What Incubators to avoid?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by randomchick, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. randomchick

    randomchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 3, 2009
    Prescott, Ontario
    Birthday coming up and my husband wants to get me an incubator. [​IMG]
    So I was wanting opinions on which ones are absolute garbage, and which ones you couldn't live without.
    Thanks All!
     
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Adair Co., KY
    Absolute garbage are the little plastic dome types. I can't remember what they are called, but they are pretty much worthless.
    Of the styrofoam models, all of them work pretty good, you just have to get to know how to use them. Many people will say that the LG 9200 is junk, I've had very good luck with mine.

    However, if you want to know the best styrofoam incubators, I would say either the Hovabator 1588 (digital preset model) or the 1583 (wafer thermostat model). Both are forced air. I have the 1583, and I love it. It's mainly a set it and forget it type, I don't think I"ve had to adjust the temp in a couple of months. I just have to add water every 4-5 days or so.
     
  3. MAllen

    MAllen Get In The Game

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    It really depends on your price range, experience, and to some degree how often you intend to hatch eggs. Those are the criteria I went by. Personally I went with the HovaBator 1588 with auto egg turner. I bought it on eBay and just finished my first run with it. 26 out of 31 eggs hatched and these were all shipped eggs that I also bought on eBay, so that pretty good for a first time I think, all things considered. The 1588 makes it easy. The temp is preset so really all you have to worry about is the humidity.

    At the other end of the scale is the GQF Sportsman 1502 which may be as easy to use as the 1588 but will hatch a lot more eggs per run.

    Matt
     
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Adair Co., KY
    The only problem with the 1588 that I have heard is that sometimes the preset temp is not right. You still need a thermometer/hygrometer in it. The 1583 is just as good, and probably $30-$40 cheaper than the 1588. I bought mine from GQF for $150 shipped with the turner. The turner had universal and quail egg racks.
     
  5. MAllen

    MAllen Get In The Game

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    Claremore, OK.
    Quote:Yes, but at least it's an electronic, solid state, thermostat which makes it easy to set and very reliable. Personally I didn't do anything but turn it on and add water. It worked perfectly. I think I paid about $170 for mine with the turner and both sets of egg racks as well. I had chicken and quail eggs in it at the same time for the first run. The chicken hatch is over, 26 out of 31 eggs hatched, now the quail are hatching and I have 4 out of 30 eggs as of right now.

    Either way, the table top HovaBators are very good units. Here's the thread showing my newly hatched chicks! https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=242871

    Matt
     
  6. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    I know a lot of people love their Little Giants, but I am just finishing my first hatch in mine and wouldn't do it again. Maintaining temperature and humidity have been a challenge. Right now I have 5/11 chicks out, maybe one more pip. We are on Day 22. I bought the still air version because it was all I could get locally and I didn't have time for shipping. My husband installed a fan, so midway during the hatch it became a forced air incubator. There was no auto turner available at the feed store so I also turned the eggs by hand. I installed IV tubing into the wells so I could inject water without opening the incubator to raise the humidity. I put wet sponges in places where I could squirt water through the little holes in the top without hitting the heating element. Even with all that, it was a struggle all day yesterday to keep from shrink wrapping or drowning my unhatched guys or frying the live chicks. For one fleeting moment I did get it right as evidenced buy the following picture:

    [​IMG] "Hey Mama, Nice job! Where's the blowdryer?"

    Before I buy any expensive eggs, I will invest in a good incubator. The Little Giant will be stored in the garage on a top shelf for emergencies only. No offense to those of you who love them, but it's not for me.

    Mary
     
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Adair Co., KY
    Quote:It takes a bit of tweaking to learn how to use the LG. They have to be in a stable environment, but they work well once you get used to them. I use mine as a hatcher, but I did have 2 LG and the 1583. The second LG was for my ducks and chickens, and it worked very good. I was going to get another 1583, since I like those better. A good way to increase humidity in the LG is by putting a piece of paper towel in the bottom of it, this will increase humidity very well. I usually keep a piece of paper towel under the sponge, so it doesn't dry out too quickly. This is just for the hatch, btw. I don't add water to the bator (during incubation) unless I have ducks or quail in it otherwise.
     
  8. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Mary on the LG. If you have insomnia or a habit of checking every hour for temps. then go for it. I've had good hatches but I'm worn out by the end. I have the forced air and I took the turner out after my first hatch.I like hand turning.
    The Brinsea hatched my eggs great, haven't tried it on shipped eggs, I didn't get the turner but it's the octogon 20 eco and you turn the whole thing, takes less ten seconds and you don't have to open it. When you do open it to add water it is a little hard to get the lid back on sometimes, but nothing to complain about - doesn't have as much room for eggs and not as good a view when they hatch, but they DO hatch and you can see them. I would definately buy it again.

    Lately I got the Genesis 1588 to use as a hatcher. It doesn't have the temp spikes of the LG, I think I'm going to like it. I have eggs in it now but they started in the LG so we'll see how I like it after this week-end. I am going to save my LG as a hatcher for staggered hatches or emergencies.

    Good luck and you're going to love hatching eggs.
     
  9. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    I also got an LG for my bday. I had a hard time learning to use it. The knob is very touchy one touch can spike you up high. Adjust it down and it can drop a lot. I learned to control my LGs temp and % by keeping it in a stable room where I can have full control of the enviroment so I learned If I had to adjust my setting I was adjusting my a/c from 78 to as much as 85 to control the LG. I added hoses through the small holes to add water into the wells and add a p/c fan...radio shack 7.99 if u BUMP your LG you can bump the element and it can change your settings. Just things I learned with mine. But I learned it n it wks great!
     
  10. randomchick

    randomchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 3, 2009
    Prescott, Ontario
    Quote:I am planning on incubating around 25-40 at a time, 2-5 times a year. I have a large family all wanting fresh chicken, but I am the only one who doesn't live in the city. I will not be buying eggs, unless to integrate new blood into the current gang.
     

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