Do you own a poultry farm? Then you perhaps already know the challenges of not having a brooding hen to hatch the fertilized eggs that the hen lays. And suppose you wish to utilize the opportunity of hatching the majority of fertilized eggs without being dependent on the hen. In that case, you need an artificially heated and moderated environment to hatch eggs.
That device is called an incubator. This technological invention has been a game-changer and should not be underestimated. The controlled environment replicates the brooding hen and provides the necessary conditions for producing chicks from the fertilized eggs.
Either you have chicken, duck, goose, or any other bird, this incubator works for all kinds of eggs. The natural process of raising chickens on your farm is quite an investment. And it would be a great decision to add an incubator to hatch and raise chicks. The hatching efficiency, rate, and effectiveness are higher in an incubator than in a hen sitting and brooding on eggs.
But when it comes to getting your hands on the perfect incubator for your farm, there can be a struggle. There are numerous varieties of an incubator with different shapes, sizes, quantity and comes in a variable price range. So which one to choose?
To make your choice easier, we have narrowed it down to the seven best incubators for chicken eggs in this review, along with the buying guide. We hope this helps you pick the right one.
One of the best incubators available in the market today with a high success rate of hatching eggs is the Brinsea Ovation 56 EX Egg Incubator. The brand manufactures four different sizes of incubators with different capacities- 7, 12, 24, and 56 egg hatching capacity.
We are going to review the highest incubation model of the brand Brinsea. USAG47C Ovation design is the result of continuous improvement in innovation and therefore gives the best incubation results.
This model has induced a dual airflow system for maintaining a constant temperature in the incubator. The automatic incubator has all the digital controls for your easy access and usage of temperature, humidity, and egg turning.
It also consists of an automatic humidity pump along with an automatic humidity controller.
The holding capacity of this incubator is 56 eggs of all types. It is made up of high-quality ABS plastic that is easy to clean, robust, antiseptic, and durable. In addition to these features, the Brinsea incubator allows you to program the egg turning schedule based on your incubation conditions.
The best part about this product is the automatic alarm that alerts you during any rise or fall of temperature in the incubator.
To start the incubator, all you have to do is set the temperature and humidity level, post which the automatic controls will start to function. Not just chick, you can incubate other bird eggs like duck, quail, goose, pheasant, and turkey eggs.
Although it comes only at a significantly higher rate, most people find it useful considering the features.
If you wish to have a high success rate of successfully hatched chicks from the fertilized eggs, then you must check out the HoyaBator Genesis 1588 Egg Incubator. This is another model that is best suited for beginners or any small-scale chicken breeder.
The set-up is pre-assembled by the manufacturer. Therefore, all you have to do is place the eggs inside, pour sufficient water in the humidity chamber, and turn it on.
Suppose you are wondering about the temperature and humidity controls. In that case, we must tell you that the manufacturer has pre-set the device as a chicken egg incubator, therefore easy for first-timers and beginners to use for hatching eggs.
However, most people are not entirely satisfied with the incubator’s material as it is made up of Styrofoam and not plastic and comprises an egg tray and mesh plastic floor.
However, it has a viewing window of 12 X 12 inches along with a Digital Display Control Module, right on top of the lid.
The HoyaBator Genesis 1588 Egg Incubator comes with an in-built thermostat based upon a microprocessor that can automatically control and regulate the temperature inside the incubator. But you can also adjust the temperature manually. The device is designed to thermoregulate itself digitally.
This technology helps maintain the optimum temperature irrespective of any changes in the humidity, temperature, or dirt. The incubator also contains heat sensors that measure and prevents overheating and cooking of the eggs.
The LCD unit placed on the control center shows the actual humidity and temperature and gives you an idea of the incubator’s operational status. This forced-air incubator comes with an in-built fan for circulation of air and also maintain a steady temperature.
It is considered a large incubator as it can accommodate 50 standard chicken or duck eggs.
This brand comes with an incubator in different capacities. However, the Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic 12 Egg incubator can accommodate just 12 eggs for hatching.
This is a tremendous table-top easy to use incubator with fully automatic functions. It can be a great learning experiment for kids, besides hatching a dozen chicks from the fertilized eggs of chicken or duck or goose.
It is made up of PP+ABS material that is both durable and healthy for the growing embryos. It also has an automatic egg turner, which means less human interference and less chance of infection.
The temperature is also controlled automatically, which means that the incubator is maintained at an optimum temperature of hatching eggs.
Although it is simple in design, it can hatch chicken, fowl, duck, and goose eggs without adding additional features.
The Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic incubator is designed for the whole family to experience fun. This reliable design is solid and molded and therefore makes humidity and temperature control very effective and ideal for eggs to incubate.
It has a LED display unit that shows the real-time data of incubation. The controls are built to function automatically and control the temperature, egg turning, and humidity.
If you are looking for an economical option just for your family, this incubator is the best choice.
This is another popular silhouette model for the table-top incubator, designed similarly to the Magicfly and HBlife incubators. But there are a few significant functions of this incubator too.
