We like covering smart technologies which penetrate our lives deeper with each day. Today we’ll devote this review to egg incubators allowing bringing life to an egg. Over 5000 (!) various egg incubators are sold on Amazon.com, but some of them are of inferior quality and will hardly help in hatching the eggs. We’ve picked 7 best incubators tested by dozens of customers in several nominations that were tested by dozens of users:
- The Best-Selling 12-Egg Incubator
- The Largest Incubators:
- The Best 50-Egg Manual Incubator
- An Automatic 56-Egg Incubator
- An Automatic 96-Egg Incubator
- A 42-Egg Incubator with a Thermometer and a Powerful Fan Kit
- The Most Compact 7-Egg Incubators:
- A Cut-Rate Incubator
- The Most Automated Incubator
- Bonus: review of the bestselling egg candler tester
FAQ: How Does an Egg Incubator Work and Why Do You Need One?
Are you dreaming of a home poultry farm? Your dream can come true with home incubators. They are not an innovation; industrial poultry farms have large-scale incubators installed which can process thousands of eggs. The manufacturers tend to design more compact and user-friendly devices for domestic use so that even an amateur could raise their first chicks.
What Is a Modern Home Egg Incubator?
No, this isn’t a heavy-weight design with hundreds of spare parts. On the contrary, the dimensions of the most compact incubators resemble egg trays rather than an appliance. In fact there is a place to lay the eggs and a digital unit, which carries out the basic processes of growing the chicks. Optionally, the incubator may be combined with additional devices, but we’ll talk about them later.
How Does an Egg Incubator Work?
All you have to do is to lay the eggs and turn the machine one. That’s it: the best devices are completely autonomous and can control the temperature and even turn the eggs on their own. If you own a less sophisticated gadget, you’ll have to perform all of that manually and invest into additional temperature and humidity measure devices.
What Kind of Eggs Can Be Grown In an Incubator?
Any poultry eggs can be grown in an incubator. Chicken and quail eggs are the most popular among the users. Mind that if you pick a multi-functional incubator, you won’t be limited in terms of species while if you obtain an incubator designed for a certain type of eggs (which is quite rare, though), you might be missing out on some of the opportunities.
Where to Learn the Basics of Incubating?
Incubating a chick might seem a bit difficult. Fortunately, there are many guides, manuals and tips for beginner farmers online. We only recommend using the trusted sources, such as the information provided by various universities. For instance, the University of Minnesota experts highlight a very important detail that it is not advisable to obtain incubation eggs in department stores as most of them are infertile, i.e. cannot be grown.
If you weren’t able to find answers to your questions on the Internet, you can always contact competent poultry farmers and learn the basics from them. In fact, there are usually few issues so we suppose that your incubation farming experience will not be too challenging.
7 Best Manual and Automatic Egg Incubators
Among the following 7 models you’ll find all types of incubators: compact ones that don’t take up much space and some more capacious ones for advanced farmers, a cut-rate device and several other options that are worth of your attention.
The Best-Selling 12-Egg Incubator– Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator 12 Eggs Poultry Hatch
Nowadays this is the most popular device for those who don’t need a huge incubator. In terms of dimensions and shape this device resembles more of a lunch box than of a full=scale new life cultivation device. This is for the best, as it won’t take up much space. The price is also affordable taking into account the fact that this is an automated egg incubator (it costs only ~$79.99).
Now let’s take a closer look at the functions. First of all, there is automatic temperature control, so you won’t have to set it manually. An egg turner is also available, so you won’t have to do that either. The top lid of the device is equipped with an LED screen showing various indices. By the way, the device is suitable for hatching not only chicken, but also eggs, fowl and goose eggs. Such versatility is crucial for a compact device as you’re likely to try it all in the beginning of your poultry farming career.
Although Magicfly might be a bit more expensive than certain large incubators, its price is justified by the convenience of automated functions and high compatibility. If you are still new to the poultry industry and are not prepared to manage a manual incubator, this item is an excellent choice.
