Top 10 Best Chicken Egg Incubators For 2020 – Reviews and Useful Information
Looking for the best egg incubator? Whether you want it for chickens, geese, ducks, or any other birds or even reptiles, the ones in our review might interest you.
The benefits of getting an incubator are endless. You’ll be able to hatch fertilized eggs whenever you like, regardless of the season, and you'll hatch whatever number you like depending on the size of the unit you get.
You’ll also enjoy a higher hatch rate than what broody hens provide.
We researched the top electric models, both semi-automatic and fully-automatic, scrutinizing their pros and cons, and we’re here to present you with the findings.
We’ll also give you useful information on maintenance and other tips to make sure you get the best out of your unit.
Dive in and see if you’ll find the best chicken egg incubator for your needs here.
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What to Look for When Buying an Egg Incubator?
Before we go into the reviews, you might want to know what aspects you'll be dealing with when looking for an appropriate unit.
Our Top 10 Best Egg Incubator For The Money
NOTE: any prices mentioned are those listed at the time of writing this post. You’ll have to follow the links provided to see the current prices.
1. Magicfly Digital Automatic Egg Incubator (9 to 12 Eggs)
As many as 59% of 512 reviewers on Amazon have given this a 5-star, and 12% have given it 1 star. So, what does it have to offer?
The Magicfly Digital Automatic Egg Incubator is a fully automatic electric egg hatcher that you can set and forget. What makes so many people love this unit is that it is unbelievably easy to use.
You can literally set and forget it, until around two weeks later, when you will want to check every day to see if any chicks have hatched.
Be warned – the instructions that come with this gadget are incoherent and not very useful.
But that’s not a deal breaker. The unit is absolutely self-explanatory and you can be almost sure that you’ll have no trouble operating it. Besides, Google and YouTube are there to help.
At the top of the machine is a small control panel with an LED screen. This allows you to set the temperature and humidity effortlessly.
The temperature ranges between 30 and 40 °C. Yes, it is expressed in Celsius, but you can easily convert that to Fahrenheit if that’s what you’re used to. In the manual, you’ll see a small table with the recommended temperature and humidity settings.
This poultry hatcher features a solid construction. It’s crafted from PP and ABS plastics, which are not only environmentally friendly but also durable.
The gadget is compact and lightweight, weighing in at just 4.85 pounds. That means it takes only a small amount of space and also, that moving it around is an effortless task.
There are two main shortcomings. The capacity is not very large and the instructions aren’t very good. In there, you can place up to 9 large eggs or 12 small ones.
Going for around 65 bucks, the Magicfly Digital Automatic Egg Incubator is one of the inexpensive units. Go on and check it out.
2. Currens Egg Incubator (45 to 48 Eggs)
Maybe you have more chickens and you’re looking for an incubator with a greater capacity. In that case, you might want to check out the Currens Egg Incubator. This one has space to hold up to 48 eggs.
It is not for nothing that all 28 reviewers on Amazon have given his unit has a 5-star rating. The gadget has the most useful features and it works flawlessly.
As you can see in the pictures, the unit looks fantastic. The design is elegant and very appealing, isn’t it?
The ease of use that comes with this poultry hatcher is at a superior level. The control panel, which is situated at the top, is composed of a digital LED display. That means you don’t struggle to see the units you input.
Again, the buttons are touch buttons, making it even easier to set your figures.
The lid opens at the top. This is pretty helpful as it simplifies the task of loading eggs and removing the chicks when they hatch.
Here’s one cool feature you’re going to love – the sides are transparent. Thus, you can view what is going on inside the unit without opening the lid.
No more guessing the humidity levels. This incubator, unlike many of its counterparts, has a built-in humidity gage.
Whether you love saving energy or you just want to keep your power bill low, this is the unit for you. It’s rated 80 watts, meaning it’ll consume just a little bit of power. The incubator needs 110V power supply, and that means you can use your home wall outlet.
