Raising chickens at home can be a rewarding process and buying an egg incubator sounds like it should be easy. The problem is, some products are miles better than others and you want to find one that is reliable as the incubation period is a sensitive and important one.
To give you the best chance of raising chickens safely, you need to find the best egg incubator for your needs. Whether you are looking to hatch chickens, quail, ducks, geese, or others, we have created a list of the best egg incubators on the market. They vary in how many eggs they can incubate at one time but one thing is for sure, they are reliable and worth looking at before you make a decision.
- Editor’s Choice
Brinsea Products Mini II Advance Automatic 7 Egg Incubator (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Kids
Digital Clear Egg Incubator Automatic Egg Turning Temperature Control (Amazon) – Review
- Best Small
GQF Thermal Air Hova-Bator (Amazon) – Review
- Best Low Energy Consumption
Triocottage Egg Incubator with Automatic Egg Turning Turner (Amazon) – Review
- Best Large Capacity
Brinsea Products USAG47C Ovation 56 EX Fully Automatic Egg Incubator (Amazon) – Review
- Easiest To Use
Brinsea Products Manual Egg Incubator for Hatching 24 Chicken Eggs (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Brinsea Products Mini II Advance Automatic 7 Egg Incubator
With a pleasant design, this offers you the opportunity of plenty of viewing space and a reliable egg incubator. The 7 egg capacity is ideal for small hatching projects and all controls can be amended via the digital menu. You can program the automatic egg turner so it does so at the optimal time for the types of eggs you are hatching. There is also a count down to hatch day so you can stay on top of when you are expecting your hatchlings to arrive.
Because of the simple design, it is easy to set up and you don’t need to lift the lid to add more water making it easy to stay on top of the humidity without impacting the incubation process. The plastic casing is hygienic and easy to clean topping off the best egg incubator for at-home use.
- Digital menu is easy to use
- Has a countdown to hatching feature
- Lots of viewing space
- Can add more water without lifting the lid
Best For Kids: Digital Clear Egg Incubator Automatic Egg Turning Temperature Control
Compact and easy to use, this is one of the best egg incubators for those who want to hatch a small number of eggs at a time. It comes with everything you need including a hatching tray and digital thermostat that makes it easy to take a reading. This egg incubator works for hatching chickens, owls, ducks, quails, swallows, and more. It works via an automatic egg turner that provides optimal conditions for hatching eggs successfully.
You can control the humidity via built-in water channels and it fits around 9 – 12 eggs in at a time. For many people, this is the ideal egg incubator for introducing children into the process and showing them how an egg can turn into a chick. As long as you stay on top of the water, topping it up every 1- 2 days, this will be one of the most rewarding purchases you can make.
- Compact and easily portable
- Room for 9 – 12 eggs
- Digitial thermostat
- comes with everything you need
- Some people need more room for more eggs
Best Small: GQF Thermal Air Hova-Bator
Often voted as the world’s best small egg incubator, this neat product has a surprising amount of room. Any heated air flows out the exhaust, making room for fresh air for a hygienic incubation. You can keep an eye on the progress of your impending hatchlings via the two clear windows on the top and it can be used for a variety of poultry, as well as reptiles.
With the turner, you can fit around 40 chicken eggs and the styrofoam frame is lightweight but keeps everything in place nicely. It doesn’t come with a fan so it is possible that you need to buy one separately depending on what you intend to hatch but it remains a good value and reliable egg incubator.
- Room for up to 50 eggs
- Has two clear windows for easy viewing
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Doesn’t come with a fan
Best Low Energy Consumption: Triocottage Egg Incubator with Automatic Egg Turning Turner
With built-in humidity control, this is one of the best egg incubators for at-home use. It automatically turns eggs every two hours to ensure they get an even incubation and it can hatch up to 8 duck eggs at a time. Heat is distributed evenly via the fan and the whole device doesn’t make a lot of noise when in use. It is also low in terms of energy consumption and has a clear digital temperature control that makes it easy to check that everything is incubating in ideal conditions.
It comes with a 1-year free repair guarantee and the styrofoam ensures the temperature remains stable throughout. Because of its compact size, it is a popular egg incubator for classrooms and anyone who wants to try hatching chicks at home.
- Automatic egg turner
- Low energy consumption
- Digital temperature control
- Humidity control can be a little difficult
Best Large Capacity: Brinsea Products USAG47C Ovation 56 EX Fully Automatic Egg Incubator
This egg incubator has a larger capacity than the other products on our list, with room for up to 56 chicken eggs. You can also buy a bigger tray that will fit larger eggs and the digital control system is one of the easiest to navigate. This is what tells you the temperature, humidity as well as the stage of turning – another feature is the programmable egg turner to make sure the eggs are getting an even distribution of warmth.
