Poultry production is a common small livestock farming activity. You might be into poultry for meat, eggs, or for pets – in all cases chicks are always needed. Egg incubators are central to poultry production as they are used to produce chicks from eggs. This article will guide you into selecting the best poultry egg incubator.
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When it comes to egg incubators, there are several suppliers on Amazon. It becomes challenging to select the best egg incubator, especially when you have no experience. We have solved this problem for you. Go through this poultry egg incubator buying guide, and select the best egg incubator that suits your requirements and preferences. After reading this guide, you will know the best egg incubators for chicken eggs, and the most affordable budget egg incubators.
Table of Contents
Best egg incubators Comparison Chart
|R-COM MX-20 PLASTIC/METAL MODEL AUTOMATIC DIGITAL AUTO-TURNING EGG INCUBATOR||HBLIFE 9-12 DIGITAL FULLY AUTOMATIC INCUBATOR FOR CHICKEN EGGS||NOELER EGG INCUBATOR DIGITAL AUTOMATIC INCUBATOR|
|GQF THERMAL AIR HOVA-BATOR||INCUVIEW ALL-IN-ONE AUTOMATIC EGG INCUBATOR||FARM INNOVATORS MODEL 4250 DIGITAL CIRCULATED AIR INCUBATOR|
Reviews of The Best EGG INCUBATORS
1. Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator
This is a 9 to 12 eggs poultry hatcher for chickens, ducks and goose birds. It is very simple, compact and is made from durable PP+ABS material. It fits at most 12 eggs and is digital and full automatically. It is has an automatic egg turner. There is also automatic temperature controlling. It weighs 4.85 pounds and measures 14 by 7.5 by 6.9 inches in size. Operating voltage is 110 ~ 120V/50 hertz. Ambient temperature is 10 ~ 40 degrees Celsius. This is a forced air type of egg incubator.
We give this one a rating of 4.3 out 5. It is easy to use and has good temperature control and accuracy. Great buy for small poultry keepers who handle small number of eggs. This is the small size – best incubator on the market. It’s also the best most affordable incubator.
2. HovaBator Genesis 1588 Advanced Egg Incubator Combo Kit
This egg incubator comes with a preset electronic thermostat – it is a push button thermostat control. It has an automatic egg turner and has a digital display for temperature and humidity display. It made using Styrofoam which is very durable and is a good insulator. This is a circulated air type of egg incubator. This is because it has a fan that regulates the temperature inside. It has a big 12 by 12 inch viewing window. It also has a plastic mesh floor and a plastic tray for humidity control. It has a 12V DC power system compatible with 110V and 220V. The automatic egg turner gently turns the eggs 6 per day. It has a universal egg tray for different sizes of eggs. Egg capacities are 42 for chicken, 70 for quail, and 28 for goose. It weighs 5.65 pounds and measures 19.2 by 19.2 by 5.6 inches in size. It requires 3 AAA batteries.
We give this a rating of 4.4 out of 5. It is extremely easy to use, clean and is very accurate. One of the most highly recommended egg incubators by most breeders. The controls work quite well and are for the most part, accurate. This is the mid sized best egg incubator of 2020.
3. Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator 1502
It has 3 racks that automatically turn and has a hatching tray in the bottom. It has an LCD display for temperature and humidity readings. It also has a thermostat. There is an onboard computer that monitors and regulates the internal environment. Egg turning is done automatically by an electronic egg turning control mechanism. The egg capacity is remarkably high. We are talking about 1368 quail eggs (set and hatch 250 per week), 354 pheasant eggs, 270 chicken eggs, 198 turkey or duck eggs, and 36 to 45 goose, peafowl or emu eggs. This egg incubator weighs 145 pounds and measures 30.2 by 15.8 by 31.8 inches.
We rate this one 4 out 5. This is really a highly rated egg incubator. It works great with respect to what it is supposed to do. This is the large sized – best egg incubator for chicken eggs.
4. HBlife 9-12 Digital Fully Automatic Incubator for Chicken Eggs
This egg incubator is suitable for chicken eggs, ducks, pigeons, quails and geese. It is a digital incubator which measures 14.6 by 10.6 by 6.8 inches. It weighs 4.76 pounds. It has an egg capacity of 9 ordinary chicken or ducks and 16 pigeon or quail eggs. Frequency range is 50 to 60 hertz and temperature is 38 degrees Celsius plus/minus 1 degree Celsius. It is made of durable material and is clean plus simple to use. It is full automatic i.e. turns the eggs and has a thermostat that regulates temperature. The thermometer has clearly visible display thus making it easy to observe.
We rate this chicken egg incubator 4.3 out 5. It is easy to use, has excellent temperature control and is accurate. It is reasonably priced and makes for easy observation. This is one of the most affordable and best egg incubator for chicken eggs.
