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I need advice on incubators  RSS feed

 
Robin Kyle
Posts: 26
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I would love some advice on what incubator to purchase to hatch between 10-15 duck eggs this spring. There doesn't seem to be a thread about incubators on permits. Im sure some of us have plans for homemade incubators and some can tell us why we shouldn't even attempt that, heck Im sure someone could tell me why I shouldn't even hatch my own. Id love to hear all of those opinions please.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1998
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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I've used a Hovabator for hatching chicks (chickens) before.  It's a styrofoam model around a hundred bucks.  It worked well and for the most part kept a steady heat and humidity.  I chose not to get an automatic turner because I wanted to be sure that they were being turned properly by hand.  It was pretty quiet and easily held fifty eggs.  I had to prop the lid open just a teeny bit when the chicks were hatching to vent off moisture that was building up inside.  The super high humidity seemed to interfere with the digital temperature control, but once the viewing window wasn't fogged up any more, the controls went back to normal. I think 47 out of 52 eggs hatched.  The others were duds from the start.
 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 133
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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I also have a Hovabator, with the automatic turner, with which I hatch out chicks every year.  I've also hatched out ducklings for a neighbour.  It works fine; I'd get it again.  Spring for the humidity meter. 
I know, it's best to have a broody hen, but none of my hens go broody.  Chicken raisers might find getting some Silkie hens specifically to be broodies, to be a more "permie" solution.
The model I have is a relatively cheap styrofoam contraption, that holds 42 eggs, whether those or quail eggs are turkey eggs or any size in between.  In theory, one could even hatch out alligators with this, if one had the eggs.
 
Kris schulenburg
Posts: 119
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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I have had good luck with heritage turkey hens. They hatch and brood. When the ducks start swimming they get a little upset but come to accept it.
They would not set until early spring.
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Ruby Duckman
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Another vote for the Hovabator. I also use the automatic turner.

IF you don't trust it, you can always mark the eggs just like you would if you were manually turning.  Be sure to check at random times, though.  I  initially thought that my tuner wasn't working properly because I always saw X's on top. Turns out that I was just coinciding with the cycle.
 
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