Grant Brereton from Fancy Fowl magazine reviews the Ovation 28EX incubator
‘It’s always ‘eggs-citing’ receiving a free incubator to trial, but would this one live up to expectations? I have been a fan of Brinsea products for nearly 20 years, so for me any new releases have a lot to prove.
The following is my experience with one of their latest offerings – the Ovation 28EX…
With a clear perspex cover and the expected yellow plastic moulded base, the 28EX comes with 4 neat black plastic egg carriers that sit on mounts and are turned by a motor located in the lid. Each carrier holds around 7 bantam to large fowl eggs, but larger carriers can be purchased for duck and goose eggs. The base has 2 reservoirs that have removable plastic covers and a white absorption pad fits into the near one. This allows the machine to regulate the humidity that you set by means of a small humidity pump located in the lid. It draws water from your chosen external water holder and drips it slowly via a plastic pipe onto the evaporation block. I used a spring water bottle for this purpose. On the 18th day of incubation, the eggs are placed on the base of the incubator, whilst the trays are removed and the humidity raised to 65 degrees.
My one criticism would be that the instruction manual could have been simplified and looks a little complex for what it’s trying to say. It’s not quite a ‘plug in and play’ incubator which suits us in this day and age (where we like to have everything done for us) but it is very efficient in so many ways. You will be required to do a bit yourself, like fitting the external water pipe and cutting it to size so that it extends to your water bottle. Oh, and you will need a water bottle! (or pint glass etc). You will also need to buy new absorption pads for each hatch, and these are available at a price of £11.99 for 3 from the Brinsea website.
When I candled my 28 eggs, 22 were fertile, so on day 18 I removed the duds, switched off the turner, raised the humidity, and with eager anticipation left the rest to hatch. To my amazement all 22 hatched and I was over the moon with the result. Cleaning the base was fairly easy with the only fiddly bit being the fins leading to the reservoirs which I cleaned with an upturned pencil. The lid required a few screws coming out to access the fan area and remove all the down, but this was easy enough, and all incubators need a clean between hatches.
The computer located at the top of the lid was easy enough to use and can be learnt in minutes. It may look a little daunting at first, but that’s because it does so much of the thinking for us. I was very pleased with how the settings lined up – I set mine to 37.5 degrees with 45% humidity and the machine had no problem stabilising both. So overall, value for money and a machine that will give you the results you want. It will take a little bit of input from you, but Brinsea are already working on Online Tutorials and have a helpline should you need it. Each machine also comes with a 3 year guarantee when you register it via their website. Would I recommend it? Absolutely!’
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