What incubator should I get?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 28, 2009
I grew up on a rather large farm (cash crops) and my grandma always had TONS of chickens... nothing fancy, just run-of-the-mill layers. Well last summer I finally managed to save up and buy a small hobby farm of our own and we didn't waste any time converting the barn for chickens.

I'll be getting a decent chunck of cash from an inheritance this spring. 99% of it will go towards paying off some things, however I'll still have some money left over. I wanted the money to go back into something for the "farm" that we could enjoy and we quickly decided on an incubator, as we've talked about hatching eggs for YEARS.

Sooo... although I've been around chickens all my life I have NO experience hatching them... yet! If you could buy any "turn-key" incubator setup and price wasn't much of an issue then what would it be? I would think anything with about a 24 egg capacity would be more then sufficient.
hova bators look sooo nice! i don't have 1 tho. i am barrowing (or am i
) a little giant incubator and it's sooooooooooo hard to get the temp stableized on that thing.
I have one hova bator and two little giants and I like the Hova better, because the one I bought on ebay has a preset termostat and it is sooo much easier than the LG. I would have died without my turners! But I am getting a cabinet incubator tomorrow or Monday and I am so excited!! I have a BIG incubating problem and I needed to feed it!! LOL
I hope this helps!
GQF Sportsman with auto water bucket and the following spare parts, turner motor, fan motor, heating element, temp controler (all the parts you can get from GQF) plus a set of plastic chicken egg holders and the goose/turkey if you have any or plan to hatch some.

Our first one totaly paid for itself in about 6 months thru the sale of chicks it hatched.

with the auto water bucket you don't have to open it until it's time to stop turning, plus it's easy to see the water level.

The spare parts are a good thing to have for any incubator (the ones I bought 4 years ago are still in the original shipping box, have never needed them)

Steve in NC
The Hova-bators are styrofoam, correct?

How does the Brinsea Octagon 20 ECO compare? It looks like it would be easier to clean. Anyone used both?
I have a hovabator and only use it for hatching. I tried incubating in it last year and got crummy hatches.

I have a Brinsea Octagon 40, basically just like the eco, but with a few more additions. I love it! It holds a steady temp, its just great.
Ok... well something else I never thought about. What about hatching? Do people typically hatch eggs in the incubator, or use a separate incubator or hatcher for the last hatching period?

Do I need two units?
I like to use two. I find that if I let them hatch in the same incubator it makes my water dirty and I have a hard time keeping the humidity up. So if you can I would have two.
Hold those ponies sonny....when someone asks that question in BYC, you must remember that the majority of the folks here are GQF product owners.....resulting in a GQF answer. Certainly if I purchased an incubator from XYZ, it would be the best on the market. I wouldn't want people to think I had made a bad decision.
Also the manufacturing of an incubator is pretty simple and they are easy to operate, no matter if it is homemade or a store bought incubator...have we all not heard of someone hatching eggs by means of a frying pan or heating pad?
Everyone has a budget to go by, so how many "bells and whistles" you can get for your dollar is really the questions.
I personally would either build one or buy a brinsea over any stryo unit. For a cabinet I like the Dickey and/or brinsea 190.
Good Luck

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