Egg incubators have been used for quite some time now. The most hatched are chickens, but people use incubators to hatch geese, ducks, or whatever birds they need around the house. There are few limits when it comes to incubators. They are very useful, especially when you don’t have hens to help you with the incubation process. Moreover, the eggs will hatch in a more controlled environment, which means that chances of losing chicks are small.
The best time to insert the eggs in the incubator is 7 to10 days after laying. Just make sure that you protect the eggs from extreme temperatures, animals that have an appetite for eggs, or any other things that may affect the egg’s integrity.
The benefits of using an egg incubator
Depending on what you need it for, an egg incubator can prove to be quite useful. A lot of people use it for different purposes, and I must say that it’s a pretty amazing invention. Here is why.
- You can use it for multiple breeds – usually, people use it for chickens, but there are other purposes as well. People use it for ostriches ad parrots, mostly because these birds don’t breed so well in captivity. I read about individuals who hatched reptile eggs as well, so the possibilities are many.
- It’s more efficient than a hen – the rate of hatching is at least 90% when it comes to egg incubators. That is huge. A hen will sometimes hatch maybe half of the eggs it has. I read stories in which the hen hatched only one egg. That is tragic. An egg incubator is more effective.
- It’s cheap and portable – it’s more cost efficient for multiple reasons. Logistics alone should be reason enough. There are regulations on how to transport chicks, so you need some paperwork. Also, chicks are sensitive, and transporting them can lead to their death, especially if it’s cold. That is why incubators are better. It’s a lot easier to carry eggs than already hatched chicks, don’t you think? And last, but not least, eggs are cheaper than chicks.
- The quality of product – when you hatch your own eggs, you have a quality control that you can’t enjoy when you buy chicks. When you have egg incubators, you are there from day one of life, so you know exactly what you fed them. Hatcheries cannot take such good care of the chicks because there are too many of them. You can also gather some experience with egg incubators, which is always a plus. You can learn to hatch eggs with a personal touch.
Egg incubator buying guide
Although the incubation of eggs itself is relatively easy, choosing the right incubator, on the other hand, is not. That is because there are a ton of models available, and not all can do a great job. That is why I made a list with things you should consider before making a purchase. All of the things below will help you make a smart, informed decision.
- Budget – when it comes to thebudget, here is what you should know. There are high-quality egg incubators, and then there are deluxe Do you know what the difference between the two is? 10% hatching rate and about 200$. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it. If I put 10 eggs in the incubator and only 9 of them hatch, do you think that one chick is worth 200 dollars? Not really. Now, if you are more serious about the number of chicks you want, then it’s up to you to decide if you want to spend the extra 200$.
- Manual or automatic control – this aspect can make a big difference for you because it will determine the amount of time you are going to spend tending to the incubator. I prefer the automatic incubator, and so does the majority of people. Automatic control means multiple things. First, the eggs need to be turned twice a day, which means you have to open the incubator twice a day and turn the eggs. An automatic control requires you to open the incubator only once every few days to add water, and that’s it. The eggs will be turned automatically. Also, the automatic incubators have in-built thermostats, fans for an even distribution of heat, humidity sensors, and many other features. The manual incubator is a thing of the past now.
- Size – size depends on your preference. If you are a farmer who needs 200 chickens, then I recommend you buy an incubator with a large capacity. If you are an amateur, a 10-egg incubator should be enough. Another thing that I think is important is your experience. I know that maybe you don’t see the connection between the two, but if you are a beginner, I recommend a mini egg incubator, just to test the waters. If you don’t like working with it, or if you get bored, at least your investment is not significant.
- Forced or still air – there are two categories of incubators, the fan forced and the still air incubators. The fan forced have fans (doh!) that will circulate the air within the incubator, while the still air incubator will work with the air above the eggs. As you can imagine, the fan forced incubators are superior to still air because they can provide even distribution of fresh air, temperature, and humidity.
- Material – the best material for egg incubators is hard plastic. Try to stay away from Styrofoam or cheap plastic. They work, but not as good as the hard plastic egg incubators.
- Energy used – I assume you know that egg incubators use electricity to work, don’t you? The good news is that they don’t use very much power. People don’t usually care about this aspect. However, if your house is powered by solar or wind energy, you may care. An egg incubator with a power consumption of under 45 watts is ideal.
