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Are you a backyard chicken enthusiast looking to hatch your own chicks? The key to a successful hatch is a reliable egg incubator.
A well-functional egg incubator can make a difference by maintaining the optimal temperature, humidity, and ventilation necessary to develop healthy chicks.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned chicken keeper, selecting the best egg incubator is crucial to ensure a high hatch rate and healthy chicks.
This article will cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision, from budget-friendly options to high-end models with advanced features. Keep scrolling!
5 Best Egg Incubators For Chickens
When it comes to hatching eggs, maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial. It can be neither too high nor too low. Otherwise, the embryo inside the eggs will die. KEBONNIXS incubator comes with a strong circulating fan to distribute the temperature in all areas equally.
A well-distributed consistent temperature will increase the hatch success rate. It ensures the proper development of the embryos inside the eggs. More importantly, you are less likely to see any hot or cold spots that could lead to uneven hatching.
Thinking of buying a hygrometer to track down the incubator humidity level? Leave this thought! KEBONNIXS incubator will show the humidity level in real-time inside the incubator on display. It comes in handy, especially for the last few days of incubation.
Besides, the incubator features temperature tracking and prediction technology. It continuously tracks and records the temperature alters 3 times in each second. Also, the system will automatically adjust the temperature to create a comfortable temperature for the eggs.
|✅ An automatic egg turner system to alter egg position every hour for better heat distribution
|🔻 The cover doesn’t have a comfortable grip to keep it in a good position
|✅ Water top-up located outside the incubator to avoid affecting the internal temperature
|🔻 Some complained a nasty electronics smell was coming out from the heater
|✅ A built-in egg candler to see if the eggs are fertilized and the conditions of the embryos
|✅ An Automatic stop turning system to avoid rolling eggs anymore before three days of hatching
|✅ A built-in display on the top shows the real-time temperature and humidity level
See the Kebonnix egg incubator unboxing and how to use it in this YouTube video:
Do you need to hatch a lot of eggs at a time? This incubator from Harris Farm can accommodate up to 22 eggs. Apart from chicken eggs, you can hatch duck and pheasant eggs. The unit has a crystal clear top to see the current condition of each egg during the hatching process.
The Manna Pro incubator will automatically adjust the humidity. For the first 21 days, the humidity level will be around 52%. It may take 3-4 hours to create a stable humidity level. After counting 21 days through its automatic system, it will alter the humidity level to around 72%.
However, it comes with a humidity adjusting knob to fine-tune the humidity levels to the optimal range for the specific type of egg being incubated. This gives you more precise control over the incubation process, which is necessary for a higher hatch rate and healthier chicks.
Harris Farm incubator features a 360° induced airflow system to reduce the chances of hot and cold spots. It helps maintain a more stable and consistent environment for the developing embryos. Overall, it is a reliable and easy-to-use incubator.
|✅ A digital display of real-time temperature and humidity levels with 8 buttons
|🔻 Cleaning the incubator is a bit tricky once the hatching is complete
|✅ An automatic timer system to countdown days after placing the eggs
|🔻 A handle on the lid/top could be better to get it properly seated
|✅ Air vent under each corner of the base for better air circulation and heat distribution
|✅ An external water pot to refill water easily from outside
|✅ Automatic egg turning system for the first 18 days and stops automatically after 18 days
See Mark Warren’s excellent review of the Harris Farm Nurture egg incubator in this YouTube video:
Are you looking for an entry-level egg incubator? This TRIOCOTTAGE Egg Incubator appears to be a perfect option. It can hold around 8-10 larger chicken eggs or 12-15 small chicken eggs. The unit has an automatic egg-turning system that rotates eggs every two hours.
The upper and lower part of the TRIOCOTTAGE egg incubator has Styrofoam. This makes the unit lightweight. Kids can easily transport them. Also, it has excellent insulating properties to maintain a stable and consistent temperature inside the incubator.
