8 Best Egg Incubators | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Hatching your own chicken, duck or reptile eggs can be a fun experiment for children at home or in the classroom, and it can also be a productive means of sustaining a flock of laying hens on your farm. Check out our selection of top egg incubators, which are designed to increase your hatch percentage. Skip to the best egg incubator on Amazon.
8 Best Egg Incubators | March 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
★★★
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The Yosoo Mini is small and affordable, making it a good choice for hobbyists who only incubate small clutches every once in a while. It has a 10-egg capacity and is extremely easy to use, even for those with no prior experience with such a device.
7
The Incubator Warehouse IncuView comes with everything needed for hassle-free incubation, including an egg turner and automatic temperature control. A built-in humidity gauge keeps you abreast of the environment inside the unit at all times.
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The Hova-Bator 1602N is one of the most economical incubators that is also a decent quality unit. It features a radiant heat tube that gently and evenly warms the interior and the eggs within for healthy embryos and a higher hatch percentage.
5
The Brinsea Mini Advance isn't cheap when you consider its low capacity, but it is good. It has a cabinet made from antimicrobial plastic, and its fully automatic egg turning and autostop functions help to maintain embryo health prior to hatching.
  • celsius and fahrenheit temp control
  • programmable alarm notifications
  • comprehensive instructions
Brand Brinsea
Model 1321176
Weight 2.7 pounds
4
The Homdox Intelligent 56 can be used for anything from goose to reptile eggs, and features both temperature and humidity alarms, so you can rest easy that your clutch is in the right environment. Its integrated brushless fan ensures there are no hot or cold spots.
  • single-touch candeling
  • intuitive control panel
  • automatically turns eggs
Brand Ridgeyard
Model pending
Weight pending
3
The Hova-Bator Genesis 1588 is ideal for those who want to incubate a large number of eggs. It can hold 50 full-sized chicken eggs, or up to 130 quails' eggs. There is a large, see-through observation window in the lid that makes it well-suited to classroom use as well.
  • components nest for storage
  • assembly is quick and easy
  • dishwasher safe parts
Brand Hova-Bator Genesis 1588
Model pending
Weight pending
2
The Farm Innovators 2150 has a full digital display that shows the humidity level, temperature, and days left until your eggs become hatchlings. Its Incutek Heater comes factory-set for 100 degrees, which is the ideal temperature for incubating.
  • out of temp notification light
  • built-in fan circulates the air
  • recycled polystyrene foam insulation
Brand Farm Innovators
Model 2150
Weight 3.7 pounds
1
The Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance is made from quality ABS plastic, and has a precise digital control system for selecting the proper humidity and temperature. This system maximizes efficiency and minimizes the space required for hatching a lot of eggs.
  • high and low temperature alarms
  • easy to clean and maintain
  • adjustable egg tray dividers
Brand Brinsea Products
Model Brinsea Octagon 20 Adva
Weight 9.7 pounds

Raise Your Chicks Right

Depending the types of food you like to eat, eggs are considered by many to be a breakfast staple. They can be boiled, scrambled, poached, and they go great with bacon. However, those eggs you buy in the store are kept refrigerated to prevent growth of the embryos inside each egg shell. Each egg intended for sale is also inspected by the shining of a candling light designed to highlight any irregularities, such as a developing chick.

What if the whole point of keeping and incubating your eggs is to allow those irregularities to develop and hatch into a live chick? How do you support the process of developing an egg and with what type of equipment? Does it matter if you're a teacher who wishes to show your students the miracle of life in a classroom or a farmer who wants to ensure efficiency in sustaining a large group of hens for your livelihood? Regardless, you'll need an egg incubator to help you along.

An egg incubator is a machine that creates the ideal conditions for an egg to develop and hatch by regulating its internal temperature and humidity levels. By doing so, the egg incubator is playing the role of a broody hen, a hen with an instinct to lay and hatch eggs.

For farmers, egg incubators not only improve efficiency of hatching multiple eggs at the same time, but they also remove the dangers associated with a broody hen's vulnerability to predators. The egg incubator also offers continuous operation, unlike a broody hen that will stop laying eggs when sitting on them and rearing her offspring. An egg incubator also keeps internal conditions consistent throughout the twenty-one-day period during which the embryos develop.

Humidity control is one major component of importance for proper operation of an egg incubator, as it limits the unnecessary loss of egg moisture. Ideal humidity levels are between twenty-five and sixty percent from the time the incubator is set until approximately three days before hatching. During the last three days of the incubation period, the humidity level should be increased to between seventy and eighty percent.

Frequent monitoring of the water level will help to ensure adequate humidity. If maintaining humidity is a problem, adding wet sponges to the inside of the incubator can be helpful, as this increases the wet surface area for additional water evaporation, which will increase the level of humidity.

Temperature is also a very important consideration for an egg incubator. The average internal operating temperature for an egg incubator is typically around 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (or 37.5 degrees Celsius). This can be adjusted slightly depending on what you find works best for your environment and it may take a little experimentation to perfect.

Egg turning is another crucial part of the incubation process. Eggs should be turned up to three times per day during the first eighteen days of their incubation periods. But wait, doesn't this hurt the developing embryo? Actually, quite the contrary. Whether turning the eggs manually or automatically, this action helps to prevent the developing embryos from sticking to their shells. However, during the last three days of the incubation process, the eggs should not be turned, as the embryos are getting into their hatching positions.

Egg Incubation Throughout The Centuries

Egg incubation has a long history that dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians and Chinese. Both cultures devised unique incubation solutions that were used to hatch chicks from eggs not being reared by a broody hen. This allowed for continuous laying of eggs.

Ancient Egyptian incubators were originally large rooms or mud huts with shelves for burning straw, dung, and charcoal. These rooms were heated by fires with attendants to turn the eggs manually. Ancient Chinese incubators were also heated by fires in large rooms featuring brick ovens.

The Chinese also made use of rotting manure for heat, while also realizing that developing embryos would release their own heat source. For this reason, those eggs in a later stage of development could be interspersed with younger and less-developed eggs to produce extra heat.

Building on the ancient incubator designs, we fast forward to the eighteenth century to French scientist Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur, who revived an interest in egg incubation around 1750 following a period of difficulty in hatching eggs in Europe due to harsh winter conditions. Reaumur's incubator was warmed by a wooden stove with a thermometer as its temperature control.

Many modern egg incubators are very large and can handle up to a million eggs at a time.

Choosing An Egg Incbuator

Since temperature, humidity, and egg turning are three of the most important factors to consider in an egg incubator, a user must be certain to invest in one made from sturdy materials (i.e. ABS plastic), with automatic egg turning functionality, and a modern digital control system that maintains the proper temperature.

Assembly of the incubator should be quick and easy. If its parts are dishwasher safe, that's even better for simple cleaning.

Some incubators also offer large viewing windows for monitoring your eggs without having to open the units.

Finally, depending on your purposes, incubators come with different available capacities, so one must be sure to invest in an incubator that can handle multiple eggs simultaneously.



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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

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