- Easy cleaning – cleaning is more important than you think in an incubator. That is because it’s the perfect environment for bacteria. It’s not only the eggs that will hatch, I’ll tell you that much. Also, when the chicks hatch, the incubator is a disaster. You’ll find fluff in every single small opening, and cleaning it will be a hassle. Try to find a model that is easy to clean and preferably doesn’t have too many corners. Don’t forget to clean the fans and sterilize the entire thing.
What are the best egg incubators?
Fortunately for you, there is a vast variety of products to choose from. They may not all deliver the quality you want, but some of them are ideal. No matter what is your purpose, you will find the best incubator for you. If you are a beginner and feel confused, here are a few suggestions that should be of help.
Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator
The Magicfly is a relatively new release, but people who have already bought the product have only good things to say about it. It is a high-quality egg incubator that is ideal for anyone, and it can be a great start for a beginner. As the title suggests, this is a mini egg incubator because it has a capacity of maximum 12 eggs.
The design is simple but elegant. The material it’s made of is very sturdy. It’s PP+ABS material, which is the best you can hope for. There is no cheap plastic involved. The model is fully automatic and can be controlled digitally. The eggs are also handled automatically. They are turned twice a day. You cannot see it happening, but it does work, and you don’t have to make any kind of intervention.
The Magicfly can hatch various bird eggs like chickens, ducks, fowl, geese, etc. The temperature is controlled automatically, and the incubator will ensure that the environment inside is ideal for hatching the eggs. The device is very easy to use, the values are displayed on a LED screen and are easy to read. For that reason, I think this egg incubator is perfect for beginners. The price is more than affordable, and you will receive the best egg incubator for the money you spend.
The incubator can be placed anywhere because it’s not very big. It only measures 35.5 cm x 19 cm x 17.5 cm weighs approximately 6.6 pounds. As far as power consumption goes, it only needs less than 60 watts. The Magicfly egg incubator is very easy to clean. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Yosoo Mini Led Egg Incubator
This egg incubator is also meant for beginners. The reason I am describing incubators for beginners is that professionals know what they want and are not interested in what an amateur has to say. So, if you have just discovered your egg hatching interest, this is an ideal product for you as well.
You can use the Yasoo egg incubator for almost any kind of eggs. The capacity of the device is 10 chicken-sized eggs, but keep in mind that a goose or a duck lays bigger eggs than a chicken’s. Some people use this incubator for turtles, so it works on different eggs. It is very easy to use, the manual is quite clear in its instructions, and cleaning is as easy as pie. The LED display will show the temperature, which you can control. Other features include a built-in fan and an alarm system. However, one of the things that you may not like about this egg incubator is that you have to turn the eggs manually. So, if you don’t have the time for it, I suggest you choose a different model.
The egg incubator from Yasoo features a clear window that allows you to see everything that happens inside. You don’t need to interrupt the incubation process unless it’s absolutely necessary. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Incubator Warehouse HovaBator Deluxe Egg Incubator Combo Kit
If you can afford it, then you should know that a combo kit is better than a single egg incubator. When you buy just the incubator, chances are that it will not come with the required accessories. However, a kit means that you have everything you need along the way, which is what HovaBator provides.
The capacity of this incubator is 42 regular chicken-sized eggs. Sure, if you are a beginner you can start from here, but I think it’s a bit too much. Also, this product is significantly more expensive than the previous two, so I do not recommendit for experimentation. The HovaBator comes with a forced air fan kit. That will ensure the temperature and humidity are even throughout the incubator. It also features an IncuTurn automatic egg turner. You don’t have to handle them in any way.
Other features include a digital thermometer and a hygrometer. They will help you keep the temperature and humidity under control. You will also receive an egg candler that will allow you to see in what stage are the chicks inside the egg. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
I am inclined to go with the HovaBator, but I don’t think it’s suited for beginners or amateurs. That is why my choice is the Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator. It has the right features, and I like that you don’t have to turn the eggs yourself. It’s affordable, and you receive a pretty high-quality product for its value. That is why I consider it to be one of the best egg incubators for beginners.
Eggs hatching is no play, you have to be relatively serious about it. But I don’t think you want to hatch eggs just for fun. The options I presented are perfect if you have no experience. You can hatch eggs to grow chickens in your backyard if you want. The point is that you can start anywhere, and the egg incubators will be of great help. Who knows? Maybe you get very good at this, and you will build a chicken farm some day. Click here to buy on Amazon
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