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opinions wanted regarding decision to purchase a Brinsea (replace LG)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CorgiHouse, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. CorgiHouse

    CorgiHouse Chirping

    Dec 4, 2010
    Boring, OR
    I know this subject has been beaten to death before - I've read tons of threads about how unpopular the LG is and how people have had such bad hatches with it, and do recommend a Brinsea or Hovabator. But I really haven't seen my questions/concerns answered in those threads, so I'm asking all you experienced people one more time to offer up your opinions and suggestions.

    Here is my situation: A couple months ago I purchased a used still air LG with auto-turner. I cleaned it up, got it set up and running for a week prior to setting my eggs. (Of course during that week is when I discovered this forum and read all the horror stories about the LG! So I was convinced I would have no chicks hatch.) During the week I figured out that if I didn't mess with the temp control when it fluctuated a little bit, it would swing back the other way on it's own. So I got it to the point where the range of temps the thermometer read was within a 'safe' zone for hatching. I then set eggs from my own chickens. To shorten this story, everything was uneventful for the 3 weeks, and the temps at the level of the eggs stayed between approx. 99 - 101.5 and I had 9 chicks hatch out of 12 fertile eggs.
    They did hatch a day early, so assume the temps were a bit warm.

    So I feel that my hatch was pretty darned successful and I didn't have any horrible things happen with the LG. Now I want to purchase some eggs to hatch, and since they are obviously more difficult to hatch, I'm wondering if the odds are I'll have a 'normal' success rate (I would expect shipped eggs to have a lower success rate than local eggs even in the best bators) or is it possible that these more 'sensitive' eggs will have a much better chance in a better bator? I don't want to risk my more expensive, valuable purchased eggs.

    I also do want to continue hatching eggs and would like to have a nice bator that I can trust, but I'm having a hard time justifying to my hubby AND myself the need to spend money on a new Brinsea when my LG worked just fine for my first and only bator hatching experience. The other concern I have is that if I continue using the LG is it likely to start having more issues and problems as it gets more used?

    Any info and suggestions are welcome. I'm trying to decide this weekend so that if I buy a Brinsea, I can get it while the good deals are on and I will have it before I purchase my much desired eggs. [​IMG]

  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I wish I could answer your questions but I am a home built incubator guy. I was able to build a huge bator for around $50 that works very well.

    Anyway - my opinion on this would be if it isn't broke dont fix it.

    I think the "difficulty" a lot of people experience with incubators is the extreme need to mess with things.

    If you have had good results with it than I'd say keep going.

    Shipped eggs they say are less likely to hatch because of the abuse given to them by the post office. I am hatching my first batch now - I had 2 out of 60 break in shipping.

    I just culled the 'clear' eggs yesterday & found 7 really were clear - 3 were not - in any case - that means out of my 60 original shipped eggs 12 were broken or didnt start.

    so - a little over a week in & 20% of my shipped eggs are gone.

    I have 2 weeks to go - I'm expecting another 15 eggs to fail between here & there. for a hatch rate of 50%

    I'll have to let you know how it goes -but if you go in expecting half to fail - you will not be disappointed when they do.
  3. Baralak

    Baralak Songster

    The main problem with the LG is consistancy. Basically if you look at the mechnical aspects of it, it is about the same as a hova-bator 1602n with the exception that it doesn't use a wafer thermostat.

    I think that deciding on which bator you want is to answer a few questions in regards to what you want to do. And as well the price range.


    1. How many eggs do you want to hatch at a time? The brinsea makes several different models, the Mini, the Octagon 20, The Octagon 40, The Ova-Easy.. Hova makes several models, but all of their table top models hatch the same amount, except for the sportsman. If you are setting small clutches then the Mini would be the way to go. The Octagon 20 will hold 2 dozen standard hen eggs, with the 40 holding 4 dozen. The Hova-Bator series hold 42 eggs with the turner. The Sportsman and Ova-Easy hold a Crap load of eggs. The mini Eco is a manual turner, the Mini Advance is an auto turner, the Octagon the turner is seperate.

    2. Still air, or Forced air? Hova makes both forced and still air incubators. Brinsea makes both as well, but not in the above mentioned bators. Those are all forced air. Forced air incubators have a more consistant temp than still air hands down.

    3. How untouchable do you want to be? Brinsea makes all of their bators (forced air) in an Advance, and in an Advance EX form. This allows the use of a humidity pump, not only temp monitoring and adjustment, but also humidity. Of course you are going to pay for those features.. But if you are someone that works 50-60 hours weekly and almost never home, that would be the way to go.

    There are other situations that you can answer only, budget, time budget, your acceptable ratio, ect. Those are external to what they do.
  4. CorgiHouse

    CorgiHouse Chirping

    Dec 4, 2010
    Boring, OR
    Quote:First off, thank you both for your answers so far.......

    Baralak - this is all great info, and mosty things that I have already thought about and researched. To give a bit more info about my situation: I do need a fairly 'hands off' bator since I work full time away from home, and I'm gone some evenings too. But with that said, the humidity was not an issue for me. I live in a reasonaby humid environment, and I did a modified 'dry incubation' technique which seemed to work easily and without having to babysit. I know also that it had warm and cool spots, and I'm sure that played a part in the few eggs that developed but did not hatch.

    So I have already made my choice of the Brinsea Octogon Eco if I do purchase a new bator.
    But to simplify my questions, I guess, is to ask if the odds are good that the LG will continue to offer me the level of consistency I had with my first and only hatch? Or was I just lucky? And even if it does, are shipped eggs with all their 'scrambling' likely to be MUCH more successful in a better bater or can I expect the typical 50% hatch rate in my LG the way it worked with my own eggs?

    Thanks again!
  5. newlyweds

    newlyweds Pearl of the Prairie

    Mar 12, 2010
    Southeast Texas
    Personally I use both a Hovabator genesis and a LG forced air. I think if your LG is working well for you, and you had great results with it, why mess with a good thing.

    I use both because I hatch alot and always have staggered hatches, mostly I use my LG for incubating and the hovabator for hatching. My preference is the hovabator because it keeps and maintain the temp and humidity much better.

    I do think that installing the forced air fan into your LG is worth while and you will get better hatches. Best of luck to you.
  6. Robo

    Robo Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    If you want something that will last buy a brinsea or hova bator. My LG had 120 quail eggs in it all spring and summer long. The bottom leaks like crazy so I put fiberglass boat paint over it and it seems to work pretty good. My thermostat control unit went out so I took one off of my other that the heating element was busted out of and it works pretty good. I think I'll put a wafer on it so I don't have to keep fixing that dang electric thing from China. I am making a home made cabinet because I am tired of ice chests. I will end up putting $100 in it.
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The Brinsea incubators are rock solid steady with temperatures AND recover temp very quickly. I saw you were going to go with the ECO model, so I hope you're planning on getting the auto-turner with it. Especially since you work and won't be around to turn the eggs during the day. Additionally, a plastic case is TONS easier to clean and disinfect/sterilize.

  8. Robo

    Robo Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    I clean all of my incubators with bleach. I just splash it on and then scrub.

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