We really cannot think of anything wrong with this unit. Even the construction is nice and robust.
Everyone we talked to said the Currens Egg Incubator was the best chicken egg incubator they’d ever used. We highly recommend you give it a try.
3. Hova-Bator Air Incubator with Electronic Thermostat (21 to 25 eggs)
Have you relied on live chickens or other incubators to hatch your chicks, but with a disappointing hatch rate? What if we told you there’s a way to get over 85% hatch rate every time?
With the Hova-Bator Air Incubator, which comes with an electronic thermostat, it’s possible to get almost all your eggs to hatch. That would boost your profits, wouldn’t it?
Over 70% of the reviewers on Amazon agree that the unit deserves a 5-star, so you can bet on it if you want the best chicken incubator.
The Hova-Bator incubator employs tech innovations to get most of the eggs to hatch. It has a powerful electronic thermostat, which senses changes in the heat levels and maintains the temperature at the ideal levels, around 98.5 to 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is a unit that you can rely on to work for you even during the hot or snowing months. How’s that? The incorporated Styrofoam properly insulates the interiors, keeping them from getting affected by the external temperatures.
No more temperature variations among the eggs. The machine has a small fan on the inside. This circulates the air well and ensures that the eggs’ temperature is uniform. The feature helps reduce time differences in the hatching time.
On top of the machine is a small control panel. There’s a plus and minus button for setting the temperature. There’s also an ON/OFF button and a small LCD screen that clearly displays the figures. As you can see, it’s a simplistic control panel that makes everything straightforward.
The only shortcoming of this unit is that the viewing areas are super small. You might have to open it to see what is going on inside, which is not very convenient.
Other than that, it’s a great unit and it’s inexpensive, going for just 80 bucks.
4. Brinsea Products Mini II (7 Eggs)
Excellent visibility, programmable turning, and a sturdy construction are the factors that make the Brinsea Products Mini II the best egg incubator for someone who needs a mini unit.
This incubator has a capacity of 7 eggs, and most of the people we spoke to said it hatches all of them most of the time.
Yes, the unit’s price is on the high side, but the quality is most definitely unmatched. It’s a hundred times better than one of those 70-buck incubators.
There’s nothing flimsy in all the parts of the unit. All the parts, including the electrical cable, the lid, and the spinner are made of high-quality ABS materials. Hence, you can expect the unit to work for almost a decade without a problem.
As you’ll see when you get it, this unit comes fully assembled. There are no parts to join; you just plug and play.
One of the pains of most incubators is having to open the lid to add water. With this unit, you get to say goodbye to that issue. The appliance has a port where you can add the water without opening the lid.
Another pain of having a regular, cheap model is that you might have to futz trying to get the heat levels to be steady. That too is solved with this unit. It has a reliable built-in thermostat that keeps the temperature steady.
The turner is set to turn every 45 minutes, but you can program it to whatever frequency you want.
Here’s a cool feature – there’s a hatching countdown. This too is programmable.
Want to see what is going on inside without having to open the lid? The sides are transparent, allowing you to clearly see the interiors.
Some folks have complained about the price, but we tell you – it is worth it.
5. Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator (270 eggs)
If you’re in the poultry business, the hatchers we’ve talked about above might not suffice for you. A large-size unit like the Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator suits you better.
This large-size incubator can accommodate up to 45 goose eggs, 198 duck eggs, 1360 quail eggs, and 270 chicken eggs. As you can see, it’s the best egg incubator for business.
Over 80% of the reviewers on Amazon have given this unit 5 stars while less than 5% have given it 1 star. Many of them say this is the best cabinet incubator they’ve ever used.
The greatest feature of this hatcher is the great capacity it has as we’ve discussed above. There are three racks and in addition to that, there is a bottom tray where you can put extra eggs.
When it comes to technology, the incubator is one of the top units. It is completely automated, so that you can just set and forget.