The incubator has mainly a hard-plastic body. Cleaning the unit is easygoing and takes a few minutes to create a tip-top condition. The unit has a partially transparent cover to monitor the hatching process. It will prevent unwanted fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels.
TRIOCOTTAGEegg incubator has an air dry storage system to reduce the risk of bacterial growth. It will help maintain the viability of the embryos, leading to a higher hatch rate. Overall, this compact, lightweight, basic incubator is perfect for new chicken keepers.
|✅ An automatic egg-turning system that rotates eggs every two hours
|🔻 The accuracy of the temperature display is not 100%
|✅ Styrofoam top and bottom to maintain a stable and consistent temperature inside the incubator
|🔻 A short heightened incubator that causes a hard time for chicks’ movements
|✅ An air-dry storage system to reduce the risk of bacterial growth
|✅ Made from hard plastic for easy cleaning and maintaining a hygienic condition
|✅ A compact, lightweight, and basic incubator for new chicken owners
Check out this YouTube video and find out how to use this Triocottage egg incubator:
Are you searching for a huge incubator? Farm Innovators 4250 Incubators can hatch up to 41 eggs at a time. Opening the incubator can affect the internal hatching process as some warm moist air may go outside. The unit has E-Z fill water channels to add water without opening it.
Some incubators take 4-5 hours to stabilize a perfect temperature. But Farm Innovators 4250 features an Incutek heater. It takes a few minutes to swiftly heat the incubators and achieve a pre-set 100° F temperature. The unit won’t negatively affect the hatch rate of the eggs or embryos.
This incubator needs 40 watts to operate. It is highly energy efficient. Compared to other models, it will consume less electricity. The best part is it will maintain a consistent and stable temperature until the eggs are hatched.
Farm Innovators 4250 has a heavy-duty plastic shell in the interior areas. It makes the unit tough and resistant to damage. The unit will protect the delicate contents of the incubator, such as developing embryos or hatching chicks, from harm.
|✅ Can hold up to 41 eggs with deep egg trays
|🔻 Some complained the temperature on the screen doesn’t show 100% accurate result
|✅ An integrate automatic fan ensures even temperature distribution without any bacteria growth
|🔻 Need to open the incubator to refill the water port
|✅ Built-in egg candler to monitor egg fertility, embryo development, and other things
|✅ An automatic egg turns to flip eggs consistently and accurately without any error
|✅ A digitally circulated air incubator for precise and well-balanced temperatures in all areas
See Tsquare Talk’s video on Farm Innovators 4250 and find out all the features and how to use it:
Not all incubators are suitable for hatching poultry eggs. This option appears perfect if you want a special compact incubator for hatching poultry eggs. The unit can hatch around 9-12 eggs. You can use it for incubating goose, duck, quail, and exotic birds’ eggs.
The Sailnovo Eggs Incubator has an integrated fan to eliminate the temperature variation from top to bottom and keep the temperature even throughout the incubator. You won’t have to worry about making too-warm or too-cool eggs.
Do you have time to sit next to your incubator all day long and turn them in every few hours? The unit has an automatic turner system. It rotates automatically after every 2 hours. This ensures even heating in all areas and improves hatching speed.
Besides, the incubator comes with four small water feeders to let chicks drink water once they are hatched. The circulating fan doesn’t make any noise to create a disturbed environment. Plus, the outer part of the incubator has durable hard plastic to protect it.
|✅ Four water feeders, one watering can, and one kettle for easygoing operating
|🔻 Some complained the temperature reading was not 100% accurate
|✅ A built-in LED egg candler to illuminate the eggs and monitor their egg development
|🔻 The LED candler light could be more powerful to see internal things more clearly
|✅ An automatic turning system to roll eggs gently after every two hours for better hatching rates
|✅ Highly functional digital display with several buttons for better control
|✅ Can hold up to 9-12 various types of eggs for incubating
|✅ Hard plastic outer shell to protect eggs from unwanted movements
What To Consider When Choosing An Egg Incubator For Chickens
The first electric egg incubator was invented in 1922 by Ira M. Petersime of Gettysburg. But it has evolved a lot over the years.
