Incubator: I need to make an investment call


10 Years
Aug 11, 2011
Upshur County, Texas
I'm looking at an incubator for investment purposes. I would like to be hatching heritage and rare breed turkeys, ducks, chickens and geese, maybe quail or pigeon (just to keep options open.) I'm even open to producing balut for market if I had the opportunity and learned how.

My original mental budget was around 500$ but if I go with a sportsman cabinet it's going to be more like 1000$. Used incubators or building are not an option, there's just none available locally, and I'm not super confidant in my handy skills to restore an antique one anyway.

It needs to be as set and forget as possible. I work from home online, plus the farm, plus 4 kids and other livestock so ideally I'd save eggs for the week, do a tray of each breed, and virtually just maintain it by marking the calendar, checking humidity and temp levels and otherwise not touching it till I take chicks out.

It needs to be easy to clean.

It needs to be reliable. I'm not skilled at tinkering and I probably wont have a lot of cash to throw at repairs or replacements until it starts to pay me back after a few hatches.

I'm currently considering the Brinsea Ovation EX 56 vs. the GQF Sportsman 1502

If you have any other suggestions, or experience with these or a different incubator I'd love to hear it. I'm already making a considerable investment into breeding stock but it's all for nothing if I can't get a rock solid reliable hatch, particularly if I'm having to start a breed via shipped eggs. I've had a brinsea octagon ECO before and it was good for cleaning and maintaining humidity in a super arid environment but the heating element wore out after about 4 years and I couldn't figure how to get it fixed. I've never even touched a cabinet so I don't know anything that I didn't read online.
I got a Brinsea OvaEasy 100 advance, and I gladly recommend that.

I'd definitely recommend not going for anything smaller than that. Duck- and goose eggs are pretty large, and I'll guarantee that you find yourself in need of more space ;) (mine is ALWAYS full...)

One thing I DON'T like about the Ovaeasy is that it's not a good hatcher. The fans on top are hard to clean for feather dust. I use a regular old incubator for a hatcher. I think that's a good solution anyway, 'cause I can incubate eggs with different hatching time without disrupting the humidity and temp.
Yeh I have a Brisnea Ovation 28EX and Ova-Easy 190 EX.

I would recommend either, I get amazing hatch rates, I use the Ova-Easy 190 as my setter than transfer to the 28EX for my hatching, but I set a tray each week.

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