The built-in thermostat controls the temperature seamlessly. At the side, there’s a digital control panel with touch buttons for setting the temperature and humidity.
A wide LCD screen allows you to see and monitor the figures without a struggle.
The unit doesn’t just have a thermostat. It has an onboard computer system that monitors the environment inside and shares the information with you.
The trays and the bottom tray rotate automatically. You can use the control panel at the side to set your desired turning frequency.
Viewing what is going on inside the unit isn’t a problem. At the front, there’s a large transparent panel for you to take a peek.
If you’re wondering, the Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator exceptionally durable. It’s constructed from high-strength plastics and it will go for over a decade if you take care of it. All the parts are very sturdy.
The price is around 900 bucks. This might be costly for someone looking to get in the poultry business, but for someone who’s seriously in/getting into this business, the cabinet is a must-have.
6. Lesgos Egg Incubator (9 to 35 Eggs)
This is for the smart farmer out there. The design is sleek and everything is just tech superior and elegant. You will just love it.
But it’s not just about elegance. Highly sturdy and strong material is used to construct this unit, making it super durable. You can be sure that your eggs and the hatched chicks are safe from external threats while they’re in there.
As said, the machine is tech superior. A computer system is integrated that controls the internal environment accurately.
Consequently, you never have to worry about the temperature or the humidity, as these aspects are excellently controlled.
Most models out there have a thermostat and a hygrometer that miss the actual conditions and offer faulty control, but the integrated computer system in the Lesgos incubator is extremely efficient and accurate.
It’s interesting the way the top panel is designed. Only one side provides a view to the inside, but unlike with other models, all the eggs are visible without a struggle.
Besides, there’s LED illumination to enhance the view.
At the top is where the control panel is situated. There are smart touch button controls and an LED screen displaying the readings. The touch buttons are very responsive.
You’d think that such a technologically superior machine would use lots of power, but that’s not the case. The unit actually uses only 40 watts, making it very power-efficient.
There’s seriously nothing wrong we can say about the Lesgos Egg Incubator. Even those we talked to had nothing but praise for it. Try the incubator and let us know what you think. It goes for just 70 bucks on Amazon.
7. IncuView All-In-One Automatic Incubator (27 Eggs)
If you’re the kind of person that wants an unrestricted view of the incubator’s interiors, you’ll find the IncuView All-In-One Automatic Incubator most suitable.
This unit features a wide, rectangular shape and the top panel is all transparent, allowing you to see the insides vividly. Hence, you can expect to see what is going on in there even from meters away, and certainly without having to open the lid. That’s an awesome feature if you asked us. The viewing convenience is unbeaten.
Is saving power one of your objectives when using electric gadgets? You’re in luck because the unit’s heater uses just 40 watts of power.
No worries about the temperature variations. The unit is a set-and-forget appliance that automatically varies the temperature to the suitable ranges, thanks to the internal thermostat.
The thermostat works in a rather superior manner as compared to the standard thermostat. Instead of simply turning the heater on/off, it varies the amount of heat released.
That ensures the temperatures stay within the acceptable ranges and greatly improves the hatch rates.
On top of the incubator, you'll also find a digital control unit that allows you to conveniently regulate the temperature and humidity. The thermostat is preset to maintain the temperature at 99.5 °F, which is the recommended level for most eggs.
But, once again, you can use the control unit to change the figure to what suits your application. Moreover, you can choose to display the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
The only complaint is that when the unit is not full, holding the humidity is a bit of a challenge.
Aside from that, the unit works great and it’s built to last. Oh, and we forgot to say, it has an automatic egg turner which rolls the eggs 6 times per day. The frequency is adjustable.
8. Noeler Digital Mini Incubator (7 Eggs)
If you’re looking for a nice and decent mini incubator without having to pay a premium, you might want to look at the Noeler Digital Mini Incubator.
