You need to get the best chicken egg incubator when you are hatching your chicken eggs to keep the bird eggs in good health throughout the first part of their lives. An incubator serves as an alternative to having the mother sitting on the eggs to ensure the eggs hatch well. If you do not have a broody hen, then, getting the best chicken egg incubator is a necessity for you.
Interested in learning about raising backyard chickens, check out our starter guide.
Do You Need An Egg Incubator?
Table of Contents
- 1 Do You Need An Egg Incubator?
- 2 How To Choose Your First Incubator?
- 3 What Type Of Egg Incubators Are There?
- 4 Preparing Your Eggs For Incubation
- 5 Proper Tools When Managing Incubation
- 6 Preparing For Hatching Day
- 7 The Broody Hen- Yes or No?
- 8 The Best Chicken Incubators For 2021
- 9 The Best Small Incubator For Chicken Eggs And Small Places
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
- 11 Bottom Line
Since you can just leave the mother hens to take care of the hatching process by themselves, why do you need an egg incubator? This must be a question that has been going through your mind for a while especially if you are used to using natural processes. Well, there are enormous benefits you get to enjoy with an egg incubator and they include;
Start Hatching Season Earlier
An incubator allows you to start your hatching season earlier than the natural time. This is because most hens in the early seasons are unwilling to sit on their eggs. Due to the lack of interest on the part of the hens, the hatching process naturally slows down. With a chicken egg incubator, you are able to beat this time.
When your hens are sitting on the eggs all the time, they are unable to lay any eggs. This means that you have to wait for the eggs to hatch before you can get any new eggs. With an incubator, you can cut off this process by removing the eggs from the hens. When you incubate the eggs, it creates a better opportunity for your hens to continue laying eggs consistently.
Take Control Of Hatching
In the natural hatching process, you have to rely on the hen to control the hatch which is unreliable. If you want more control over your hatch rate, then, you cannot afford not to have the best chicken egg incubator. An incubator gives you the ability to determine the number of hatchlings you would have. It also helps you to control the temperature, environment, and humidity of the egg. Ultimately, it allows you to have higher hatch rates than usual.
How To Choose Your First Incubator?
You cannot choose your first incubator absentmindedly without first putting into consideration some major factors. These factors would greatly determine the level of satisfaction that you would get from your product which is why you need to pay close attention to this section.
There are various shapes and sizes for the incubator that you choose to use. This is why you need to know the ideal size of the incubator which is based on the number of eggs that you want to hatch. If you are planning on hatching just a few eggs or a couple of thousands, you need to take note of the size.
Knowing the area and space available for you to keep your eggs is crucial to choosing the best incubator. First, you have to find a convenient area where the incubator can easily fit into without disturbing other important things you have to take care of.
Temperature and Humidity Measurement
The temperature and humidity of the eggs while hatching are important. You need to be able to keep the temperature constant and accurately measured to ensure that the eggs are not affected. In order to achieve this, you have to determine if you would use a thermometer and hydrometer to measure separately or if you would prefer the measurement to be done separately. The option you choose would be greatly influenced by how much money you have.
Ease Of Cleaning
The maintenance of an incubator is important to determine the level of success that you would have with hatching. This is because bacteria can affect the eggs if the incubator is not cleaned properly. Choosing an incubator with cleanable material is necessary for you to hatch eggs successfully.
Your budget cuts across all the factors that determine your choice of an incubator. The amount you have to spend would determine the size and the level of ease that you get to enjoy while using the product. It is the money that you have that would determine if you would settle for it. An automatic incubator that is easy to use or manage with a manual incubator that has its complexities. Either way, you have to take note of your budget.
What Type Of Egg Incubators Are There?
Fully Automatic Egg Incubator
A fully automatic egg incubator is the best chicken egg incubator that you can use for hatching. This incubator type helps you to control the temperature without requiring any input from you. With ease, you can monitor the activities going on with your eggs because some even come with an inbuilt hygrometer.
This incubator helps you to turn the eggs at the right time. It even helps you to keep track of the time that turning has to stop. Getting a fully automatic egg incubator is a perfect choice for those hatching many eggs.
Manual Egg Incubator
Getting a manual egg incubator is cost-effective and it is a great choice for those who are into the poultry business on a small scale. However, with this type of incubator, you have to be able to keep track of things and remember the processes by yourself.
A manual incubator requires that you turn the eggs with your hands a minimum of three times daily. You would also monitor the temperature and humidity by yourself. Using this incubator requires that you pay close attention to your eggs so you won’t lose all the embryos.
