What is the best incubator for a small hatchery?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by GBov, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. GBov

    GBov Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2009
    I want to scale up my chicken hatching to an actual business so am now researching the equipment I will need.

    Any information on really reliable incubators will be GREAT!

    Right now I have a hovabator but I need something way better than that for what I have planned.
  2. Nksg75

    Nksg75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2014
    Brinsea(great reliable brand), I have heard of other people that like Dickey, sportsman, and I think RCOM. Most people seem to have great success with brinsea, however i don't think they make any incubators that large. It you are truly wanting to start up a hatchery, then you are going to need the whole shabang! I don't have any idea what brand the hatcheries use.
  3. GBov

    GBov Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2009
  4. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    The GQF Sportsman is pretty much the standard cabinet incubator that everything else is measured against.
    Depending on how many eggs you plan on incubating, get a separate hatcher. You can keep the humidity in the cabinet set for incubating and a higher humidity in the hatchers. Plus, it keeps the hatching mess contained.

    Lots of info here on using cabinet incubators.
  5. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    We have a Dickey 3 tray with one tray incubator, will be adding a hatcher in the near future.

    Contemplated the Dickey or GQF, both are pretty much the same as far as I understand. Dickey's are about $100 less expensive and the customer support/ability to get someone on the phone sold us. I'd much rather support a small business instead of a phone tree with voicemail.

    Like Tabasco Jack wrote, there is a lot of good info on this forum for cabinet incubators, and incubators in general. That's how we chose ours.

    Business is expense compared to profitability. Yours will be different than others so evaluate what you can sell before you decide on what you can buy. Don't be afraid to spend money!!

    Good luck.
  6. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    I'd say GQF Sportsman too, but I wouldn't pay the price for a new one if I could find a used one. I use three, old style 1202's with the dual wafer thermostat system, and a 1250 hatcher with the same thermostat. I have a lot more faith in the wafer thermostats than I do in the electronics, and it is a lot less expensive to keep back-up parts on hand. My total investment in incubators including shipping the hatcher from Texas to Washington came to less than the price of the one you linked to.
  7. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    The only things I have ever had since brand new are my two children and a Dickey incubator. Everything else is well used when I acquire it.

    Maybe it's bad luck or timing, but I have never been able to find a used incubator that I would consider instead of spending $100 more on something brand new with a warranty. Not saying that they aren't out there, but the amount of time I spent looking already outweighed the costs of just purchasing new.

    I offered the Dickey vs. Sportman brand new, because for us there was(is) no other choices to buy used. Sometimes it's just easier that way.
  8. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2013
    Davie, Fl
    Is there a better time of year to purchase a new one? To get the price down? I saw them go on sale last year but was still on the fence and not ready. Now I am ready but things seem full price.
  9. GAQuail

    GAQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2012
    Bishop, Georgia
    Never seen a Dickey or GQF Spoortsman on sale. If your buying a GQF Sportsman buy directly from the manufacturer at www.gqfmfg.com
    Personally I like the Dickey incubators better.
  10. cscigu

    cscigu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2014
    Just curious how many folks around here hatch eggs and sell chicks. ?? Maybe not the right thread to ask, but its something I think about more recently. I've given away so many eggs and chickens over the years I feel a bit foolish sometimes. I've always free ranged all the chickens, and gave away most roosters so they wouldn't be crowing and bushwacking us all over the place.

    I got into the chicken routine initially for bug control plus a few eggs. Then, I discovered the Black Copper Maran dark egg phenomena, and would buy eggs for my Hovabator, and hatch a few. One of my neighbors, being industrious, is now selling his Maran offspring that he got from me. I've decided to keep a Maran rooster, and try to sell a few eggs or chicks. Still, I wonder if I'd regret splurging on a nice incubator like these. Not sure I'd be ready for the growth of flock and labor.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016

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