Price:~$79.99 Check the current price
These incubators are quite spacious, practical and versatile. They do not tie you to a certain species as in a month, you can grow 50 chickens in them, and another month could be spent on breeding the ducks, geese or quail. In this category, we have selected four products: fitting 42, 50, 56 and 96 eggs within the price range of $59 - $128. Let's start with an overview of the cheapest manual incubator. It has neither an automatic egg turner nor automatic temperature control. All the issues that are usually handled automatically are now on your shoulders. Expensive models, on the contrary, are completely automated and take care of the little things autonomously. All you have to do is properly lay the eggs in an incubator and turn it on. But you will have to pay more for this functionality
This is a simple large incubator with minimum equipment for the price of ~$59.79. It is definitely unsuitable for the amateurs. Neither a thermometer nor an egg turner is available. This incubator is considered to be a typical manual one as the entire care for the eggs is on you, including turning of the eggs and maintaining stable temperature. The manufacturer recommends obtaining a special ~$6.49 thermometer, without which you will hardly be able to incubate anything. Do take into account the fact that the device has been devised for 50 chicken eggs. You’ll be able to fit half as many goose eggs and twice as many quail eggs. Should you disregard the drawbacks of the manual operation, you’ll find that this is the most affordable 50 egg incubator.
Price:~$59.79 Check the current price
An Automatic 56-Egg Incubator – CHIMAERA 56-Egg Automatic Incubator / Hatcher / Turner with LCD Display
This is the second-large incubator of this review: the manufacturer claims it can fit 56 chicken eggs. The device is shaped as a trap, so you won’t be able to lay more eggs even if we’re talking quail eggs. This device provides impressive volumes at the best price of ~$99.99.
This incubator has sufficient functions: there is a large control panel for monitoring the incubation day, temperature and humidity. Such a large device is also equipped with a cooler providing for the necessary air circulation on the inside. What the gadget lacks is the possibility to watch the eggs without opening the lid: the walls are opaque and the eye can’t see all the egg rows behind the matte plastic. In general, you can rely on the data output on the screen as all the necessary operations, including the turning, will be performed by the device without your help. This is it for the inexperienced poultry farmers.
Price:~$99.99 Check the current price
An Automatic 2-Storey 96-Egg Incubator – Best Choice Products 96 Digital Clear Egg Incubator Hatcher Automatic Egg Turning Temperature Control
Here before you is a mini farm. Unlike other incubators, here two 48-egg trays are supplied. When you assemble them, you’ll have a kind of two-storey incubator. The device is compatible with all types of poultry and is thus versatile and multi-functional. The automation is fine as there is an auto egg turn, temperature and humidity control. In general, there is nothing a user should worry about as everything is automated. They two-storied design raises certain questions from the customers as there are certain air circulation issues when the necessary temperature cannot be maintained on the lower storey. This issue is fairly easy to solve: you should invest into an additional fan kit and install it on the lower level. Two coolers will keep the air circulating inside the incubator and will thus maintain stable temperature on both levels. The most essential thing is to follow the rules of laying the eggs which are stated in detail in the manual.
Price:~$119.95 Check the current price
A 42-Egg Incubator with a Thermometer and a Powerful Fan Kit– HovaBator Advanced Egg Incubator Combo Kit: includes incubator, fan kit, egg turner, digital thermometer/hygrometer
This is a smaller incubator, but its interior has been designed in a more convenient and versatile manner. 42 chicken or 70 quail or 28 goose eggs can fit here. This might as well be the handiest and roomiest item for those who breed quail.
Despite the unsophisticated design (in comparison with its analogues), the equipment is more than satisfactory and the price tag of ~$128 is completely justified. There is not only a built-in egg turner, but also everything else is supplied as separate devices, namely a digital thermometer/hygrometer and a powerful air circulation fan kit. The price tag has increased considerably thanks to these devices supplied. In general, this is a noteworthy item especially for those who deal with various poultry species and need a universal product. Read all customer reviews to learn more.
Price: from ~$128.00 Check the current price
This category’s items are designed to fit 7 eggs. There are two of them, and they are completely difficult. The first one is simple and affordable; it is perfect for poultry farming amateurs who only breed chicken. The second one is fancier and more versatile as it suitable for chicken, duck, goose and quail eggs and is much more expensive. However, there is no trouble with it. Which one is for you? Choose based on your needs.