The ABS plastic construction is easy to clean and durable. The same can be said for the egg incubator as a whole and it is known for being one of the most reliable products. It is available in 3 different sizes so if this 56 egg version is a little too much, you can go for the 28 egg size.
- Large capacity
- Programmable egg turner
- Digital control system tells you the temperature, humidity and stage of turning
- Not everyone wants such a large capacity
Easiest To Use: Brinsea Products Manual Egg Incubator for Hatching 24 Chicken Eggs
For a lot of people, the 24 chicken egg capacity of this egg incubator is the ideal size. It is also one of the best products because it does a lot of the hard work for you. The temperature is preset at 99.5 degrees F and there is also a flashing temperature indicator. You don’t need other accessories to incubate different sized eggs and because the air circulation is fan assisted, you don’t need to buy anything else for it to get to work.
The automatic egg turner does so every hour or you can do it manually but this will require you to stay on top of the process. It comes with a 3-year warranty which is more generous than most and is the ideal egg incubator for beginners.
- 24 egg capacity
- Preset temperature
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Temperature control can be a bit tricky
Whether you are looking for a new project for your classroom or want to start hatching your own poultry or reptiles as a hobby, you need to have the best egg incubator at your disposal or you will run into a lot of problems. The sadness that comes with a product that hasn’t worked properly or one that is difficult to use can be hard to shake.
This is why you need to know what to expect from a quality product. We have created the following buyers guide to make this purchase easy.
The capacity you choose will be determined by the sort of project you are taking on. If you are getting started it is always a good idea to start with a compact egg incubator. There is less room for error with these and maintenance is a lot easier. Once you have built up some confidence then you can move onto the larger capacity products that can incubate around 50 eggs at a time.
An automatic egg turner means you don’t have to manually turn the eggs twice a day or more. This is important for an even distribution of warmth and creates the ideal conditions for incubating eggs. Most products do so on an hourly cycle or every two hours but as long as the product you choose is capable of taking this task off your hands, it is going to make the whole process a lot easier.
Digital Temperature Control
Being able to change the temperature via digital control is going to make life simple and most egg incubators tend to offer this The menu should be easy to navigate and the more settings it can display the better.
Some products are better at this than others but being able to see what is going on inside the incubator adds a level of fun and can help you watch the final steps so you can see your hatchings appear. Any product that has a large ABS plastic casing is going to give you plenty of viewing space.
Different Egg Sizes
Being able to hatch different sized eggs is part of the fun of owning an egg incubator. Some are specifically made for chickens but others can accommodate owls, ducks, geese, fowl, and even reptiles. Keeping your options open means you aren’t restricted if you wish to use it to hatch different poultry or animals later on.
No egg incubator is immune to certain parts failing and because you need everything working properly, it is important to find a product with some sort of warranty or guarantee. The longer the better and some products can come with a 3-year warranty.
Part of the key to successful hatching is by placing the incubator in the right location. Keep it out of direct sunlight where it can raise the temperature too high and away from heat or any drafts where a breeze might bring the temperature down.
Preferably, the space you use will not have a volatile temperature and it will stay as close to constant as possible.
First of all, you should always clean your egg incubator after the eggs have hatched. This creates a hygienic environment for the next series of hatchlings. Most products will advise on the best way to clean their product as some cleaning products can be too strong to use so be wary.
This depends on the poultry or reptiles you are trying to hatch, Different animals need different temperatures for them to be incubated in the ideal conditions. A chicken egg will require between 99 to 102 degrees for them to hatch successfully whereas a duck egg will require around 99.5 degrees F.
This again will vary depending on the type of egg you are looking to hatch, A chicken egg will need approximately 50% humidity for the first 18 days. Then, for the final days, around 65 to 75% humidity.
Other animals will need optimal humidity levels for their needs and most products give you advice on what the levels should be.
This depends on the product. Some models have an automatic egg turner that works every one or two hours generally. Otherwise, for manual egg turning it is advisable to draw on either side of the egg so you can identify which side needs turning and when.
Some models can cost well over $400 and although these are more advanced, almost laboratory-like incubators, they aren’t for everyone. You can pick up a quality egg incubator for around $100 and the fewer features you think you need, and the lower the capacity, you can expect to pay less.
Because the temperature is raised during incubation, your potential hatchlings need adequate moisture to survive. If this drops too low then conditions can become too dry for it to survive.
If you forget to turn your eggs during the incubation period then you face the prospect of fewer eggs hatching and some chicks becoming stuck in the egg. The easiest way of ensuring this does not happen is by finding a product with an automatic egg turner.
A lot fo the time you can program this to suit the specific needs of the type of eggs you are incubating and advanced products will display the time before the next turn on the digital display.