This is a nice-looking little unit with a dome-shaped top. The top is clear, allowing you to effortlessly see the chicks as they hatch.
If this little hatcher has one thing going for, it is the ease of use. The little appliance features a simplistic design, making the operation a breeze. You just unscrew the top part and insert your eggs in the holes provided.
The small holes are round shaped to give your eggs stability as they sit in there. This design reduces trauma and increases the chances of hatching many of them.
Weighing in at 1 pound, this is one of the lightest incubators you can find out there. It’s also compact and that means no struggling to move the gadget from place to place or finding space for it.
The Noeler Digital Mini Incubator is one of the top models when it comes to energy conservation. Can you believe it uses just 20 watts?
This unit comes with a US plug, and it can be connected to either a 110 or 220 V outlet.
At the front side, you’ll see a little control unit with an LCD screen and a few touch buttons. This allows you to set the temperature and start the machine fast and easily.
The temperature is displayed in °C, with no option to change it to Fahrenheit. That might inconvenience some people, but you can always use Google to convert the figures.
The other issues are that the turner is not automatic and you have to flip it manually. Not convenient but again, you get what you pay for.
9. Brinsea Products Ovation Automatic Egg Incubator (56 Eggs)
The Brinsea Products Ovation Automatic Egg Incubator comes with everything the best egg incubator should have. It’s a digital and fully automatic unit that simplifies the use greatly.
For those who like seeing the eggs as they hatch without having to open the lid, this would be a great selection. It has a fully transparent top panel, which enables you to view the eggs without a struggle.
One of the reasons why so many farmers prefer this unit over others is that it’s great when it comes to protecting the eggs. This is made possible by the design of the interiors. On the inside, the unit is arranged in rows that are separated from each other.
And inside the rows, there are little depressions where the egg is held and supported so it doesn’t collide with the others.
The design comes in handy for boosting the hatch rate.
As mentioned earlier, the incubator is digital and fully automatic.
On the lid, you’ll see a small control center with touch buttons and a screen displaying the settings for the temperature and humidity. The gadget comes preset for the best temperature and humidity conditions for hatching chicken eggs, but you can use the + and – buttons to vary the settings as you prefer.
Users of this device complain about two things mainly. First, cleaning between the top layers is a challenge, and the instructions provided aren’t very helpful. Fortunately, you can find great advice on YouTube.
Secondly, the company’s customer reps seem to be sleeping on their job. Brinsea might want to look into that.
Other than these issues, the Brinsea Products Ovation Automatic Egg Incubator is a great unit. It won’t hurt to check it out.
10. Farm Innovators Model 4200 (41 Eggs)
This list wouldn’t be complete without something from Farm Innovators, would it? Well, the Farm Innovators Model 4200 is one of the best incubators for chicken eggs for a variety of reasons.
When you purchase this unit, you get a complete package that includes an incubator, an automatic egg turner, and a circulating fan.
With some units, you have to go and turn the units physically, but with this one, things are pretty easy, thanks to the automatic turner. It turns the eggs once every 4 hours.
The circulating fan beats the air and ensures that the eggs get a uniform supply of heat to bring the hatching times closer together. This also improves the hatching rate.
A built-in hygrometer keeps track of the relative humidity and varies it accordingly. There’s also an internal thermometer, which detects changes in temperature and deploys the thermostat to increase or lower the heat production accordingly.
Such innovative features are the reason why the hatching rate with this gadget is always 100% or a figure close to that.
If you like something sturdy that will last, this is it. The unit is constructed from hard plastic materials that hold up for years. As the surface is well polished and smooth, cleaning the incubator is an easy task. you can just wipe it down with a damp towel.
Visibility is important to most of us, and sadly, this is where the Farm Innovator incubator loses marks. Not to say that you can’t see the interiors, no. There are two windows on the top panel that allow you to take a peek, but an all-clear top panel would have worked better.