A Cut-Rate Temperature Control Incubator– Yescom Mini Digital Transparent 7 Egg Incubator Clear Chicken Poultry Hatcher w/ CE Certificated
This product is the least expensive among its analogues, as it costs only ~$21.95. It is not equipped with an auto egg turner; there is only temperature control available. Do you need the egg turner? It will definitely double the price, and turning 7 eggs regularly on your own isn’t the most difficult task given that the tray is very expedient and your chances of accidentally cracking the egg are extremely low. This incubator is also the smallest one reviewed! A 6.7" x 6.7" x 6.7" device won’t take up much space even in the most crowded space, and the price tag is also the most affordable among the items reviewed. So if you’re looking for a device to try your breeding skills pick this one but don’t expect too much from it.
Price: ~$21.95 Check the current price
This is a 7 egg mini-incubator the functionality of this is comparable to large and advanced analogues. It is paradise for an amateur poultry farmer. The device can fully control embryo growth after the eggs have been laid. For your convenience there is a small informative screen which outputs all the necessary data.
This incubator can autonomously control the temperature, humidity and the position of the eggs. This means that you no longer have to bother with manual turning as everything happens automatically, and you only need to observe the process. The device can incubate the eggs of up to 65.0 mm in length, but the smaller the size, the more you’ll be able to fit. For instance, you’ll be able to fit 12 quail eggs if you buy an additional special stand for them.
This device is steadily one of the top ones as it has nearly 300 customer reviews, a high rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com, hence the premium price. However, we wouldn’t mind paying for complete automation of all the processes as it is worth it!
Price: ~$179.99 Check the current price
The Best Selling Egg Candler Tester for Manual Incubators - Magicfly Bright Cool LED Light Egg Candler Tester - Incubator Warehouse Exclusive
If the incubator you have is not automated and you have to monitor all the processes on your own, you won’t do without a special egg tester. This useful and inexpensive device (it costs only ~$15.99) is network-powered and looks like a special egg tester. Once you scan the eggs with it (just like you would with an x-ray), you’ll be able to see the embryo and based on its appearance, to determine whether it is developing properly. You’ll be able to understand whether something is wrong in time. Of course, you will have to train your eye to immediately determine the condition and expected hatching time, but since you’ve started a home poultry farm, you do not look for easy ways, do you?
The set is supplied with the special nozzles that allow fixing eggs of any size inside the device. Make sure you still support an egg with your hand while testing as the nozzles’ grip is not tight enough. These drawbacks are insubstantial though as you won’t find a better complement to a manual egg incubator than this egg candler tester.
Price:~$15.99 Check the current price
To ease the comparison, as usual, check out the chart below.
|Item||Number of Eggs||Compatibility||Automation||Price|
|Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator 12 Eggs Poultry Hatch||12||chicken, duck, geese||Temperature control, egg turner|
|G.Q.F. Manufacturing 1602N Hova-Bator Incubator||up to 70||chicken, geese, duck,quail||Temperature control|
|CHIMAERA 56-Egg Automatic Incubator / Hatcher / Turner with LCD Display||56||chicken, duck, geese, quail||Temperature control, automatic egg turner, airflow|
|Best Choice Products 96 Digital Clear Egg Incubator Hatcher Automatic Egg Turning Temperature Control||96||chicken, goose,, duck, quail||Temperature control, automatic egg turner, airflow|
|HovaBator Advanced Egg Incubator Combo Kit: includes incubator, fan kit, egg turner, digital thermometer/hygrometer||up to 70||chicken, geese, duck,quail||Temperature control, digital thermometer, fan kit, automatic egg turner|
|Yescom Mini Diital Transparent 7 Egg Incubator Clear Chicken Poultry Hatcher w/ CE Certificated||7||Chicken||Temperature control|
|Brinsea Mini Advance Hatching Egg Incubator||up to 12||Chicken, ducks, geese, quail||Temperature control, automatic egg turner, airflow|
Breeding poultry is a difficult and responsible task. However, thanks to the smart incubators you will avoid half of the problems. Even an amateur can raise a chick in such a device. After that an even more complicated and tricky stage of growing a bird follows, so make sure you have patience and endurance.