5. R-Com MX-20 Plastic/Metal Model Automatic Digital Auto-Turning Egg Incubator
This egg incubator comes as metal or plastic make. It is automatic, digital and has auto-turning for the eggs. This is an egg incubator that can accommodate 20 chicken eggs, 52 quail eggs and 10 goose size eggs. It has a universal egg tray that is adjustable for different sizes of eggs. It also has temperature and humidity control. It weighs 10 pounds and measures 20.7 by 16.7 by 8 inches.
This egg incubator gets a 4.2 out 5 from us. This egg incubator is characterised by high hatch rates (over 90 percent). It is easy to setup and use plus it is easy to clean. It easily qualifies as one of the best chicken egg incubators.
6. Noeler Egg Incubator Digital Automatic Incubator
This is multipurpose digital egg incubator. It can handle chicken, goose, duck, turkey, dove, and quail eggs. It has an egg capacity of 48 eggs. It has a digital temperature control – settings can be changed for temperature, humidity, hatching day and egg turning time. Eggs are automatically turned every 2 hours. There is a built-in fan that circulates the air for even distribution of temperature and humidity. It made from ABS material which offers protection – it is highly recommended. It measures 18.5 by 18.5 by 9 inches in size. It has an alarm for when temperature and humidity are not in check. It has built-in water channels which control humidity.
We give this one a rating of 3.5 out 5. Its outstanding attribute is that it is quite affordable.
7. GQF Thermal Air Hova-Bator
It comes with two small windows on the top for easy observation. It can be used for chicken, duck, quail, and guinea eggs amongst others. It weighs 1.18 pounds and measures 46.4 by 46.4 by 13.1 inches in size.
We are giving this poultry egg incubator a rating of 4 out 5. It has a good egg capacity i.e. it can accommodate 42 eggs with the turner on and 50 without the turner. This egg incubator is among the best egg incubators of 2020.
8. IncuView All-in-One Automatic Egg Incubator
This egg incubator has an in-built egg turner, easy to use controller, and a countdown hatch timer. The egg turner is auto-off and it is universal (can accommodate any size of eggs). The egg capacity is up to 27 eggs plus there is a built-in humidity gauge. There is also an automatic temperature control. It weighs 4.45 pounds and measures 16 by 14 by 5 inches in size. It requires an LR44 battery. The automatic egg turner rolls eggs 6 times per day – the number of times is adjustable though. The lid is in the form of a clear dome thus making it easy to view what is inside.
We give this egg incubator a rating of 4.1 out 5 – it’s one of the best small egg incubators. Temperature and humidity are much more manageable as compared to other brands. It is very easy to clean because of the hard plastic design. The great thing about this egg incubator is that it has premium features yet costing much less than most high-end egg incubators.
9. Brinsea Products USAG47C Ovation 56 EX Fully Automatic Egg Incubator
It has an induced dual airflow system which optimizes temperature consistency. It has automatic egg turning, automatic humidity control and an elaborate alarm system for effective regulation. All you need do is to set the temperature and humidity to your desirable levels then the incubator does the rest. It has a menu-based digital control system which has a digital display. The alarm sounds when the room or incubator temperature is either too low or too high. The automatic egg turning system can be programmed. Airflow and ventilation are kept in check by a fan. There is an in-built mechanism meant to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. This entails an anti-microbial additive that is incorporated on the plastic cabinet of the egg incubator. The maximum egg capacity is 56 eggs. This can be played around with by using optional egg carriers. The egg incubator weighs 11 pounds.
We give this one a rating of 4.2 out 5. It is easy to use and highly accurate. It carries unique features that you do not always find in egg incubators. For instance, the anti-microbial addictive on the plastic cabinet is great. Its automation features are top notch – it really takes out the manual labour. This is the second best mid-sized egg incubator for poultry eggs.
10. Farm Innovators Model 4250 Digital Circulated Air Incubator
This has an automatic egg turner which weighs 6.95 pounds. It can also handle duck and geese eggs. Its power specs are 120 volts, 40 watts and 0.33 amps. This egg incubator can handle as many as 41 eggs. It has an integrated fan that sucks in and circulates fresh air in order to regulate the temperature. There is a display that displays the temperature, humidity and a days-to-hatch countdown timer. The automatic egg turner turns the eggs wholly after every 4 hours. There is a notification light that lights when temperature is either two low or too high. There is a big window that makes observation very clear and easy. It made from polystyrene foam which is a good insulator.
We give this one a rating of 3.8 out 5. It is overally easy to use and also reasonably priced. It is also quite easy to clean.
The best budget egg incubator
The best budget poultry egg incubator is the Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator. Despite its being the cheapest here, it is also highly rated amongst consumers.
