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7 Years
Apr 10, 2012
Near Cobleskill, NY
I thought that I was done raising chicks for the season, but not so much.
I would like a show quality silkie for my daughter to possibly show, so I'm thinking hatching eggs from high quality stock. The more I think about it, the more excited I get! I will need an incubator, so does anyone have any suggestions on a great quality and easy to use incubator that will hold around 12 eggs for a first timer? On average, how many out of 12 will usually hatch?
Also, I need a crash course in silkie standards...anything you know of on youtube? I am a visual learner.

Thank you guys!
I'd look at the Brinsea Octagon 20 or one of the Hovabator models with a fan and autoturners. Either can be made to do well for you.

I would stay away from still air incubators and hand turning unless you just have to spend the least possible amount or are into the idea of turning the eggs yourself three times a day.
I have had great results with my Hoverbator still air. Duck eggs chicken eggs, never had a bad hatch lots between 95 to 100% lowest ever (shipped eggs) was 74% hatch rate.
What is the main difference in still egg incubators and the others that are on the market? I'm looking for a simple inexpensive incubator for 12 eggs or less. If they are really cheap, I wouldn't care to buy two. I've found one at McMurray that holds 6 - has anyone used it?
No, I haven't used those. But will answer the difference question. Still air incubators rely on a layer of air the right temperature to hatch eggs. It lays on the eggs and allows them to develop, forced air relies on an even temp. maintained throughout the incubator, provided as air is pushed around the entirety of the incubator and past the heat sources. Without a fan a forced air incubator becomes a still air incubator and you place the thermometer at the level of the eggs to be certain of your temps around them. In a forced air incubator temps are roughly the same no matter where in the incubator the thermometer is placed.

Once you start talking tiny batches and small cheap incubators, building is cheaper than buying. It's not that hard and you learn a LOT, this is from a fifty year old woman. If I can figure it out, so can you. Heck shipping alone can cover the cost of an incubator build if you're clever at finding stuff.

The reason larger incubators use air is the differing layers of eggs. Need to get an even temp more places. at the top of this topic page there is a sticky that is all about building homemade incubators. it's worth the read, even if you end up buying. Knowing how an incubator works and why eliminates a lot of the guessing. Good LUCK.
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