When selecting an egg incubator for chickens, you can’t overlook the crucial criteria mentioned below.
01. How Many Eggs Can It Hold?
Egg incubators come in various capacities. They are usually small, medium, and large categories.
The main advantage of buying large-capacity incubators is incubating and hatching more chicken eggs at a time. This will save you time and effort.
However, larger incubators are more expensive than smaller ones.
Before choosing a particular size, determine how many chicks you need.
The following table shows various sizes of egg incubators and how many eggs they can hold.
|Number of eggs
|8 to 12 eggs
|13 to 24 eggs
|25 to 45 eggs
02. How Precisely Can The Chicken Control The Temperature?
The thermostability of an egg incubator is determined by how efficiently it can control the temperature.
It should not generate a too high or low temperature. It will other affect the hatching success.
But you might be wondering how the temperature is controlled and adjusted to retain the optimal and comfortable temperature for hatching eggs, right?
Each incubator is equipped with an air sensor to regulate the temperature inside the incubator.
Most experts recommend keeping the temperature at 100°F (37.8°C) during the setter phase for better success in egg hatching rate.
However, it can be one or two degrees Celsius, more or less, depending on the requirement.
03. How Accurately Does It Stabilizes The Humidity Levels?
It is a good rule of thumb to keep the humidity level at 60% for the first 18 days and 70%-75% for the last three days when the hatching period starts.
A chicken egg incubator must maintain the ideal humidity level to avoid excessive moisture buildup.
It will otherwise cause mold and bacterial development from too much moisture. This hinders normal evaporation and leads to a reduced hatch rate.
On the contrary, a too lower level of moisture will lead to excessive evaporation. Baby chicks may adhere to the eggs’ shells.
They might be severely damaged as it fails to keep the egg membrane from drying up.
04. How Consistently Does The Incubator Turns The Eggs?
Chicken eggs must be turned at least 5-6 times every 24 hours. The more you turn it in, the better it is.
But are you free all day long to roll eggs in every few hours? It is a daunting job, right?
The latest egg incubators come with an automatic turning system. They roll eggs every one or two hours.
The best part of the auto-turning system is that it is not vulnerable to typical mistakes. They will roll the eggs precisely at certain angles and positions without overdoing it.
You don’t have to worry about sticking the body of the baby chick to the eggshell.
05. Can The Incubator Countdown The Days Properly?
Most new egg incubators come with an automatic countdown system.
Chickens have a particular incubation period, which is typically around 21 days.
An automatic countdown system takes the guesswork out of incubation by providing a reliable and accurate way to track the incubation period.
After 18 days passed, the system will automatically adjust the temperature and humidity levels.
More importantly, it will stop turning eggs anymore once 18 days pass.
The hatching period is already started. Eggs don’t need to be turned anymore.
But the question is how reliably and accurately it performs all such functions.
06. How Good Ventilation Of The Chicken Egg Incubator Is?
Creating a well-ventilated environment inside the incubator is crucial for optimal hatching success rate.
Many egg incubators are equipped with one or two built-in fans to avoid temperature fluctuation from top to bottom.
It removes unwanted CO2 from the incubator and lets in fresh oxygen to let chicks easily breathe once eggs are hatched. Chicks will not feel suffocated.
These fans also stir the air within the incubator. There won’t be any hot spots or cool spots.
All the areas inside the incubator have well-distributed ventilation.
07. Do You Have To Open The Incubator To Refill the Water?
Egg incubators need water to humidify the air in the incubator and stabilize the internal temperature.
Many incubators have an external water pot to refill water easily from outside. But some might require you to open the incubator and refill the water.
If you open the incubator frequently, this will affect the humidity and temperature level.
With an exterior cup, you can add water directly to the reservoir without guessing how much water to add, ensuring precise control of humidity levels.
Refilling water from the exterior of the incubator reduces the risk of spills and prevents any water from accidentally entering the incubator. It could damage the eggs or the equipment.
