a cute little fluffy bundle of proof that God exists.
  6. porkchop48

    porkchop48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Malta, OH
    Quote:Thank you - This was exactly what I was looking for.

    We will not be doing commercial. I just want enough to not have to buy chicken at the store :) And enough for the occasional get together to have a spit full of chickens :)

    Turner - I will make sure to get one with a turner.

    Off to check out incubators.

    Thank you all for your help

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