Updated: May 9, 2106
Egg Incubator Reviews:
- What is an egg incubator?
- Benefits of egg incubators
- How much do chicken egg incubators cost? Which should I buy?
The idea of raising chickens for eggs has really taken off in certain parts of the country in recent years. The business of supplying chickens to homeowners that want fresh eggs is big business. Egg incubators are in high demand these days and in our research we found several popular products and quite a few homemade options. Brinsea seems to have the most accurate egg incubators with the highest hatch rate in the industry. We went around to local pet supply stores here in Portland, Oregon and talked with shop owners to see which products are selling best and what customers are saying.
Not only are homeowners investing in chicken coops, they are incubating fertilized eggs and selling them to other people looking to do the same. It appears that people in the Northwest are taking the chicken egg thing to the most local level possible - in their backyards. Many HOA's have been fighting chicken coops in and around the city of Portland. We live 15 miles south and our town does have rules and regulations, but several of our neighbors do have coops for chickens and they like their daily fresh eggs. Will this sensation continue to grow? Down below you can read up on the best egg incubators available.
The video below shows several of the Brinsea egg incubators and how they are used:
What to look for in an egg incubator?
Buying an egg incubator is a lot easier than it used to be. With the prevalence of chicken coops and chickens popping up in suburban neighborhoods around the United States, more people are going into the chicken hatching industry as a side business. Demand for chickens has been increasing for nearly a decade and I've even noticed the influx of chicken cages in our town. Chicken egg incubators range from $100 to $400 and are a proven way to hatch eggs. In some cases, you might get a 100% hatch rate (not always though). As you look around for a quality egg incubator, there are several features you will want to look for. The first thing is a digital display on the unit so you can quickly and easily see the temperature and humidity. Accuracy is a big part of being able to hatch a high percentage of eggs. Brinsea tends to get the best ratings for that. Models we looked at included the GQF 1588 Genesis Hova-Bator Incubator, Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance and the Yescom models.
The unit should have an automatic egg turner, otherwise you will be busy turning the eggs yourself. Some of the cheaper models don't offer this feaures, so know before you purchase. You will pay more for the automatic egg turner but many point to this as the key feature of egg incubators. Also, make sure the capacity is enough for your needs. Not everyone needs to hatch 50 eggs at once. The size of the eggs can also play a large part in how many fit in the incubator. Duck eggs, quail eggs, or chicken eggs are all different sizes, so having dividers for the eggs can maximize your space.
Want to find more egg incubator reviews? We searched the web and found several websites besides Amazon that offer reviews on chicken egg incubators. Backyardchickens.com is a solid site that sells a variety of incubators with independent feedback. Localharvest.org is another excellent resource for finding out how to hatch eggs, make chicken coops, and more. They cover everything and have great articles. You can browse the top selling egg incubators online here.
Best Egg Incubator:
The Brinsea Egg Incubator is the most popular model and easiest to use per owners. The digital control system features a basic display of humidity and temperature. We like the automatic egg turning on the unit and the overall accuracy. With a 24 egg capacity, the Brinsea egg incubator can handle most of your needs. The humidity is controlled automatically and you can purchase a separate Advance Humidity Pump if you need it. We also appreciate that the incubator can hold a variety of egg sizes - this is not always the case with competitors products. Cleaning egg incubators can be an issue, but the Brinsea is made with hygienic ABS plastics so it's not only constructed solidly but easy to clean. Price is close to $360 on this particular model, but if you are doing volume hatching of chicken eggs, it's worth the investment.
The Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance has additional features like high and low temperature alarm, choice of celsius vs fahrenheit, periodic cooling, and more. The base of the model is both foam filled and double skinned. You get superior temperature distribution compared to similar incubators and you use less power. The removable egg tray has adjustable dividers so you can maximize the amount of eggs depending on their size. Set the eggs to turn every hour with the Auto turn Cradle. We've seen these incubators used to hatch chickens, geese, hens, macaws, and peafowl. The only complaint we read about was that some owners had to keep putting water into the unit in order for it to hold humidity up. Otherwise, you will see that Brinsea is the leader in the industry.
To check out how to use an egg incubator in your home - click the image below to go to video.
Top Rated Chicken Egg Incubator:
Not every incubator works perfectly, and many we reviewed got less than average ratings from experts and owners. The GQF 1588 Genesis Hova-Bator Incubator is one that receives excellent feedback from the majority of consumers. It's cheaper at first site compared to the Brinsea above, but keep in mind that the Hova-Bator does not come with an automatic egg turner. That will cost an additional $60 to $80. So total price ($165 + $80) will put you well over $200. The incubator is designed for small-scale poultry raisers. You might find the Hova-Bator in classrooms and laboratory settings.
My son has used this one at his school in Oregon when they are hatching chicks. There is an LCD display for things like actual temperature vs set temperature, humidity % and both Celsius and Fahrenheit. You do get a plastic bottom liner but no egg turner. Capacity is pretty good - up to 50 chicken or duck eggs and close to 130 quail eggs. The percentage of hatched eggs is probably not as high as you will find on the Brinsea, but unless you are looking for 100% accuracy, this one works pretty well. 70 to 90% hatch rate is what we found to be common. Owners like the viewing window and how easy it is to use.
Budget/Value Egg Incubators:
If you are looking for a smaller egg incubator, consider the
Brinsea Mini Advance Hatching Egg Incubator. Many hobbyists don't need a large incubator to hatch eggs. Many of us aren't in the market to unload 20 or 40 new chicks. The Brinsea Mini is the perfect solution with excellent owner feedback. It holds up to 7 hen or duck eggs (12 smaller eggs). You still get the automatic egg turning and the autostop 2 days prior to hatching so that the embryo health is not compromised.
More videos and resources are here on our Egg Incubator Resource Page.
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