What kind of incubator to get??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CrzyChicLady, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. CrzyChicLady

    CrzyChicLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
    0
    99
    Oct 28, 2010
    I would like to get an incubator. I want one that will hold 30-50 duck eggs. Does anyone have any recommendations?
     
  2. Nu Chix To Cash

    Nu Chix To Cash Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    0
    111
    Apr 28, 2010
    Central Iowa
    There are many things that are going to play into what type of incubator you get. How many eggs do you plan on hatching per year, how much do you want to spend, etc.

    I started out with a cheap Little Giant still air incubator and I purchased the egg turner. I just recently purchased a Hovabator forced air. Their is a big difference in the quality of the two IMO.

    However looking at it - if I would have combined what I spent on the two vs. trying to get by with the cheap one, I could have purchased a nicer incubator.

    From what I've read, a lot of people seem to like the Brinsea incubators.

    http://www.brinsea.com/products/20aeco.html
     
  3. The Duck ABC's

    The Duck ABC's Chillin' With My Peeps

    516
    13
    121
    Feb 5, 2011
    The little giants are great for hatching. That will keep your, more temperature steady, hovabator nice and clean for a long while. The brinsea machines may be highly rated by some users, but they have their drawbacks too. Inside space is the main problem. The genesis hovabator is a solid machine and I use mine about 4 times per year. I clean it with oxyclean and it still looks like new. What really messes up the foam is when you hatch in them. On the other hand the replacement foam is cheap.
     
  4. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    5,583
    26
    241
    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Are you looking to hatch once or twice a year- or more often? Do you want to be able to have multiple smaller settings going at once? Duck eggs do better being laid on their sides in an incubator so thats something to consider if you are needing something that will turn the eggs automatically.

    Last year I upgraded my incubator and considered many points when deciding the best model for what I needed the machine to. I hatch year round- so it had to hold temperature very well - especially over the colder months, ( something the foam bators are terrible at. ) have a roll turn mechanism, preferably have a tray for hatching - which can increase the space available for incubating if needed. The two models I came up with were the Rcom 50 and the IM ( which is not availble in the USA unfortunately- but there are other similar cabinet style ones availbale ) In spring and summer I hatch larger settings and make use of the hatching tray - I rotate the eggs between trays so that they all get their turn being hand turned 3 times a day- or roll turned automatically every four hours.
    This is my incubator- the left hand side has eggs half way through incubation- and in the middle- the ones just put in 3 days ago.
    The trays are removable for ease of cleaning and for candling the eggs. I pull the draw out about 1/3 of the way- leaving the eggs in place I can put a small flashlight to the end of each egg without having to handle the eggs. The time can be set digitally for how often it turns the eggs - from as little as 1 minute-through to 9 hours hours. One of the best things is the clear door- you can easily see the eggs and the hatching trays- great for when they are actually hatching.
    [​IMG]

    The bottom tray is out in this pic- since I just finished a hatch over the weekend I took it out for cleaning. You can see the size of the water tray- which is enough for incubating and hatching alike- just a small turn of the air vent in front will raise up the humidity.


    This is a link to show the second incubator I considered. In the end my decision was based on the size and the added bonus of the hatching tray in the IM. This one is fully digital - fairly compact in height - but the other dimensions are quite large. It also has pre programmed settings for hatching different kinds of eggs.
    http://www.rcomincubators.com/product/categoryid/124/productid/1503


    They are both in the upper scale of cost- but with incubators- you really do get what you pay for. A foam bator is a good start up point or for people doing one or two hatches a year- but for something for more frequent use- or for harder to hatch eggs- its well worth paying the extra to get the higher hatch rates possible with a better machine. Local weather conditions can have a big impact on what kind of a machine may be better for you - as can where you plan to keep the incubator. If you plan to keep it outside- making sure you have something with a very reliable thermostat is very important.
    The foam type incubators will only hold around 30 duck eggs laying down - more if they are a bantam breed.

    Sorry for this being so long...I just think its really important to choose the right one. Finding out you have wasted money when you have repeated failed hatches is a hard way to learn. There are so many variables when it comes to incubating, Starting with the best machine you can make a huge difference to how many gorgeous fluufy butts you end up with after the long 28 days.
     
  5. ducks_rcool329

    ducks_rcool329 Chillin' With My Peeps

    260
    4
    113
    Apr 17, 2011
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Quote:I have a couple of the Brinesea, and i have a very high hatch rate compared to my other ova-bator and little giant incubators. With the brinesea ones, ts fully automatic ( if you get the right ones ) so all you have to do is top off the water, and it does the rest. They even stop turning 2 ( or 3 on some models) prior to hatching. I would recommend them, but they are rather pricey.
     
  6. Nu Chix To Cash

    Nu Chix To Cash Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    0
    111
    Apr 28, 2010
    Central Iowa
    The Duck ABC's :

    What really messes up the foam is when you hatch in them. On the other hand the replacement foam is cheap.

    I just bought two plastic liners/trays and one extra wire screen for my lg. I'm surprised I haven't read more about them. They fit in nice and snug and "look" like they are going to make cleaning up my lg a snap. I plan to use my lg as a hatcher and have staggered my eggs in my hovabator a week apart (lesson learned I will do 2 weeks next time to give room for early/late hatchers) so I need to be able to easily and quickly clean my lg. I'm *hoping* I can pull out the plastic tray and the wire and replace it with a new tray and wire and be ready to go for the next hatch.

    One thing I like about the plastic tray is that it lets me to add more water surface to my lg which is allowing me to keep a more steady humidity level then before.​
     
  7. CrzyChicLady

    CrzyChicLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
    0
    99
    Oct 28, 2010
    Quote:That looks like what i'm looking for. Thank you for all the info! I sure wish you lived closer because i would love to see them Cinnamon Runners!
     
  8. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    14
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    I don't know, I bought 2 of the Brinsea Octagon 20 Advanced EX. While the incubation per se is fine, and the digital controls and precise adjustment are great, a couple of little things are annoying me more and more. First off, the external humidity tank is awkward. Its little "umbilical cord" lifeline to the main incubator is problematic -- I'm always either pulling out the water hose or getting tangle up in the power cord or the water hose. When the hose pulls out, its getting extremely hard to get it back into proper position, because the clear plastic straw gets soft from repeated insertions, and also warps out of shape. I pulled it out this morning, and fought with it for 10 minutes. I should just find a new one - I could probably use the tube from a spray bottle or something.

    Also, the rails and foam system for holding eggs stinks. It takes up way too much room, and doesn't do all that good of a job -- they still tend to roll when the turner has the incubator at the extremes of the turning cycle. I did away entirely with them, get more eggs in there, and actually have less problem with eggs coming disloged just by packing the eggs in then putting some inert packing like paper towels in any dead space.

    If I had it to do over, I think I would seriously consider the Rcom models instead, primarily because of the internal water tank.
     
  9. ducks_rcool329

    ducks_rcool329 Chillin' With My Peeps

    260
    4
    113
    Apr 17, 2011
    Black Forest, Colorado
  10. ducks_rcool329

    ducks_rcool329 Chillin' With My Peeps

    260
    4
    113
    Apr 17, 2011
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Quote:( RCOM and Brinesea are the same people)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by