Incubator recommendations for cooler climates

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by zchickens, May 10, 2008.

  1. zchickens

    zchickens In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2008
    I am possibly looking at purchasing a different incubator, and wanted so feedback/words of wisdom on which brand/models of incubators people have had sucess with. Since I live up north (South Dakota) the nights can get chilly up here, even in the spring....which brings me to my problem. I currently have a brower top hatch incubator as well as a still air little giant. Both of them have difficulty keeping temperature up during the nightime hours (most of the rooms in my house will range from 62-70 degrees at night during the spring/fall/winter months). In three seperate hatches (with 64 eggs total), I have only been able to get 12 chicks. Looking at the unhatched eggs, it appears that most of them have developed past 14 days, but due to colder nights that happened to hit during the last week each of my three hatches, the majority of them do not finish development (has been very frustrating to say the least, I am beginning to believe mother nature has it "in" for me to some extent).

    I has looking at maybe the sportsman 1502, genesis, or an RCOM model, hoping that they could maintain temps better (and also that I am not having to constantly make adjustments as the temps change in the house). I have tried setting up my current incubator in multiple locations in my house, but this has not helped as even the warmest room in my house is not immune to this issue.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

  2. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    Wrap a small blanket around the incubator being careful not to block the air holes. Over the top too. Heat rises.

    My house is cool this time of year. The coal stoves would knock you out of the building if they were going. I don't have problems with my 1588 holding ok in 62 degrees. It might drop a degree but that's it.
  3. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Songster

    You could lay a heating pad under the bator, set it on low it may help keep the temp up in the bator, i would recommend putting a light towel over the heating pad first then set the bator on top...

    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  4. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Songster

    I have a GQF 1602 which is basically the same as a Little Giant and have it in the basement which is 10C or 50 degrees F. It keeps that temp 10 months of the year and warms up a bit more in midsummer. The basement is damp enough that I don't need to add water to humidify.

    The bator has no problem keeping a good temp. For the last 15 years I've run this bator in a similiar manner, here and when I lived on the farm.

    The bators make enough heat that I don't beleive that is your problem. They have a harder time dealing with fluctuating temperatures than with a constant cold temp.

    I also have an old GQF (round model) that I use as a hatcher. Both have had the "turbo fan" kit installed. I believe you can use this on your Little Giant.

    One problem I did notice is that if I remove the auto turner and hatch in the square 1602, I have to make multiple adjustments to get the temp right again. The turner is a motor and it makes heat. Now I leave the turner running and remove all the turning trays.

    I suggest that you heat a single room with an electric heater to keep room temp constant. Then add a turbo fan to the Little Giant and try again.
  5. A good incubator is the Brinsea Octagon 40, or 20 (just a smaller version). I have the 40 and it works great. It holds a constant temperature of 37.4-37.6 celsius and doesnt rise or drop with the outside temperature.
  6. zchickens

    zchickens In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2008
    Great, thanks for the advice everyone [​IMG] . I will try to insulate the top hatch and/or install a fan in the little gaint and put it in my basement for a more constant temp (didnt think a room colder than 60 degrees would work). One question, are the more expensive incubators (sportsman 1502 or rcom) worthwhile if I still can't get a constant temp?

    Another reason I am asking this is that my wife ends up monitoring the incuabator most of the time (since I am at my job most of the day and she is at home with our little one), and I want to make it less work (or no work if possible) on her, as she currently has to adjust temps and check temps quite often with our current incubators. (I also might then be able to hatch more eggs then if it isn't a burden on her... ya I know, the addiction is setting in just a bit [​IMG] ) Thanks!!

  7. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Songster

    If you are constantly fiddling with the temp then your temp wafer is due for replacement. Once the temp is set you might adjust it once a month not daily.

    Wafers are cheap and easily replaced.
  8. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    Greenfield, MA
    My 1588 fluctuates less than a degree, even when the room temp goes between 64 at night and 75 during the day. No wrapping blankets, isolating the bator into specific rooms, using heating pads, etc...

  9. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    I did my first hatch in march. I live in North eastern Ohio and it gets pretty darn cold here too.. I f you have a problem keeping temp line a big enough for the bator cardboard box with aluminum foil(dull side against the box,shiny side showing) and put your bator in it. See if you can put your bator in a room that has the most sun exposure, yet away from direct light. I guess that would be a room with south, south eastern or south western exposure. North and north western are in our house chronicly the coldest rooms. THe is also stuff called flexwatt heat tape, you usually buy it from reptile supply sites online , it might help you with your temps.

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