Not happy with Little Giant ~ suggestions?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HillCountryMomma, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Songster

    Mar 16, 2008

    I'm not at all please with the Little Giant incubator I borrowed from a friend.

    That thing was a total pain in the butt and I had a heck of a time trying to regulate the temp within it. It was in a climate controlled (central A/C) room. The temps in the incubator would not stabilize. I put a fleece blanket folded in quarters over it and that helped some.

    The temp hovered around 100 degrees most of the time, but then for no apparent reason it would drop to 98 or rise to 102. I'd fiddle with it and get it back around 100 and it'd stay for a while, then go back to being unstable. Humidity in it did stay good. I had a mercury thermometer and a digital and a digital humidity reader. All checked out the same so I figure they're good.

    I put 24 eggs in, only got 7 chicks. One had pipped and made a big hole and died in the shell. Many eggs just didn't even develop. I had 3 or 4 that had dead embryos at different stages.

    I know the eggs are fertile. They are from my flock and my broodies had good hatch rates. I really baby sat that stupid incubator, but it was just not user friendly.

    So, what are some suggestions for other incubators that aren't horribly expensive? I want to try hatching some home grown meat birds in the near future and I need better hatch rates than that!


    ps- The 7 babies that hatched are healthy and look great. 4 EEs and 3 RIR/Buff Orpington
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I've read in the past that Little Giants are very sensitive to fluctuations in the electrical current. Others have stabilized it by putting it on a good surge protector. I can't hatch using my hovabators because of humidity problems. I finally figured out that because I have air conditioning in the summer and gas heat in the winter the humidity level in my home stays so low that the bator cannot keep it high enough to get good consistent hatches. My hatch rate for my fertile home grown eggs is around 10%. [​IMG] So I just let my hens do the job for me.
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    If I was going to buy a bator less than $150 I'd get the hovabator 1588 genesis with egg turner. It has the digital thermostat and is basically plug-n-play.

    I have two homemade cooler-bators and they are very forgiving of fluctuations in room temp, etc - but they are made not from stryofoam, but the hard plastic double walled coolers.

    Also a surge protector can help.
  4. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Quote:I totally agree-I had an LG and hated it. I got this bator and I'm in [​IMG]
  5. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I thought about going with the hovabator 1583, but then found out about the 1588...that's the one I'm going to buy within the next month or so.
  6. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Thanks y'all!

    Very interesting tip about the surge protector for the LG. We have, hmm, well... let's just call it 'interesting' electrical issues way out in the boonies where I live. Electrical variation sure could be an issue.

    I'd looked at the hovabator before and I think that may be the way I go. I'd like to spend more, but just can't justify it.

    Ideally I'd love to just use broody hens but it seems the darn birds never go broody on my schedule. [​IMG]

  7. amyquilt

    amyquilt Serama Mama

    May 17, 2008
    Amarillo, TX
    I lost 30 eggs because of the LG still air. [​IMG] I have been so upset about it over the last 2 weeks. I plan on getting the Hovabator 1588 next and hopefully won't have the issues. I just have to save up to order it.

    I was a nervous wreck with the LG. Babysat it, as well. But after 2 nights of spiking to 105 and daytime drops to 94, I was a basket case.

    As much as I'm anxious to get more eggs to hatch, I just won't do it until I have a good, predictable bator.

    I did have it plugged into a surge protector. Room pretty much stayed at the same temp. I just don't know what the issues were.
  8. keystonepaul

    keystonepaul Songster

    May 14, 2008
    One of the homes that I run for individuals with developmental disabilities had a problem with Some of the electronics in the appliances and bulbs, not lasting like they should. Electric company came out and check the power/voltage in the lines and ened up putting some sort of regulator on the line at the road and no problems since. Keystonepaul
  9. sueg6255

    sueg6255 Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    LaGrange County
    I hate my little giant too. Lost 35 eggs this last week because of one. Never again.
  10. BirdBoy88

    BirdBoy88 Angel Egg

    Dec 26, 2007
    Maybe it's just me or my bator but my Little Giant Incubator has been doing great... i get awesome rate hatches from it and the temp and humidity always stay steady [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: