As far as HovaBators go, this model is pretty nice.
This incubator features the styrofoam construction that is lightweight and easy to move as needed. However, this construction is not typically as durable as other types of materials. Still, this incubator does have some features to help make up for the construction.
The GQF 1583 has a large picture window that allows you to see all of your eggs, which is a huge improvement over the 1602 and 2362. This one also features the Turbofan system, which means that it uses circulated air to keep temps consistent and even throughout the unit.
Although this unit still uses the wafer control system, it is pretty easy to set it and forget it, making this a good incubator for beginners or low-volume breeders. Just make sure you are storing it properly to keep it from becoming damaged. It is important to use a cleaner that is safe on styrofoam as well, as some cleaners will eat through the material making it virtually unusable.
The 1602 is about the most basic, inexpensive incubator you can get. Made from styrofoam, this unit does not offer the durability that other incubators boast, but for the price, it is hard to complain.
This provides very little in the way of features. It has a manual thermostat setting (wafer-style), no digital temperature readout, no humidity reading or display, and egg turners are not included, but can be added on separately. That being said, it can still be a great choice for someone who wants to try incubating without investing a lot of start-up money into the project. If you decide breeding is not for you, then you aren’t out that much. If you decide you enjoy it, then you can upgrade to a better incubator and continue to use this unit as a hatcher.
All in all, while I wouldn’t recommend this incubator to experienced breeders, the HovaBator 1602 can be a great introduction to incubation.
The R-Com Pro 20 is about as good as it gets where tabletop incubators are concerned (except for maybe the Pro USB!) There are many things we like about this unit- the turning functionality, the water reserve system, and the capacity are all great features. The amount of control and precision you are able to get out of this machine is really quite incredible.
First, let’s talk about the control panel. This panel allows you to digitally control all functions of the incubator, including temperature, egg turning intervals, and humidity. You can even set it to your specific bird type to enable recommended settings of the incubator for that breed. It even includes a “D-Day” countdown to hatch! If there is a power failure, instead of reverting to default, it will save and restore your last incubation settings.
The function of the incubator is just as nice as the controls. The sliding system for egg turning is very smooth. The integrated humidity control system is fantastic. With most other brands this requires a separate device and hoses, etc. Here, it is all built-in and ready to go. The temperature is rock-solid and has 3 internal fans regulating it. The large viewing window gives you great visibility of your eggs. Overall, it is a sleek, easy to use device that provides great precision and control over incubation.
That all being said, the major downside of this is the price tag. At over $600 bucks, you will most likely only find value in this investment if you are incubating very valuable or rare species. Many other less expensive incubators will do the trick at a fraction of the cost for most basic incubation needs. However, if you are incubating high dollar eggs, or very difficult to incubate eggs, then this is certainly worth the investment for the return you will get. This incubator is also very durable, so you can feel confident that it will last through many incubation seasons and cycles, making the price tag a little less painful as well. Many would rather buy an incubator that they know will last and have that security than have to buy a new one every 1-3 years, and not know when it will decide to stop working, or what the repercussions of incubator failure could be.