Which Incubator to buy?


9 Years
Apr 2, 2014
Hello all!

I am sure there are a great deal of threads like this, and I have been looking at older ones to gain some already discussed past opinions on the subject. BUT I would still like to ask your opinion on what is a better purchase to make. I am looking for an incubator for future use. I am building two small flocks of Orpingtons. The birds I have now won't be laying for a few months still but I was looking into adding to my collection via hatching eggs which is much cheaper than shipped chicks (especially for the colors I am after Chocolate Orps are EXPENSIVE). Also, since I will have my own eggs to incubate at a later date, I figured an incubator would at least be an investment since it will get good use down the line.

I am currently looking at the Brinsea Octagon 20 which seems to have more than wonderful reviews but I would prefer an incubator with a larger capacity. It is also on the higher end pricewise.

I was looking at the GQF Hova-bator 1588 as well and read that it is very nice. This one is similar in price if I buy the automatic egg turner but also has a larger capacity. In reality, I may not really need the full 50 egg capacity but I guess if I'm spending hundreds of dollars it would be nice to have the option instead of deciding I do need it and then needing a second or larger unit (though being limited in my ability to hatch only so many chicks at once would be a plus for my hubby

Does anyone have any advice to offer, or experience with either of these? I am curious if I will really suffer that much of a decreased hatch rate with the Hova-bator over the Brinsea. I think I read somewhere that people don't recommend the Hova-bator for expensive chicks. Was really hoping some more experienced people here would have some good advice! Thanks in advance
Consider this also https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/852619/incuview-incubator
I do not have it but i have 2 diy incubators using incukit that it is the heart of this incubator
and i am very pleased

Thanks!! I did read the entire thread about the incuview incubator. I feel as though I am not crafty enough to build my own incubator. I am impressed with my skills in building a brooder and coop but that is much simpler I think. I would be afraid to make miscalculations whilst building an incubator that would render it ineffective or at least less effective.
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It is not that hard (may be the turner needs some wood working skill)
Thanks for sharing! I looked at your incubator and it looks great!

I was looking at various homemade models on BYC last night with my Hubby and we were debating on whether we were up for tackling a project of this sort. On the one hand we already have sooo many things to do. Also, I noticed a great deal of people seemed to consider their incubators a work in progress, needing ever more tweaking and upgrades depending on hatch. I am just not sure I am willing to risk paying so much money for shipping eggs and putting them in a incubator I made. I see a lot of advice on doing trials with local cheap eggs but I have not found any of my breed and really have no desire to hatch chicks outside of what I am looking for just for the sake of a trial. I think we would prefer to buy an incubator for now and perhaps make a project incubator at a later date when we need more capacity and have a better hold on what we are doing/need in a bator.
I did a lot of looking myself before chirstmas this past year and settled on a Chinese incubator. I spent days looking and each time I started to settle in on anything I would find less then favorable reviews. There was a review on YouTube of a guy who works at an animal sanctuary and said this was hands down the best incubator he had ever owned. 100% hatches every time. That pretty much sealed the deal for me. The price was great too. I got mine through an E-bay vendor but here is a link to see it.

It has all the bells and whistles you would want. holds 48 eggs and has a turner that turns the eggs every 2 hours and a count down timer that lets you know the next time it is going to turn the eggs. The turner of course is removable. It has alarms for temperature and humidity if they go out of range and they are adjustable but mine arrived spot on. There is a fan and channels below a plastic grid that holds different amounts of water. There are filler ports from the sides of the tub. It is all plastic so it is easy to clean. The top is semi clear so you can peek in. It would have been nice if it was a little easier to see in but it does offer you a glimpse of what's going on. I did have to get the bubbly shelf liner the one that has tiny holes in it cause the plastic grid on its own is too slippery when they start hatching and there is all that liquid and gue. I got 1 case of spradle leg on my first hatch but the perforated shelf liner solved future problems.
First hatch I had 3 fertile eggs and all went great, hatched on day 21
2nd hatch only one fertile egg and hatched beautiful on day 21
3rd hatch this time I had 9 fertile eggs and all but one has hatched. I got one Texas hold out... It's still hanging out in the egg........ need to do some research to find out what to do for this little guy.
two hatched on day 20 most day 21 and I got one struggling to get out on day 22.
I believe this has more to do with my hens maybe starting to sit on my eggs a bit before I gathered them and incubated them. Not sure. We were busy that week getting ready for a vacation. Anyway I am an complete newbie in this world and thought I would let you know about this great little incubator.
Thanks for the info! I will have to see what I can find out about that one. I'm thinking it may be hard to find on ebay since there's not really a name for it. It sounds really great. How much did you pay for yours?
Believe it or not I think I just put in Chinese incubator, I had to go into my ebay account cause I couldn't remember but I paid 189.00. I got a free candler with it (flash light : ) ) . I see now they have one as a buy now for 150.00 I was in a hurry and didn't want to go through the bidding and loosing so I just did a buy now and paid the 189.00 I am sure it was up because of Christmas. Wanted to also let you know that there are two different models of these when I got mine. The older one has a flat up and down panel across the front and the newer one has it slightly tilted back for easier viewing while on a counter. Here is the listing title of the one I bid on...... but there are lots more. ~~NEW 48 Egg Digital Automatic Incubator Chicken Fits All Eggs Anyway, like I said it works great and cleans up easy. I just put my 9 new babies in a box and cleaned mine out. Super easy just brought it over to the sink sprayed it out good and ran some bleach in there..... done........ put them back in there ( I like to leave mine in the box an extra day so I know they are toasty and warm) I have never hatched out 9 before so I guess keeping warm will be easier with so many but anyhow..... Good luck.......with whatever you choose. Hope this helps.
I haven't had a chance to look it up yet, it was a busy day!! Just finished our brooder in time for our baby chicks who were shipped out today from Tennessee and should make it here to California by tomorrow(hopefully).

I get impulsive and want to do everything now but I need to learn to pace myself!! If not for my sake then poor hubby, lol. I may start to drive him crazy yet with my sudden need for lots of beautiful chickens =)
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Wow super impressive! I use a Rubbermaid brooder...you know a tub with a light hanging! :D. Sadly I am not on property where I can go crazy....yet but were working on it. Nice job on the brooder house!

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