Is there a cheap, small-ish 'bator out there?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 1, 2008
North Central Alabama
I'm looking for a bator, preferbly under $50 that I can use to hatch some chicks (chickens only, not quail or anything else).
Also, it doesn't need to be big; 20 egg capasity would be more than eough (in reality, 10 would be pleanty, LOL).
With one that small, would it be better to just build one? Or are there any out there like the one I would need?
I'm looking to start my own small Welsummer flock this spring.


In the Brooder
12 Years
Jan 3, 2008
I bought 2 at tractor supply for $41 each. Still air and they work just great! Do you have a tractor supple near you? At a smaller downtown store they had the exact model for $60, so it pays to look around.


Barista Queen
11 Years
Mar 5, 2008
Tractor Supply must be an Eastern thing-I have never heard of it, but I see lots of mentions here. We have Wilco, Coastal Farm and Big-R stores in Oregon
Off topic, I know. Ok, ok, I'll add to the topic-I got a LG for $40 at my farm store and it works ok so far!

Leslie In North Pole

12 Years
Mar 7, 2007
North Pole, AK
(Now, Stevie,

How can you say you feel bad for selling your original bator? I still have it, getting ready to add a fan to it and set it up as a hatcher as I am going to be steadily hatching over the next couple of weeks.

Pheasants due to hatch on the 28th, geese on the 1st, chicks the 4th, muscovies the 8th, and turkeys the 13th..... I plan on putting it to good use, wish me luck.)


You can always fill some of the empty space with clean rocks or sealed containers of water to help control temp swings. Steady humidity levels are the most important in the last three days, once you stop turning the eggs, so there shouldn't be too much of an issue as you shouldn't be opening the bator at that time. Just make sure you place a couple of thermometers in different spots in your bator and a hydrometer so you are aware of any "cool" or "warm" spots in your bator.

As to the difference in the LG and the hovas, I have found that the LG with a fan that I have running right now is more prone to temp swings, where in my hova with a fan stays steadier. With close monitoring, both are running smoothly.

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