Other concerns regard the fan and heater, which are a bit loud, and the water wells, which are not easy to access.
All in all, the unit has a tad to offer and it’s relatively inexpensive, going for about 120 bucks.
Benefits of Using Egg Incubator
The joys of owning a chicken incubator are plenty. Here are a few that might motivate you to get one:
You can use it for different breeds
If you get the best egg incubator, you’ll be able to use it for not only chicken eggs but also other poultry eggs, like the eggs of geese, parrots, ducks, ostriches, and quails. Most of the top models can even be used for snake and other reptile eggs.
It brings more cost effectiveness
Some farmers buy chicks. Others hatch their own eggs. According to Backyard Chickens, popular chick breeds go from anywhere between 3 and 5 dollars. That means you’ll have to pay a minimum of 60 bucks for 20 one-day old chicks. If some of them don’t survive, you’ll definitely be counting losses.
There’s no doubt that hatching your own eggs is more cost-effective. All you need is have a supply of fertilized eggs and get the best egg incubator for the money.
It’s more efficient than using broody hens
There’s no doubt about this – you cannot rely on broody hens if you’re in the chicken business.
Hens aren’t always in the broody mood. In fact, according to Backyard Chickens, chickens typically go broody in spring and early summer. What about all the other months?
If you want to be able to hatch eggs all year round, you’ll find an incubator most useful.
Better hatch rate
Broody hens are good, but they’re not nearly as efficient as incubators when it comes to environment control. An incubator is built to control the humidity and temperature. Since these are the factors that define the hatch rate, incubators generally hatch more eggs than hens. The top-quality models have a nearly 100% hatch rate all the time.
Protection from predators
Hens might be good mothers, but they cannot always be in a position to protect the eggs or hatched chicks. There’s danger all over, from dogs and other pets, and even from the other flock members. Some hens will even harm their own chicks.
In an incubator, your chicks are virtually totally safe from predators. They’re also kept in ideal temperature and humidity conditions, so the survival rate is higher.
It helps in monitoring the chicks
Using an incubator rather than relying on broody hens makes it possible to have a personal touch with the chicks. You monitor the eggs during the incubation period and monitor the chicks from the day they hatch. Tracking how the chicks are fed and watered is a cinch.
That is hard to achieve when using a broody hen or buying chicks.
Related Article: How to Clean Chicken Plucker.
Different Types of Chicken Incubators
Incubators can be categorized in different ways. You can sort them by the size, in which case you’ll have small and portable home units, small business units, and full-size business unit. In this article, we’ve focused on the small and portable home units and one small-business unit (the cabinet).
Another way of sorting incubators is by the power. In this case, there are manual and electrical units, as discussed below.
Chicken Incubator Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
There’s no doubt that an egg incubator is a handy device. But like any other tool, it has to be treated well aka maintained, to work properly and give optimal results.
Cleaning is one of the procedures that are most important when it comes to incubator maintenance.
You see, an egg incubator is normally exposed to germs and bugs, and these are a threat to the delicate chicks. If you want to boost the hatch rate and the survival rate of the hatched chicks, be sure to keep your incubator clean.
The best time to clean the incubator is obviously before placing the eggs in there and after the hatching period.
Here’s how to go about the cleaning exercise:
Remove the wastes
Once you’ve removed the chicks, remove any wastes they’ve left behind as well as all the other debris from the food items you served them. All other dirt you can see, including the little feathers, needs to go.
You can use a scoop and a broom or soft-bristle brush for this exercise. You can use anything as long as it doesn’t damage the surface of your incubator.
The essence of doing this immediately after removing the chicks is so that the debris doesn’t dry on the inside. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get rid of the dirt.
It’s not always possible to remove all the dirt with a scoop, broom or brush. This is where detergent cleaning comes into play.
Get your household detergent and mix it with a little amount of water in a small bucket. Be sure to use only mild detergent as anything harsh might damage the unit’s surface.
