The 4 Best Egg Incubators For Chickens, Ducks, and Quails

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: August 30, 2022
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In the wild, ducks, chickens, and quails will lay their eggs in a nest, and the female will then incubate them until they hatch. However, providing the animals with a suitable nest is often challenging when poultry is in captivity. As a result, many farmers use egg incubators. Egg incubators mimic the conditions of a natural nest and can help increase the chances of a successful hatch. 

Egg incubators are typically used to incubate chicken and duck eggs, but they can also be used to incubate quail eggs. Each egg requires different environments to grow and thrive, so the incubator must be carefully monitored. By using an egg incubator, farmers can make sure that their poultry has the best chance of successfully hatching its eggs. 

There are several types of egg incubators on the market, but they all serve the same purpose: to provide a controlled environment for the eggs to develop. An incubator can create the perfect conditions for a successful hatch by carefully regulating temperature and humidity. 

In addition, most incubators have features that allow you to turn the eggs regularly, which is essential for proper development. An incubator is a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about hatching eggs. This article lets you know better which incubator suits your specific needs and has a wide selection of options. 

Best Overall: GCCSJ 16 Eggs Incubator

The egg incubator has an automatic turning device that turns the eggs every 90 minutes. If your need increased turning rates, it lets you also start the turner at any time. The rollers are adjustable according to the size of the different types of eggs. This has a simple way of controlling temperature and humidity. 

You can add water from the outside and don’t need to remove the lid to fill it up. That is important for maintaining a consistent temperature. The LED screen keeps track of temperature changes and will send an alarm off if it drops too low or gets too high. It is excellent if you are particularly forgetful and will help you check on the eggs regularly. 

The set includes a built-in egg candler to check the fertility of the eggs as well as see their progress. If you worry about power outages, you’ll take comfort in the fact that if the power goes out, you can attach it to a 12V battery to keep the eggs viable. The wide range of eggs it supports will give you several options, which is excellent if you plan on hatching different breeds.

Best Overall:
GCCSJ 16 Eggs Incubator
  • Turner that automatically turns your eggs every 90 minutes
  • Don't need to remove the lid to add water
  • Built-in egg candler allows you to check the fertility and progress of the eggs
Check Amazon

Best for Ducks and Chickens: Manna Pro Harris Farms

When hatching eggs, it’s helpful to see all the egg parts as they turn. The clear top on it makes it great for observation. It is an excellent option for first-time hatchers or educational purposes. This incubator also has induced air control which helps maintain temperature and air circulation. 

It is crucial to have proper air circulations because even inside the egg, the chick requires oxygen that gets in by the shell. This model has an air vent under each corner of the base. The incubator also has automatic turning with auto stop, preventing the eggs from turning three days before they hatch. This is ideal for chickens, ducks, and pheasants. 

The capacity is 22 chicken eggs, 12-18 duck eggs, or 22-24 pheasant eggs. Reviews confirmed that it works great for chicken eggs but not for turkey. It has an external water pot that allows you to add water to maintain humidity. Adding water from the outside means the temperature is kept inside the incubator because you won’t have to remove the lid. If you live in dry areas, you would have to lift most incubator lids to add water, letting the warmth escape and decreasing your hatch success rate.

Best for Ducks and Chickens
Manna Pro Harris Farms Nurture Right Incubator | Egg Incubator for Hatching Chicks | 360 Degree View
  •  Clear top for observation
  • Helps maintain temperature and air circulation
  • 22-egg capacity
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Best for Beginners and Quails: Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator

This isn’t explicitly for quails, but the reviews mention a great success with hatching them. The precise capabilities of this incubator are excellent for a novice egg hatcher to have successful hatch rates. It contains a dozen spots for placing eggs, an excellent number for a beginner to handle both during incubation and raising the chicks. 

The incubator helps stabilize airflow for optimal temperature control and ensures oxygen enters the incubator. The external water filler makes it easier because you don’t have to open it to add water to increase humidity. The built-in candler can check the eggs, and the humidity is on display. No separate equipment is needed for moisture control. 

The automatic egg turner will rotate eggs every hour and automatically stop turning them three days before the hatch date. What makes this the most beginner-friendly is the accurate temperature control. It adjusts the temperature using a prediction system that tracks trends of fluctuations based on three readings per second. This is one of the most hands-off incubators, which makes it a great first choice when hatching for the first few times. 

Best for Beginners and Quails
Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator
  • Excellent choice for a novice egg hatcher
  • External water filler makes it easier because you don't have to open it to add water to increase humidity
  • Accurate temperature control; beginner-friendly
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Best for Geese: Hethya Incubators

This is an excellent option for hatching goose eggs. The automatic egg function will turn eggs every 90 minutes. You can adjust the distance of the rollers depending on the size of the eggs your needing hatched. There are five automatic modes for geese, chickens, and more.

