styrofoam incubator vs plastic incubator


10 Years
Nov 6, 2009
outside, except when I'm inside
I am thinking about getting an incubator and start the addiction of hatching eggs...don't tell my husband.
Anyway, I was wondering what people's preferences were on the material their incubators were made of. I don't plan on hatching alot of eggs at a time, maybe half a dozen or so. Because of that, I have been looking at the Brinsea mini and or/advance. I know that when I was taking care of my neighbors chickens while they were gone, they had some eggs in their styrofoam incubator. I know that it was old, but man did it stink!! I didn't really look messy, so I'm thinking that maybe the styrofoam holds in smells? I'm not really into making my own, looks a bit too technical for me. I like the idea of how easy the plastic would be to clean too.
Any opinions?
I've never had any other incubators than the Brinsea models, but I've never been at all interested in getting the Styrofoam models, either. I know that material is hard to clean, and it is far less durable than plastic. I figger if I'm gonna feed my addiction, I wanted durable materials. That is in addition to the fool-proof and near stupid-proof digital controls and displays of the Brinseas.

When I first got mildly interested (as in, What is this thing with all those people incubating and hatching eggs on BYC???) I would look at the Little Giants, the Hovabators, and others at the feed stores. Naaaaah.

Then somebody mentioned the Brinsea Mini Advance, asking about it, and I went to the Brinsea site to check out what that was all about. Sold me right away. Helped that it was on sale....

And since then, I've purchased several. I have four of the Mini Advance models, two with the humidity pump and two without. Then I bought one of the Octagon 20 Advance models, and have since bought a second one.

Of course, I could have saved a bunch of money by just buying ONE of the BIG units, but I like having smaller incubators here and there, with different eggs and set/hatch dates. Not sure I could coordinate a "staggered" hatch in a much larger unit.

I love my Brinsea incubators. Love 'em. I may not have the greatest hatch rate, but I am using shipped eggs AND I am a relative newbie. I think any hatch of a single chick is a positive thing! (Well, at least two would be better, but ONE egg actually turning into a brand new chicken is such a miraculous thing to me. )
I've both kinds. The Brinsea (I have the Octagon 20 Advanced with the humidity pump, 'cuz I hatch turkeys) is easier to clean, IMHO. I hatched chicks in the Hova Bator for a couple of years, but now I just use it as a brooder. as the egg turner died, and I hadn't been able to hatch turkeys in it. Decided to just take the money I would have used for the new turner and apply it towards a Brinsea.

The Hova bator gets stains after awhile, I've bleached and scrubbed with an old toothbrush, but it still looks a bit ratty after 3 or 4 uses. The Brinsea cleans up nicely, I bought mine used on Craig's list, so mine has been used quite a bit, but it still looks new. If you have one with the humidity pump, you'll want to replace the tubing and humidity pad every few hatches, but other than that, it's pretty carefree.

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