Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lynzi777, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2012
    Woodstock, CT
    Thinking about trying to hatch some eggs on my own and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for incubators? I've been looking around online at Tractor Supply as well as EBay but it seems as though the reviews on them are equal as far as people who were happy and unhappy with the product. So I figured I'd ask on here. I really don't want to spend a whole lot of money on one - the price at TSC of $39.99 was about as high as I was willing to spend on one. Thanks!
  2. leirob007

    leirob007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2012
    Upstate South Carolina
    well, there is going to be a lot of mixed feelings on this one. I'm not sure if at Tractor supply you are looking at the little giant or the Hovabator. but in that price range I know it is a still air your looking at. I personally have mixed emotions on those two. I own and use both of them. I much prefer the construction of the Hovabator. it's a lot heavier and fits together quite tightly. The Little Giant looks like it will leak a lot and is not near as sturdy. The Hovabator comes with a liner for the bottom that the little giant lacks.
    With all that said which probably dosen't mean a lot to you.
    Both will work.

    it is very very very important, especially in the little giant, that you group the eggs in the center of a still air. hatch times can vary due to inconsistant temps inside a still air without a fan to mix it up . So don;t get excited if some eggs don't hatch till day 23.

    Your not running a turner, so do not dilly dally around when your turning your eggs. your letting the heat and humidity out.

    A GOOD hygrometer is your best friend. I like the ones with the remote probe you can pick up for around 14 bucks online. Don't worry about keeping the humidity dead on 50% ( I actually let mine drop to about 10% before adding a glass of water every few days) and I don't close the vents.

    The Hovabator with the "wafer thermostat" does maintain a steadier temp then the Little Giant does. and that caused me some real concern at first.. but. in the real world.. it just dosent make any difference at all that the Hovabator maintains 99.5-100.5F and dose not range much more then that at all when my Little Giant has been known to ride a 97F - 102F wave all day long and the hatch results are the same.
    I hope I did not bore you.
    I hope you find some of this reassuring
    I hate I get long winded but if I cut my answers too short you may miss something that may save you some aggravation.

    RULE 1 most failures come from being overly cautious.
    RULE 2 failures will continue to be failures if your too scared to experiment.

    And do not get discouraged if your hatch rate is between 30% and 60%
    Adding a fan and a turner will kick it up in the 80% to 100%
    You can add those things over a period of time if you get the " hatchin bug "
  3. Nikkipar

    Nikkipar Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a LG, and it died on hatch day.... long story short killed all my eggs. The second one I got was tempermental and hard to dial in, and if where you have it changes temp from day to night you will need to adjust often. I was a headache. The next hatch a chick took out the fan attachment (I hear ALL THE TIME how important airflow is), and killed all but 4 of my chicks due to temp drop while no one was at home.

    After that my husband sprung for the Hovabator 1588 which is digitally regulated, built WAY BETTER, and has a price tag to match. It also monitors the humidity and has better trays for holding the necessary water. I don't know what to tell you, except I have always believed that the right tools make the job easier. I have seen used models of the hovabator.... and if it works I would go for something that will ensure that your experience is 1. successful and 2. as painless as possible. Another mom I know had several failed batches with the LG and is springing for the hovabator too.
  4. wsonphan80

    wsonphan80 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2011
    Pioneer, CA
    I know it's way more than you'd like to spend but I bought a Brinsea Eco 20 for $110 and couldn't be happier! It's my first incubator so I can't compare it to any other brands but so far it has worked flawlessly. Just pour some water in, set your eggs, and plug it in.
  5. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    I have four LGs I bought from TSC and I ran those things year round for two years. The biggest thing to keep in mind, is put them in a room that maintains fairly constant temp and humidity, go in the room fairly often and just check the temp and humidity in the incubators. Once you get them dialed in before you set the eggs, don't mess with them. When you put the eggs in the temp will drop and it may take hours, no big deal. Same thing for when you turn the eggs.

    Remember people that a hen will get off her nest at least once a day to eat and poop. Sometimes for up to 45 min. at a time. I am not suggesting you open your incubator for that length of time, just don't panic when turning the eggs or candeling them. Go slow, take your time, or sure as shooting you will drop one and thats the time to panic.

    LGs can get temp spikes, thats why I recommend checking on them every so often. If they do spike and you catch it, dont panic, lower the temp and proceed as if nothing happend. Many times the hatch will not be affected, and there is nothing you can do about it anyway.

  6. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2012
    Woodstock, CT
    Thanks Everyone! I really appreciate it!
  7. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I just went through my first hatch with an LG I bought at TSC. I also bought the egg turner, which is almost a requirement. If you don't buy it you need to be around more often to turn the eggs. I also added my own computer fan which was really easy. So out of my first hatch I set 24 eggs and hatched out 14. 6 of the ones that did not hatch were all black copper marans eggs. I think most of my failure were my own fault. I know I oened the incubator a lot more than I ever should have. Still though, 14 out of 24 is like 58% hatch rate. I don't think that's all that bad. if I could do it all over again I would buy the Brinsea Eco 20. That one appears to be a more set it and forget it kind of bator.
  8. Nomibear

    Nomibear Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2012
    Pleasanton Tx
    My Coop
    Thanks everyone, All the info is helping me out too. I want to hatch my own eggs, but have struggled with the prices of the "good Brands" What would be a fair price to pay for a used Hova Bator 1588? i found someone who is selling a used one for $150....
  9. FarmerBrian72

    FarmerBrian72 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    Fall Harvest Products now has a Circulated Air Incubator. It has larger viewing windows than LG comes with a stock fan. Instead of a metal mesh bottom theirs is plastic so it won't rust or scratch up the sides of your incubator and it has a liner. I think it is the best table top incubator for the money. sells them for $89.95 has a package deal called the FHP-1000 that includes an egg turner (this is the one i bought) for $109.95.

    Hope this helps!
  10. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I bought a farmers innovators 4200 that came with a fan and egg turner. I absolutely love it and have had very successful hatches when the eggs are decent and not dirty. I paid 117 which included tax and shipping.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012

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