- The #1 Best Overall egg incubator is the GCCSJ 16 Egg Incubator.
- Duck, chicken, geese, and quail eggs have different requirements for hatching and take a different length of time.
- Incubators are a great way to maximise the number of eggs hatched in a brood as you can carefully monitor the incubating conditions.
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 are 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.
A-Z Animals Top Picks for Incubators for Chickens, Ducks, and Quails
#1 Best Overall: GCCSJ 16 Egg Incubator
Our selection as the best overall egg incubator is the GCCSJ 16 Egg Incubator.
This egg incubator has an automatic turning device that turns the eggs every 90 minutes. However, if you need to increase the turning rate then it lets you start the turner at any time. The rollers are adjustable according to the size of the different types of eggs which means it’s suitable for chicken, geese, ducks, and quail eggs. Plus, this incubator 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. This is a great feature if you are particularly forgetful as it will help you check on the eggs regularly.
This incubator 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 simply 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.
However, although this incubator is a great option, reviewers have reported that the operating manual is quite vague which meant they had to figure out how to use the incubator themselves.
Pros and Cons of the GCCSJ 16 Egg Incubator
|This incubator is suitable for chicken, geese, duck, and quails eggs.||The operating manual has vague instructions.|
|It has an automatic turning device.|
|You can add water from outside the incubator.|
|It features an LED screen that allows you to track temperature changes.|
|It can run on a 12V battery as well as mains power if needed.|
|There is a built-in egg candler.|
2. Best for Ducks: Manna Pro Harris Farms Nurture Right Incubator
For duck eggs we suggest the Manna Pro Harris Farms Nurture Right Incubator.
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 flow 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 to 18 duck eggs, or 22 to 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.
Unfortunately, some customers reported that they had a low hatching rate with this incubator.
Pros and Cons of the Manna Pro Harris Farms Nurture Right Incubator
|This incubator has a clear top so it’s easy to see the eggs.||Some customers reported having a low hatching rate with this incubator.|
|It has induced airflow to help provide optimum air circulation and temperature stability.|
|There is an air vent underneath each corner of the base.|
|It has an auto-turning device with an auto-stop feature which stops turning them three days before hatching.|
|It is suitable for chicken, duck, and pheasant eggs.|
3. Best for Quails: Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator
For hatching out quail eggs we recommend the Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator which is also a great choice for beginners due to its easy-to-use design.
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. Plus, there is a built-in candler so you can check the progress of the eggs.
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.
Unfortunately, some customers reported that the bottom of the incubator is quite slippery for chicks to walk on when they are hatching.
Pros and Cons of the Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator
|This incubator has the capacity for 12 eggs.||The bottom is slippery for chicks as they are hatching.|
|Water can be added from outside the incubator.|
|It automatically turns the eggs every hour and automatically stops turning them three days before hatching.|
|It features a built in egg-candler.|
|It automatically adjusts the temperatures using a prediction system that tracks trends of fluctuations based on three readings per second.|
4. Best for Geese: Hethya 36 Egg Incubator
For geese eggs we suggest the Hethya 36 Egg Incubator.
This is an excellent option for hatching geese 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 the different type of bird eggs that you are hatching.
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.
Again, the only issue with this product is that the instruction manual is vague.
Pros and Cons of the Hethya 36 Egg Incubator
|This incubator automatically turns the eggs every 90 minutes.||The instruction manual is vague.|
|You can adjust the distance of the rollers depending on the size of the eggs.|
|It can be attached to a 12V battery if required.|
|The water can be added from outside the incubator.|
Choosing the Best: What to Look For
Aside from choosing the right size incubator 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 be fatal. Also, 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. Still-air incubators are more complex and challenging to use and their setup calls for accuracy. It is essential to position 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.
|It regulates at a consistent temperature.||It is an expensive option.|
|It auto turns the eggs.|
|It is easier to use for beginners.|
|It is suitable for experienced hatchers.||You must manually turn off auto turning.|
|It is great for a more hands-on approach.||You have to open it to allow fresh air.|
|It auto-turns the eggs.|
|It is not expensive.||It is the most difficult to use as it requires more set up.|
|You can make it yourself.||It has a lower hatch rate.|
The 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 particularly hot or cold temperatures.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.