Brinsea Mini Advance Incubator review

Brinsea mini advance incubatorSince our broody hen hasn’t
stepped up to the plate yet, we decided to give incubators another
try.  The Brinsea Mini Advance Incubator caught my eye because it
has several features that I think will make it more likely to hatch
chicks in our variable climate.

Temperature has been our
Achilles heel in the past, so I chose our incubator primarily based on
its ability to constantly monitor and adjust air temperature.  If
the outside air temperature rises or falls too much and the incubator
can’t keep up, it sets off an alarm and keeps a letter on the digital
display so that you know a problem occurred even if you aren’t around
to hear the beep.  That way, you can candle the eggs and see if
the chicks were injured so that you don’t wait out the full incubation
period thinking nothing went wrong.

Adjusting incubator settingsMore mainstream people
probably choose the incubator because of the clear observation dome
that allows you to watch the whole process without bothering the eggs
or hatching chicks.  The automatic egg turning uses a rolling
floor so that the eggs are turned horizontally, like a mother hen would
roll her eggs, rather than tipped vertically the way many other models
operate.  You can also adjust several of the features (incubation
temperature, turning radius, turning interval, etc.) using the keypad
on the top.  And the price tag is surprisingly low — $100 to
$150, which is not much more than we paid for our
Giant incubator
egg turner, a combo that had no thermostatic temperature control and
was made of hard-to-clean, fragile styrofoam.

There are also a few
disadvantages of the Brinsea Mini Advance Incubator that you should be
aware of.  First, the incubator has a small capacity, holding only
7 chicken eggs.  (We didn’t mind this since we want to start
several small batches rather than one big batch, but I can see how
other chicken-keepers could consider this a disadvantage.)  We
Brinsea Mini Advance Incubatordiscovered that the incubator
beeps right before turning the eggs — we found we couldn’t sleep with
the incubator in the same room and have no clue why it would need to
beep prior to turning.  Finally, if you’re looking for the
Cadillac of small-scale incubators, you may want to upgrade to the next
model up which monitors and adjusts the humidity.

If all goes as planned,
we expect our first hatch in the middle of April.  Even if we
don’t get any chicks, I won’t blame it on the incubator, though —
despite all of our efforts to keep a constant room temperature around
the unit, we had the high alarm and the low alarm each go off in the
first few days.  But at least we’ll know why we have problems if
we do.  I think this incubator will make a good backup while we
work toward finding the right broody hens for our flock.

We raise our chicks using our
chicken waterer from day 1 for healthiest

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