purchasing an incubater and eggs VS buying hatched chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by raisinemright, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. raisinemright

    raisinemright Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are going to expand our flock this spring from 6 to around 30. I would like to purchase an incubator or build one myself. has anyone got any leads on good info for doing either? or would it be better to just buy hatched chicks and raise them up? thanks
     
  2. Dwkuska

    Dwkuska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well buying hatched chicks gives you a for sure count of chicks as hatching usually isnt going to give you 100% hatch rate. Another thing to consider is price. I have seen hatching eggs for $35 per half dozen but I can buy day old chicks for $2-3. The benefit to an incubator is if you have a rooster of same breed(or not I suppose) you can hatch your own eggs. Also with an incubator you get to keep an eye on your lil peepers from the day they were laid till the day they die. Though once you have your eggs an incubator will still mean another 20ish~ days till they hatch.

    I guess what I am trying to say is both have their pro's and cons. I guess you have to decide how much $$$ and effort you want to put into it. Good luck with your decision and keep us posted!!
     
  3. cmonkey4

    cmonkey4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have built an incubator, and it ended up costing maybe 35$, but that is just on the digital thermostat (25$) and the dimmer switch (5$-10$), which I use instead of a thermostat. I got the body, a cooler, for free from a neighbor. I took apart some old lamps and did some re-wiring for the heat. I use a small Tupperware container for water, and I already had a small USB fan. Hope this helps!
     
  4. chickkrzi

    chickkrzi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do what I did and ask yourself a few question.
    Do i need to know exactly how many hatchllings i have at any given time?
    Do i need to control just how many hens to roosters?
    Im not will to feed all my chick for 3 months then find out 50-60% are roosters.
    Can I cull, sale or give away any unwanted rooster?
    If your answer is yes to more than one. Buy from a hatchery. They have more than you can handle and most are very reasonably priced.
    BUT...
    If you dont mine having all those problem! And have the time to spend 10 or so minutes 3 times a day for 20ish days.
    OR
    If you are one who doesn't mind worrying for 20ish days and nights over a little box with soon to be new flock members with fuzzy little butts. Then by all means "GET A INCUBATOR " . Your family will have fun with it. Every afternoon my 7 year old grandson and i turn the eggs. And he'll always ask me... papaw how many more days until the chicks come out to play. And I'll tell him ooo not much longer ( as I'm crossing my fingers that just a few will hatch).
    Me I've been using a LG for the last 3 yrs. Is was a used one and i added a PC fan. Had some good hatches and bad. But the bad ones where some silkies i got from someone else. They where 50% hatch rate. The LG will have some temp swings and you have to check it at lest 3 times a day in order to make adjustments. I'm thinking about building me one this spring. Just not going to be out of a Styrofoam cooler. Might want to check out a few of these sites.
    Really good Homemade incubator
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubator-incubator
    Lots of homemade incubators
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/homemade-chicken-egg-incubator-designs-pictures
    How to use a incubator.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101
    And some reviews of store bought incubators. (Listed as highest rated).
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/egg-incubators?sort=rating
    Wish you luck
     
  5. raisinemright

    raisinemright Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for this reply, I am torn between building or buying a incubator, and just purchasing chicks! I am fairly handy and I know I can build one. but would it turn out any better than a cheap bought one. I want layers and not roos, so for that im leaning towards hatched chicks. But I would love for me and my family to watch over a box with eggs soon to be chicks in it!! My kids would have a ball with that. But cost is a factor I dont need the best equipment but I would like quality. I guess im just torn between what to do and when to do it. I dont know enough about incubators to tell a good one from a poor one, all I know is I want a fan and auto turner, if I would go that route. Does anyone know if the bators Tractor supply carry are any good, (Miller, Farm Innovators, or the Hovabator) A few local farm stors carry these brands and they look to be built almost the same. So for right now I do not know witch way im going. lol Chickens have made me crazy
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    The worst thing about having an incubator and hatching your own chicks is that it can become an addiction. Another route to go is that if you have a few hens of a breed that tends to go broody, you can have the hens do your hatching for you.
     
  7. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The last post by chickkrzi was very well written but only covered the basic economics of it. I would like to address the other side of raising chickens. The gratifying side. Sure you can buy pullets but they only guarantee a 90% pullet rate and that's only on the whole hatch at the hatchery. You could still end up with 3 or 4 cockerels in a purchase of 10 (although unlikely,but feasible). I personally rarely buy Pullets and only in the need to replenish my flock with "new blood" as I do not want to muddy my flock with inbreeding too much.

    What I find really satisfying is: The building of my own incubator to hatch out eggs from the birds I have raised, feed, and cared for from chick to adult. I can select eggs from hens that I have personally raised and chose based on the traits that I am looking for in my flock. There is a great amount of excitement for me when I see the first pip from a clutch of eggs I had set three weeks earlier.

    The true question here is as you have already stated that you wish to expand your flock and as I see it are ready to build or purchase an incubator, is are you willing to spend the time incubating eggs from your flock or anothers or would you rather just buy pullets to raise.


    *** I started to write this prior to post #5 which was addressed further in post 5. After finishing this post and submitting it I saw a couple more posts had been posted. Sorry!***
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  8. Dwkuska

    Dwkuska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking maybe a compromise. Buy maybe 10 more birds hatched and if you can keep a roo... hatch the rest as you go! As far as incubators if you look in the reviews tab their are many incubators with good reviews Hovabator seems the be the best rated out of the ones you named. Btw I love that pic, reminds me of some of the basketweaving I saw in Africa.
     
  9. chickkrzi

    chickkrzi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with R2elk. Maybe you can find you a broody hen. Silkies are the best, just can only sit on 6-7 large breed eggs at one time. I had 4 buff orpingtions. Only one of them would go broody. But she would do it twice a year. And she would sit on 14 eggs each time and hatch 12-13 each time. And if was fun watching them chase after mom. But to me if I'm looking to hatch some eggs, I'm not one to sit around an wait for a hen to go broody. But that's just my opinion. Just ask around your area to see if anyone has one (Craigslist is a good place to start) . And if you want to get hatchery chicks, keep and eye out at most feed stores this spring (TSC will have them) . You can buy straight run or just pullets.
     
  10. raisinemright

    raisinemright Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank
    Thanks, that is my daughter holding our very first eggs ever from our 6 golden comets. The basket was purchased in Cave City Kentucky as our egg basket. We like to go to the Mammoth Cave nat park for Vac and stopped in a little antique store. My wife seen this basket and it's shaped perfect for holding eggs. Don't know if it's handmade or something made in China but it's unique and works. Thanks again!
     

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