Overall Best egg incubator of 2020
From out list we have picked the Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator 1502 as the best egg incubator for 2020. You will notice that it is quite pricey but it is the epitome of what you want an egg incubator to have. It is one of the few egg incubators that carry an onboard computer. This means that it has very sensitive and accurate digital controls. Its egg capacity is also very high thus making it very suitable for a wide array of production scales. It can handle several types of eggs, provides for easy observation and has a digital display for the controls. It is easy to clean, is made from durable material and has 3 separate racks for the eggs. So, despite it being pricey it has superior features that make egg incubation and hatching highly optimized.
What Is An Egg Incubator?
An egg incubator is a device or machine that is specially designed to provide the optimum conditions for an egg to incubate and hatch. An egg incubator has in built functionality to regulate atmospheric conditions such as humidity and temperature. The concept is quite simple really in that an egg incubator seeks to carry out something that is normally done by actual hens. It is important to know that there are several other names used to refer to an egg incubator. Some of them are hatchers, breeding machines, hatching machines, setters, and hatcheries amongst others.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Incubators
An egg incubator can consistently maintain the optimum conditions that are necessary for eggs to incubate and hatch. Consider a scenario where it is a hen that is doing that. There are obviously inconsistencies and fluctuations in the temperature and humidity conditions. Bear in mind that the incubation period for chicken eggs takes 3 weeks. There are also threats such as predators and so on. Overall, there is not even a guarantee that the eggs will ultimately hatch. However, when using an egg incubator there is consistent regulation and certainty.
There is a higher rate of eggs hatching when using an egg incubator than otherwise. Some of the reasons why it is like that are closely related to what we just discussed moments ago. Incidences of physical damages to eggs are also eliminated when using an incubator. The other reason for this high rate will be apparent as we discuss the next advantage of using egg incubators.
Using an egg incubator ensures that the hens are not so pre-occupied that they cannot lay more eggs. Remember we said incubation takes 3 weeks. If a hen has to do the incubation itself it means it cannot lay eggs in that period. That translates to a loss in eggs that could have been potentially laid in that period. On average, a hen can hatch as many as 30 chicks annually. Alternatively, if it were to be left to just lay eggs which would then be put in an incubator as many as 300 chicks can be hatched.
The possibility of spreading parasites or diseases from the hens to the chicks is eliminated by using an egg incubator.
Using an egg incubator makes it easy to plan because you know when the eggs will likely hatch. It is different from when it is hens because you can never exactly know when it will start sitting for it eggs.
The first obvious issue to talk about here is how costly incubators tend to be. Some people cannot afford to purchase incubators.
Incubators require electricity in order to function. This then presents a challenge for areas where there is erratic power supply or where there is no power at all.
Handling and managing the eggs once they are in the incubator is labour-intensive. Occasionally the eggs have to be turned plus routine checks and maintenances. All that makes the process very sensitive and demanding.
What Are The Prices Of Incubators?
The prices depend on the type of egg incubator in question. The still air incubators are the most basic and also the cheapest. The digital and fully automated ones tend to be the most expensive due to their complex and comprehensive designs. On average, you can get an egg incubator from as little as US$50 and the prices span into several thousands of US dollars.
What Are The Different Types Of Incubators?
There several different types of egg incubators out there so let us discuss some of them.
Still Air Incubators
This is usually the simplest, cheapest and most basic type of incubator you can find. It is usually associated with lots of manual labour because you have to constantly check temperature and humidity. You also have to turn the eggs numerous times during the day. These types of incubators usually have a basic heating element even a fan sometimes. Water channels can also be present and obviously will have a platform where you can place the eggs. As the name suggests there is still air so warmth will not be evenly distributed around the incubator. This is why the manual elements we mentioned earlier become necessary.
Circulated Air Incubators
These, as the name shows, do circulate the warm air around the incubator. Thus the warm air will be evenly distributed throughout the incubator. This means a fan is normally available in order to do the circulation. These are what you would call intermediate types of incubators because they a notch above the still air incubators. They are also known as forced air incubators.
They span over a wide range depending on the functionality built into them. Some are small and very basic whilst some are quite large and very elaborate. These types of incubators eliminate any assumptive and laborious manual work. These ones regulate temperature and humidity levels automatically. The number of eggs that can be accommodated at once can range from as low as just 7 eggs to even more than 60 eggs.
Features Of A Good Egg Incubator
A good egg incubator must have a design that makes it easy to observe the eggs when they are inside. So an egg incubator that has a window or a transparent door would be ideal. This would great because you will not have to always open the incubator to observe. This is because constantly opening will compromise the internal environment in terms of temperature and humidity, for instance.