Cheap Egg Incubators
If you are incubating small eggs, it is necessary that you spend little on purchasing an incubator. You can get an ordinary egg holder or a mini incubator to handle your needs. Most of them have no features that help you to control the temperature.
Still Air And Forced Air Incubators
These two types of incubators are different only because of a fan. A forced-air incubator uses a fan that circulates around the incubator, this fan helps to keep the temperature of the incubator constant at all times. The temperatures of a forced air incubator can easily be measured anywhere that is within the airflow. The still air incubator does not have a fan because the heat forms certain layers that are inside the incubator.
Small Egg Incubator
The best small egg incubator can hold about 12 eggs at a time. If you are a hobby breeder or a beginner that is just trying things out then a small egg incubator would serve you best. They come with temperature control and it is best for you to choose a forced air incubator as a beginner because it is user-friendly.
How Do Egg Incubators Work?
It is necessary that you know how incubators work so you can fully enjoy the benefits and privileges that it offers you.
The temperature, humidity, and ventilation of the incubator have to be set properly for you to get the utmost satisfaction from the product. Depending on the type of incubator that you choose to purchase ensure that the measurements you get are accurate.
Keep the temperature at 99.5 degrees at all times, anything except this can terminate the embryo. The humidity should be between 40 to 50 percent for the first 18 days while the final days should be kept between 65 to 75 percent.
Three Elements For Proper Egg Care
Proper sanitation determines the health and general turnout of your egg. This is why you must imbibe a good culture in terms of constantly keeping your incubator clean. You can reduce the cases where diseases can break out up to 95% by constantly cleaning out the incubator after use. It is also necessary for you to not wipe the eggs with a cloth or try to clean them because that exposes them to microorganisms.
Collection And Storage Of Eggs
Before incubation, the eggs have to be collected carefully and stored appropriately. This means that the temperature has to be perfect to increase the level of embryo mortality. Store the egg for less than 10 days, handle them with care and turn the eggs that have been stored for more than 10 days. Make sure the eggs are fertile ones.
Appropriate Storage Time
You have to collect the eggs you want to incubate early as possible. To prepare them for incubation, you have to store them for about 3 days. This is because every hour that the egg spends in storage adds an extra hour to the incubation time. If you take this step, the possibility of egg hatching would increase massively.
Preparing Your Eggs For Incubation
Make sure that the eggs that you choose are fresh ones that are both full-sized and well-formed. Ensure that you don’t clean the eggs because there is a coating on the egg that ensures the success of the embryo.
Proper Tools When Managing Incubation
A candler helps you to determine the imperfections in an egg and to assist you in determining the eggs which are most likely to hatch. It ensures that all the light is focused on the egg while blocking off external light.
If you are not careful, even after the chick hatches, it can still die. This can happen if the chicks are not warm enough. Using a reliable source to provide heat is an effective way of avoiding the death of chicks after they have hatched. A heat lamp serves as an additional source of warmth because the chicks do not have enough feathers to keep themselves warm. However, your choice of a heat lamp has to be completely safe.
This serves as an enclosure for the chicks, in order to properly manage your chicks, you can make out a brooder of about 1 square foot for each chick. You only need this space for the first few weeks before adding to it.
Preparing For Hatching Day
It takes 21 days for an egg to hatch, within this timeframe, you have to monitor the temperature and humidity within a 24-hour range. Make sure to maintain the environment for the chicks until they hatch, you can even add water to increase the humidity level. The eggs must be turned for an average of three times in a day, whatever number you choose, ensure that it is an odd number. After the 18th day, leave the eggs alone for the remaining days.
The Broody Hen- Yes or No?
Although using a broody hen is a natural process, however, it is inconsistent and unreliable to leave the hatching of your poultry eggs of the hen. This is because it would take longer and require that you wait for days until the chick hatches before eggs can be laid again. However, a broody hen is less expensive than purchasing an incubator, however, an incubator allows you to move fast.
The Best Chicken Incubators For 2021
If you need a mini incubator that would make incubating easy and simple for you, this mini fully automatic egg incubator is a great choice. It can conveniently fit about 9 to 12 eggs at once, the number of eggs it can contain is based on how big the eggs are. Also, it is a forced air incubator that comes with a fan that offers air circulation.
This incubator comes in a simple design that even allows your kids to learn about incubation. It is made with a highly durable PP+ABS material. It uses an automatic egg turner which does not require that you keep track of the time by yourself to turn the eggs. However, this turner does not turn off on its own, you would have to position the tray properly so the egg does not get rotated.
