What all is involved in starting to hatch eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jmsim93, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. jmsim93

    jmsim93 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 29, 2009
    East Texas
    All these posts have me curious what all is involved in trying to incubate eggs. Is it expensive to get started?
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    First off you need fertilized eggs [​IMG] Then you either need to buy an incubator or have a broody hen to incubate them for you. Incubators run anywhere from about $40 to several hundred dollars. I wouldn't recommend the $40 one nor the ones that cost several hundred dollars (at least not for someone just getting started). A good easy incubator is the Genesis 1588. It did cost around $130 give or take a bit.

    I guess I should add that you can also build your own incubator....which I have never done.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  3. PaintedPony

    PaintedPony Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2008
    Haha, getting started isn't expensive, it's feeding the addiction that can get costly. LOL!

    If you start with some crossbred eggs to hatch, a $40 incubator, and the eqpt to make a brooder w/ a heat source, it isn't a high start up cost. You also want a decent temperatur and humidity monitor for the incubator. You can find those at WalMart for about $6-7.00 and that unit will monitor both things.

    Good quality, purebred eggs shipped from someone cost more than local crossbred chickens. Incubators that monitor temp, humidity, and turn the eggs on their own cost more but they can offer a better hatch rate for some people. The less expensive eqpt can be frustrating if you lose a lot of eggs to poor temps and such.

    I guess, if you already have some hens and a rooster, your low end startup wold be:
    Incubator: $40
    Temp & humidity gauge: $7.00
    Good flashlight to candle eggs: $12.00
    Heatlamp for brooder w/ heat bulb: $15-20.00
    Babypool for brooder: $15.00 (can use a large dog crate, old fish tank, lerge rubbermaid type container, or other items in the house)
    Water and feed dishes: $20.00 (can use stuff around the house for free)
    Chick feed obviously

    Total if you had to buy it all is under a hundred dollars to go low end but the experience is priceless!
  4. rocketdog312

    rocketdog312 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona
    all you need is an incubator or a hen. a good one is a hovabator or a Little Giant for beginners. about 30-60 dollars at your local feed store. You also obviously need eggs. Some places like parks and stuff that have animals like chickens and peafowl sell or give them away. the temperature for CHICKEN eggs is 102 degrees at the top of the eggs if you are using an incubator without a fan. If you have a bator with a fan, its 99.5 anywhere in the incubator. the humidity will need to be 55% the first 18 days and on the last 3 it needs to be 70%. when they hatch you'll need a place to keep them and if your a city person, you'll need to check if your city allows chickens and other fowl in the area. they also need a warm light to keep them toasty until they are 2 weeks of age.
  5. jmsim93

    jmsim93 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 29, 2009
    East Texas
    Thanks everyone. It doesn't sound too bad. I already have the chickens but I need a rooster (I have a silkie roo but not sure how succesful he will be with the bigger ladies). I raised my current hens from day-olds and have found it is impossible not to buy more. I was thinking if I could incubate some myself, it would keep me from ordering more chickens online.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Amazing, I don't remember typing this .... oh, wait, it WASN'T my post - there's someone else having the same problem as am I.

    Folks, y'all have no clue how much time I spend trying to figure out any logical reason to simply order 25 chicks from Idea, or Whelp, or McMurray to get the 3 or 5 more types of chickens I want, because MyPetChicken doesn't carry 'em. Heck, MyPetChicken doesn't even have much available until March 2010. Heck, I've never ordered live chicks online before, but the feed stores here-abouts aren't carrying any chicks for another month, either. Some of the online hatcheries even use PayPal!

    I'm a'feered I could go nuts if I started hatching my own. First, I'd have to get eggs, as my six hens aren't laying yet (only 3 months old). I have an accidental rooster, but again, his brooder mates aren't laying yet. So there I'd be shopping online again.... plus, of course, the incubator, because the one at the feed store looks too complicated. Online incubators 'splain everything pretty well.


    And then stressing about hatching? Lordy. But here I am, lurking in the Incubating & Hatching forum......
  7. Painted Spirit

    Painted Spirit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2009
    From another newbie - I strongly suggest a turner and fan for the incubator. Turners run about $40 and the fan for me was another $30 but handy folks make theirs from old computer parts. It is addictive BEWARE!!!!
  8. JCoogle

    JCoogle Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is very addictive, I have a dozen going right now from my hens. At the moment they are all silkies but i have one setting here from a golden comet hen and a silkie roo. I just want to see what the lil bugger will look like. I made my first incubator out of am old aquarium and total cost was about $15. Since I have been hooked I am in the works of building one that will hold 200-250 eggs.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  9. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    Quote:Than you probably wouldn't want to know that I am selling my Hovabator on Tuesday...............[​IMG]
  10. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    Personally, I'd stay away from the smaller cheaper ones...getting a decent used cabinet incubator would be the way to go. There are enough deals out there right now if you get on them before the season cranks up that there's no reason not to...if it doesn't work out, you could sell it again just as quick and likely make money. I have a GQF 1202 on borrow with my second hatch getting ready for lockdown Saturday and have had good luck so far with eggs from the neighbors' chickens...I am gearing up to hatch out much harder call duck eggs from my 7 breeding pairs and I'm convinced a cabinet or redwood model is the way to go.

    And the Brinsea Spot Check thermometer...no doubt, you're paying for it, but it's definitely a case of getting what you pay for. It has proved invaluable in calibrating these two Humidaires I have, which I bought because I am told they are the way to go for call duck eggs due to their humidity retention capability. (Not easy to locate! If I were doing just chickens I would have gone for a Dickey or a GQF.) If you don't want to spend money tinkering with cheapies and losing eggs to improperly calibrated thermometers this is a one stop shopping deal...get what the pros have and it will deliver for you. I don't like to spend time and money on failures so it was worth the $30 to me.

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