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What is the best incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lkistamas, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. lkistamas

    lkistamas In the Brooder

    Jun 24, 2018
    Terrace, BC, Canada
    What is the best incubator?
    I am thinking about buying a GQF Hovabator Genesis incubator with automatic egg turner to hatch duck and chicken eggs? Will this unit be able to keep up the humidity 75-80 % during lock down?
    I am new at this and during my last hatch the little giant incubator could not keep up with the humidity even with a full water in reservoir and wet sponges in there.

    Any help greatly appreciated!
    The Phantom likes this.
  2. You'll get all kinds of answers on this, probably. Personally, I prefer the dorm fridge bator I built 2 years ago - it works perfectly for me, since I can set it up for anything I want - I can have 2 full turners of quail rails and a full turner of anything from chicken to goose eggs, all at the same time. Its water reservoir is a bottom half of a 14 lb cat litter jug, and I use a cotton rag that drapes down into the water, wicking up the moisture. If the humidity is too high, I fold it so a smaller surface is evaporating, and if it's too low, I open the rag up and it wicks & evaporates more.
    Ridgerunner likes this.
  3. lkistamas

    lkistamas In the Brooder

    Jun 24, 2018
    Terrace, BC, Canada
    Thank you for your input!
    So my next question is about opening the incubator doors during lock down. If you open the door to adjust the cloth, your eggs wont "shrink wrap"? I was so worried about opening the lid during the lock down and killing the embryos. Thank you!
  4. I keep a mister bottle inside the incubator, down at the bottom where I have my fan at, so it's always the same temp as the incubator. If I have to open the bator during lockdown, I always mist the eggs in lockdown with it. I always try to time sets of eggs where no one's in lockdown when I would have to have the door open more than ever so briefly, but the mister bottle is an extra layer of protection.
    lkistamas likes this.
  5. The Phantom

    The Phantom I love birds!!! Premium Member

    I have the GQF Genesis Hovabator 1588. It works very nice and handle humidity very well. I have had 80% humidity in mine before and no problems. I know it says not to go above 65%, but I think that is too low.
    lkistamas likes this.
  6. That's another thing that you can get as many answers on as people answering. I know of at least 2 people IRL that even swear by dry hatching, too. I like hatching humidity to be around 70%, especially with waterfowl. Some breeds of chickens (Marans, Light Brahma) seem to do better for me at lower %, though - 60-65%. :idunno
    The Phantom likes this.
  7. The Phantom

    The Phantom I love birds!!! Premium Member

    Low humidity makes me nervous. Especially for expensive eggs.
    KikiLeigh02 and nightowl223 like this.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Asking which is the best incubator is a lot like asking what is the best chicken breed on here. You can get a lot of different opinions.

    I had an old Hovabator 1588, the one before they improved the temperature controls. I hatched a lot of chicks and a few turkeys in it, no ducks. It took a couple of hatches to get the thermastat adjusted but once I did I was pleased with it.

    One thing I noticed is that the temperature and humidity of the air outside the incubator had a lot to do with the humidity of the air inside the incubator. If the air outside was cool and dry, I might get less than a 20% humidity reading with one certain reservoir filled. If the air was more humid and warmer, I might get a 40% reading with that same reservoir filled. Your problems with that LG might have had a lot to do with the outside conditions.

    Shrink-wrap is when the membrane between the chick and the inside of the egg shell dries out, shrinks, and wraps around the chick so tightly that the chick cannot move to hatch. This can possibly happen when the humidity in the incubator is low, especially after the chick external pips. That's why we raise the humidity for hatch, to stop that from happening. It is possible you can drop the humidity enough to cause that when you open the incubator when an egg has pipped. It is possible, not an absolutely sure thing each and every time.

    I don't know what all the factor are that cause it to happen sometimes and not others, some eggs and not others. Each egg is different, different porosity, some egg whites are more runny than others. How low the humidity was during incubation may have an effect, how low humidity goes when you open it (breeze may have an effect here), how long it is open, or how long it takes for humidity to recover.

    It is something that can happen but does not always. Some people regularly open their incubators during the hatch and hardly ever see any problems or they would quit doing that. Some may take the incubator into a bathroom, turn the hot shower on and steam up the bathroom before they open the incubator. Some mist the eggs. Some crank the humidity inside the incubator up before they open it. Some don't do any of these.

    Since shrink-wrap can happen I consider it good practice to not open the incubator during lockdown unless I have a good reason. But if I have what I consider a good reason I will. I understand there is a risk, I did shrink-wrap one once. But I also understand it is not a sure thing and if the problem inside is bad enough I'll take that risk. It's a decision we each need to make for ourselves.
    nightowl223 likes this.
  9. Scooby308

    Scooby308 Songster 6 Years

    Jun 27, 2012
    Tell me you posted a how to on this. I have been toying with this idea for years...
    RosieR likes this.
  10. I think I did, back when I did it. Let me wander around and look, see if I can spot it. :D
    Scooby308 likes this.

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