Incubators Which One?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 7263255, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. 7263255

    7263255 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thinking about a purchase. I want to know which incubator is best value and reliable? Gotta have a turner but don't need huge production. Any opinions?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    By limiting production you have eliminated cabinet incubators. A lot of chicks have been hatched by the inexpensive still air incubators, moderately expensive Styrofoam forced air incubators, and the better and more expensive plastic forced air incubators. They all hatch chicks. The ones on the really inexpensive end have more reliability issues but with the others it’s more about ease of operation than reliability, at least in my opinion.

    The really inexpensive ones require more monitoring than the others, temperature as well as humidity. The higher class ones with a water reservoir usually just require refilling the reservoirs when they run dry. Some models are basically a plug it in and come back three weeks later.

    I really like a forced air. With those you can take the temperature anywhere inside. With a still air model, you have to be very careful where you take the temperature. Hot air rises and you can get quite a bit of temperature difference with a change in elevation inside. That is a big ease of operation issue to me.

    Different makes and models handle humidity differently. With a lot of them the low tech solution (and less expensive solution) is to have reservoirs in the bottom that you fill with water. You are not able to immediately alter the humidity inside and you can’t get really fine adjustments. That’s the way mine is and I’m fine with that but some people prefer the ability to adjust humidity with a control.

    No matter which incubator you wind up with, do not trust any thermometers or hygrometers that come with it. Verify they are working right and make any adjustments you need to before you incubate any eggs. Look at how you adjust temperature, what the controls looks like. You need either digital controls or at least a knob of some type where small adjustments are not too hard. Once I got mine tweaked to get the temperature setting right (the factory setting was too warm) it holds really steady but it was a pain with those dip switches to get it right. The newer model 1588 have good controls but avoid one with dip switches.

    How many times a year are you going to use it? After each use you need to thoroughly sterilize it. How easy is that? I have the Styrofoam Hovabator 1588 and use it maybe 2 times a year. The plastic water reservoir tray picks up most of the mess during hatch so it isn’t too hard to clean, but I clean it outside so I have to watch the wind and be careful I don’t break it. The white Styrofoam stains too. That’s not a problem for me but some people would not like that. One with a hard plastic interior would be a lot easier and quicker to clean. If I were hatching four or five times a year I’d probably make a switch up in class because of ease of cleaning.

    I’m not going to recommend a specific incubator to you. I don’t know enough about your personality, how important price is, or how you plan to use it. I’m OK with my Hovabator now that I have the temperature setting right, but Brinsea makes a real nice incubator.
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I use the Little GIant styrofoam bator with the fan kit installed and egg turner. While it's working well for me, I wouldn't recommend it for someone that works long hours and isn't home a lot. I'm a stay at home-home schooling mom and have the availability to monitor and catch any little flunctuations. I found the perfect spot for it, no drafts, steady room temp, so my last hatch the bator stayed fairly consistant w/o too much adjustments. I switched to the dry incubation method, humidity stayed fairly even as well. While I wouldn't mind something like a Brinsea, I'm neurotic when it comes to incubating so I'd probably still be checking the bator every hour regardless of wether I had to or not...lol So, for me, it works.

    I agree, it all depends on your lifestyle, temperment and definitely finances. But I do know that if you ask which is the best, the most common answer you will get is the Brinsea...lol If you ask what's the hardest to hatch with, it would most likely be the styrofoam bators.
     

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