It helps take the guesswork out of the incubation setting while providing optimal results. For power outage events, there is a backup option. You can get and attach a 12V battery to the incubator while plugging it into the wall. If the power supply is compromised from the wall outlet, it will automatically run off the battery. This ensures consistent temperature and humidity is maintained even in less than ideal situations. 

The setup helps to prevent adding excessive amounts of water; the overflow will prevent it from affecting the moisture. Since the water can be refilled with the lid closed, the temperature will stay appropriately regulated. When hatching goose eggs, they can start hatching at 29 days and should be done no later than 32 days. It is large enough that they can use it as a broader for a few weeks.

Best for Geese
Hethya Incubators
  • Automatic egg function will turn eggs every 90 minutes
  • Five automatic modes for geese, chickens, and more
  • Large enough to double as a broader
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Incubator: What to Look for

Aside from choosing the right size to hold your eggs, auto-turning is crucial because frequently rotating the eggs prevents the developing fetus from sticking to the sides of the shell. If they aren’t turned, their developing organs can attach to the shell, and it can help ve fatal. Having an alarm makes monitoring the status of your incubator a breeze. 

Instead of checking on your incubator frequently, you’ll hear an alarm if you need to adjust temperature or humidity levels. The more precise you are with maintaining proper levels of this controlled environment, the better your hatch rates will be. A backup power supply will ensure that you can keep the eggs in a safe environment if you lose power or the cord gets damaged. Eggs are delicate and require accurate incubation. 

An incubator with a candler may not be necessary but can be helpful. It only allows you to place the light at the bottom of the egg, so you may not be able to see with as much precision as a regular candler flashlight. The regular candler will allow you to shine light through the top of the egg, which is helpful to check if a chick is about to attempt to break the shell. You may need to check to see the progress if an egg is taking longer to hatch. 

The Different Types of Incubators: Pros and Cons Compared 

There are three different types of egg incubators; let’s go over them. The forced-air incubator is one of the most popular and commonly used egg incubators. The warm air is dispersed throughout the egg chamber utilizing a fan. As a result, more eggs of a wider variety of sizes can be incubated simultaneously since the heat is distributed more uniformly inside the incubator. 

The still-air egg type of egg incubator has no air holes, in contrast to the forced-air incubator. Stil-air incubators are more complex and challenging to use, and their setup calls for accuracy. It is essential to locate the eggs correctly because the air will not be able to circulate due to the radiant heat. 

Also, air incubators need to be set exactly (103F), or else temperature and humidity irregularities may occur inside. Additionally, for fresh air to enter still-air egg incubators, they must be opened at least four times daily. Convection is the last kind of egg incubator. 

The incubator’s top, sides, and bottom have ventilation openings, which the convectional incubator needs. These openings allow warm air to rise and draw chilly air from below, evenly warming the area around the eggs. 

Conventional egg incubators are, however, susceptible to air drying; hence it is crucial to check the humidity closely. On the other hand, the conventional egg incubator has the advantage of being simple to make at home with recycled materials. Let’s look at the benefits and downfalls of each type. 

Forced-Air Incubator

ProsCons
Regulates consistent temperatureExpensive 
Helps humidity and auto turnsN/A
Easier to use for beginners N/A

Still-Air Incubator 

ProsCons
For experienced hatchersMust manually turn off auto turning
Great for a more hands-on approach You have to open it to allow fresh air 
Auto turnsN/A

Conventional Incubators

ProsCons
CheaperMost difficult 
Can make yourselfLower hatch rates
N/ARequires more steps 

Verified Review: User Experience

For quails, the Kebonnixs worked great. One happy egg hatcher said, “I bought 2 of these for hatching Coturnix quail. I am sure happy with my purchase! It does a great job keeping accurate temp during the 18-day hatch time. Super simple setup and cleaning.”

They went on to say, “It’s very nice not having to open the incubator to add water for humidity, which is an added bonus if even displays that! It’s a nice small design and fits perfectly on my kitchen counter for monitoring, and I don’t even notice it.” This excellent and efficient compact design brings a lot to the kitchen counter. 

The Hethya Incubator had several positive reviews. Most of the reviews talked about how awesome it was and how great it works because of the different preset settings worked. One user said, “Wonderful, just the size I need a backyard chicken and quail farmer.” One farmer will be super happy with the results, and you can expect that there will be an excellent hatch rate with reviews like this one “Had all my eggs hatch, worked out great.” When hatching eggs, you want them to all hatch successfully! 

About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

The 4 Best Egg Incubators For Chickens, Ducks, and Quails FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How long can chickens lay fertile eggs after removing a rooster from the hens?

Chicken eggs can remain fertile for up to three weeks after removing the rooster. After that, they will be infertile eggs and not be viable for hatching.

How long after chickens lay eggs can I wait on starting incubation?

If your hen isn’t laying on the hens, you can start incubating the eggs up to a week after they are hatched. Sometimes they can be hatched a little past that, but each day you wait to incubate, the rate of success for hatching will drop. It also depends on how the eggs are stored and if they were in harmful hot or cold temperatures.

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