incubators you like and dislike. (please state why)

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I'm not all fluff
12 Years
May 5, 2007
central maine
I'll start. I have had 3 incubators.
the first, a RX7, never hatched a thing. was still learning but my problem was every time I would open in incubator the tray would fill with water and in maine, I have since learned, you don't always need to put any water for humity.
2nd was the little dome incubator (it's actally the 3rd but I'm getting there)
works great, hatched 3 chicks last yr, just needed to fuss a bit with the foil to make the temp right.
and my last- an avey incubator (let's just say it's pricey) . a set it and forget type. but get this, it is all custom made and the owner doesn't service what he makes after 1 yr. so mine is now breaking down, the ABS plastic in the turner is degrading. they have upgraded to a new model (all plastic instead of wood) and he won't cut me out a few pieces of ABS plastic for the turner even if I pay him.
he's got his money and I'm sure laughed all the way to the bank. So I have found a turner that will fit inside this one and want to let everyone know, avoid the avey incubator unless you are a handyperson (in that case, you'd probably build one yourself! and save all that money).
I will say the Avey did teach me a few things: mainly the humity in maine. I need to add water for fall hatches but not in the spring, they'll drown. and 2nd, don't buy custom made, expensive doesn't always save you money in the long run.
There are LOTS of threads here on incubators - who recommends what and why.

Doing a forum search would probably net you the quickest result.

Reading the Sticky at the top of the forum about hatching would have told you about humidity.

I started with a small foam LG. It worked but I didn't like it. It was small, cramped, low ceilinged and I burnt my hands on the element to often. If hatching in cartons, chick were very near the element as they hatched. Foam incubators will clean and disinfect but you have to be careful of the foam and the cleaning.

Hovabators are better built and more expensive than LGs but what I didn't like - size and cramped and element - was still roughly the same.

So I learned here to build my own. First a large foam one - then a metal cooler based one, now I have two - one a black mini-fridge one - Darthbator, and a hatcher made from an eight bottle, wine cooler - the Little Red Corvette. I'm using those while I save for a well recommended, well researched cabinet bator made by a man named Mr. Dickey. Dickeys come well recommended.

So do a couple of other large cabinet bators.

Brinsea makes a well recommended bator but the options are generally 20 or 40 eggs and sometimes I'm going to want to do 100 and more. So I'm not paying cabinet bator prices to do only 20 or 40 eggs.

What I learned most was it pays to read everything on hatching before investing $$$$ in bators or eggs.

I've learned more about what I want in a bator and how they work by building my own than I would have if I'd bought into something that just "did it" out of the box.

And I found it valuable. Some folks just "want it to always work" and don't have any driving need to figure out how or why, or what else might work.

Neither way is better, just different.

If you want plug it in and it works, the Hovabator Genesis with Turner, or the low or high end Brinseas are usually good for it, if you're only into small batches.

Larger batches require cabinets. I'll let people who have them address model numbers.
ROCK SOLID advice re: searching the forums. I did a lot of searches on the incubator I had in mind and it convinced me to go with what I wanted.

There's some things in my life I never cut corners on:

kitchen appliances
car stereos
home stereos and tvs
coffee beans and coffee makers (and now coffee bean ROASTERS)
salon quality shampoo & conditioner

These are all things I use a lot and the extra money spent amortizes itself out well over time.

To that list I am glad I added a decent Brinsea 20 ECO incubator. We just completed our first hatch. The thing held temps rock solid, for a first timer we had a decent hatch rate (6 healthy frizzle chicks out of 16 eggs that waited 5 days for the incubator to arrive). When the hatching started I had to assist a couple chicks. I opened the bator, did what I had to do, spritzed the eggs with a warm water mist and within minutes of me closing it back up temps and humidity were right back there. Then after the hatch the babies dried out and were able to see us and visit before we moved them to the brooder.

The clean up was so easy, I sprayed everything with a bleach clean up spray, then washed the base, tray and dividing wires in a sink of very hot soapy water. Whalla !!! No hassles...

It's worth getting a decent incubator. You cut corners on cost eventually the headaches you get with something cheap come back to haunt you. With the autoturner all I had to do was mark the calendar and PM memebrs on my progress... I like simple and no headache type machines. Brinsea ECO 20 did it for me.
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I have an Little Giant Still Air, no turner and it works great!! I've had no problems with it at all, and I've had 90% hatch rates!

PM me for any advice or tips on it!

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