Also, an exterior cup can help maintain hygiene standards by reducing the likelihood of contamination from outside sources.
08. Does The Incubator Have Any Built-in Candler?
A built-in candler inside the incubator allows you to see embryos or eggs’ current growth and development.
You don’t have to buy a candler separately. This will save a few bucks for sure. Also, you will not have to take the hassle of installation.
But the light source should be bright enough to allow the user to see the egg’s contents clearly.
You can choose LED lights. They are better than traditional incandescent bulbs because they produce less heat and are more energy-efficient.
10. What Outer Material Is Used For The Chicken Egg Incubator?
Egg incubators generally have hard plastic or Styrofoam outer material.
The main advantage of hard plastic is its extreme durability. They are not prone to get damaged over time.
Besides, hard plastic as outer material is easy to clean. Maintaining a high level of hygiene is easygoing.
When it comes to lightweight, Styrofoam is the best choice. It appears a perfect choice if you need to move the incubator frequently.
Another plus point of Styrofoam is its greater insulation properties. It can help maintain a consistent temperature inside the incubator.
11. Does The Egg Incubator Have A Digital Display?
A built-in digital play on top of the egg incubator comes in handy to let you know the real-time temperature and humidity levels inside the incubator.
You can quickly check on the status of the eggs.
Many come with a built-in alarm system to notify you of a problem with the temperature or humidity levels.
Besides, they have a few knobs to turn off or on specific functions, such as temperature & humidity control, egg turning, lighting, candling, etc.
12. How Much You Are Ready To Spend For A Chicken Egg Incubator?
The price of an egg incubator can be anywhere from $50 to $150. They will vary in size, features, and quality.
If you buy it for a long-term purpose, get an expensive one. You should spend at least $80 to get a new one.
But buying an entry-level incubator at a lower price won’t be a problem if you have no plan to use it for the long term.
However, ensure it has at least the essential beneficial functions to support a successful hatching process.
How To Use A Chicken Egg Incubator Step-by-step?
The followings are the sequential steps to use an egg incubator for chickens and hatch eggs.
Step 01: Setting Up The Incubator
Firstly, clean the incubator thoroughly. It will improve the hatching rate success. Also, baby chicks will be free from bacterial diseases.
Depending on its design, add enough water to the reservoir or pot inside or outside the incubator. It will maintain the optimum humidity level.
Before placing the chicken eggs, turn on the incubator to create a stable temperature.
Run it for at least a few hours. You may need to run the machine for a few incubators for 24 hours.
Step 02: Placing The Eggs
Add your chicken eggs to the tray of the incubator carefully and gently.
Ensure the narrower end faces downward and the wider portion faces upward.
If your incubator doesn’t have an automatic turning system, use two different signs on two sides of each egg.
It will prevent confusion issues. Turn your eggs at least five times a day.
Step 03: Monitoring The Eggs
Track down the humidity and temperature. Look for any signs of distress or abnormalities with the eggs.
Make sure the interior area is getting enough ventilation. It should be neither too hot nor cool.
Also, the water pot should not become empty. Track down the water level and refill it on time.
Step 04: Hatching The Eggs
Once the 18 days have passed, the eggs will be ready to hatch. Avoid opening the incubator for the last three days.
Also, make sure the humidity level is higher. If it doesn’t increase automatically, adjust it manually.
If a chick has trouble hatching, you may need to assist it by carefully removing part of the shell.
Be very careful not to hurt the chick or any other eggs in the process.
After the hatching procedure is complete, don’t take out chicks immediately. Keep them in the incubator for a few hours. Let them rest for a while.
Now, grab a brooder box with a heat lamp. Carefully place each of them. Make sure to provide enough starter food and water.
An incubator plays a crucial role in successfully hatching eggs. Don’t waste time with subpar incubators.
Invest in the best egg incubator for chickens. It will provide a simple and user-friendly experience.
The chicken eggs will have the best chance of hatching successfully. Watch your eggs hatch into healthy, happy chicks!