Easy To Clean
Egg incubation, particularly hatching makes the egg incubator dirty. Thus it will always be necessary to clean the incubator before putting in the batch of eggs. A good egg incubator must have an easy to clean setup and easy to clean material. Materials like fiberglass and hard plastic are some of the materials that can be easily scrubbed without getting damaged. Some egg incubators have an assembly framework that allows for disassembling in the event you want to clean. So a good egg incubator must be easy to clean.
Sensitive And Consistent Controls
A good egg incubator must have controls in order to monitor certain metrics. We are talking about things like airflow, temperature, and humidity. If there are built-in controls to monitor and regulate these elements then that is a great egg incubator to use.
Adequate Hatching Space
An egg incubator must have adequate hatching space. The proportion of the hatching space must be1:3 to the total egg capacity of the egg incubator. This is what is recommended for an optimum environment and high hatch rate.
A good egg incubator takes out the need for lots of manual labour. Highly elaborate egg incubators are so automated that everything, including even the egg turning is automated. A good incubator’s controls are automated so that monitoring and regulation can be done any time even in the absence of people.
Uses Of An Egg Incubator
As we indicated at the beginning an egg incubator incubates and hatches eggs into chicks. This is something that is normally done by actual hens as you well know. Interestingly, there are scenarios that can necessitate the use of an egg incubator. Some of them are:
Wanting Increased Control
Using an egg incubator gives one more control over the incubation and hatching of eggs. You can decided when to start and can be sure of when hatching occurs. This means you can plan in a more detailed manner because of the control an egg incubator gives you. This is stark contrast to when you have to solely rely on the hens to do it all.
Starting Out With Just Eggs
Some people can start out the raising of chickens by getting grown chickens or maybe chicks. However, some can prefer to start from scratch by getting fertilized eggs so that they incubate them. Such a scenario would mean an egg incubator is needed.
The logic is quite simple in that when a hen sits on its eggs it will not be laying eggs. Incubation takes on average 21 days which is a long time for a hen to not be laying eggs. Bringing in an egg incubator translates into the chickens solely focusing in just laying eggs. Thus production is increased in the process.
Variations In Hens’ Maternal Instincts
Not all hens have great maternal instincts. Some are not so sensitive enough to prioritize or be patient enough to sit on eggs for 3 weeks. Some end up even eating their own eggs. This makes hatching irregular and unpredictable which is why then someone would use an egg incubator to eclipse such limitations.
Factors To Consider When Buying An Egg Incubator
Overall, it is important to know that the overarching metrics that are central to egg incubation are temperature, humidity and ventilation – these are the core. Closely related to them are the positioning of the eggs and the turning of the eggs. So when looking to purchase an egg incubator you must consider the following:
This is tied in to the number of eggs you intend or project to incubate. It also recommended that an egg incubator must operate at full capacity. It has been found that the best results are wrought when using the egg incubator at full capacity.
This will depend on your particular needs and other issues. Remember we discussed the 3 types of egg incubators earlier. You have to consider the controls that an egg incubator comes with. Do you want to operate manually, semi-automatically or fully automatically? The controls are a guiding element in showing what type an egg incubator is.
It is important to get an egg incubator that has adequate hatching space. There is something you can use as a guideline in trying to ensure you will have significant and easy control over the hatching of the eggs. It is recommended that the hatching space should be at least a third of the egg capacity of the egg incubator.
As we pointed out when we discussed the different types of egg incubators, labour needs vary. The most basic types require lots of labour whereas the high-end fully automated ones are the most hassle free to use. In essence what is your preferred level of involvement? The answer to that will give an indication of what extent of labour you are willing to put in. That, in turn, will give you an idea of the type of egg incubator to get.
Egg Incubator Lifespan
This is crucial for longevity – normally anyone would want something that last longs. So it is a consideration one can make when purchasing an egg incubator. There also certain details tied in to this e.g. easily available spare parts or accessories and easily available service and maintenance services. These are aspects that ultimately ensure that your egg incubator lasts long.
What Kind Of Egg Incubator Should I Get?
The kind of egg incubator to get largely depends on your specific needs. There are, of course, guiding elements that can inform the kind of egg incubator one should get. Earlier we talked about certain things like considerable automation, egg capacity and several other things. It is generally best to get an egg incubator that is automatic or automated. You must also consider the type of material used to make that egg incubator – ABS plastic is highly recommended one. Levels of automation do vary but it is best to get one that has automation. We also mentioned how that it is best for an egg incubator to operate at full capacity. Thus you must get an incubator that you are sure can operate at full capacity. What we mean by full capacity is in reference to egg capacity. There are scenarios though where you can do with the small and basic types of egg incubators. Especially when you are only going to be dealing with small number of eggs needing hatching it will be manageable.