Sustainable Living

JN12 Egg Incubator Review

Can U spell or waz up heh?

Seeing an obvious spelling mistake like ‘Voltoge’ instead of ‘Voltage’ is normally a cause for concern. Especially if it is on the top of your product for all to see; if they can’t get that right, what else did they miss?

Well the instructions are absolute crap (yet funny to read), but all the pieces were there so  no problem getting to the point of plugging it in and adding eggs.

One of those trade-off situations I guess; pay US$100 for an incubator delivered so expect some trim around the edges.

Let’s find out how much trim…

the jn 12 egg hatcher

21 quail eggs all ready to go. Could have fitted in more but really, 20 odd quail chicks is more than enough to keep me busy.

holds many eggs

Due to a design flaw (as in NO design), those plastic barriers will shift upwards unless locked into place. You need them there at egg level to ensure they are rotated when the tray container is moved from side to side.

Those eggs will not give you chicks unless they are rotated frequently.

My twine repair job seemed like a good choice.

twine wrapped around tray bars

About 100ml of warm water is added into the base of the tray to encourage humidity. This should be done every couple of days.

water poured into the incubator humidity

The temperature sensor on the left – rotating arm on the right.

I had to pull the sensor down (gently), to get closer to the eggs, but for chickens eggs it would have been at the right height.

The rotating arm is almost silent and ran efficiently.

top section of incubator inverted

The incubator heats up or cools down in response to the temperature of the room it is in, so be mindful of those conditions. Wrapping a towel around it helps maintain an even temperature and lessens the load on the motor.

This happened to me with the first batch – I came home from work on what was a hot day and the incubator temperature was 38.5c. Do keep an eye on that because it can literally kill off all your hard work.

towel helps maintain tempretures

Preparations for Pipping, then Hatching

At 37.5°C you have about 15 days to pipping for quail, about 18 for chickens, and 25 for ducks. Pipping is when the chick starts to break into an air sack within the egg, and then following this, will start to break through the shell.

It is an amazing thing to watch.

You can tell it is happening by watching the eggs, and this can be tricky with the JN12 due to the plastic lid. I found that by resting the lid to the side of the case allows the warm air to continue running over the eggs, up to about 5 minutes should be fine.

The eggs will jump, rock, spin, and pivot, just like some kind of magic trick. Like I say it is an amazing thing to watch.

At this point, 3 things to do:

  • Remove the tray container and allow the eggs to sit loosely on the shelf
  • Increase the water level to 200ml and keep it at that to encourage humidity
  • Adjust the temperature down half a degree to 37.0°C – do this by holding down the ‘Set’ button and pressing the ‘-‘ button 5 five times.

remove tray from incubator

The birds need humidity to break through the shell, otherwise you will experience high numbers of ‘Dead in Shell’. It ain’t pretty let me tell you.

The eggs should hatch within 3-5 days of pipping.

So Does the JN12 Deliver?

I’ve run 2 batches so far with the JN12 – here are the numbers:

Batch 1 (82% Success)

  • 17 Eggs
  • 14 Hatched
  • 1 Dead in Shell
  • 2 No Growth

Batch 2 (95% Success)

  • 21 Eggs
  • 20 Hatched
  • 1 Dead in Shell

The Art of Incubation

The professionals would call it a science, but for the first time home enthusiast there is still so much to learn.

Lucky for me I had a good incubator, which I guess is the conclusion of this review.

Conclusion – The JN-12 is worth buying (in the US$100 price range), and will suit the needs of an amateur breeder.

If you are into quail like me, then I strongly recommend you read the books Keeping Quail, and Incubation: A guide to Hatching and Rearing, both by Katie Thear. Between the two of these you will have everything you need to see it through.

Well, besides an incubator, electricity, luck, water, patience, luck, good eggs, and luck…

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2 thoughts on “JN12 Egg Incubator Review

  1. The two no-growth eggs shouldn’t be attributed to the model of incubator. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way, but it does almost come across like the JN12 had an 82% success rate on your first trial, rather than the general success of your eggs.

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