By small I just mean it doesn't need to hold very many eggs, I don't care what size it is, so long as its cheap.
Is an auto turner needed? If you don't have one you do simply turn the eggs by hand? I've never incubated eggs, as you can see
I'm not going to be using it often. I just want an incubator around in case its needed (there was a time recently that I wished I had one). I might very occasionally hatch a duck/quail egg in it. So that's why I want it to be cheap. I can't really afford to spend much money on it.
if you turn the eggs manually you hve to open the incubator, losing heat and humidity built up already...
I agree the electronic thermostat (genesis) is more reliable than the wafer thermostat IMO (wafer got stuck on me and cooked the eggs).
also the circulated air is better than still, as still air you have warmer and cooler spots that can affect hatch rate too.
Below is a table summary of the most popular incubator choices.
HovaBator 1602N Little Giant 9200 HovaBator 1588
Circulated Air Optional Optional Yes
Thermostat Bi-metal Electronic Electronic
Digital Display No No No
Case Material Styrofoam Styrofoam Styrofoam
Window Size 4x6 4x8 Full
Egg Capacity w/ turner
(chicken) 41 41 41
Dimensions (LxWxH) 18.5" x 18.5" x 9" 18" x 18" x 8" 18.5" x 18.5" x 9"
Sanitation Liner Included None Included
Little Giant 9200 vs Hova Bator 1602N
Many customers ask us about the differences between these incubators. They will both hold the same quantity of eggs and the turners work the same for each one (the Little Giant egg turner is slightly higher quality). The HovaBator & Little Giant are both known to do a fine job incubating eggs. There are a few differences (ALSO See table above):
1) First, the thermostats are very different. The Hova Bator uses a mechanical wafer-style thermostat. It works great but you will need to install it (not very difficult and comes with good instructions). Some people complain that the Little Giant thermostat is difficult to set. The reason why people complain about this is because the Little Giant adjusts it's temperature range in ONE half-circle rotation, using a tiny shaft about 1/4" in diameter (So you have to be very precise in turning the tiny knob, it is easy to over adjust) and the Hova Bator adjusts it's temperature in a multi turn rotation (one full rotation of the adjustment knob will provide a small temperature change).
-An easy solution to the Little Giant Thermostat is to affix your own knob to the 1/4" Shaft. An easy low-cost way to do this is to take a round disc and drill a hole in the center. This will make it much easier to make small precise changes to the temperature.
2) The Hova Bator comes with an easy to clean sanitary liner for the bottom of the incubator. The Little Giant does not.
3) The Little Giant viewing windows are a little larger than the Hova Bator.
4) The Hova Bator has a slightly higher ceiling which gives it room enough to fit goose eggs in the egg turner (if you get the goose rails accessory). The Little Giant does not have a goose rail turner option since the ceiling is too low.
HovaBator Genesis 1588 Preset
The Genesis Hova-Bator is pre-set for bird eggs. Simply plug it in, then add water and eggs. Nothing to set up or adjust. Advantages of this incubator over the Little Giant 9200 & the HovaBator 1602N are:
1. Preset Electronic Thermostat
2. Full Viewing Window
3. Circulated air fan is already installed
4. Power supply accepts 110V-240V AC - Good for International Customers
5. Safe Low Voltage DC Power