Also, there is no setting that controls humidity on the incubator. It requires that you put a hydrometer inside it so that the humidity can be adjusted. This mini incubator is a great addition for every household and home that seeks to understand the dynamics of incubation.
- Easy to use design
- Ample air circulation
- Durable material
- Increased accuracy
- Automatic egg turner
- It has no setting for humidity
This product can help you get high hatch rates on a consistent level. It also allows you to handle up to 28 chicken eggs at once because of its suitability for a wide range of egg sizes. The Brinsea product offers you a rugged construction that can allow it to last for a long time. If you are dealing with a large number of eggs, this fully automatic egg incubator would serve you well.
You get access to automatic turning, humidity, and temperature control all at once by purchasing this incubator. It uses a precise digitally controlled system that displays the humidity and temperature so you can enjoy easy tracking. To cap it all, you get to use an automatic turner that you can program by yourself. The ventilation is also easy to control with its induced dual airflow system.
In terms of maintenance, this is the best commercial incubator that helps in the adequate prevention of bacteria growth to ensure that the eggs hatch in a conducive environment. This maintenance is made easier with a plastic cabinet that uses a bio master antimicrobial additive. With this incubator, you can hatch chicken eggs with ease.
- High level of accuracy
- Fully automatic features
- Large egg carriers
- Easy to clean
- Simple to track
- The power supply cord does not fit properly into the plug
This incubator is best for a large capacity of eggs at once. If you are dealing with about 48 ordinary eggs, this egg can even contain more if the eggs are small. Regardless of whether it is a bird, goose, pigeon, ducks, or chickens, the OppsDecor Egg incubator is capable of processing them effectively. It is one that you can clean easily to save your time.
With its automatic turner, it turns the egg consistently every two hours to increase the speed level for hatching. This frees you from the stress of having to turn the eggs constantly and even reduces the level that you have to touch the eggs. It also has an LED display and digital controls which helps you in monitoring accurately.
This incubator has an inbuilt fan that helps in air circulation. If the humidity and temperature of the incubator are abnormal for the chicks, this product uses an alarm that automatically goes off. It helps in reducing the number of mistakes that you make and also in increasing your hatch rate.
The cover is also made with transparent plastic to ensure that you can conveniently observe the hatching process especially for the purpose of having precise details. Your kids can use this incubator to learn more about the hatching process in a practical manner.
- High capacity incubator
- Easy to monitor
- Quiet incubation environment
- Easy to clean
- Saves you time
- It requires that you add water to it manually
The Best Small Incubator For Chicken Eggs And Small Places
This incubator is committed to offering you a stable temperature at all times. It uses an advanced system to control the temperature, this system records the temperature as much as 3 times within a second. With this monitoring system, there is a guarantee that the hatch rate would increase because of how conducive the environment is for the eggs.
You need not worry about turning your eggs with this incubator because it uses an automatic egg turner. This egg turner rolls the eggs every 60 minutes and it even has a timer that takes note of the number of days left. On the 18th day, this incubator has been programmed to stop the eggs. It saves you the stress of doing all that by yourself.
This product is distinguished because it comes with an inbuilt candler that allows you to track the development of the eggs with ease. You can then monitor the eggs as they hatch accurately to get excellent results. Also, you get the opportunity to use an external top-up to control the humidity level of your incubator without having to open the lid.
- This incubator is quiet
- Increases hatch rate
- Easy monitoring
- Automatic egg turner
- Simple to control
- It hatches the eggs a full day late
Frequently Asked Questions
What Temperature Should The Incubator Be For Chicken Eggs?
The incubator should be between 99 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, however, the ideal one at all times is 99.5 degrees.
What Percentage Of Incubated Chicken Eggs Successfully Produce A Chick?
If your choice of eggs are ones that you’ve gotten directly from the coop, the percentage is between 75 to 90 percent of the eggs incubated.
Should Eggs In An Incubator Be Put Small End Down Or Up?
When you place the eggs in a tray, ensure that the larger end is facing up while the narrow end is facing down in the incubator. This is the appropriate placement of eggs inside an incubator.
What Is The Ideal Humidity Level In An Egg Incubator?
The normal humidity level for an egg incubator is better 50 to 55 Fahrenheit. However, in the last three days of incubation, the incubator should be set to reach about 65%.
Purchasing an egg incubator would save you from the inconsistencies that come with using natural means. With an incubator, you can speed up your production process without waiting for the broody hen to take control of the hatching process. Choosing the right incubator for your own specific need is necessary for you to get the optimum satisfaction after purchase. This article contains all the essential details required for you to make a successful purchase and how to increase your hatch rates with proper incubation.