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Hi from Wanganui!!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:46 pm
by HappyMama
Hi all,

Quick intro, i'm a happy mama to 4 human children, a husband child, 10 hens, A rooster and a new clutch of 8 chicks that one clever mama hen has just hatched.

I'm really wanting to invest in a good incubator!! There's always something new to learn :)

Re: Hi from Wanganui!!

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:12 am
by Foehn
Sounds as if you already have the best incubator. What a clever mama chook. All the best for the next hatch! :)

Re: Hi from Wanganui!!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:45 pm
by HappyMama
Unfortunately mama hen had another 4 eggs that didn't hatch as quickly as the other 8 and as the chicks got more active mama left the eggs and they went cold. I'm wanting an incubator purely for helping those last few eggs to hatch once mums to busy to sit on them. Hope that makes sense :)

Re: Hi from Wanganui!!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:16 pm
by sewren
Hi, and welcome to the forum! :) And yes, I get why you are keen to get a back-up incubator - I too rely on broody hens and it can make you a bit twitchy at times (and last year I ended up having to borrow an incubator from a friend when a clumsy chicken-mum started crushing all her pipping eggs!)

I think the best brands that you can get in NZ are R-com and Brinsea, but unfortunately they are quite pricey even for small incubators - but you are paying for the quality, and when it comes to hatching eggs keeping the temperature and humidity regulated is really important. A few years ago I was looking at some cheaper incubators on trademe (I think they were about $110 for 12-egg capacity, from memory) but in the end I decided not to get one because I was worried I would just be wasting my money for something that would give very poor results. Maybe someone else here has had experience with the cheaper models and can comment, but my feeling is that if you are going to invest in an incubator then it is worth paying a bit more and getting something reliable. Otherwise you might just end up with very poor hatch rates from everything you put in there.

So it's a tricky one for people like you and me, who really only want a back-up! But there are other benefits of having an incubator, of course, that you aren't at the whim of your chooks hormones, and you can set eggs whenever you like/when the ones you want are available. i'm sure others will give you better advice on makes and models, but it might be useful if you think about what kind of size you want - I think they range from 3 egg - several dozen in capacity, so there really is a massive range out there!

Re: Hi from Wanganui!!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:43 pm
by seatil
Incubators; I'm of the opinion that you get what you pay for. I've got an R-Com 20, a Brinsea Ova-Easy 100 with humidity pump, and a cheap chinese incubator (CCI) from TradeMe. I'd use either the R-Com 20 or the Brinsea (depending on number of eggs) by preference. The CCI would be the last one to come out.

Primary reasons for preferring the R-Com/Brinsea: Very easy to use - set desired temperature and humidity and walk away. No fiddling to get things right. It Just Works. In comparison the CCI required quite a bit of tweaking to get the temperature by the eggs to be correct thanks to a poorly located (and poor quality) temperature sensor. Humidity control was even worse. With practice I'm sure the CCI's operator could get much better performance out of it, but there's nothing quite like a product that works well from the very first hatch even with a novice operator.

That said, if you're only going to be using the incubator as a last resort to save hatching chicks after a broody walks away, then a CCI might be just the ticket. If they're very close to hatching, other heat sources might also be sufficient - such as an electric blanket, light bulb or even heat from the fire or hot water cupboard.

Re: Hi from Wanganui!!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:25 pm
by Marina
Why don't you make your own emergency incubator?

You need 2 empty 2l ice cream containers with lids
2 towels
hot water

Fill one ice cream container with hot but not boiling water. So hot that you don't want to dip your finger in for more than a fraction of a second. Put lid in place.

Line the second ice cream container with a towel. Place eggs on towel and cover with one layer of towel. Make holes into lid of second ice cream container and place it on the second container.

Place second container on top of first container. Cover with second towel.

Refill hot water every 4 to 6 hours depending on room temperature.

In the evening place hatched chicks under hen. You can also place unhatched eggs under hen and transfer them to your ice cream container in the morning. Repeat for up to 3 days. What hasn't hatched by then probably won't hatch at all.