In the other two models, you may have noticed two or three egg trays, but in this, you will just find two white egg shelves, giving you more flexibility.
The plastic outer mold is translucent and therefore offers some visibility.
The incubator comes with an automatic thermostat, but you will have to adjust the temperature to a strategic point, essential for hatching eggs. The dimensions of the incubator are 13.5 X 9.5 inches.
It just weighs 5 pounds and can hold up to 9 chicken eggs.
The structure comes with 7 X 7 inches meshed white shelves that enable heat, humidity, air, and steam to circulate inside the incubator, promoting the health of the hatchlings.
The automatic in-built egg turner also rotates the eggs at a regular interval. This is considered a small-sized incubator considering the number of eggs it can contain.
Do you wish to own an attractive looking yet highly functional, “intelligent” egg incubator? This OppsDecor Intelligent 56 Digital Egg Incubator comes with all the mentioned features and much more.
The incubator is easy to access and clean, and it comes with automatic temperature and humidity control, an intelligent system with an automatic egg turning mechanism. As mentioned in the name, this incubator can hold up to 56 standard chicken eggs for hatching.
The lid is transparent plastic, which makes viewing the process easy and fun for both you and the family.
This system, too, is a forced air incubator with an in-built faint noise fan that helps circulate air and maintain a steady temperature and humidity throughout the incubator. The structure is designed with a small water inlet placed on the right side for you to add water. This prevents repeated opening and closing of the lid, which may cause some moisture to escape and also cause infection to the embryo.
The incubator also has the in-built function of automatic egg turning, which works at an interval of 2 hours. This not only saves a lot of your time from manually turning each egg to reducing the chance of embryos getting contaminated by the germs from your hands.
Another amazing feature of the incubator is the in-built alarm that signals whenever there is a discrepancy noticed in the incubator’s humidity and temperature. These features allow you to immediately correct the discrepancies and save the embryo growing inside.
The LED display mentions many useful information like the countdown time of egg turning, internal temperature and humidity, and the total hatching days.
It has a very high hatching rate and therefore is considered one of the recommended products on this list.
The next incubator is considered best for household egg hatching and is the Farm Innovators 41-Egg Air Incubator for Chicken. This is one of the highly recommended products in the market.
This incubator is preferred by teachers, researchers, breeders, or poultry farmers as it meets all the hatching or incubation related activities.
This is also a forced-air incubator that can hold around 41 eggs. This incubator comprises an automatic egg turner, scheduled to turn eggs every four hours, and an automatic thermostat designed to regulate the incubator’s temperature automatically.
In addition to that, it has an alarming system in the form of light that glows up when the temperature falls below 97 degrees F or rises above 103 degrees F.
The incubator’s overall structure is quite impressive as the outer body is made up of hard plastic, and the inner body is made up of Styrofoam that promotes insulation. Therefore, the incubator is very durable, well protected against harsh environmental conditions, and can be cleaned easily.
There is a large viewing window on the lid for you to watch what exactly is happening in the incubator. The LCD also shows the actual reading of humidity and temperature.
The incubator also comes with an in-built hygrometer, and you can also manually change the egg turning cycle or temperature from the control panel placed on top.
You can expect a hatch success rate of 90% from this incubator, despite having some drawbacks. It is being known to last long and therefore good value for money product.
Another popular name in the egg incubation industry is the HovaBator Deluxe Egg Incubator Combo Kit. It is considered a reliable option for hatching fertilized eggs for a hobby, business, or other purposes.
Not only is the success rate higher in the incubator, but it is also considered one of the highest producers of hatchlings.
In this incubator, a fan kit is installed. The Incu Turn egg turner, which is also automatic, and Incu Them thermometer/ hygrometer, and Incu Bright egg candler. These items together work to make this a high worth incubator.
The forced air system installed maintains a steady flow of air and temperature in the incubator.
The egg candler provides you with a comprehensive idea of the progress of your egg hatching. It is effortless to use. The incubator holds in moisture very well. But you should have a check on the temperature carefully to ensure the incubator has the correct temperature for eggs to hatch.
This combo kit is the complete solution for egg incubation or hatching. If you are looking for a multi-purpose egg-hatching incubator, this may be the right choice.
Material of Construction
The first and essential component of any incubator is the material of construction. This determines the longevity and also how easy it is to maintain and clean the incubator. Therefore, it is essential to note that the incubator comprises high-quality materials like PC or ABS plastic. These are not only durable but also safe for the chicks.
As there are many brands with varied specifications available for incubators, you may have to choose the one that suits your purpose. The basic models, which are in the lower price range, come with manual controls.
This indicates the temperature, humidity, and egg turner need to be monitored regularly and adjusted daily. At the same time, the higher-end incubators come with fully automatic functions and do everything for you.
While you have a fully automatic incubator, all you have to do is place the eggs in the system, and the rest will be taken care of. With no input of temperature or humidity from you, the incubator controls all the essential functions.
