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Tips on Buying the Right Chicken Incubators for Hatching Your Fertilised Chicken Eggs

Updated on February 13, 2013

How to Buy the Best Egg Incubators for Hatching Fertilised Chicken Eggs

With so many people wanting to raise a backyard chicken flock, many want to get started with hatching eggs bought from poultry keepers near and far. Often people are disappointed at what should be an exciting beginning when their expensive fertilised chicken eggs don't hatch. Everyone should have a great fertilised egg buying and chick hatching experience!

If you want to know what questions to ask yourself about choosing reliable egg incubators, read on. I have recommended the best source of chicken incubators to help you hatch lots of chicks with excellent hatch rate!

Things you need in Great Egg Incubators - No Matter what Size or Brand.

A GQF Hovabator Chicken Incubator with Viewing window
A GQF Hovabator Chicken Incubator with Viewing window

There are many chicken incubators on the market. Some are more expensive than others and often it is difficult to see the difference in quality. There are a lot of styles and designs and the best have the following things in common.

--Maintain constant temperature

--Smooth easy to clean surfaces

--Automated turner for less work

--Big window to see chicks hatching

--Have an automatic humidity control

None of these things are necessary, but will allow you freedom while the fertilised chicken eggs are incubating. You won't have to worry about forgetting vital tasks. In the end you will get better hatch rates with less work!

Cabinet incubators on Amazon

These really are great value if you want to hatch larger numbers of eggs, these easily hold 180 chicken eggs with a simple turner and do a great job.

I have the GQF Sportsmen and they are great for hatching eggs upright after they have been in the mail. I routinely hatch my own hens eggs upright in an egg flat too and others who have tried it find their hatches much improved. Because of the while tray tilting turner on the GQF, I can easily do this and cleanup is a snap as we can discard the eggs flats and the bulk of the mess is gone, then sanitizing is easier before the next hatch. Brinsea are a more luxurious unit and definitely not a mistake.

Here is an article on Mailed and Shipped Fertilised Chicken Eggs: What to do when they arrive! Ask if you have any questions. I can help.

Choosing the right egg incubators

Questions to ask.

How many fertilised chicken eggs do you want to hatch? Eventually?

Remember when putting the chicken eggs in the incubator, not every one will produce a healthy chick for your flock, so it is better to incubate slightly more fertilised eggs than you need chicks. Generally for a backyard flock, egg incubators that hold from a dozen to a couple of hundred eggs are adequate with chicken incubators at the top end of that range a good buy if you will be selling extra chicks. Those extra chicks can pay for new chicken incubators surprisingly fast.

Are you going to be hatching a lot of mailed fertilised eggs?

If so, it is better to have egg incubators that hold the fertilised eggs vertically, and tilts them to turn them,. So they so they can sit in a holder with the pointy end down for the last 3 days and hatch. This helps chicks to hatch if the air cells are damaged with the mail handling.

How much room do you have?

Room for a cabinet or table top model. You will know. Some chicken incubators are noisier than others. You may not want them right in the middle of your living space.

Where is it going to be?

Inside the house or outside in garage/barn? All are way better in a constant temp room, but insulation is most important if the chicken incubators in a cold area or if the temp will fluctuate a lot. The location should be ideally a room with no windows where the sun cannot shine on them and overheat the egg incubators and the fertilised eggs. The Reptibators can cool as well and may suit these locations best.

Do I want to hatch other varieties of fertilised eggs?

Most egg incubators hatch a variety of fertile eggs. Usually the holders or turners need to be adapted to hold different sized hatching eggs from different breeds, like quail, turkeys, Ducks and Geese. Humidity must be higher for waterfowl eggs too. An automatic humidity kit is best for those.

How soon can I get it?

You may laugh, but once you decide on a model you will want it delivered yesterday! The best suppliers can get egg incubators to you rapidly. Click below to see what is available today!

Amazon ships incredibly quickly and has great customer service! - Check these incubators out, or look around on your own using the Search button

Brinsea Egg Incubators

These Octagons are the Brinseas Midsize incubators with varying options. The design allows easy manual turning by turning the whole unit. They hold 20 or 40 eggs. The Brinseas incubators are excellent units, not cheap but they last a long time, and are easier to clean than the styrofoam hovabators, as a chicks or turkey poult hatch is surprisingly messy and having things sanitized for the next incubation and hatch is crucial.

The programmable digital display and control system give peace of mind. Another peace of mind feature is the high temp alarm and you hope it never has to be used. It is not a a necessity but is nice to have.

If you work away from the home all day the most important options are auto turn. The humidity pump kits cut down on humidity problems, most crucial in the last 2-3 days and at hatch time. The later-hatching chicks hatch less gummy and sticky, drying off faster with less losses from chicks being shrink wrapped in their shell unable to hatch.

For a quality incubator that will not let you down, as far as I can see, it is just a matter of choosing the size and options you want. You will not go wrong with these.

Chicken Forum Links - For Practical Info and hatching Egg Incubation Help

We are in the forums as Skeffling Lavender Farm!

And don't forget to vote if your enjoyed our page!

Hatchaholics check-in here.... - We'd love to hear from you and your chicken incubators experience!

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Really interesting lens. We want to get some chickens when we move to the countryside so I will re-read again then :-)

    • JJNW profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      How fun. SquidLiked by a Giant Squid : ) & SquidAngel Blessed

    • Rev999 profile image


      7 years ago

      my folks are farmers and my brother went in for chickens at one point...yes, v. cute when loads hatch out in the incubator...they're a bit more of an headache later on to see such a range of incubators available online now :-)

    • skefflingecho profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tobermory Ontario

      @anonymous: Thanks for your visit and excellent comment today! Very true! It is magic having fluffy cheeping chicks come out of an egg that could have been breakfast 3 weeks earlier! It is so hard to find incubators locally, there are limited models available and what you do find are so overpriced!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Incubating can be a really fun process especially if you have little ones at home. Depending on the type of incubator that you have you can hatch just about any type of eggs. A chicken incubator works really well. I have noticed that purchasing an incubator online is a great option as you can get what you want at a great price.


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