Secure a microfiber towel or a sponge and put it in the soapy water. Use the wet towel or sponge to wet the stuck dirt. You might want to wait a few moments for it to loosen before wiping it off with the towel.
So, use the wet towel to clean out all the remaining dirt. Once that is done, use a clean sponge or towel to dry the surface.
At this stage, all the physical dirt should be gone and the unit should look sparkling clean and dry. But there’s something that still needs to be dealt with – the unseen enemy or rather the microbes.
These include bacteria, viruses, and other germs.
You have two options – you can either spray a sanitizer into the incubator – this is more applicable for small units. Or, you can fumigate it – this is suited for larger units.
Chlorine is one of the most commonly used home disinfectants, and it works wonders especially when you're handling a smooth and clean surface.
Formaldehyde is yet another option, and it’s very effective. You, however, want to be careful while using this, as it’s a dangerous chemical.
Note: don’t use a corrosive product to disinfect your incubator as it might eat into the surface and you don’t want that.
Once you’re done disinfecting it, dry the unit with a clean and dry towel, and store it.
Correct storage is important in the maintenance process. Try keeping the unit in a clean and dry place, where it’s protected from harm that might come from impact, direct sunlight, moisture, or dirt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an egg incubator?
An incubator is a device that provides the ideal conditions that support hatching. It provides the needed temperature and humidity levels.
Which is better – an incubator or a broody hen?
Both have pros and cons. For instance, while an incubator can accommodate dozens, even hundreds of eggs, depending on its size, most broody hens can sit on a maximum of 15 eggs.
Again, while a broody hen can offer the chicks company and teach them how to drink and feed when they hatch, an incubator cannot do the same.
But all things considered, an incubator is better, as it offers more advantages and less disadvantages. If you’re in the poultry business, and want to be able to hatch eggs all year round, there’s no doubt that you will need a good incubator or even a couple of them.
Why do I need an egg incubator?
To hatch as many eggs as you like. Get the size that fits your needs. You also need it to hatch eggs whenever you like. Remember, hens don’t go broody all the time. In fact, many of them go broody during spring and summer only and very rarely during the cold months. An incubator eliminates these limitations.
What sort of incubator should I get?
There are various types of incubators for different applications. By size, there are little home units, small business units, and large-scale units. Go for the one that fits your needs.
Another way to think about is by the power. There are manual and electric models. A manual unit is inexpensive but an automatic electric one is more convenient because you can set and forget it and not have to worry about the temperature or humidity or whether the eggs are being turned as needed.
How many times to I have to turn the eggs in the incubator?
Incubator Warehouse recommends turning them at least twice per day, but states that turning them 4 to 5 times during the day gives better results.
Stop turning the eggs three days before the hatching day. That would be from day 18 or 19 all the way to day 21.
How much does an electric incubator for chicken eggs cost?
That depends on the features of the incubator. Some units go for as little as 20 bucks while others go for as much as one grand. The less the cost, the less the features, and vice-versa. For instance, a 20-buck unit will only house a few eggs and it might not have an automatic turner.
One that costs 150 bucks will obviously have an automatic turner and have more room for more eggs.
The ones costing 800 dollars and above are normally large-size units, usually cabinets that can house hundreds of chicken eggs.
What is the significance of turning the eggs in an incubator?
Turning is super important. It prevents the embryo from sticking to the inner shell membrane and stimulates the embryo’s development. You may also be surprised to hear that chicks that were turned grow faster than those that were not.
Which unit did you settle on as the best egg incubator for your needs? Remember, while one model may be suitable for one farmer, it might not suffice for another farmer. It all depends on circumstances, and that’s why we gave you a buying guide.
Most folks prefer a nice, electric and fully automatic egg incubator that excellently controls the temperature and humidity on its own, while also turning the eggs automatically.
You might also want to pick one with a clear top so you can see the eggs as they hatch.