A few automatic incubators come with a hygrometer, which measures humidity, for you to have an idea of what’s going on inside.
Usually, automatic incubators come with turning the eggs automatically and count down till the hatching day, i.e., the 18th day. These extra functions do come at a higher price, but if you are looking to hatching large batches of eggs and saving time, this can be a worthy investment.
What is the scale of your business? Is it small, medium, or large? This scale determines the size of incubator you should be investing in. There are sizes of incubators that can hold a dozen eggs and sizes that can hold a few hundred.
Large incubators are ideal for people who have a large yard or coop, which can accommodate the hatched chicks. But if you are an individual, who is just raising chicks in a small batch or just starting your farm, a small table-top model is ideal.
You should also estimate the number of eggs you wish to hatch regularly.
For instance, if you wish to hatch only a handful of eggs from the entire batch, you must get a small-sized incubator. But if you are willing to hatch dozens and dozens of eggs regularly, it’s best to get a large-sized incubator.
Still Air vs. Forced Air Incubator
The two terms forced air, and still air incubators, make a lot of difference in the incubation process. Forced Air incubators come with an in-built fan that circulates the warm air inside the incubator. As the embryos need proper ventilation and airflow for incubation, it is essential to circulate air and temperature to keep it constant everywhere.
Whereas in a still air incubator, there is no in-built fan. To promote air ventilation and let the embryos breathe, you will have to turn the eggs manually. Due to the absence of a fan, a layer of heat is formed inside, resulting in a temperature difference between the incubator’s bottom and top.
It is essential to choose the right incubator that promotes air circulation to maximize the hatch rate. Automatic incubators are designed to maintain a temperature at pre-set levels. To reduce manual efforts and increase hatch yields, automatic incubators are always recommended.
As the two words indicate, this is an essential and most significant event during incubation. If you already have a farm, you must have noticed that the hen will turn the eggs with her beak while brooding.
To replicate that process, it is essential to turn the eggs every 2-3 hours in an incubator.
In a manual incubator, you will have to do the entire turning process, which can be tedious and time-consuming.
Whereas, in an automatic incubator, the eggs will be rotated and turned automatically without your involvement. Another advantage of having an automatic turner is that it reduces the chance of contamination of germs through your touch.
There are a few models that also allows you to schedule the turning.
Ease of Use
While investing in any electronic instrument, it is crucial to understand how user-friendly it is. Although there are only a few options involved in an incubator, the technical options can be a challenge if you do not understand well, resulting in a low hatch rate.
You will need to choose a model with a user manual and have simple instructions for operating the system. If you prefer an automatic incubator over a manual, you do not have to monitor humidity, ventilation, temperature, and egg turning. There it will reduce your time and efforts, easing your experience.
It is evident that having the right temperature, similar to the hen’s warmth while sitting on the eggs, is essential for incubation. All incubators are designed to provide the same temperature, which is around 100 degrees F, to hatch the eggs.
Any temperature above or below this will result in a lower hatch rate and poor development of an embryo. In an automatic incubator, the temperature is auto-controlled and has an LED or LCD to monitor the temperature. There are a few incubators that also has an in-built alarm. The alarm will signal you in case of unexpected situations.
Did you know, the eggs lose 12% of their weight during incubation? And most of that is credited to humidity. But to hatch an egg, you will have to maintain a constant humidity level.
The thickness of eggshells also determines the humidity level required for hatching, as not all eggshells need the same humidity. It is ideal for maintaining humidity between 25% and 60% to hatch eggs successfully.
Most incubators come with a channel for you to administer water inside. There are a few automatic incubators that have a humidity pump. You must continuously monitor the water and humidity levels.
If you have kids around the house or are interested in watching the slow process of eggs turning into beautiful chicks, then this might be exciting. Not just for a visual experience, the viewing window plays a vital role in observing is everything looks okay inside the incubator.
Most people or farmer tries to install a viewing window or already have it installed in the incubator. They are also convenient to open the lid and make adjustments in the eggs or incubator.
Ease to Clean
A few incubators are challenging to maintain and clean after every hatching phase. It is essential to get an incubator that is easy to clean and does not require much hassle.
A few materials like ABS plastic are very easy to maintain as well as clean. They are also very hygienic. Therefore, our advice will be to get an incubator that is designed to clean and maintain easily.
While you are starting a farm, we understand you may have a lot of investment already made. In such a case, a model that is within the budget and suits all the needs will serve you the best. To begin with, the incubator that has highly defined functions will cost you higher.
But the basic models work just as fine, but you will have to be involved in many steps like egg turning, temperature setting, etc. Therefore, depending on what circumstances, you are in and the kind of commitment you can promise, you will have to choose the incubator.
This comprehensive review lists some of the highest-ranked and most recommended products for you to choose from. The products listed above are highly durable and can also serve you as a long-term investment.
There are different capacities also available for you to choose from as per your requirement. It can be challenging to choose the right one, given the number of options available. But if you compare the products mentioned here, we are confident that you will find the right incubator for chicken eggs.