Too Many Incubators to Choose From....Help!


Gone Country....
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
OKay...being a homeschooling family, we decided that we were going to hatch our chicks instead of buy them from a hatchery...I've been searching the net for info/reviews on incubators and I'm soooo confused!

I would l-o-v-e some feedback on what people have for incubators and why. We don't have a ton of money to spend on one though what we do buy, I want to last and perform well (hopefully lots-o-healthy chicks!)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Does anyone own a Brower Top Hatch Incubator? That one stands out to me...but I don't hear many people using them here???? Our, should I buy two of the less expensive ones so we can have more "batches" going at once?
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I use the LG still air with turner. I got mine basically because it was inexpensive (about $95 for both). It works very well, imo. There are quite a few links on here on how to build your own. I did this also, and it is still being 'tweaked' but it is still less than the LG was. The LG with the turner holds 41 chicken, duck, guinea or turkey eggs. Without it holds 40 (large-like turkey or goose)-120(quail or small hen eggs). Good luck!
I heard that people really like the brower top hatch, but a lot of us are on a tight budget, so we end up with less expensive ones. I bought a Hovabator 1588 (the Genesis) with turner when I had so many problems keeping my LG regulated--which is probably because I'm impatient and don't like to monitor temps. I've had eggs in the HB six days and the temps have been super stable--within .5 degree of 100 at all times, and it keeps the humidity a lot easier than the LG did too. It has a thermostat that regulates the actual temp, whereas the LG seems just to monitor the amount of heat it is outputting, so any temp changes in the room really affect the temp in the bator, and I live in a really dry area, so keeping the humidity up high enough was a major pain with this bator. Also, the HB comes standard with a blower, and the LG doesn't. I think if you bought the LG with blower and turner it would be about the same price, possibly slightly less than the HB, but for ease of use, I'd turn to the HB every time.

On the other hand, lots and lots of people on this site have used the LG and like it just fine. Some have had really great hatches from it, once they figured out how to use it. I'm afraid I don't have experience with any of the other bators, but I'm sure others will pipe up with their opinions soon!
I use the L G incubator in a number of local schools. I find it to be easy to use although the temp can be a little touchy. I use a turner with it, once the eggs are put in it is not opened until day 18. This shows the students what the hatch rate is without opening the bator. The next batch of eggs they can candle at day 7 and 14, plus they can open the bator at other times. When it is time for the chicks to hatch the hatch rate is down at less 20 points.

Being a true home school family, you should look at Miss Prissy's plans for a home made bator. You might find it to be cheaper and just as good as any you can buy. Building your own lets the children get the true feeling of success once the eggs hatch.

I haven't used a Brower bator, but I have heard from friends they aren't what they claim to be. Anyone out there using one correct me if I am wrong. The best egg hatcher of all is a good silkie hen.
We're considering this too.....
I really need to discuss it with my hubby and see what he can come up with ( I hate to admit it, but he is way more mechanically inclined than I am!

Hopefully someday we'll have the broody hen to incubate them for us....and I love silkies! They were one of the breeds that hooked me on having chickens!
MissPrissy's styrofoam cooler design is great!! It works well, and I am gonna build one next Spring!
Good luck!
Alot of people have trouble getting the brower top hatch stable. It doesn't seem all that much better than the cheaper styrofoam incubators. Going for the cheapest thing that still hatched efficienty I bought a hovabator 1602N while it was on sale for $40.
I have to suggest that for your first time incubating you go with a store-bought incubator.

Even though I had no experience incubating I was still very enthusiastic about building our own incubator and we had lots of fun hunting down the parts and putting it together. It wasn't difficult at all and I was sure that I was going to have amazingly sucessful hatches.

Our hatch rate was heartbreaking. Every time I thought I got the thermostat set just right, it would swing so wildly that I was either cooking the chicks, or they weren't warm enough. I was just too inexperienced and the tempurature and humidity was imposible to keep consistant. You can read and learn and read some more, but until you've actually got some incubation experience under your belt, I wouldn't recommend you make your own 'bator.

We spent so much money on hatching eggs, and killed so many chicks and ducklings that I swore I was giving up the idea completley.

My hubby convinced me to try with a hovabator genesis 1588 and I have never regretted it! I have LOTS of babies. With few exceptions, in the genesis, if an egg develops... it haches. I do nothing but make sure there is water in the reservior. Nada. At day 18 I take the eggs out and put them in the hatcher with increased humidity and ...... fuzzybutts! Good clean hatches, no stuck babies, no unabsorbed yolks or raw navels.

We've made some adjustments to our homemade 'bator and are now using it as a hatcher and its working OK. I keep staggering my hatches, so I'm happy to be able to use it as a hatcher, but I still wouldn't trust it for an entire incubation period.

Just my 2 cents.

Here's my latest hatch, just cuz they're so cute. Barnevelder chicks.

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I am using an LG with an added fan and turner for my first hatch. After removing all the infertile eggs I am on day 15 and have seen movement in all but one of 17. This incubator has required a lot of monitoring to keep temp stable. Like someone mentioned earlier, the temp of the room greatly affects temp in incubator. I tried to make a home incubator to use as a hatcher, but still can't get temps right. I will buy a hovabator genesis next, and eventually use the LG as a hatcher.

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